The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has objected to an autumn off-reservation moose hunt available to members of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
The Duluth News Tribune reports that the DNR has requested that the band reconsider the hunt on conservation grounds, because of a sharp drop in the state's moose population. Up to 25 bull moose could be taken.
Ferdinand Martineau, secretary-treasurer of the Fond du Lac Band, quoted a biologist who said that the band's hunt would not have a negative impact on the herd and that the action would "probably take less than what are killed by cars and trucks and trains.”
Some band members depend on moose meat as a dietary staple along with maple syrup, wild rice and walleyes the band nets on Mille Lacs Lake. Last year’s wild rice and this spring’s maple syrup harvests were poor, Martineau told the newspaper, adding that the band couldn't net walleyes on Mille Lacs because of the late ice.
If the band moves ahead with its plan, the DNR’s options are uncertain. A spokesman said that recourse through the courts is possible.