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Old 02-28-2018, 09:14 AM   #21
poconoron
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No doubt there are a number of factors at work here. But I can't help feeling that there may be 3 prevailing reasons for the seeming discrepancy:

1. The previously noted "guestimates" which may not have relied on actual data were putting the population estimate too high...........and now actual aerial survey data is correcting that to a lower, more realisic #.

2. The aforementioned factor that state lands are not the best habitat for promoting more vigorous growth in the population.

3. Aside from state lands comprising nearly 1/2 the ADK's 6 million acres - there are roughly 3 million acres plus of possibly better habitat private lands. However, on those private lands there is also the greater opportunity for poaching to occur (I have heard several tales of this, by the way). This factor may be suppressing the overall population, I believe.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:49 AM   #22
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I wonder if the drop in the population is due to the more accurate method of estimating the population. Years past estimates seemed to be of the back of the envelope guestimates verse the latest round of aerial surveys and tracking. As stated in the latest report "Although the total number of moose was less than anticipated at the start of our surveys, the population appears to be in good physical condition with many calves seen accompanying females each year."

Spot on - working with past guesstimates and even current (albeit better) guesstimates its hard to have a realistic interpretation of the true number and more importantly - the "trend" of the population. In the coming years, I assume in a few years of far better /more accurate data we can better predict a real population trend. I for one am glad a more realistic number will help prevent people pushing for a hunt. This population is far too small and sensitive to add "any" unnecessary pressure to the small Moose population within the blue line. If the erratic climate /jet stream continues (which seems to be the case) they will have a tough time in the future so we need to cherish whats here today.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:04 AM   #23
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If moose in the blue line are at the edge of their range then their lives will be hard and they will be under strong "selection pressure".
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Old 02-28-2018, 04:12 PM   #24
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If moose in the blue line are at the edge of their range then their lives will be hard and they will be under strong "selection pressure".
I agree, the Adkís Probably never supported a large moose population in the first place.
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:55 PM   #25
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3. Aside from state lands comprising nearly 1/2 the ADK's 6 million acres - there are roughly 3 million acres plus of possibly better habitat private lands. However, on those private lands there is also the greater opportunity for poaching to occur (I have heard several tales of this, by the way). This factor may be suppressing the overall population, I believe.
There really is no evidence that poaching is a problem with regards to NY's Moose. Even if a few have been illegally taken over the last few years (there is no evidence that has happened) I doubt that would have much of an impact on the overall population.

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I for one am glad a more realistic number will help prevent people pushing for a hunt. This population is far too small and sensitive to add "any" unnecessary pressure to the small Moose population within the blue line. If the erratic climate /jet stream continues (which seems to be the case) they will have a tough time in the future so we need to cherish whats here today.
The new estimate of '400' is only for the ADK's. There is viable Moose habitat outside of the blue line, and I wouldn't be surprised if the overall population for NY is a bit higher.

Also, NY's Moose population has seen a gradual but healthy increase over the last few decades. I think if that trend continues, hunting will eventually become a viable part of the conservation picture. And that's nothing to be angry about; historically the North American animals that have regulated hunting have fared very well in terms of conservation funding and overall species viability.

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Old 02-28-2018, 06:15 PM   #26
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...Even if a few have been illegally taken over the last few years (there is no evidence that has happened)...
It has happened... https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2...ull-moose.html
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:24 PM   #27
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Poaching, and a non-resident at that...no bueno.

I still don't consider poaching to be a widespread problem for NY Moose, and certainly not to the point where it is seriously impacting the overall population trend. I expect that if it was impacting the population trend, the DEC survey would have mentioned it.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:12 PM   #28
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Poaching, and a non-resident at that...no bueno.

I still don't consider poaching to be a widespread problem for NY Moose, and certainly not to the point where it is seriously impacting the overall population trend. I expect that if it was impacting the population trend, the DEC survey would have mentioned it.
Might be the DEC doesn't even know the extent of it, either.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:30 PM   #29
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Might be the DEC doesn't even know the extent of it, either.
Okay? Does anyone else know the "extent" of Moose poaching? All I've seen so far is an article mentioning two cases and an anecdotal claim that it's likely to happen on private land.

I expect that if any organization would be in the know when it comes to Moose conservation, to include poaching problems, it would be the executive agency tasked with protecting said animals: the DEC. From all the DEC highlights I've read, it certainly doesn't seem that Moose poaching is a widespread problem.

