SOUTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - More moose are being spotted in western Massachusetts, and some people would like to see a change in state policy, which would allow for moose hunting.
The practice is allowed in other New England states such as New Hampshire, where it is so popular that they have to hold a lottery just to get a license, but here in Massachusetts, it is against the law.
This time of year, moose sightings tend to be more common. This is due to the fact that September is the beginning of their mating season, in which moose are less likely to be looking out for people.
Just Thursday morning, a roaming moose was spotted in a residential neighborhood of Southampton, and in New Britain, Connecticut, environmental police had to shoot and kill a moose that they say was about to cross a busy highway.
22News asked people in Hampshire County whether they think the state should consider a legal moose hunting season.
“We could do a lot more to live in better harmony with our natural environment, including natural predators. So I'm not sure that just because we are seeing a few more moose means that it should be open season. But I also recognize that sometimes hunters are some of the best conservationists,” Laura Anderson of Florence said.
According to the State Department of Fish and Game, despite being more visible in the fall, moose are still rare in Massachusetts. In 2007, the population was estimated between 850 and 950 statewide, with the largest number of moose in northern Worcester County.