Decision to Close Winter Moose Hunt on Federal public lands in GMU 21D.

Biological Status:

We conducted moose surveys in November 2021 in the Galena area, including the Dulbi River Mouth, Three Day Slough, Kaiyuh Flats, Lower Koyukuk River, and the Pilot Mountain Slough trend count areas. Survey conditions were relatively good everywhere we surveyed this year.

3/2/2022

Koyukuk/Nowitna/Innoko National Wildlife

(907) 656-1231

GMU 21D has experienced an extended period of stable, low density adult moose numbers. In GMU 21D north of the Yukon River, the recent poor recruitment of bulls into the population and subsequent low bull/cow ratio are a concern. This area has been plagued by lower production and recruitment, which is again evident this year. The yearling bull:cow ratio is just a little below the long-term average at just 5 yearling bulls/100 cows. Calf numbers increased from last year, calf production/ or survival of calves to fall (27 calves/100 cows). The overall bull ratio is average at 25 bulls:cows. Snow conditions at 3-Day Slough and Dulbi River were good this year. No winter season are recommended for this area.

In contrast, the southern Koyukuk and Kaiyuh Trend Areas have stabilized for now. These trend count areas continued to remain healthy though beginning to level off from the steady growth from 2014-2017. The number of bulls and calves declined slightly from the highs observed in the last seven years, though are still above the long-term average. Cows increased slightly and are just above average. Calf production (or survival to fall) is below 40 again and is average this year at 27 calves per 100 cows (Table 4, Figs. 7, 8, & 9). Recruitment of yearling bulls has been average the last three years at 7 yearling bulls:100 cows this year. The bull:cow ratio is just below the average with 40 bulls per 100 cows.

Decision:

There will be NO federal winter moose hunt in GMU 21D on Federal public lands.

This decision was based on low density adult moose numbers in this GMU. The population is showing signs of increasing adult moose numbers as well as production and recruitment; however, any additional harvest could reverse these trends. A few additional years of good calf production and survival could increase moose densities to the point of additional harvest opportunities, while additional harvest too soon and poor production could exacerbate or accelerate declines.

For more information about this hunt, please feel free to contact us toll free @ 1-800-656-1231.

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