Kristine Rines, (603) 744-5470
Linda Verville, (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon, (603) 271-3211
October 15, 2007
N.H. Moose Hunt Is October 20 - 28, 2007
CONCORD, N.H. -- For nine days, from October 20 to 28, 2007, a lucky 675 moose permit holders and their hunting partners will have the experience of a lifetime taking part in New Hampshire's 20th annual moose hunt. A total of 85 of these permits will be for taking antlerless-only moose in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in the northern part of the state, and the remaining 590 permits will be for any moose in specific WMUs across the state.
Each hunter with a moose permit is assigned to hunt in one of 22 wildlife management units throughout the state; most have spent the past several weeks or months scouting out potential hunting spots. Each moose hunter may be accompanied by one partner. Last fall, hunters took a total of 449 moose (168 cows and 281 bulls), for a statewide success rate of 67%. Hunters assigned to northern units typically have the greatest success, because of higher moose densities and excellent access to hunting lands in the North Country. The regional success rate for moose hunters last year ranged from 80% in the North Region to 26% in southeastern N.H.
A record 16,779 people applied for New Hampshire moose hunt permits this year, about two-thirds of them New Hampshire residents. The odds of winning a permit were about 1 in 18 for residents and 1 in 57 for out-of-staters, among the best odds in the nation for moose hunting. Those who are not selected can improve their chances by applying in consecutive years to gain bonus points.
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 avoid consuming moose liver and kidney. 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, officials from the Environmental Health Program at the N.H. Department of Environmental Services recommend that no moose kidney be eaten, and preferably no liver. If individuals do choose to eat moose liver, it should be from moose no older than 1.5 years. If the moose is older than that, consumption should be limited to a maximum of two 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. Further questions about the issue of cadmium in moose organs may be directed to David Gordon, DES Environmental Health Program: (603) 271-4608.
As part of a sound management strategy, the moose hunt has been an annual event in New Hampshire since 1988. The moose population was only about 50 animals in 1950; it had grown to over 4,100 by the time of the first moose hunt in 1988, when 75 permits were issued. Today New Hampshire's moose population is estimated at 7,000.
License and permit fees paid by hunters support Fish and Game's moose research and management programs, including a recently completed 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, more than 60,000 people hunted in New Hampshire in 2006, generating more than $80 million of hunting-related expenditures in the state.
If you're interested in applying for next year's moose hunt, visit Fish and Game's website at www.HuntNH.com between February and mid-May 2008, or pick up a moose lottery application during that time wherever fishing and hunting licenses are sold.
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