And if no one, to include the DEC, knows the true extent of this supposed problem, then I'd say we're discussing a problem that no one can prove exists....which is a pointless endeavour.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:46 PM   #30
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If moose in the blue line are at the edge of their range then their lives will be hard and they will be under strong "selection pressure".
A good point, but the question is when this map was made and based on what? Generally these maps I see are based on current populations and estimates.

The more interesting question would be what the moose population and range was before humans had a significant impact on the landscape. That may even precede the rise of the Iroquois nation in NYS. We'd probably never get an answer in the east, but out west, there may have been reports. For example, did moose used to populate the central Rockies down into Colorado?

And would the Adirondacks continue to support moose population, even on the fringes, if it weren't for the forest preserve and better logging practices and of course, lack of hunting? It seems as though at the time the park was created, the moose population was not exactly thriving.

What I tend to notice about that map is that it generally outlines the Boreal and Hemiboreal forests with some encroachment into Tundra. With the changing climate could come changes to these forest types and force the moose out of the southern reaches altogether. I don't know enough about their habitat requirements to understand what limits them from populating further south.

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Old 03-01-2018, 12:07 AM   #31
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A good point, but the question is when this map was made and based on what? Generally these maps I see are based on current populations and estimates.

The more interesting question would be what the moose population and range was before humans had a significant impact on the landscape. That may even precede the rise of the Iroquois nation in NYS.

And would the Adirondacks continue to support moose population, even on the fringes, if it weren't for the forest preserve and better logging practices and of course, lack of hunting? It seems as though at the time the park was created, the moose population was not exactly thriving.

What I tend to notice about that map is that it generally outlines the Boreal and Hemiboreal forests with some encroachment into Tundra. With the changing climate could come changes to these forest types and force the moose out of the southern reaches altogether. I don't know enough about their habitat requirements to understand what limits them from populating further south.
I notice the map does not show the Island of NFLD as moose range. Moose are not indigenous to the island and were stocked there in the early 1900ís. Today it holds the largest moose population of any region in the world, around 100,000.
And, most of the rock has been logged.

In the books about the ADK trapper Nat Foster, who hunted and ran a trap line from the Mohawk Valley to the St Lawrence river in the late 1700ís - the early 1800ís,
It only mentioned him shooting 1 or 2 moose. But he did shoot upwards to 100 deer per year, so I would guess there was never a large moose population in NY.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:29 AM   #32
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I still don't consider poaching to be a widespread problem for NY Moose, and certainly not to the point where it is seriously impacting the overall population trend.
Certainly not widespread, but I would think if it happened a couple times already, then it is certainly possible that it has happened a few times more than that without people getting caught. If thatís true then I think it can & would have an impact on the population by eliminating a few moose that otherwise might be healthy breeders. Anecdotal yes without any other hard evidence to back it up, but this is just a discussion, and itís a sad reality that there are many people in this world who donít care about laws & regulations and never get caught.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:53 AM   #33
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I notice the map does not show the Island of NFLD as moose range. Moose are not indigenous to the island and were stocked there in the early 1900ís. Today it holds the largest moose population of any region in the world, around 100,000.
I saw that but didn't mention it. The trans-Canada highway has a swath cut about 100' back from the pavement on each side so you can see the moose before they attempt suicide by motor vehicle. There are electric signs on the side of the road indicating the current number of collisions.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:30 PM   #34
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Certainly not widespread, but I would think if it happened a couple times already, then it is certainly possible that it has happened a few times more than that without people getting caught. If thatís true then I think it can & would have an impact on the population by eliminating a few moose that otherwise might be healthy breeders. Anecdotal yes without any other hard evidence to back it up, but this is just a discussion, and itís a sad reality that there are many people in this world who donít care about laws & regulations and never get caught.
Indeed this is true. In my area of the southern ADKs, there are many local residents who hunt from their backyards for deer specifically and use illegal baiting - and do it out of season.

So those who refuse to believe this is happening have their collective heads in the sand.

The deer population (because of it's size) may be able to sustain this sort of illegal hunting. A fragile, recovering moose population would be much more hard-hit.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:42 PM   #35
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From all the DEC highlights I've read, it certainly doesn't seem that Moose poaching is a widespread problem.

And if no one, to include the DEC, knows the true extent of this supposed problem, then I'd say we're discussing a problem that no one can prove exists....which is a pointless endeavour.
With the relatively small developing moose population, it may not need to be "a widespread problem" to impact growth of the herd.

