MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More than 100 hunters in Minnesota received a lottery-drawn, once-in-a-lifetime moose license for this year’s season, which opens Saturday. Problem is, some of those hunters may not be able to hunt.
The wildfire in the Boundary Waters has charred hunting areas, and sent many animals, including moose, scattering.
“Even if some of these areas open up in time for the moose season, there hasn’t really been adequate time to scout for your once-in-a-lifetime hunt,” said Lou Cornicelli, Big Game Coordinator for the Minnesota DNR.
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With this in mind, the DNR is offering would-be moose hunters full refunds for their license. In addition to getting money back, the hunters will be able to get a license next year, if it’s available based on moose populations.
The moose population has been in dramatic decline in Minnesota, and biologists are hoping the wildfire may help.
“We don’t know to what extent habitat is a contributor (to the moose decline),” Cornicelli said. “But certainly anytime we create good habitat, we create an opportunity for that species.”
The fire clears the forest floor and makes way for moose food, including saplings and berries.
Hunters who have a moose permit they would like to turn in must do so before 4:30 p.m. Friday.