The Moose Administration

In many places, moose management is faced with complex challenges related to the carrying capacity of winter grazing, genetic vulnerability and a historically unbalanced gender composition. Through own research and moose pasture assessment in Bindal municipality, it has become clear that overpopulation has over time led to overgrazing of winter pasture, reduced slaughter weight and culling has led to a skewed gender and age distribution in the moose population.

The problem is reinforced by reluctance to shoot calves, even though research emphasizes the importance of a balanced age and gender composition. This has created genetic vulnerability and a moose population that does not correspond to natural ecological processes.

Elk and deer populations have undergone significant changes as a result of human dominance in the ecosystem. Traditional management strategies focus primarily on economic returns, but it is important to consider non-economic factors such as ethics, aesthetics and the evolutionary integrity of these majestic animals.


The modernization of forestry that took place in the mid-1950s has historically given the moose better access to grazing areas, and as a consequence the moose populations grew strongly. However, the reduction in the felling of the forest has changed the dynamics of the moose ecosystem. The artificially high foundation for a large moose population is now gone.

Photo: Bo Backström

Large predators

Historically, large predators were the most important regulator of moose and deer, and they played a crucial role in the evolutionary development of the species. With the entry of humans as the dominant predator species, hunting has become the primary factor in regulating populations. 

Photo: Tom Schandy / NN / NTB scanpix

Think New

However, a new approach to management proposes to mimic the natural effects of past predators.

In order to preserve biological diversity and maintain ecosystem health, it is necessary to reassess current management practices. By introducing principles that mimic natural regulations, we can help restore the natural balance in elk and deer populations. This will not only safeguard the animals' welfare, but also enrich the hunting experience for future generations.

To restore a more sustainable and naturally balanced elk population, I recommend a new approach to shooting. By increasing the proportion of calves to 55%, including 20% yearlings, 10% older bulls, and 15% older cows, we can address the problems that have arisen over the years.

The proposed approach has several advantages. By preserving older animals, the average age of the tribe increases, improves the fitness of remaining individuals, and increases fertility. An increased culling of calves will help to reduce the moose population in a controlled manner, support natural selection, and create a more robust genetic foundation for the moose population. 

This will create a more sustainable and health-promoting moose population, while at the same time there will be several large bulls which are in themselves a majestic sight, and which lucky hunters can tax with caution.

The proposed approach takes into account both ecological and genetic factors, and seeks to achieve a balance between human management and natural ecosystem processes. By implementing these changes, we hope to ensure a healthier and more sustainable future for moose management. 

Let's work together towards a sustainable future for hunting and the conservation of our natural treasures.

Compilation of results for grazing assessment in Bindal 2005, 2010, 2016 and 2022
Categories: Blog


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