Moose Hunt Outlook

2013 Moose Hunt Outlook
By Kristine Rines, N.H. Fish and Game Moose Project Leader

  1. Skip to chart of recommended moose population goals and current levels by region.

The 2013 moose season will take place statewide October 19 – 27, 2013, with 275 permits being issued. Eighty of these permits will be for antlerless moose and the remaining 195 will be for moose of either sex.  Permit levels are set to obtain the goals (expressed as moose seen per 100 hunter hours during the deer season) set by the public during our Big Game planning process in 2005.

The Connecticut Lakes Region is comprised of wildlife management units A1 and A2. Twenty-five either-sex and 20 antlerless-only permits were again issued there. This continues a reduction from the issuance of 85 permits in 2010 and 2011.  This lower level of permits, with the almost equal number of both antlerless and either-sex permits, should hold the population at goal and help maintain the current adult sex ratio.  This region typically sees success rates between 80% and 90%. In 2012, the success rate was 80%. Last year, 49% of the take of all permits combined was adult bulls and 38% of the total take were bulls older than 1.5. Moose hunters saw 0.13 moose per hour in 2012.

Moose in the Connecticut Lakes Region and adjoining regions to the south again experienced moderate hair loss due to winter tick this past spring. Based on this information, it appears that tick-induced mortality will be about average but below that seen in 2011 when tick mortalities were high. Therefore, there should again be more yearling moose in the population this year, which should translate into increased hunting success. Overall success rates for 2013 should be average to above average given normal fall weather patterns.

The North Region (WMUs B, C2 and D1) was again issued 40 either-sex and 10 antlerless-only permits in 2013. This reduction from a total of 95 permits in 2010 and 2011 is designed to allow this population to grow towards goal. Last year 57% of all moose taken were adult bulls, and 52% were bulls older than 1.5 years.  Moose hunters saw 0.21 moose per hour in 2012. Last year, this region saw a success rate of 82% for all permits combined. This region typically sees success rates of 80-90%.

The White Mountain Region (units E1 – E3, D2, and F) offers hunters the opportunity for a true wilderness hunt. The bulk of this region lies within the White Mountain National Forest. Access is primarily limited to foot traffic. Hunters must be prepared to get their moose out without the use of motorized vehicles.  As in 2012, 45 either-sex and 10 antlerless-only permits were issued.  Last year the success rate for all permits combined was 64%. Sixty-nine percent of the kill was adult bulls and 52% were bulls older than 1.5 years. Moose seen per hour by moose hunters was high for this region, at 0.09. The success rate for this region is usually within the range of 45 – 75%.

The Central Region is more heavily settled than those regions to the north. Moose densities and access continue to be good here, although moose densities have declined in the past six years. Land ownership here and in the two more southern regions is primarily by individual land-owners. Forty-five either-sex and 40 antlerless-only permits were again issued in 2013. This reduction from 110 either-sex permits is designed to help this population grow and to reduce the bull kill, thereby increasing the bull portion in the standing population.  Last year, moose hunters saw 0.06 moose per hunting hour, the same as in 2011. The success rate was 52%, with hunters taking 52% adult bulls and 36% of the total take was bulls older than 1.5 years. This year’s success rate will probably remain similar to last year's.

Hunters in the Southwest Region saw 0.03 moose per hour in 2012, which was somewhat below past years. The 50% success rate last year was typical of this region, which usually has a success rate in the 40-50% range. Land ownership and development patterns are similar to those in the Central region, but moose densities are slightly lower than those in the Central region. In an attempt to increase

this population, permit issuance remains at 20 either-sex permits.  In 2012, 62% of the kill was composed of adult bulls (typical for the region), and 50% of the kill was bulls older than 1.5 years.

The Southeast Region has very high human population densities and the lowest moose density. Access is limited, and hunters will need to do considerable scouting and contacting of property owners to have a successful hunt. Twenty either-sex permits were issued here in 2013.  Moose hunters saw 0.05 moose per hunter hour last year. The success rate last year was 35%, which is typical for this region.  Fifty-seven percent of the kill was composed of adult bulls and all of those were older than 1.5.

The following chart indicates recommended moose population goals and current levels by region:


REGION

RECOMMENDED GOAL

CURRENT LEVEL

Ct. Lakes

7.40

7.36

North

6.00

4.76

White Mtns

3.00

1.69

Central

1.50

1.01

South West

1.30

0.82

South East

0.50

0.40



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