The adventure of a lifetime is in store for 275 people who have been offered permits to hunt moose in New Hampshire this October. They are the lucky winners in the state’s annual moose hunt permit lottery drawing, held today with great fanfare at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s headquarters in Concord, N.H.
Governor Maggie Hassan kicked off the festivities by pushing the button to start the computerized random selection of this year’s winners. “This lottery is not only an important part of New Hampshire’s tradition and culture, but it boosts our economy by bringing people and tourism dollars to the state as people come here from all over the world to hunt,” said Hassan.
The Governor participated in the traditional reading of the winners’ names to a packed audience of 100 or more people who were present at the N.H. Fish and Game Department in hopes of hearing their names on the list of winners who would be offered a permit to participate in this year’s hunt.
Winners were selected from a pool of more than 13,000 applicants. In addition, over 1,300 people submitted an application for a bonus point only, but are not included in the lottery; the bonus point system improves the chance of winning for each consecutive year you enter and are not selected.
The names of the 2013 winners and alternates are posted on Fish and Game’s website at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Moose_hunt/2013_Moose_Winners.html.
Winners will be offered permits to hunt moose in a specific Wildlife Management Unit during the October 19-27, 2013, season. Each winner is allowed to enlist a guide and one friend or relative to help on the hunt as a “subpermittee.” In addition to many New Hampshire residents, winners hailed from New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
It turned out to be an exciting day for at least four people in the room who were selected for 2013 moose hunt permits. Among them was a smiling Beth Johns-Crawford of Derry, N.H. She has moose hunted as a subpermittee before, but this time her name was drawn. “I’m excited to have my own hunt. I am psyched!” she beamed.
Ronald Tremblay of Hooksett could not believe he was hearing his name called, but it was true. “Except for one year, I’ve been entering the lottery since it started, and this is the first time I’ve been picked,” said Tremblay, with a big smile.
Thomas Flynn of Alexandria, N.H., and Jason Smith of Gilmanton were also present to hear their names drawn, and are enthusiastically looking forward to this fall’s hunt.
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 275 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. 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.
In 2012, New Hampshire hunters took 179 moose, for a statewide success rate of 64%. Regional success rates for moose hunters last year ranged from 80% in the Connecticut Lakes Region to 35% in the southeastern part of the state.
Hunters whose names were selected in today’s drawing will be notified by mail. Lists of successful applicants and alternates are available at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Moose_hunt/2013_Moose_Winners.html; at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord; and at the Department’s regional offices in Durham, Keene, Lancaster and New Hampton.
Limited-edition 2013 New Hampshire moose hunt shirts are available and may be ordered online at http://www.wildnh.com/mooseshirt.
For more information on hunting moose in New Hampshire, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm.
A description of the lottery process and table of applicants and odds may be downloaded at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Moose_hunt/moose_lottery_stats.pdf.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.
Logo courtesy New Hampshire Fish and Game Department