Fire in BWCA may be long-term boon to moose

Published On: Sep 29 2011 01:20:18 PM CDT

ELY, Minn. (AP) -- The fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness should give a boost in the long-run to the region's declining moose population, but it's a big problem for hunters registered for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to bag a bull moose there this fall.

The Pagami Creek fire east of Ely has kept hunters from scouting the area ahead of the season that opens Saturday. So the Department of Natural Resources is offering them refunds on their highly coveted permits. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the plan is to give those hunters permits for next season.

Some 6,000 hunters entered the lottery for moose-hunt permits this year. The DNR issued only 105. Hunters who win permits normally don't get to apply again, whether they get a moose or not