Moose hunters can start applying May 15 for entry into the annual moose draw.

The number of licences available is down slightly — by eight — for the five-day moose hunting season in September, says the Department of Energy and Resource Development.

Jean Bertin, a spokeperson for the department, said the New Brunswick moose population is more or less stable, but numbers fluctuate year to year within individual wildlife management zones. 

"The reduction of eight resident moose licences for 2017 is a result of the ongoing annual process of adjustments to our current understanding of provincial moose populations and other factors, in order to maintain ... sustainability of the moose harvest," Bertin said.  

Starts Sept. 26

Moose hunting is allowed from Sept. 26 through Sept. 30 this year. 

The results of the moose draw will be announced July 4. People who are chosen can start buying their licences after that.

Last year, more than 60,000 people put their names in the moose draw, the department said. Of the 4,643 chosen to get licences, 3,435 killed a moose.

"The moose hunt in New Brunswick is a fall tradition for many, and this is one of the most popular draws we have in the department," said said Rick Doucet, the energy and resource development minister.

New Brunswick residents will be able to apply for the draw at Service New Brunswick or authorized vendors. The price of applications has also risen slightly, to $9.55 from $9.38.

Rick Doucet

Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet says moose hunting is a fall tradition in the province and the moose draw a popular draw. (CBC)

Residents can also apply online at the Department of Energy and Resource Department website using the e-licensing system.

The department said it won't be possible to use Medicare cards to apply. Instead, applicants must obtain an outdoors card through the province's e-licensing system.