Kristine Rines, (603) 744-5470
Linda Verville, (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon, (603) 271-3211
October 10, 2008
N.H. Moose Hunt Is October 18 - 26, 2008
CONCORD, N.H. -- For nine days, from October 18 to 26, 2008, lucky moose permit holders and their hunting partners will have the experience of a lifetime taking part in New Hampshire's 20th annual moose hunt. There were 515 permit holders drawn in this year's lottery. A total of 120 antlerless-only moose permits were issued for Wildlife Management Units A1, A2, B, C1, C2, D1, D2, E1, E3 and F, with the remaining 395 permits valid for taking any moose in specific WMUs.
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, New Hampshire hunters took 482 moose, for a statewide success rate of 71%. Regional success rates for moose hunters last year ranged from 88% in the Connecticut Lakes Region to 30% in southeastern New Hampshire. 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.
Moose hunt permit holders were randomly selected by computer from a pool of more than 15,000 applicants. Both New Hampshire residents and nonresidents may apply. The number of permits available to nonresidents is capped, based on the prior year's sales of nonresident hunting licenses (around 15 percent). The odds of being selected were about 1 in 20 for residents and 1 in 67 for nonresidents - some of 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. These check stations tend to draw many interested onlookers, a reminder of the economic and symbolic importance of moose in New Hampshire, particularly in the North Country. Find a link to a list of locations at www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm.
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 6,000 animals.
If you're interested in applying for next year's moose hunt, visit Fish and Game's website between February and May 2009, or pick up a moose lottery application during that time wherever fishing and hunting licenses are sold.
Visit a photo gallery from the 2007 N.H. moose hunt -- and find out more about moose hunting in New Hampshire -- at www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm.
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