CONCORD — The adventure of a lifetime is in store for 49 people who have been offered permits to hunt moose in New Hampshire this October. They are the lucky winners in the state’s 32nd annual moose hunt lottery drawing, held June 21 at the state Fish and Game Department in Concord. Among those selected were four Carroll County residents.
John Baptiste of Madison, Kevin B. Bernier of Wolfeboro, Brian W. Keyes of Center Ossipee, and Gordon J. Smith of Moultonborough had their names drawn for the hunt, which runs Oct. 19-27.
Lists of successful applicants and alternates are available at tinyurl.com/y3cq86ld; at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord; and at the Department’s regional offices in Durham, Keene, Lancaster and New Hampton.
Among the alternates selected are Dennis Lufkin of Glen, who is currently No. 61 on the waiting list, and Suzanne Murphy of Effingham, who is No. 54 on the list. There are 69 alternates listed, with Jeremy Prehemo of Pittsburg, who is first alternate.
An enthusiastic audience was at Fish and Game to hear the drawing results in person. They enjoyed doughnuts and swapped backwoods stories, all hopeful they might hear their name called this year.
“I’ve spent my life hunting and fishing in New Hampshire, and look forward to being in the woods or by the river,” said Al Lescord of Newport, who was at the lottery. “This was the third time I put in for the moose lottery, and it was exciting to come down for the drawing even though I didn’t get picked. I was looking forward to scouting on the way home today, but I’ll just have to wait until next year.”
Winners were selected from a pool of 5,875 applicants. In addition, over 1,170 people submitted an application for a bonus point only, but were not included in the lottery. The bonus point system improves the chance of winning for each consecutive year entered and not selected. The overall odds of being drawn this year were 1 in 77 for state residents and 1 in 341 for nonresidents. In addition to many New Hampshire residents, permit winners hailed from Wisconsin, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts and Maine.
Winners are offered permits to hunt moose in a specific Wildlife Management Unit during the 2019 New Hampshire moose season. Each permit winner is assigned to one of 22 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in which he or she can legally hunt. Winners are allowed to enlist a guide and one friend or relative to help on the hunt as a “subpermittee.”
Last year, New Hampshire hunters harvested 41 moose (51 permits were issued), for a statewide success rate of 77 percent. New Hampshire has had an annual moose hunt since 1988, when 75 permits were issued for a three-day hunt in the North Country.
The moose hunt has been an annual event in New Hampshire for more than 20 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. In 1992, the number of permits rose to 190 and the following year to 317 permits. By 1994, the number had increased to 405 and topped out at a record 495 in 1995.
The herd stood at 5,000 in 1994. Now, according to the National Wildlife Foundation, "The New Hampshire moose population has plummeted by more than 60 percent in the last decade from over 7,500 moose to just 3,000 today.
According to foundation biologists, some of the decline is due to "increasing parasite loads influenced by shorter winters caused by climate change."
For more information on hunting moose in New Hampshire, visit huntnh.com/hunting/moose.