Nevada’s first big-game moose hunt will be tiny as unusual southern expansion defies climate change


In this photo provided by the Nevada Department of Wildlife, a collared cow moose and her calf are spotted in Elko County, Nev., in 2022. In what will be a very tiny hunt for some of the biggest game in North America, Nevada is planning its first-ever moose hunting season during fall 2024. State officials expect thousands of applications for the handful of hunting tags and, with an estimated population barely topping 100, it’s already controversial. (Nevada Department of Wildlife via AP)
RENO, Nev. – In what will be a tiny big-game hunt for some of the largest animals in North America, Nevada is planning its first-ever moose hunting season this fall.
Wildlife managers say explosive growth in Nevada moose numbers over the past five years, increasing to a population of more than 100, justifies the handful of harvests planned.
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Scientists say the experiment of sorts should also provide a real-time peek at how the complexities of climate change affect wildlife, and why these majestic — some say goofy-looking — mammals the size of a horse have unexpectedly expanded their range into warmer territory.
“Moose are newcomers to North America,” said Cody McKee, a Nevada Department of Wildlife specialist.
The last deer species to cross the Bering Sea land bridge into Alaska and Canada, McKee said the movement of moose into the Lower 48 has occurred almost exclusively in the past 150 years.
“Their post-glacial range expansion isn’t really complete,

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