Linda Verville: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon (603) 271-3211
June 22, 2007
Lucky Day for 2007 Moose Hunt Permit Winners
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 2007 winners are posted on Fish and Game's website, www.HuntNH.com (click here) -- please note that the site is getting thousands of hits and it may take some time to access the list.
The winners, randomly selected by computer from a pool of more than 16,000 applicants, will be offered permits to hunt moose during the October 20-28, 2007 season. Each winner is allowed to enlist one friend or relative and a guide to help on the hunt as a "subpermittee."
Nearly 150 people showed up at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord to watch the drawing and swap hunting stories. Four-year-old Kolby Spiers of Weare, attending the session with his grandparents, got things going by pushing the button to start the computer selection of winners.
Four people present in the crowd were selected for the hunt, and cheers broke out around the room as their names were read. The first winner in the room was State Representative Bob L'Heureux of Merrimack, a 17-year veteran of the House Fish and Game Committee. L'Heureux won a permit in the state's first moose lottery back in 1988, but has not won since until this year. Coincidentally, he was the Representative who introduced the legislation that, since 2004, has allowed people applying for the lottery unsuccessfully in consecutive years to earn bonus points to improve their chances. N.H. residents who have earned bonus points each year since the change went into effect had a 1 in 12 chance of winning today, compared to odds of about 1 in 18 for other residents, and 1 in 57 for out-of-staters without bonus points.
Alfred J. Alberts of Kingston said the bonus points made a difference for him. "That four points sure helps," said Alberts, who will soon celebrate his 82th birthday. A member of the Country Pond Fish and Game Club in Newton, Alberts plans to take his son Michael of Lisbon along as his subpermittee. The pair last hunted moose when Michael won the lottery in 1993. "He got a trophy that year," smiled Alberts. "Now I want one, too!"
Another winner present at the drawing, Charles H. Beckley of Tilton, got a big hug from his excited 8-year-old son Dylan when his name was called. Beckley's brother will travel from Ohio this October to be his subpermittee in the hunt. "All I can say is, wow!" said Beckley. "My two sons will be a part of things, too. It's going to be a family event."
Once again this year, a record number of applicants applied for the lottery - about 3 percent more than last year, said Fish and Game Biologist Kent Gustafson. A total of 16,779 people applied for moose hunt permits this year, about two-thirds of them New Hampshire residents.
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 2006, hunters took 449 moose, for a statewide success rate of 68%. The regional success rate for moose hunters last year ranged from 80% in the Connecticut Lakes Region to 25% in southeastern New Hampshire.
Hunters whose names were selected in today's drawing will be notified by mail. Lists of successful applicants and alternates are available at www.HuntNH.com; 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.