A moose walks the sand flats of Dry Straits near Petersburg in 2015 (Photo courtesy of Cindi Lagoudakis)

Hunters have set a new record for the month-long moose season on the islands and mainland of central Southeast Alaska.

The season ended Friday, October 15 and hunters reported killing 129 bulls around Wrangell, Kake and Petersburg. That’s two more than the previous record set in 2019.

Nearly half this year’s haul, or 61 moose, came from Kupreanof Island. Hunters reported 29 legal moose shot in the Kake area, along with another three that did not meet the state’s antler requirements. Outside of Kake, the remainder of Kupreanof produced another 26 legal bulls and three more illegals.

Nearby on Kuiu Island, hunters harvested 21. And harvest on the Stikine River near Wrangell came on strong in the late season with a total of 20 legal moose and one illegal.

Hunters also had success in mainland bays north of Petersburg. Farragut Bay had seven legal bulls and one illegal. Three were taken in Thomas Bay, three near Port Houghton and another one from elsewhere on the mainland.

There were also five shot on Wrangell Island, three legals and two illegals on Mitkof Island and one legal bull from Woewodski Island as well.

The 10 illegal moose are a little lower than average. It’s typically about ten percent of the total, but this year is under eight percent.

Hunters had until Wednesday, October 20 to report their kills to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Others who were unsuccessful or did not hunt have until October 30th to turn in reports. Fish and Game issued 1,023 permits for the registration hunt this year, just short of the most recent five year average.