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Author Topic: NE WA Moose Study  (Read 2820 times)

Offline bearpaw

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NE WA Moose Study
« on: April 11, 2017, 10:00:27 AM »
I had heard there was a moose study involving the Kalispell Tribe.  :tup:

I'm very glad to see a moose study and found the results thus far quite interesting, the results are posted on the WDFW website. The predator impacts on collared cows in the northern study area are far greater than the southern area. I know moose are dieing but was surprised to see that ticks were impacting our moose as heavily as the predators. I do wish the moose study involved a more northern area, I'm certain the moose numbers are dropping moreso in several farther north areas. But this study is certainly far better than nothing, I hope they continue the study, as wolf numbers continue to increase we really need to have some research recording predation impacts on our moose.

I would really like to see the study expanded to an area with a high density of known wolf packs! For the record, it's not that I see wolves as the only predator of moose, the problem is that wolves are an additional predator we didn't used to have. I would hate to see the moose population do what it did in parts of Idaho or end up where it was before wolves were eradicated in Washington. Moose were able to multiply during the absence of wolves over the last 60 to 80 years.

http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01859/wdfw01859.pdf
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Offline bearpaw

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 10:05:23 AM »
Note the minimal predator impacts in the southern area verses farther north.
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Offline JKEEN33

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 10:12:01 AM »
I had read the same thing about ticks and Moose in the NE US. Maine I believe it was. This was talking about ticks and young moose though. It said that they get so many of them that the younger moose could not survive. Interesting to see that it is here and on adult moose as well. As always, I hate ticks. :)

Offline quadrafire

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 10:19:30 AM »
I'm having difficulty seeing the boundries on their study areas. Do they correspond to GMU's?

Offline bearpaw

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 11:24:08 AM »
I enlarged the areas, it looks like Mt Spokane (south area) and southeast part of 49 Degrees north (north area).
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Offline bearpaw

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2017, 11:26:13 AM »
I had read the same thing about ticks and Moose in the NE US. Maine I believe it was. This was talking about ticks and young moose though. It said that they get so many of them that the younger moose could not survive. Interesting to see that it is here and on adult moose as well. As always, I hate ticks. :)

There are moose areas in the west that have been impacted by ticks and other diseases. Some of those areas (which are not wolf impacted areas) are beginning to recover.
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Offline JKEEN33

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2017, 12:32:04 PM »
I had read the same thing about ticks and Moose in the NE US. Maine I believe it was. This was talking about ticks and young moose though. It said that they get so many of them that the younger moose could not survive. Interesting to see that it is here and on adult moose as well. As always, I hate ticks. :)

There are moose areas in the west that have been impacted by ticks and other diseases. Some of those areas (which are not wolf impacted areas) are beginning to recover.

I agree there are other issues related to moose decline. I was just never aware a moose could get enough ticks to kill it and this is the second time I've seen this reported as an issue now.

 I found a dead moose a few years back while turkey hunting. It was covered with some puss filled blisters. I didn't get to close to it, but did report it. Never heard anything back regarding this. Any idea what they could have been? I've never seen anything like it.


Offline Bob33

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Offline Miles

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2017, 06:54:15 AM »
I'm from New Hampshire and have also lived in Maine.  The moose population in the 90's was AMAZING.  You could go for an evening drive and see 20 moose from the main road without even getting off pavement.   Right now it's hard to find a moose in places that used to hold hundreds.  I can remember seeing moose covered in huge white ticks just before leaving that area in 2001.  I used to find moose beds full of blood while shed hunting.  The blood was from crushed ticks...

I've seen the same thing in Washington state in the 2004 - 2008 timeframe before I left for Germany.  While shed hunting around Mt Spokane I would find blood all over the snow and dead ticks.   I'm afraid WA is headed down the same path.  Wolves and other predators aside, it's those tiny little ticks that can reek havoc on populations.  Northern NH and Maine also had problems with a lung disease (or something like that).   I have friends who have found sick moose on their wintering grounds actually coughing and to sick to move.

I predict WA will significantly reduce moose tag numbers in the near future.  Once it starts it will go downhill fast.  Mark my words and we'll compare numbers in 4 - 5 years.

Washington also has something that Maine and NH do not.  Wolves, cougars, and an overall healthy predator population.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 07:01:09 AM »
I guess the best thing for ticks is a good cold snap which happened in eastern Wa

Offline WAcoyotehunter

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 07:14:09 AM »
There is also a whitetail deer and elk survival study getting going.  With cats, wolves, and there prey all being collared, there should be some cool data generated

The tick problem is HORRIBLE.  I heard about a necropsy that revealed 70k ticks on one animal. 

Offline quadrafire

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2017, 08:37:51 AM »

Offline BeerBugler

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2017, 08:56:20 AM »
I'm positive there has been a significant decrease in moose (and every other critter besides wolves and grizzlys) in the northern most units. I've spent every spring up there for the least 8 years and every year I see less deer, elk, bear, and moose. Last year, the only moose I saw was a fresh wolf kill calf. When I first started going I'd see a few moose every day. The year before last a warden told me they were finding black bears half eaten (wolves) on top of the snow in the middle of winter.

