Thank you for visiting the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department website. www.wildlife.state.nh.us NH Fish and Game

 

 

Moose Hunt FAQs

 

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About the Lottery

How do I apply for the New Hampshire moose hunt lottery?
The easiest and fastest way to apply for the New Hampshire Moose Hunt Lottery is by entering online. You can also download a printable lottery application, pick up an application at a local fish and game license agent, or call (603) 271-2461 to get one by mail. Applications for the current year's moose hunt are available from late January through the lottery closing date in May.
What is the definition of a New Hampshire resident?
To apply for a moose permit as a resident, you must possess a valid NH Driver's License or non-driver's identification card issued by the NH Dept. of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles by the moose lottery application deadline. Residents are persons who reside in New Hampshire and do not claim residence in any other state for any purpose.
How do I know if I won a moose permit?
Permittees and alternates for the NH moose hunt are chosen by random computer-generated lottery on the third Friday in June; results posted on the Fish and Game website that day. Successful applicants are notified by mail within 10 working days of the drawing.
When will I receive my permit?
Information packets are mailed in mid-August and permits are mailed in mid-September. If hunters do not receive their permit by September 30, they should contact the NH Fish and Game Wildlife Division at (603) 271-2461 or wildlife@wildlife.nh.gov to ensure that they have their permit and tag in hand prior to the hunt.
How does the bonus point system work?

Since 2004, the Fish and Game Department has offered a bonus point system to help repeat unsuccessful applicants in obtaining a permit. Unsuccessful applicants accrue one point for each consecutive year that they apply for the lottery. Each point translates to a chance in the drawing; that is, the first year you apply, you have one chance in the lottery; in the second year, you have two chances; etc. Applicants lose all accrued points if they do not apply to the lottery for one year or if they accept a moose permit.

 

In order for points to be tracked accurately, applicants are required to provide their driver's license number or a state-issued non-driver ID number. Bonus points will be assigned to the number on your application. You are also required to indicate on the application whether your driver's license number or state-issued non-driver ID number has changed. Any applicant wishing to accrue a point only(and not lose existing points) without being considered for this year's lottery must submit a completed application which indicates this. The $15 resident/$25 nonresident application fee is required for the application to be processed. Bonus points cannot be accrued during the 3-year waiting period after accepting a moose permit.

 

In January we mail notifications to everyone that applied the prior year letting them know that applications are available and also include the applicant’s bonus point information.

Does this mean I have twice the chance of winning in the second year?
No, but your odds will be a little better. It will be like getting two tickets in a raffle instead of one. The reason your odds don't double is because many of the other applicants also will have two chances.
What happens if I skip a year?
If you skip entering the lottery one year, you lose all accrued points. If you know you won't be hunting this year, but still want to accrue a point, just indicate this on your completed application, but you still need to apply (see next question - this is important). Those who are drawn and accept a moose permit are not eligible to win a permit -- or accrue points -- for the following three years.
Why does the application ask if I wish to apply for a bonus point only?

If you know you won't be able to hunt this fall, you can opt out of the lottery, but not lose your points. Consider carefully before answering this question:

  • A "Yes"answer means you will not be entered in the lottery and will have no chance of receiving a permit this year. You will keep your existing points and accrue one point this year.
  • A "No" answer to this question means you will be entered in the lottery and may be drawn for a permit. Your points will accrue normally.
What are the odds of being selected for a moose permit?
The odds of winning a New Hampshire moose hunt permit in 2017 were about 1 in 87 for New Hampshire residents, and 1 in 391 for nonresidents. See the most recent available statistics on the moose hunt lottery applications, permits drawn, and odds. The percentage of permits issued to nonresidents shall not exceed the percentage of hunting licenses sold to nonresidents the previous year (recently about 15 to 17 percent of the total).

