Daniel Bergeron: (603) 271-2461
Linda Verville: (603) 271-2461
October 22, 2019
CONCORD, NH – From now until October 27, a group of lucky moose permit holders and their hunting partners are having the experience of a lifetime taking part in New Hampshire’s annual moose hunt.
A total of 49 permit holders were drawn in this year’s lottery, randomly selected by computer from a pool of more than 5,800 applicants. Also, one charitable permit each was issued to the New Hampshire Wildlife Heritage Foundation and the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation Dream Hunt program. In 2018, New Hampshire hunters had a statewide success rate of 77%.
Each hunter with a moose permit was assigned to hunt in one of 22 Wildlife Management Units (WMU) throughout the state. The 2019 hunt is off to a predictable start with 12 moose having been harvested since the season opened on October 19, representing a 25% success rate thus far for the year and consistent with the beginnings of the prior five seasons. To date, the largest moose to be harvested was in WMA A2, a bull weighing 838 lbs. with an impressive antler spread of almost 63 inches. After taking a moose, hunters must have the animals registered and inspected at one of six check stations around the state where wildlife biologists check each moose to collect valuable data about the overall health and productivity of the moose herd. Moose check stations draw many curious spectators, a reminder of the importance of moose in New Hampshire, particularly in the North Country. You can find a list of moose check stations at www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose.html.
Of the prospects for moose hunters this season, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Wildlife Program Supervisor Daniel Bergeron commented, “While it’s early in the moose season, initial registrations show the harvest to be on track with historical harvest records. What will greatly impact the final success rate of hunters, and the total number of moose taken, will be the weather conditions over the next six days. Moose will bed down during warmer weather, so successful hunters will need to be committed to some cold early mornings this year while moose are active.”
The moose hunt has been an annual event in New Hampshire for more than 30 years. The state’s first modern-day moose hunt took place in 1988, with 75 permits issued in the North Country. At that time, New Hampshire was home to about 1,600 moose. Today, New Hampshire has about 3,300 moose.
Hunters are reminded to avoid consuming moose liver and kidney. Studies conducted by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the US Fish & Wildlife Service have shown high levels of cadmium in some moose livers and kidneys sampled. As a result, officials from the Environmental Health Program at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services recommend that no moose kidney be consumed, and refraining from liver consumption is recommended. If individuals choose to eat moose liver, it should be from an animal 1.5 years of age or younger. If the moose is older than that, consumption should be limited to a maximum of two 6-ounce portions of moose liver per year. Biologists at moose check stations can determine the age of the animal for hunters. If you have questions about this issue, call David Gordon, DES Environmental Health Program, at 603-271-4608.
Learn more about moose hunting in New Hampshire at www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose.html.