Tribal moose hunt opposed

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has asked the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to reconsider plans for an off-reservation moose hunt.

Band leaders are planning to offer the fall hunt to members and expect to take up to 25 bull moose. According to a band official, biologists said there would be no negative impact on the herd.

“We had a biologist say we would probably take less than what are killed by cars and trucks and trains,” said Ferdinand Martineau, secretary-treasurer of the band. “We wondered, would we have a negative impact on the herd, and they’re saying, ‘no, we wouldn’t.’ “

But DNR wildlife program manager Steve Merchant said the state’s moose population has declined severely in recent years, making the hunt a bad idea.

“We believe the precipitous decline we’ve seen in the moose population is to the point we can’t afford to lose any more moose, that it’s a conservation issue in continuing to hunt them,” Merchant said. “That’s why we asked them to reconsider their decision.”