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Buying Your Hunting License

Where can I buy a license?
Anyone who has held a hunting license in New Hampshire since 2000 may purchase a license directly through our online licensing site with a credit card. Licenses may also be purchased at authorized license agents throughout New Hampshire. Or, licenses may be purchased through the mail from the Fish and Game Department.
If I don't have a driver's license, what ID number do I use on the application?
The New Hampshire Department of Safety and motor-vehicle licensing agencies in other states issue non-driver ID cards. The number on these cards is the only number that may be substituted for a driver's license number.
What if my license or ID number changes?
It's your responsibility to let NH Fish and Game know about any change in your identification number (to make sure your points accrue properly). New Hampshire residents should note that starting in 2017, the NH Division of Motor Vehicles began changing the identification number format. Review your driver license information carefully.
Can I purchase an apprentice hunting license for my NH moose hunt?
No. The apprentice hunting license is not valid for hunting moose.
I've never had a license in New Hampshire before. What are the hunter education requirements for obtaining a license?
All hunters are required to complete a hunter education course before purchasing a license. If you hold a hunting license from another state, this will be accepted in lieu of a hunter education certification. Courses are offered throughout the state -- find a class or learn about online course options. For more information, email: hunter-ed@wildlife.nh.gov or call (603) 271-3214.
Do I have to buy my license before I get my permit?
No. The New Hampshire moose hunt regulations do not require you to have a license until you are actually hunting in October. However, if you (or anyone in your party) is a nonimmigrant alien, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has instituted regulations which require you to apply for importation of firearms. The ATF application requires you to submit a copy of your license in order to bring firearms into the United States; see https://www.atf.gov/content/firearms/firearms-industry/guides/import-requirements-for-firearms-and-ammunition. The ATF site states that it may take 4-6 weeks to process an application, so plan early if you intend to bring a firearm into the country.
Can I use my bow to hunt moose if I have a hunting license and not an archery license? Do I need a muzzleloader license if I want to use a muzzleloader?
If you intend to hunt only with your bow, you may use an archery license. You are encouraged, however, to purchase a regular hunting license. You may bow hunt with a regular hunting license, but you also have the option of using a firearm if you only encounter moose outside your range with a bow. You may also hunt with a muzzleloader if you possess a regular hunting license.
Where can I find the regulations about moose hunting?
Current moose rules may be found at the New Hampshire General Court website, www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/state_agencies/fis300.html. See Fis 301.02 for WMU boundaries; Fis 301.07 for the moose season; Fis 301.08 for moose registration at Biological Check Stations. Be aware that these regulations may be under revision and can change. The NH Fish and Game Department informs all moose permittees of the rules in force for the year in which they hunt.
What else can I hunt while I'm in New Hampshire?
All open seasons are listed in the current NH Hunting Digest.

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Tools and Tips for a Successful Hunt

Where can I find moose in my hunting unit?

Look around your Wildlife Management Unit for moose habitat and signs. In other words, SCOUT!

 

Scouting involves:

  • Observing in order to obtain information or evaluate
  • Exploring in order to obtain information
  • Finding by making a search

 

Moose can be found throughout the state, but you can do some things to increase the likelihood that your scouting will be successful:

 

  • Look on your map for areas with fewer roads, or a lower density of roads. Start your search by going there and looking for forested areas. Be sure to get out of your car and walk the woodlots and clearcuts looking for signs of moose in the vicinity: tracks, scat, etc.
  • Concentrate on finding areas with upland hardwoods that are adjacent to clearcuts which are 1-10 years old, or 1-5 feet tall.
  • If you have no luck finding quality habitat or any signs of moose, you can try using local contacts to direct your scouting:

(Information about parking passes for the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) may be obtained by going to the WMNF website.

Where can I get topo maps or maps of state-owned land?
Fish and Game doesn't sell topo maps, but the DeLorme New Hampshire Atlas and Gazetteer is a good resource and shows most roads (including dirt roads), state lands, and some topo lines. The gazetteer may be purchased from the NH Fish and Game Department for $19.95 (plus $5 S&H) or through the DeLorme website.
What are the moose hunt seminars?
One voluntary seminar is being held during the summer for those interested in getting first-hand information and ask questions. The seminars provide a wide range of information about the hunt to help you successfully harvest a moose. Specific topics covered include moose biology and management, moose habitat, cleaning and quartering, weapon selection, shot placement, hunt etiquette, current moose hunting regulations and landowner relations. If you are drawn for a permit, you'll be notified of the time, date and location of the seminar, which will be held in Concord.

