The open area is roughly from the mouth of the Yukon up to the old village of Paimute above Russian Mission. For hunters from the Kuskokwim area, the area is north and west of the Johnson river above the tundra villages. It includes the coast going north from the Ishkowik river.
Phillip Perry is Area Wildlife Biologist Biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He says recent moose population surveys show that the 12-thousand strong Yukon moose population is doing well.
“The bottom line is that moose population is doing very very well, and we can harvest more. In fact it’s probably good if we do harvest more,” said Perry.
In the upper section, the hunt used to be for just an antlered bull. Now the limit is two moose and only one can be an antlered bull. Hunters cannot take cows with calves.
After a winter with little snow cover and less hunting pressure, Perry says survival was good. Researchers flew a survey in May to see how many cows had twins, showing how well the food supply and habitat are doing.
“We’ve for a long time have twinning rates from 40 to 60 percent which is very high and we’re still in the 40 some percent. That reaffirms for us that with a very productive population we can harvest more moose,” said Perry.
And as of Friday, people can begin to get their registration permits for the September first Kuskokwim hunt. Last year that hunt lasted six days before hunters reached and exceeded the quota with 119 moose.