CONCORD, N.H. – A third of New Hampshire’s moose hunters were successful during the first two days of the nine-day season, achieving a 33% success rate on the opening weekend of the hunt. On Saturday and Sunday (October 17 and 18), a total of 36 moose were taken by hunters statewide – 24 bulls and 12 cows. The total number of hunters was 108 (105 lottery permit holders, two permits auctioned off by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH to generate important conservation funding, and one Hunt of a Lifetime participant). In comparison, last year, 39% of moose hunters were successful during the opening weekend.
Hunters braved unsettled weather on the opening weekend, with cold, windy conditions overall and sleet, snow and rain in the North Country. “Cool weather is generally good for moose hunting, because they tend to be a little more active when it’s cold,” said Kristine Rines, who has been the N.H. Fish and Game Department’s moose biologist for 29 years.
The largest moose checked in during the opening weekend was a bull with a dressed weight of 810 pounds, taken in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) D-1 by David A. Smith Sr. of Franklin, NH.
The mother-daughter team of Torie and Jazmine Perkins of Seabrook, NH, saw success the morning of the first day of the hunt, when 18-year-old Jazmine shot a cow moose that dressed out at 435 pounds. “She was pretty excited. This was her first moose,” said Torie. Her daughter Jazmine, who is the eldest child in the family, hunts deer with her dad. According to Torie, she was a little put out when her younger brother and father got a moose a couple years ago, so this year’s hunt with mom made her especially happy.
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 this year.
Fish and Game manages New Hampshire’s moose population in accordance with density goals defined in its 2006-2015 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 25, 2015. This year, more than 9,500 people entered the moose hunt lottery for a chance to win one of the 105 permits drawn for the New Hampshire moose hunt. In addition, two permits were auctioned off by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, and one permit was given to a young person with a serious illness through the “Hunt of a Lifetime” program.
For more about moose hunting in New Hampshire, including a list of check stations, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose.html.