On April 25, after receiving biological recommendations from the Fish & Wildlife Department’s Big Game Team, gathering public input, and reviewing the relevant regulations and statutes, the Fish and Wildlife Board authorized 13 bulls-onlyMoose permits for 2018 in WMUs E1 and E2 only. These permits will be divided among special priority-veterans, special opportunity recipients and the auction. The small number of permits will not have any impact on the size of Vermont’s moose herd.
There will be no public lottery for moose hunting permits in 2018. Under the existing regulations and laws, if a small number of public lottery permits were to be offered, all prior applicants would have to either enter and pay for an application or forfeit all accumulated bonus points. With no public lottery permits offered, all bonus points for the archery moose and regular October moose season applicants from previous years will be frozen until the public lottery resumes.
Current regulations and laws also require that if any moose permits are issued, five must be offered to veterans and five must be offered at auction. Given the small number of permits recommended by Department biologists, and the possibility that future permit allocations may be just as low, the Department and the Fish and Wildlife Board will review those regulations and laws over the coming year.
Who is eligible to apply for 2018 Moose Permit?
Any qualified Vermont veteran is eligible to apply for a special priority drawing of five permits. To be considered qualified, a Vermont veteran must be certified through the Veteran’s Affairs office. Three permits will be set aside for special opportunity applicants, at least one of whom is under 21, with life-threatening terminal illnesses who are represented by charitable organizations. Five additional permits will be available for auction.
What will happen to my regular October and archery moose hunting application season bonus points?
Because the public lottery has been suspended this year, all bonus points for the regular October and archery moose seasons will be frozen as they were at the end of 2017. You will not need to send in an application or fee to protect your points. Bonus points are not refundable and will apply to future moose lotteries.
What steps are being taken to protect the moose herd?
Biologists within the Department are undertaking a three-year study of collared moose cows and calves in the Northeast Kingdom in collaboration with biologists from Maine and New Hampshire. This regionwide study also involves scientists from the Universities of Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.
Maintaining a healthy and stable moose population is the main goal of our department. Setting the number of moose hunt permits to 13 bulls-only in WMUS E1 and E2 will not have a negative effect on the overall moose population. We will continue to study and monitor moose in the state to better ensure that the population density gives moose the best opportunity to continue in Vermont.