Biologists Want More Moose Hunting in Maine & NH to Reduce Ticks
Hunters in Northern New England rejoice! You're actually being asked and encouraged to hunt more moose this season, to actually help save the moose population. It sounds like an oxymoron to say that, but it's true -- by hunting more moose, you'll be preventing ticks from being able to latch on and devastate entire herds.
How do ticks affect moose?
According to NortheastWildlife.org, because of winter ticks, the moose population in New Hampshire alone has declined more than 40%. THAT'S ALMOST HALF OF THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF MOOSE IN THE STATE.
Basically, the ticks latch onto a moose, generally in hard-to-reach areas, and most often will lay eggs right on the moose. That can cause a moose to become a host to an average of 33,000 ticks at one time, although some cases, according to NortheastWildlife.org, can see up to 150,000 ticks on one moose.
Naturally, moose will try their best to remove the ticks from them, with a combo of self-grooming and also scratching up against objects like trees. The only problem with that is generally, as mentioned above, the ticks are in hard-to-reach areas, so the moose's attempt is a fail. But all that scratching can actually remove layers of their protective outer coat of fur, which generally leads to them not being able to survive the winter, all because of the tick infestation.
Basically, the less moose there are for ticks to inhabit, the less ticks there will be since they'll be unable to lay eggs and continually reproduce.
What are the moose hunting permit changes in Northern New England?
According to Channel 8 WMTW, Maine has already increased the number of permits available by 10x, offering 3,480. Vermont is going a little more small-scale, boosting the amount of available permits from 55 to 100. New Hampshire is still on the fence about whether they'll increase permit numbers or not for now.