Moose tend to prefer young forest with access to mature forests. In areas that logging is uncommon, natural disturbances such as fire must be used to replenish moose habitat. Necessary components of moose habitat include: mature forests that provide shelter, younger forests that provide summer nutrients, aquatic food sources, high-quality winter browse, and isolated areas for calving. In Minnesota, moose are 1 of 34 indicator species which allowed clear-cut areas to be greater. Clear cuts provide the younger forest with higher quality forage that moose require. Management of moose, as is the same for many other species, is not easy due to the need of habitat preferences and forest ecology of the area. This information can be expensive and difficult to obtain and therefore provides a challenge for managers.
Harvest and Economics
History tells us that moose have been harvested by humans. The native peoples of North America used moose as a heavy staple in their diet followed by the Europeans who immigrated there. Hides, bones, organs, and meat were used in a variety of ways from keeping warm to playing games. One moose could feed one family for many seasons. Even today, people will pay a hefty sum to hire a guide to take them to Alaska to shoot a trophy moose for their collection. According to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in 1980, moose hunters contributed more than $50 million dollars to the Ontario economy.
Eleven states in the U.S., as well as two territories and nine provinces in Canada, hold seasons on moose. Restrictive hunting regulations have been put into effect in the last several years as moose demand has risen. In nine of the jurisdictions, hunters have a lower than one bag limit per hunter and in the thirteen others, hunters are only allowed one moose per hunter per season.
Photo Credit:US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration