NH moose hunt lottery opens

CONCORD – New Hampshire’s 2016 moose hunt lottery is now open. Enter today to try your luck on the adventure of a lifetime – hunting moose in the rugged woods of the Granite State.

Entering the lottery costs $15 for New Hampshire residents and $25 for nonresidents.

To enter the lottery, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose.html, where you can enter online or print out a mail-in application, or buy one from any Fish and Game license agent or at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord.

Moose hunt lottery applications for 2016 must be postmarked or submitted online by midnight May 27, or delivered to the licensing office at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord before 4 p.m. that day. Winners will be selected through a computerized random drawing on June 17 at the Fish and Game Department in Concord.

Each applicant can enter the moose hunt lottery once a year. A bonus point system improves the chances for unsuccessful applicants who apply each consecutive year. For example, last year the overall odds of a resident applicant being drawn were 1 in 63, while resident applicants with a total of 12 points had a 1 in 28 chance of being drawn. For nonresidents, the odds increased from 1 in 243 overall to 1 in 114 for applicants with 12 points.

Last year, more than 9,500 people entered the lottery for the chance to win one of 105 permits. More than 1,400 people continued to accrue bonus points because they submitted an application for a point only. Hunters from 10 states won permits in the lottery.

While people travel from all over the country to take part in the New Hampshire moose hunt, the majority of permits (about 85 percent) go to New Hampshire residents. The number of permits available to nonresidents is capped, based on the prior year’s sales of nonresident hunting licenses.

The exact number of moose hunt permits that will be offered for this fall’s hunt has not yet been determined. While moose populations have grown in several regions of the state, the recent long, snow-free fall may result in increased tick mortality this spring. Therefore, permit reductions are possible in parts of the state, according to Wildlife Programs Supervisor Kent Gustafson.

While permit numbers may be reduced in 2016, your chance of being drawn and offered a permit in the lottery will be improved if you rank all wildlife management units on your application, Gustafson noted. You will have the option to decline a permit if drawn for a unit you prefer not to hunt.

New Hampshire’s nine-day moose hunt starts the third Saturday in October. This year’s hunt runs from Oct. 15-23.

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 state’s current moose population is estimated at about 4,000 animals.

The availability of moose hunting permits is made possible by careful management of moose populations. The resulting annual harvest of moose helps to regulate moose numbers, provides valuable information on the physical condition of moose and provides a unique recreational opportunity.

For more information about moose hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose.html.

Submitted by the N.H. Fish and Game Department