Offline WAcoyotehunter

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2017, 09:19:46 AM »
. The year before last a warden told me they were finding black bears half eaten (wolves) on top of the snow in the middle of winter.
I have heard of that happening, but after spending every winter working and running hounds all over NE Wa and N Idaho, I have never seen it. 

Offline SpurInSpokane

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2017, 09:26:56 AM »
Thanks to bearpaw for posting this study.
Reading through it, there were 3 main things I thought were interesting:
  • While there were more predations of adult moose in the northern unit, they think some or much of that is linked to tick infestation: "Importantly, it should be noted that many of the adult moose that succumbed to predation-related mortalities exhibited symptoms of poor body condition from winter tick infestation and/or old age (14 years old in one case), both of which may have pre-disposed them to predation." (pg 4)
  • They estimate twice as many predators in the northern area vs. southern, but the largest source of that difference is black bear populations, which appear to be nearly 3 times higher in that area. Wolves seem to make up ~10% of predator sightings in the northern area.
  • The calf survival rates in the north are, not surprisingly, much lower than those in the south (one year survival rate of 24% vs. 71%). They don't speculate why but seems to me the predator differences could largely account for the difference

Anyway, will be interesting to see what they conclude, and hopefully the study can continue beyond three years.
Edit to add: Reminds me of a MeatEater podcast where they were discussing trying to time bear hunts in an area to coincide with calf drops, to specifically help calf mortality. I wish I could find the episode offhand; it may be episode 55, but I'm not certain.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 09:36:09 AM by SpurInSpokane »

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2017, 09:33:38 AM »
Are the ticks out of balance?  Did a predator kill off something keeping the ticks in line?  Some parts of the country that have lots of ground birds (turkeys/grouse) have low tick populations because the birds eat them.  Maybe more cats/yotes eating the birds?

Offline WAcoyotehunter

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2017, 10:16:10 AM »
Are the ticks out of balance?  Did a predator kill off something keeping the ticks in line?  Some parts of the country that have lots of ground birds (turkeys/grouse) have low tick populations because the birds eat them.  Maybe more cats/yotes eating the birds?
That's an interesting thought- I don't know if anyone has looked into that too much.

The prevailing thought is that the last 6-7 easy winters have helped increase the population.  We had a tough winter this year, hopefully that wiped them out.

I HATE ticks now... I got rocky mtn spotted fever from one last spring and felt like death warmed over for a week.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2017, 03:34:30 AM »
. The year before last a warden told me they were finding black bears half eaten (wolves) on top of the snow in the middle of winter.
I have heard of that happening, but after spending every winter working and running hounds all over NE Wa and N Idaho, I have never seen it.

I would have to agree, I've heard of it but never seen it, because I haven't witnessed it I don't think bear are a primary target of wolves but I don't know for sure. Another thing to consider is that even in areas where the elk population plunged in Idaho due to wolf impacts there are still quite a few bear. But I know a bio who has worked extensively on predator studies in ID/WY and he told me that they have literally found the remains of every animal in wolf poo.
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Offline WAcoyotehunter

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2017, 05:13:58 AM »
I believe that.  I am sure they stumble upon dens and dig out bears occasionally.  My hounds have found dens a couple of times while freecast in the winter. 
Wolves are resourceful.  I suspect very few die of starvation barring an injury

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2017, 05:43:49 AM »
No but need to die of lead poisoning.

Offline Falcon

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2017, 10:14:49 PM »
No but need to die of lead poisoning.

You mean like yours😆
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Offline huntnnw

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2017, 03:09:50 AM »
The tick issue is a real threat and I have seen lots of mouse over the last 5 years that I'm sure died from tick infestation. I've seen 3 just this year covered in ticks in 127. This issue is unheard of up north as the weather gets cold enough every year. That's the problem with lower 48 moose is the lack of super cold temps. This year I'm hoping it killed off ticks as we were cold for a long time

Offline CaNINE

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2017, 07:15:42 AM »
I have read somewhere that heavy snow years help reduce tick infestations. Since ticks typically attach themselves to the feet and lower legs of their hosts. If there is snow on the ground it helps minimize areas where the ticks can come in contact. I also recall reading that cold temps do not hurt the ticks. Not sure if this is accurate. If so, hopefully with the heavy snow we will see less infected moose this year.

Offline CarbonHunter

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2017, 08:11:37 AM »
I seen a story about the ticks killing the moose from Maine to Washington and they pointed to the lack of cold weather in winter. (Liberals blaming global warming)  It's mine understanding that this is also to blame for the pine beetles across the west. I know we were cold this year but were we cold enough?  I once heard that it would take a cold snap of -10 to -20 for 2 weeks to kill the pine beetles. Is this the same for the ticks or do they have a different temperature tolerance?

Offline Jpmiller

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Re: NE WA Moose Study
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2017, 08:20:57 AM »
If a tick is on a moose will the body heat and blood intake keep the tickets warm enough to survive a cold spell?