The first week of the moose hunt is at the midway point. It was a very slow start to the season because of the extremely hot conditions. Lee Kantar the Moose Biologist for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says that the hot weather and not a decrease in the moose population is the reason for the lower success rate.
<(Lee Kantar):"There's plenty of moose out in the areas where we have the moose hunt open. The role the weather plays is really in the success of moose hunters. No concern with moose numbers it is just a tough way to have to hunt in such high temperatures."
650 permits were allocated for Wildlife management districts one through six for this week. Through the first two days of the hunt under 100 hunters registered a moose at one of the tagging stations.
(Ben LeBlanc):"The hunters says it is really slow. The moose aren't moving because it is extremely hot out which is unusual this time of year. The tagging is down but they are still bringing in some nice moose."
Kantar spent two days in the Fort Kent area and talked to several moose hunters He said the hunters knew to expect extremely hot temperatures.
Kantar:" Everybody gets the weather reports and know what is coming down the pike. The timing of the season is set as it is. More recently we never know what we are going to get. I think the biggest thing is hunters have to be prepared for situations and high temperatures like we just had. You have to be prepared for that as well."
The forecast is calling for the temperatures to become much cooler as the week goes on and that should be good news for hunters who have not been successful yet.
Leblanc:"They saw moose this morning, but it was a little windy. I think the numbers will pick up by the end of the week.">
Here are the numbers for today as of about 4:30 this afternoon
Fort Kent - 24
Ashland - 16
Presque Isle - 7
Island Falls - 6
Houlton - 5