DULUTH (AP) - As Minnesota's moose population declines, more people are asking why the state still allows hunting of the iconic animals.

Despite ongoing research, nobody yet understands for sure why moose are disappearing from Minnesota.

Department of Natural Resources biologists say the restricted bulls-only hunt has no adverse effects on the population, estimated at 4,230 animals. Last fall, state-licensed hunters killed just 45 bulls. Add in tribal hunters and the total harvest was fewer than 100.

University of Minnesota Duluth researcher John Pastor says he knows moose hunting is popular, but he thinks it's time to stop hunting them.

A legislative panel plans to hold hearings about the decline of Minnesota's moose. Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, says it will be a broader discussion than just hunting.

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