Kristine Rines, (603) 744-5470
Linda Verville, (603) 271-2461
Liza Poinier, (603) 271-3211
October 11, 2010
N.H. Moose Hunt Is October 16 – 24, 2010
CONCORD, N.H. -- For nine exciting days, from October 16 to 24, 2010, lucky moose permit holders and their hunting partners will have the experience of a lifetime taking part in New Hampshire’s annual moose hunt. There were 395 permit holders drawn in this year’s lottery, randomly selected by computer from a pool of more than 14,000 applicants. In addition, five hunters get the chance to hunt moose by being the highest bidders in an annual auction benefitting the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, and two permits were granted to youth with serious medical conditions through the Hunt of a Lifetime program.
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 341 moose, for a statewide success rate of 65% (521 moose permits were issued in 2009). 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.
After taking a moose, hunters must have the animals registered and inspected at one of seven check stations around the state. There, wildlife biologists check each moose to gain information about the overall health of the moose herd. These check stations draw many interested onlookers, a reminder of the economic and symbolic importance of moose in New Hampshire, particularly in the North Country. You can find a list of moose check station locations at www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm.
As part of a sound management strategy, the moose hunt has been an annual event in New Hampshire since 1988. In 1950, the state's moose population was only about 50 animals; it had grown to over 4,100 by the time of the first moose hunt in 1988, when 75 permits were issued.
Hunters are reminded to avoid consuming moose liver and kidney. Studies conducted by Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish & 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.
Applications for next year’s moose hunt will be available via the Fish and Game website or at license agents statewide from January to May 2011.
Visit a photo gallery of successful N.H. moose hunts -- and find out more about moose hunting in New Hampshire -- at www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm.
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