by Dale E. Toweill, Correspondent
If you are hoping to tag a Shiras moose for the record books, especially B&C, you need to get moving on it sooner rather than later. Here's why:
Western moose populations expanded dramatically between 1950 and 2000 spreading throughout Idaho, westward into Washington and Oregon, and south along the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. As populations expanded, so did hunting opportunities. Drawing odds are presently about as good as they have ever been. Hunter success rates are high: in Idaho, for example, seasons are long and 75 percent of moose hunters score.
However, all that appears to be changing, though the change is not yet obvious. In certain areas, moose populations are declining and with the decline will come disappearing hunting opportunities.
Most hunters and an increasing number of wildlife managers blame this decline largely on wolves. Wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in 1995, and wolf numbers have been expanding ever since.