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Permit deadline May 2

Hunters seeking a permit for this fall's bull-only moose hunt must apply by Friday, May 2, to be included in the lottery. Only those who have not received a permit since 1990 are eligible. Moose hunting, open only to Minnesota residents, became a once-in-a-lifetime hunt in 1991.

A total of 247 permits are available and moose hunters must apply in parties of two to four individuals. An application fee of $3 per individual must be included with the application. Only Minnesota residents 16 and older are eligible for the moose hunt, and no moose hunting is allowed in northwestern Minnesota. The license fee is $310 per party for hunters who are successful in the lottery. Attendance at orientation sessions is mandatory.

The hunt, which begins Oct. 4 and ends Oct. 19, is conducted in 30 management zones located in northeastern Minnesota.

Estimates taken this winter indicate that about 7,600 moose live in Minnesota. Minnesota is the only state in the central region of the lower 48 states with a significant population of moose, which is the largest member of the deer family.

"The few bulls that are taken each year do not contribute to moose population decline," said Lou Cornicelli, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) big game program coordinator. "Many calves are born each spring, cows are successfully mating in the fall and the state's bull-to-cow ratio is high. That's why we continue to offer a limited bull moose hunting season."

All moose zones are now either completely in or completely out of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Cornicelli said hunters should closely study the application and map, which will be available at Electronic License System (ELS) agents in late March, to determine their area of interest before submitting an application.Hunters can apply at any of the 1,800 statewide ELS and from the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.

Applicants who have been unsuccessful at least 10 times since 1985 will be placed in a separate drawing for up to 20 percent of the available licenses. If not selected in the separate drawing, they will be included in the regular drawing.

People who received a moose permit prior to 1991 but none since can apply.

In 2007, the DNR issued 233 state bull moose permits, Cornicelli said. State licensed hunters harvested 155 bull moose, creating a party success rate of 50 percent.