News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac, March 4

March 4, 2024

Minnesota’s moose population remains relatively stable


Minnesota’s moose population has remained relatively stable for nearly a decade. The most recent population estimate is approximately 3,470 animals, according to the results of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ 2024 population survey.

Results continue to suggest that after a steep decline from a population estimate of approximately 8,000 in 2009, Minnesota’s moose population appears to have stabilized and has fluctuated around 3,700 animals in recent years.

While estimates suggest continued stability in the population and reproductive success, Minnesota DNR researchers point out that Minnesota moose remain at risk given the long-term trends. Presently, the long-term survey trends indicate the moose population has declined approximately 60% since the mid-2000s. Climate change, parasites, and predator impacts on calf survival all play a part in the long-term survival of the moose population.

Both the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the 1854 Treaty Authority contributed funding and personnel for the 2024 annual survey. The survey is available on the Minnesota DNR’s moose management webpage.

Turkey hunting licenses are on sale

Turkey hunters can now buy their licenses for the spring 2024 season. Licenses may be purchased online, by telephone at 888-665-4236 or in person wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Hunters can hunt statewide and buy licenses for any time period (A-F) over the counter.

Hunters will be asked which permit area they plan to hunt, so hunters are advised to know that information when they buy their license. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will use this information for research purposes to help inform management of the state’s turkey population. Importantly, hunters who identify their permit area when purchasing their license will not be restricted to hunting in only that area.

Season dates and hunt rules can be found on the Minnesota DNR’s turkey hunting webpage. Permits for firearms hunters 18 and older to hunt the popular Carlos Avery and Mille Lacs wildlife management areas in the A-C time periods, and Whitewater WMA in the A-B time periods, were distributed already by lottery. The lottery application deadline was Feb. 16 and results are available on the turkey hunting webpage of the DNR website.

Minnesota DNR webinars focus on turkey hunting with youth, preparing for wildfire season 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in wildlife and outdoor skills to check out the spring program schedule for the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series.

In a webinar on Wednesday, March 6, Scott Mackenthun, a DNR fisheries supervisor and avid turkey hunter, will discuss turkey hunting with youth. Spring turkey season is a great way to introduce kids of all ages to hunting. Mackenthun will share tips on getting kids excited and prepared for a successful turkey hunt.

In a webinar on Wednesday, March 13, DNR staff will discuss how the DNR and partners plan for spring wildfire season, and how Minnesotans can plan and prepare at home and in their communities.

The Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series webinars are free and offered year-round, though registration is required. Visit the Outdoor Skills and Stewardship webpage of the Minnesota DNR website for the registration portal, more information about upcoming webinars and recordings of past webinars.

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