One particular case that I can identify occurred on route 29a where a severed moose head was found off the side of the road. Despite apparent widespread knowledge as to who was involved, the DEC could never prove a case against said person. DEC is not likely to talk about such cases since the likelihood of the person be identified and caught is generally very low. Problem swept under the rug............
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:43 PM   #36
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I notice the map does not show the Island of NFLD as moose range. Moose are not indigenous to the island and were stocked there in the early 1900ís. Today it holds the largest moose population of any region in the world, around 100,000.
And, most of the rock has been logged.

In the books about the ADK trapper Nat Foster, who hunted and ran a trap line from the Mohawk Valley to the St Lawrence river in the late 1700ís - the early 1800ís,
It only mentioned him shooting 1 or 2 moose. But he did shoot upwards to 100 deer per year, so I would guess there was never a large moose population in NY.
Old hunter guide John Cheney shot something like 600 deer and 19 moose and he worked in the High Peaks area.
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:59 PM   #37
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Certainly not widespread, but I would think if it happened a couple times already, then it is certainly possible that it has happened a few times more than that without people getting caught. If that’s true then I think it can & would have an impact on the population by eliminating a few moose that otherwise might be healthy breeders. Anecdotal yes without any other hard evidence to back it up, but this is just a discussion, and it’s a sad reality that there are many people in this world who don’t care about laws & regulations and never get caught.
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Indeed this is true. In my area of the southern ADKs, there are many local residents who hunt from their backyards for deer specifically and use illegal baiting - and do it out of season.

So those who refuse to believe this is happening have their collective heads in the sand.

The deer population (because of it's size) may be able to sustain this sort of illegal hunting. A fragile, recovering moose population would be much more hard-hit.
I think it makes more sense to wait and see what the DEC says on the current Moose population trend (and any contributing factors) before jumping to any premature conclusions.

Poaching happens everywhere, including in North America to some degree. But we also have very robust hunter-based (and funded) conservation system in place here; poaching, generally-speaking, is not a serious threat to most of our wildlife populations, unlike other parts of the world. If the DEC has evidence that poaching is adversely affecting the Moose numbers here in NY, I’d expect them to note that in their survey and to put out requests for information on suspected infractions.

People here are free to assume whatever they want, but we’re discussing assumptions, not hard facts. Maybe we can let this side-topic rest a bit while we wait for more information; I think some people here are trying to create a controversy out of what might ultimately be a negligible problem.

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Old 03-01-2018, 05:20 PM   #38
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Thanks Bounder, fair enough.
You were the one that mention “there’s no evidence that it happened”, and I was only trying to point out that it did, and could quite possibly may have happened other times as well, especially on private land where the chances of getting caught are pretty slim. A little can cause a lot, and if no one talks about it, then it never happened I guess, and no need to bring it up. Ever watch that show North Woods Law? You seem to have a lot more faith in modern day mankind than I do.
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:44 PM   #39
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Thanks Bounder, fair enough.
You were the one that mention “there’s no evidence that it happened”, and I was only trying to point out that it did, and could quite possibly may have happened other times as well, especially on private land where the chances of getting caught are pretty slim. A little can cause a lot, and if no one talks about it, then it never happened I guess, and no need to bring it up. Ever watch that show North Woods Law? You seem to have a lot more faith in modern day mankind than I do.
Justin, my last comment about 'creating controversy wasn't directed at you; I apologize if it seemed like it was.

My earlier statement about Moose poaching was not well-phrased; I do acknowledge that people break the rules and that poaching does happen. However, I’ve seen no evidence that it is happening with enough frequency to have a meaningful impact on NY’s Moose population. If the DEC, or some other credible organization, presents evidence to the contrary, I might change my opinion.

The logistics of finding and harvesting a Moose in the ADK’s are not easy: the terrain is rugged; the roads are few; and word of any “big takes” normally gets around. So the idea that more than a few Moose are covertly being killed and butchered in the ADK’s on an annual basis seems far-fetched to me. That said, I don’t have complete faith in all of my fellow hunters; I admit that at least a few of them are unrepentant jerks who will try to break the rules and give the rest of us a bad name. However, I do believe in the conservation enforcement system (even if it is imperfect) and my fellow hunters and anglers who want to see wildlife thrive and/or managed appropriately. I do think that there are enough good people out there who will hold the bad ones accountable if/when they act up.

That doesn't mean we'll catch every single offender, but I do think there is intellectual buy-in from a strong majority of North America's hunting community when it comes to following the rules.
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:53 PM   #40
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Good post, thanks man. Overall I think we agree.
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