- LNT Expert
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- Location: St. Charles, IL
"From the Archives!
Moose Trapping on #IsleRoyale #NationalPark
From 1934 to 1937, the Michigan Conservation Department live-trapped 71 moose on the island for release on the mainland. The project was led by Department Biologist Paul Hickie in part to relieve some pressure of increased moose numbers and related overbrowse. Much of this work was based out of Chippewa Harbor where a small crew would overwinter at the Holger Johnson Fishery.
In the winter of 1934/35, a total of 18 moose were trapped; however, two escaped and five were released due to the small crew being unable to collect enough browse for feed. The 11 remaining moose held in the corral survived several weeks of confinement and were transferred to the mainland in May without mishap. Nine of the moose were eventually transferred to what was then the Cusino Game Refuge in the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula. Curiously, there was no statement about the other two moose that came off the island.
In a 1935 Daily Mining Journal article, Hickie opined that at least 50 moose could have been taken with a larger crew. Since 1934/35 was the project's first winter, we surmise that another 50-60 moose were trapped over the next few years.
The photographs presented here were taken during this time and derive from two separate collections within the Park archive. There are two images of State vessel Patrol No. 1, which transported the crated moose to the mainland. Paul Hickie is seen inside a corral in close proximity to the moose, which must have domesticated somewhat after weeks of entrapment. The final image is interesting in that it seems to have captured the profile of a deer among separate moose. Deer were said to have been imported by members of the Washington Club, which was situated at today's Windigo. If indeed a deer, this would be the first known image of one ever seen on Isle Royale."