Moose, Deer Hunters Face “Significant Risk” In North Woods

Fish and Game biologists have noted a sharp “uptick” in this woodlands threat. Public domain image.

Biologists urge hunters to be extra vigilant for one creature this season

| John Holyoke, Bangor Daily News – As hunters head into the woods, wildlife biologists say paying extra attention to tick avoidance should be a priority.

Even nonhunters ought to be aware of the presence of ticks, including the black-legged or “deer tick.”

“[Ticks] should be on the radar of anybody who spends any amount of time in the woods in Maine,” said state deer biologist Nathan Bieber of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

“You’ve got to check yourself when you come back in. Lyme disease is not something you want to mess around with.”

Lee Kantar, the state’s moose biologist, said his daily walks with the family dog have taught him that there are plenty of ticks around.

“All of my hunting clothes are soaked in permethrin and ready to go for Saturday. [Ticks are] not going to stop me at all from hunting.” Read more. 

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Ticks Feast, Death Rate Spikes For Young Moose, Study Finds

American Council on Science and Health – New Hampshire-based researchers are witnessing something abnormal and troubling in the state’s northern woodlands in recent years. They report that the moose population is being threatened, with a sharp increase in fatalities among its young being an alarming “unprecedented ” development.

In a new study, these scientists found that 70 percent of moose calves have died in a recent three-year period, with the cause attributed to the dramatic rise in winter ticks that feast on their blood, “causing emaciation and severe metabolic imbalance.”

For the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, 179 calves aged 9-to-12 months, all tagged with radio-frequency markings, were followed and observed. Over that time researchers discovered that 125 had died, with the primary cause of death for 88 percent of them being blood loss.

Upon post-mortem examination, an average of 47,371 winter ticks were found – on each calf. Read more.