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DNR defends moose hunt as calls to cancel it grow

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As Minnesota's moose population continues its mysterious free-fall, more voices are calling on the state to cancel the hunting season for the state's largest mammal.

But officials with the Department of Natural Resources plan no changes for 2013. They say last year hunters licensed by the state and members of Indian tribes combined to take fewer than 100 moose, all of them bulls. The DNR says that's not what's causing the decline in the state's moose numbers, which are less than half what they once were.

As for what is behind the population drop, biologists are unsure. But they hope a new effort to track moose more closely will yield some clues.

Moose are not classified as endangered in Minnesota. But last month the DNR took a step in that direction by suggesting they be listed as a "species of concern."

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