NH issues 51 moose hunting permits during 30th annual lottery
CONCORD — New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department has issued 51 hunting permits in its 30th annual moose hunt lottery.
The state's 2017 moose hunt runs from Oct. 21-29, and hunters who were drawn and accept a permit are not eligible to enter the lottery or apply for a bonus point for the following three years. Each permit winner is assigned to one of 19 Wildlife Management Units 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."
New Hampshire has roughly 4,000 moose — about half the population from 10 years ago. The decline is due partly to an increase in winter ticks, mostly in the northern part of the state. Brainworm, which is carried by deer, also is affecting some moose in southern New Hampshire.
The department says moose are not currently a threatened or endangered species in the state.
Permit winners Friday were selected through a computerized random drawing. This year, 6,850 applications were received. In addition, over 1,340 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 entered and not selected. The overall odds of being drawn this year were 1 in 87 for state residents and 1 in 391 for nonresidents.
An enthusiastic audience was present at Fish and Game Headquarters to hear the drawing results in person. They enjoyed doughnuts and swapped hunting stories, all hopeful they might hear their name called this year.
Young hunter Max Paganini, of Sanbornton, got things rolling by pushing the button that started the random, computerized drawing.
The luckiest hunter in the room was Rich Tichko, who won an either-sex permit for Wildlife Management Unit C-2.
“I’m pretty excited,” Tichko said, sporting a huge smile. He said he will take his wife Jessie along as his subpermittee.
In addition to many New Hampshire residents, permit winners hailed from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont and as far south as South Carolina. Nearly 85 percent of those chosen were New Hampshire residents, and Fish and Game said this percentage is set based on the resident/non-resident ratio of N.H. hunting licenses sold the previous year.
Hunters that weren't in attendance whose names were selected in today's drawing will be notified by mail. A full list of the 2017 winners and alternates are available at www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose-winners.html, at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord, and at the Department’s regional offices in Durham, Keene, Lancaster and New Hampton.
In 2016, New Hampshire hunters took 52 moose for a statewide success rate of 72 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.