Over the years I’ve had several uncomfortable encounters with moose while fishing in northwest Montana. Non-self defense moose hunting, however, has never quite sparked my interest, mainly because I live in mooseless Oklahoma and if I’m forking over the dough for an out-of-state hunt I’d prefer to hunt something other than the Clark Griswold of the deer family.
My low – if completely uninformed – opinion of moose hunting was reinforced this morning as I was reading this article on sciencedaily.com. The story itself was about how Canadian wildlife managers are discovering that in some instances, listening to native tribes who actually live there is a much better way of monitoring moose populations than the typical statistical methods. Pretty interesting stuff, but what caught my eye was this passage:
_Until the mid 1980s the James Bay region, at the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada, was inaccessible to most, and the Cree were the only people who hunted in the region. However, in the mid 1980s, following pressure from sport-hunting and fishing groups, the Canadian authorities granted access to the region (via a previously locked road, known as the James Bay highway, which had been constructed for a hydro-electric project).
__Sport hunters travelled from far and wide, hoping to bag a few moose. “At the time wildlife managers were eager to open up access to this region, as they believed it would relieve the pressure on hunting grounds further south,” said Colin Scott from McGill University, who led the team documenting these changes. To ensure that moose populations remained stable the Canadian authorities relied on aerial surveys to monitor moose numbers in hunting territories. In addition records were kept of the number of moose **caught** by each hunter, and the time it had taken to **catch** them._ (emphasis mine, obviously).
So there you go. Not only are moose slow, ungainly and awkward, but when you go moose hunting in Canada you apparently have to catch the damn things before you can shoot them. Or maybe you shoot them, then catch them. I don’t know. Maybe all you moose hunters out there can chime in: how exactly do you catch a moose?