Round table: Unraveling the moose mystery

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 11, 2014 - 9:50 PM

Moose: Unraveling a mystery

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Willy53Jan. 12, 14 6:50 AM

The decline of moose populations in Minnesota has nothing to do with wolves. Anyone arguing that point is doing so from an ideological perspective and not a biological one. I even question the 10% mortality from wolves as they simply take the sickest and most physically disabled, the ones likely to lay down and die anyway. If Minnesota wants to preserve some of it's native species they are going to have to manage more land based on a natural progression of native environments toward a more prehistoric state. Continuing to manage forests for timber harvesting and forage for game species in the end will damage the long term prospects of many of our native species.

notmydnrJan. 12, 1411:54 AM

Willy53, thank you for saying what I was going to, and thank you Ron Moen from the NRRI for confirming what a lot of us have been saying all along. The question now, is when will the DNR stop listening to those who clearly have nothing but contempt for wolves and stop managing to political whims and Hunter’s “wants” and start managing based on the sound concepts of maintaining the natural balance of nature. Wolves and other predators play a necessary role in managing populations and preserving habitats. Mother Nature WILL manage nature via predators, sickness, or weather, despite man's desire for increased populations of "high value" game animals, which only serve to deplete habitats and lead to widescale starvation when a few hard winters hit. Worse yet, managing populations for a hunting audience that is no longer interested in investing the time and effort needed for fair chase, but rather expects to step out their front door, shoot their trophy buck, and then go back to their armchairs and widescreen TV's, means having an unsustainable population level. Why are fewer people hunting? Because done right, it’s hard work that requires a large investment of time. Its not for those seeking instant gratification and its time the DNR stopped trying to manage our resources for the sole purpose of keeping these guys happy- that’s what game preserves are for (although I am totally against the concept of “shooting fish in a barrel” ).

daytonsajokeJan. 16, 14 4:58 PM

I even question the 10% mortality from wolves as they simply take the sickest and most physically disabled, the ones likely to lay down and die anyway............if you think wolves only take the sick and weak you are sorely mistaken. You honestly think a pack of wolves has never attacked healthy moose? You must not have researched any of Alaska's moose/wolf relationships. Our moose population was healthy for years until wolves came upon the scene. And by the way, more moose lived outside the bwca then in it because of logging. Also look at Grand Portage for an example of less wolves=more moose. There are few white tails in GP so less wolves overall. Maine has almost no wolves and Moose population is thriving. Wolves are taking most of the calves too so no recruitment. I think you are the ideological one who just can't bring themselves to point a finger at a creature they love.

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