Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
Kristine Bontaites: (603) 744-5470
David Gordon (DHHS): (603) 271-4608
October 14, 2003
Moose Hunt Starts This Weekend
CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire's 16th annual moose hunt starts this Saturday, October 18, for 485 lucky permit holders and their hunting partners. The moose hunt runs through Sunday, October 26.
Permittees, whose names were drawn in a lottery in June, have been scouting their assigned wildlife management units. Each hunter is assigned to hunt in one of 22 wildlife management units throughout the state. Hunters assigned to North Country units generally have the highest success rate, because moose densities are higher and hunters have access to industrial forestland on timber companies' extensive road systems.
More than 14,000 people applied for permits to participate in this year's moose hunt, about two-thirds of them New Hampshire residents. The odds of winning a permit were about 1 in 23 for residents and 1 in 64 for nonresidents. Each moose hunter can be accompanied by one partner. The hunters must attend a three-hour training seminar preparing them for the hunt.
After taking a moose, hunters must have the animals weighed and inspected at one of seven check stations around the state. There, wildlife biologists check each moose to glean information about the overall health of the moose herd. Many of these check stations draw crowds of onlookers, a reminder of the economic and symbolic importance of moose in New Hampshire, particularly in the North Country.
Hunters are reminded to restrict the amount of moose liver and kidney they eat, to avoid a higher-than-recommended daily intake of cadmium. Studies conducted by Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have revealed high levels of cadmium in some of the moose livers and kidneys sampled. As a result, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services recommends that no moose kidney be eaten, and, preferably, no liver. If individuals do choose to eat moose liver, it should be from moose younger than 1.5 years. If the moose is older than that, consumption should be limited to a maximum of six meals (assuming six ounces per meal) of moose liver per year. Biologists at the moose check stations can determine the age of the animal for hunters.
License and permit fees paid by hunters support Fish and Game's wildlife research and management programs, including an important on-going study on moose mortality and habitat. Hunting activity also has a positive impact on the state's economy; according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nearly 80,000 people hunted in New Hampshire in 2001, generating expenditures in the state of close to $60 million.
Those interested in applying for next year's moose hunt can pick up applications in early spring wherever fishing and hunting licenses are sold, or return to this website in the spring to purchase online.
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