Moose hunting throughout the U.S.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
For Norwegian-American hunters wanting to connect with their Norwegian roots—without the pricey plane ticket—moose hunting in the U.S. is a great way to go. Hunting moose is an extremely popular autumn activity in Scandinavia, with almost 35,000 moose shot last season in Norway alone.
Luckily for American hunters, moose reside all around forested areas of the Northern Hemisphere, and there are plenty of ideal spots for hunting moose within the country. These enormous deer can be found in 15 U.S. states. Travel throughout the country to find all four varieties of the North American moose: Alaskan Moose, North-Western Moose, Eastern Moose, and Shiras Moose.
In search for the largest variety of moose, hunters travel north to Alaska. These Alaskan Moose can grow up to 7.5 feet tall with 70-inch wide antlers, weighing close to 1,800 pounds. In other words, be sure to have a plan for transporting the colossal corpse because it’s sure to be a challenge. Moose hunting is a fall ritual for many Alaskans, and statistics show that over 7,000 of the estimated 175,000 Alaskan Moose are hunted each fall.
Moose reside all over Alaska, but the best population densities are found in South-central and Interior Alaska. While the western and northern regions also provide decent hunting opportunities, the southeast is limited. In the best spots, there are five or more moose in a square mile. But hunters won’t always be that lucky; the density can drop as low as one moose per 30 square miles.
If you’re ready to test your luck up north, visit www.adfg.alaska.gov/store/ for an Alaskan hunting license.
The highest density of the Eastern Moose in the United States is located in Maine. Last year, hunters boasted a success rate of 72 percent throughout the moose hunting season. The state’s commercial forests in the Maine North Woods act as a great habitat for the Eastern Moose to thrive. This high rate can only be expected in northern Maine though; southern Maine is much less lucrative with a success rate of 20 percent.
While the season spans from September 22 to November 29, the exact dates vary depending on the wildlife management district. Maine’s 25 districts cover over 21,000 square miles of hunting territory.
Visit www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/hunting/index.htm to purchase your Maine hunting license and learn more about the season dates and regulations.
For more Eastern Moose hunting, head just southwest to New Hampshire. Moose hunting in New Hampshire is known for its regulated moose hunt, which lasts just nine days and starts on the third Saturday in October each year. The hunt is just about to take off for the season, spanning from October 18 to 26.
Participants must obtain a permit, which are distributed by lottery. There are only 124 permits offered this year, so be sure to submit a bid by August if you want to join in on the hunt next year. Your chances of winning a permit may be slim, but the potential rewards are worth it. Last season, all of the permit winners harvested a moose, with the largest bull weighing in at 920 pounds.
If you want to take a chance at the 2015 moose hunt, first visit nhwildlifeheritage.org/moose-permit-auction/ to submit a bid for a permit. Then head over to www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm for a hunting license.
The Evergreen state is home to the Shiras Moose, the smallest group of North American Moose species with an estimated population of just 25,000. Hunters will need to head to the northeastern corner of Washington for the best population densities. Washington’s first confirmed moose sighting occurred in the 1950s, and the state’s moose population has been steadily expanding since. There are now five moose management units in northeast Washington to manage the hunting season from October to November.
The Selkirk Mountains provide the habitat for the moose, which range into Idaho and B.C. These moose can also be hunted in the western Montana, northern Wyoming, western Utah, and Colorado. Why not make an autumn road trip out of it?
Visit wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/hunting.html for a Washington State hunting license.
Be sure to thoroughly check the local laws on permits, regulations, and seasons before your moose hunting excursion, especially if you are traveling and not familiar with the area!
This article originally appeared in the Oct. 17, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.