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Harvesting Meat, Population, History

How do I find a meat cutter to butcher my moose?
NH Fish and Game does not license wild game butchers and does not maintain a list of individuals who provide butchering services. For the convenience of our moose hunters, we have assembled a list of some individuals who are known to process moose meat. This is not a comprehensive list and should not be seen as an endorsement of the individuals listed. It is in your own best interest to investigate thoroughly before selecting a butcher. For additional assistance in locating a butcher, we suggest contacting local deer registration agents, sport or gun shops, fish and game clubs, and local license agents.
Is it safe to eat organs from my moose like the liver and heart?
Hunters are reminded to avoid consuming moose liver and kidney. Studies conducted by NH 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 NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) 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, NHDES Environmental Health Program: (603) 271-4608. It is okay to eat the heart, because the heart is not a filtering organ and therefore is not contaminated by these heavy metals.
Is it dangerous to eat meat from an animal that had brainworm, spots, or cysts?

If you have questions, the following websites contain useful information about moose disease:

What are the harvest success rates in the different Wildlife Management Units?
Moose population density and hunter success rates generally decline from north to south. However, selecting units in which you live or with which you are familiar can give you a head start on the road to success. Pre-season scouting can greatly enhance the quality of your hunt and chances for success. To learn more about success rates for your unit, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose-harvest.html and review the table on 10-year moose season success rates.
What is the status of New Hampshire's moose population?
Public awareness is growing about the impact of winter tick and other challenges facing moose populations across the country. While New Hampshire's moose are facing some serious threats, they are not on the verge of disappearing. Some areas of the state have seen declines in moose numbers, however, in spite of moose permits (distributed by lottery) being reduced from a total of 675 in 2007, to 275 during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, 124 permits for the 2015 and 71 permits for the 2016 hunt, and 105 permits for the 2015 hunt. An ongoing research project being conducted by Fish and Game in cooperation with the University of New Hampshire, will provide additional information to aid in moose management efforts. Read more.
How long has New Hampshire had a moose hunt?
As part of a sound management strategy, the moose hunt has been an annual event in New Hampshire since 1988. The moose population, which was only approximately 50 animals in 1950, had grown to over 1,600 by the time of the first moose hunt in 1988, when 75 permits were issued, primarily for the northern parts of the state. The success rate for that first year of the moose hunt was about 76 percent.

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To Learn More

Where can I get more information about the moose hunt?
  • For tips on scouting in particular areas, contact local hunters, local Fish and Game clubs, deer registration stations or online hunting forums, such as www.nesportsman.com, or www.biggamehunt.com.
  • For any questions on licenses, or permits other than your moose permit, contact Fish and Game Licensing at (603) 271-3422.
  • For any questions on the rules and regulations of the hunt, contact Fish and Game Law Enforcement at (603) 271-3127 (email: law@wildlife.nh.gov)
  • To get in touch with a local Conservation Officer, contact Law Enforcement Dispatch: (603) 271-3361
  • For any questions on your moose permit, the moose seminars, or general information about the hunt, contact Wildlife: (603) 271-2461 (email: wildlife@wildlife.nh.gov)
  • For information specific to your WMU, contact the appropriate regional Fish and Game office:
    • Region 1, Lancaster [(603) 788-3164, reg1@wildlife.nh.gov]: WMUs A1, A2, B, C1, C2, D1, D2, E1, E2
    • Region 2, New Hampton [(603) 744-5470, reg2@wildlife.nh.gov]: WMUs D2, E1, E2, E3, F, G, H1, I1, I2, J1, J2
    • Region 3, Durham [(603) 868-1095]: WMUs J2, K, L, M
    • Region 4, Keene [(603) 352-9669]: WMUs H1, H2N, H2S, I1, I2, K
Other useful websites

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