CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire’s moose hunters achieved a 19% success rate during the first two days of the nine-day season. During the opening weekend (October 21-22, 2017), a total of 10 moose were taken by hunters statewide – 8 bulls and 2 cows. In comparison, last year, 25% of moose hunters were successful during the opening weekend.
Photo right: Curtis Ball of Havertown, Pa., (right) took a 725-pound bull in the 2017 New Hampshire moose hunt. He hunted with his daughter Lydia Covert of Portland, Maine.
A total of 54 hunters are taking part in the hunt – 51 lottery permit holders, 1 medical deferment from last year, 1 permit auctioned off by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, and 1 Hunt of a Lifetime participant.
Warm temperatures on both days of the opening weekend made for challenging hunting. “The weather was really too hot for good moose hunting,” said Kristine Rines, who has been the moose biologist for the NH Fish and Game Department for 32 years. “Moose can’t tolerate the heat, so they bed down and don’t move around much. We’re expecting some rain to move in, which should cool things down a bit.”
Julie and Ed Robinson of Loudon, NH, were the first to check a moose in at the Berlin Registration Station Saturday morning. They took home a nice 650-pound bull moose.
Curtis Ball of Havertown, Pennsylvania, hunting with his daughter Lydia Covert of Portland, Maine, succeeded in taking a 725-pound bull with a 53.5-inch rack in Wildlife Management Unit A2. They shot the bull about 8 a.m. on Sunday, but it took off into the brush. Their guide, Keith Roberge of Northern NH Guide Service, helped them track the animal for over three hours, following a diminishing blood trail and eventually just tracks, to the top of a mountain. The next few hours were spent getting the animal out of that remote area, aided by nine people and two six-wheelers. “This is how hunting is supposed to be, persisting until you bring the animal in,” said Rines.
Rines explained that in addition to information and samples normally collected at moose check stations, biologists are collecting blood samples to test for West Nile Virus and EEE.
Fish and Game manages New Hampshire’s moose population in accordance with density goals defined in its 2016-2025 moose management plan. This plan seeks to meet regional moose population goals by balancing and incorporating social, economic, public safety, and ecological factors using the best available science.
New Hampshire’s nine-day moose hunt continues through Sunday, October 29.
For more about moose hunting in New Hampshire, including a list of registration stations, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose.html.