WATERBURY, VT – Vermont moose hunters had a successful hunting season according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

“A preliminary count shows that by November 4 the department had received reports of 516 moose being taken with 1,230 hunting permits issued for the 2009 split season,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont’s moose project leader. “It is likely there are still more than 50 moose reports that will come in from other reporting agents. Some agents send them in later with deer season reports.”

Vermont’s moose hunting season was held October 17-22 for moose of either sex, and October 24 -November 1 for antlerless moose.

“Vermont’s moose population is being managed scientifically, according to a plan developed on sound wildlife biology and input from the public,” said Alexander. “The moose population has been expanding in much of the state with planned reductions in the Northeast Kingdom. Vermont’s moose population provides outdoor opportunities through hunting and wildlife watching.”

This was Vermont’s 17th moose hunting season in modern times, the first occurring in 1993 when 30 permits were issued and 25 moose were taken by hunters.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reports that 11,045 residents and 3,183 nonresidents entered Vermont’s 2009 moose permit lottery. Vermont’s pre-hunt moose population was estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000 with moose now found almost statewide. A final report on Vermont’s moose hunting season will be issued in January when all of the 2009 data have been received and reviewed.

David Godfrey of Holland, Vt shot the heaviest moose this year while hunting in Charleston on October 21. Godfrey’s 965 lb bull moose also is the second heaviest ever shot in Vermont.