Montana FWP workers have started up a study on moose in three areas in Montana, including one area near Libby. Decreasing moose numbers and a drop in opportunities for hunters prompted the effort.
Last week, crews used a helicopter while darting and capturing 12 cow moose in the East Cabinet area, south of Libby. The team put radio collars on the moose, and they’ll track the animals’ movements, potential diseases, calf survival, reproduction rates and general measures of the animals’ health.
The East Cabinets usually support a harvest of about 15 to 20 moose each year, and the animal has been a research priority for more than ten years. FWP officials say concerns include a drop in logging activity and predation.
“If something is changing with the population significantly, we kind of want to know what’s going on with that population, and what’s driving it,” said FWP Research Technician Jesse Newby.