Jumping for Joy

     I jumped for joy yesterday when I made it to the end of the Seagull Lake Nature Trail.  The trail is cleared and beautiful once again; it’s even lined with ripe blueberries ready to be picked.  If you’re up on the Trail then I suggest taking a hike.  It’s about 20-30 minutes each way and very easy to follow with blue ribbon and some blue triangles on the trees.

     I wasn’t jumping for joy yesterday  when I heard the findings of the Moose Advisory Committee.  I was hoping for more moose protection especially on the Gunflint Trail.  It’s frustrating to see moose all summer long in their favorite hang outs alongside of the Trail only to have hunters come and shoot them dead in the same spot.  It is not a challenge or a sport to hunt moose in the Gunflint Corridor, it’s just like shooting non-moving targets at a shooting range.   If you’re a good shot then you’ll have meat in your freezer for the winter and if you’re a bad shot then the wolves or ravens will eat good a day or two later.  The wounded moose will wander away with the hunters not able to track the animal or find the meat.  Then they’ll find another moose to wound or kill for their once in a lifetime "hunt."  

     I’m not against moose hunting in Minnesota if the population can handle the pressure.  However, on the Gunflint Trail a live moose is much more valuable to have around.  The deer can be eliminated to help the moose herd and hunting can continue in other areas of Northeastern Minnesota but there is no need for moose hunting on the Gunflint Trail.  Too many tourists have been exposed to reckless hunters who shoot the very moose the tourists are photographing and watching.  There are plenty of other places to hunt for moose away from the Gunflint Trail.  There’s nothing wrong with eliminating the Gunflint Corridor from the hunting zone and I hope the public will encourage the DNR to do just that.

     I appreciate the time and energy the DNR and the Moose Advisory Committee have put into the moose population study.  You can read more about it on the web.  I also appreciate being able to see moose when I drive the Gunflint Trail.  I don’t appreciate the hunters who drive up and down the road waiting for Malachai the Moose to come waltzing down the road like he does every day.  These Gunflint Trail moose are used to being shot with a camera and are absolutely fearless of humans.  Shooting them is like walking up to a cow in the pasture and blasting it in the head.  It isn’t hunting it is shooting.  There is absolutely no hunt or chase involved.  If the DNR wants to allow moose to be massacred on the Gunflint Trail then it should be called the Minnesota Moose Shoot not hunt. 

     Want to see an end to the Minnesota Moose Shoot on the Gunflint Trail?  Then why not send me an e-mail with your name & address that says, "Save the Gunflint Trail Moose."  I can forward the list of names to the DNR and with a little luck they will listen to the public opinion they are seeking.  Then, when there is no longer a moose shoot on the Gunflint Trail, I’ll be jumping for joy.

Save My Moose