The Department of Fish and Game counted 26 moose taken during the Haines area’s Tier II subsistence hunt this year, two of which were sublegal.
Of the 24 legal moose, 10 met the spiked fork configuration, 12 had three or more brow tines, and two had a rack more than 50 inches wide.
Two moose were also shot and left to rot near Sheep Canyon Lake and 10 Mile Haines Highway, though those weren’t put toward the final count, said Fish and Game area biologist Stephanie Sell.
“A lot of the time we don’t want to punish 250 people for the carelessness of a few. Taking that away from everyone, we don’t feel that is appropriate,” Sell said. “What we are concerned about is somebody took them and left them in the field when that meat could have been donated to the community.”
Fish and Game won’t know the age breakdowns of the 26 moose until the animals’ teeth are analyzed at a lab, and those results won’t be available for a year, Sell said. Generally, moose with spiked fork antlers are one to two years old, while moose with three-plus brow tines or 50-inch racks are five years or older, she said.
Despite the two unreported moose left in the field, Sell said the Haines season went “pretty well.”
“Everybody does a really good job of watching the moose and making sure they are legal. I just really want to applaud Haines for that,” she said.
Fish and Game will conduct its annual moose survey later this fall, likely in November or December. The survey involves Fish and Game employees flying over the Chilkat Valley and up several larger drainages, including the Klehini and Tsirku, to count moose.
The department waits for snow, to make the brown moose easier to spot on a white background. But they don’t want to wait too long, though, because bulls start dropping their antlers in the winter, making them more difficult to distinguish from cows.
Anyone with information on the two moose left in the field is urged to call wildlife troopers at 766-2533.