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If you’re interested in hunting large game, you need to know where to go. It’s not legal to hunt moose in every state, and most states don’t even have moose to hunt!
But where can you hunt moose, how do you get a moose tag, and how much are you going to spend? Here, we go over everything that you need to know!
You can hunt moose in many different locations in the United States, but knowing where it’s legal and what states even have moose to hunt is a great place to start.
There are 11 different states where you can moose hunt, but keep in mind that most states have a lottery draw to get a moose tag. So, even if you apply, there’s no guarantee that you can head out and hunt moose during the next season.
Furthermore, some states have a lifetime limit on the number of moose that you can hunt, so once you hit that limit, you can’t apply anymore. Here are different states to check out if you’re interested in hunting moose.
If you’re looking for the best chance of success and the ability to get the largest moose possible, Alaska is the state to go to. The moose population in Alaska is somewhere between 175,000 and 200,000¹, which is far more than anywhere in the lower 48 states.
But while Alaska has plenty of moose to hunt, keep in mind that you’ll still need a specific moose tag, and it uses a lottery system there.
The lottery system has a varying success rate depending on where you apply, with some of the most popular areas having a success rate well under 1%. While there are areas with a much higher chance of success, they’re more challenging to access, which can drive up the cost of a hunt.
If you’re looking to hunt moose in the lower 48, the state with the most moose is Maine, with about 70,000 moose. That’s not many compared to the 200,000 in Alaska, but when you compare the size of the two states, that’s still plenty of moose!
But just like with Alaska, Maine uses a lottery system to determine who gets the permit. Complicating matters more for non-residents, Maine caps the number of non-resident permits at 8%. Maine gave out 4,030 moose permits in 2021, so there were just 322 moose permits for non-residents.
Not only is it challenging to get a moose permit, but if you’re going to hunt moose, you better be ready to spend money. The application fees themselves can be expensive, and they’re typically non-refundable. If you do get picked, you have to pay even more for a moose permit.
In Alaska, that’s $165 for the application fee and $800 for the moose tag. But since the areas in Alaska are so remote and you’ll need to secure transportation, the final expenses will likely be closer to $7,000 or $10,000!
While you won’t have all those additional expenses in other states, the application fees and tag fees are often much higher. For example, in Idaho, the moose tag costs $2,625. So, if you plan on moose hunting, you better be ready to drop serious cash!
While moose hunting is an expensive activity, treat it like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially since the odds are long, and some states only allow you to bring down one moose.
That said, keep in mind that most states use a point system that gives you an advantage if you keep applying year after year, so don’t wait too long to get into the lottery so you can start building up points to increase your chances of getting a coveted tag.
Featured Image Credit: Just dance, Shutterstock
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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