Area moose harvest totals 141; exceeds last year's 118

Hunters harvested a total of 141 moose in the Wrangell-Petersburg area this year, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

This year’s take is much higher than the harvest of 118 in 2022 and exceeds the five-year average of about 120 moose, according to the department’s statistics.

“The previous high was 132, and it was in 2021,” said Frank Robbins, a state game wildlife biologist in the Petersburg office.

The season opened Sept. 15 and ran through Oct. 15. The count covers moose hunts on Wrangell, Mitkof, Kupreanof, Kuiu, Zarembo, Woronkofski and Etolin islands, and the mainland.

Kupreanof Island was the most successful area for hunters this year with 54 legal moose harvested, more than the 42 taken there last year.

Kuiu Island had the second-largest harvest this season at 28 legal moose.

The Stikine River, which Robbins said sees an average of 20 moose harvested each season “year in and year out” met expectations with a total of 23.

Hunters took five moose on Wrangell Island, up from just two last year, and 11 legal moose on Mitkof Island, up from three in 2022.

Of the areas that the department tracks, the highest number of illegal moose were harvested on Kupreanof — seven of the 12 moose illegally taken this year throughout the game management area were on Kupreanof.

About 8% of the 141 moose were illegal kills this year, down from 10% in 2022. The department aims to keep the illegal-kill rate below 9%.

The majority of illegal moose are bulls with the wrong number of brow tines. Hunters generally self-report illegal kills, and the meat is shared with the community.


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