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ISSUE 106

MRS: Montana Shiras’ Moose

Hunting moose can be maddening. At times, almost as if you were chasing a ghost. You might go days without seeing a single bull—and then one morning he suddenly appears. In many places in Montana the moose density is quite low. Nevertheless, most hunters do end up filling their tags. These hunts are often long. Over the past three seasons of data, on average a moose hunter has reported spending over 12 days in the field. Ten years ago, the average moose hunt lasted about nine days—still a long duration—but the increasing time afield is indicative of the fact that moose hunting in Montana is growing more difficult. The moose population has suffered a long-term decline across almost all of its Montana range. The harvest reports from last season have not been prepared yet, so I used to the 2016 data and my impressions to create my ratings for next season.