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Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon (603) 271-3211
June 23, 2006


Moose Hunt Permit Winners Announced

CONCORD, N.H. -- The adventure of a lifetime is in store for 675 people who have been offered permits to hunt moose in New Hampshire this October. They are the lucky winners in the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's annual moose permit lottery drawing, held today. The names of the 2006 winners are posted on Fish and Game's website, www.wildlife.state.nh.us.

The winners, randomly selected by computer from a pool of more than 16,000 applicants, were offered permits to hunt moose during the October 21-29, 2006 season. Each winner is allowed to enlist one friend or relative and a guide to help on the hunt.

More than 170 people showed up at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord to watch the drawing and swap stories about moose hunts past and future. Five-year-old Nicholas Koufos of Loudon, attending his first-ever moose lottery drawing, got things going by pushing the button to start the computer selection of winners.

Smiles and cheers broke out around the room when someone present found out he or she had won; at least nine people in the room had their names selected for the hunt. Lou Freeman of Salisbury "almost fell off his chair" when he heard his name read, all the more so because his adult daughter, Diana Freeman, also had been drawn for the same WMU. This year's hunt will be especially meaningful for Freeman, because he will take along the same buddy who was with him on his first moose hunt back in 1982. "We'll be re-living the experience," he said happily.

Gary Chicoine of Dunbarton was another happy winner. "It feels good, because I've been putting in for the lottery every year since the beginning," said Chicoine, who thinks having three bonus points built up probably helped his chances this year. Winner Gregory Legier of Salisbury also was very excited, saying, "I text-messaged six people with the great news while I was sitting there!" Clifton Gould of Allenstown stood at the rear of the room smiling broadly after being drawn for a permit for WMU-A2, wearing a shirt that read "My Lucky Hunting Shirt."

A total of 16,344 people applied for moose hunt permits this year, about two-thirds of them New Hampshire residents. This was a record number of applicants and 3 percent more than last year, said Fish and Game Biologist Kent Gustafson. The odds of winning a permit were about 1 in 18 for residents and 1 in 54 for out-of-staters, some of the best odds in the nation for moose hunting.

Thanks to the recovery of moose populations, New Hampshire has had an annual moose hunt since 1988. That year, 75 permits were issued for a three-day hunt in the North Country. The availability of 675 hunting permits this year, with some issued for every area of the state during the nine-day season, has been made possible by careful management of moose populations and good moose habitat. The resulting sustainable annual harvest of moose helps to regulate moose numbers and provides a unique recreational opportunity.

Each permit winner is assigned to one of 22 wildlife management units (WMUs) in which he or she can legally hunt. A total of 85 antlerless-only moose permits were issued for WMUs A1, A2, B, C2 and D1 in northern New Hampshire, with the remaining 590 permits valid for taking any moose in specific WMUs across the state.

In 2005, hunters took 408 moose -- 272 bulls and 136 cows (a total of 525 permits were offered in the lottery last year). The success rate for moose hunters last year ranged from 26.3 percent in southeastern New Hampshire to 90.6 percent in the North Country, for a statewide success rate of 77.6 percent.

Hunters whose names were selected in today's drawing will be notified by mail. Lists of successful applicants are available on this website (click here for the moose hunt page, with links to lists of winners and alternates); at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord; and at the Department's regional offices in Durham, Keene, Lancaster and New Hampton.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Moose research and other moose management activities in New Hampshire are funded by hunting license and permit sales, moose lottery application fees and the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program.

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