Opponents of Vermont\'s moose hunt launched a substantial effort last night to either reduce or eliminate the annual hunting season.
At a hearing before the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board, which was petitioned by a group called \"Protect The Moose,\" testimony was about evenly split between people for and against the moose hunt.
On March 26, the Fish and Wildlife Board will make a final decision about plans that could cxpand the moose hunt by 65 percent and add four new areas in northern Vermont where killing moose wifl be permitted during the annual hunt in October.
Those opposed to the moose hunt argued against increasing the number of permits issued, saying the hunt is growing too fast.
There were also challenges concerning the \"sporting\" nature of the hunt, with many calling the animals docile and easy targets.
The danger of moose to motorists was also questioned. Several people blamed motorists who drive too fast for causing moose collisions.
Barry Cahoon of Danville was one of the most eloquent speakers in favor of the annual moose hunt.
He said the value of moose, and the health of their ecosystem, will be increased through maintenance of a sustainable herd.
Michael \"Mickey\" Murphy of Lyndon also spoke in favor of the moose hunt. He suggested that the state allow more moose to be harvested, for their \"economic value and food value.\"