Henry Jones: 603-744-5470
Linda Verville: 603-271-1122
October 31, 2023
Concord, NH – New Hampshire’s 2023 moose hunting season ran from Saturday, October 21 through Sunday, October 29 with a total of 24 moose being taken—23 bulls and 1 cow. “This year was on par with previous years as far as hunter success rates,” according to Henry Jones, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Moose Project Leader.
Hunters achieved a 69% success rate during the nine-day season. Thirty-five moose hunting permits were issued this year, which included 33 lottery permits, 1 permit auctioned by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, and 1 Dream Hunt permit for youth with terminal illnesses sponsored by the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation. In 2022, the overall hunter success rate was 63%, and the average success rate over the last five years has been 71%.
The heaviest moose weighed 880 pounds dressed and was taken in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) A2 by Dream Hunt participant Tucker Morse with the assistance of Northern New Hampshire Guide Service. The largest antler spread was 57.5 inches wide, taken in WMU C2 by Ray Webb. The youngest hunter was subpermittee Ian Gersberg who harvested a bull with permittee Stuart Goss.
One highlight for check station personnel was the story of Scott Soterian, who had been applying in the lottery for 14 years and drew a permit for WMU A1 this year. Soterian wanted to hunt moose on foot and hired the services of New Hampshire guide and long-time friend Ken Dionne.
Soterian and Dionne packed their food for the day and were in the woods from dawn until dusk, still hunting while calling around clear cuts that were near conifer cover. In the first 3 days of the season, they saw over 20 moose, but none of the options provided the hunters an ethical shot. On the morning of day four, they heard a cow calling and started calling back. As they moved closer, eventually seeing her at 80 yards away, they heard a bull grunt off to her left, but not within sight. The hunters waited patiently and the bull moved closer providing a clear broadside view at which time Soterian took the adult bull with one shot.
The pair then began quartering and packing the meat (300+ pounds), and carried it out over 400 off-trail yards. No small feat, but quartering is the recommended practice to ensure the meat cools and to prevent spoilage. As Soterian explained, “I was thrilled to have the opportunity to hunt moose in my native state and I wanted to do it right.”
To learn more about moose hunting in New Hampshire visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose.html.