The adventure of a lifetime is in store for 275 people who have been offered permits to hunt moose in New Hampshire this October. They are the lucky winners in the state’s annual moose hunt permit lottery drawing, held today with great fanfare at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s headquarters in Concord, N.H.
Governor John Lynch kicked off the festivities by pushing the button to start the computerized random selection of this year’s winners. Winners were selected from a pool of more than 13,400 applicants. That’s in addition to more than 1,200 people who submitted an application for a point only, but are not included in the lottery; the bonus point system improves your chance of winning for each consecutive year you enter and are not selected.
Winners will be offered permits to hunt moose in a specific Wildlife Management Unit during the October 20 to 28, 2012, season. Each winner is allowed to enlist a guide and one friend or relative to help on the hunt as a “subpermittee.” In addition to many New Hampshire residents, winners hailed from Connecticut, Maine, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Jersey, South Carolina, Illinois, North Dakota, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Alaska.
More than a hundred people showed up at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord to watch the drawing, swap hunting stories and listen in hopes of hearing their name come up on the list of winners. It turned out to be an exciting day for three in the room who were selected for 2012 moose hunt permits. Carl Rackliff of Manchester was all smiles when his 32-year-old son, Jesse J. Rackliff was selected. Carl is counting on being the subpermittee on the hunt this fall. Also present was Steven R. White of Concord, who chairs the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire. He was picked once before back in 1998 and is excited about going again this year with a friend from the North Country. “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun!” said White.
Alice Jenness of New Hampton had to catch her breath after hearing her name called. “I’m ecstatic!” said Jenness, who has entered the lottery every year since it opened in 1988. She grew up hunting deer with her dad, who passed away some years ago, and will be using his .308 hunting rifle. “It’s very emotional for me,” said Jenness. “It would make Dad so proud!”
Thanks to the recovery of moose populations, New Hampshire has had an annual moose hunt since 1988. That year, 75 permits were issued for a three-day hunt in the North Country. The availability of 275 hunting permits this year, with some issued for every area of the state during the nine-day season, has been made possible by careful management of moose populations. The resulting sustainable annual harvest of moose helps to regulate moose numbers and provides a unique recreational opportunity.
Each permit winner is assigned to one of 22 wildlife management units (WMUs) in which he or she can legally hunt. In 2011, New Hampshire hunters took 290 moose, for a statewide success rate of 71%. Regional success rates for moose hunters last year ranged from 82% in the Connecticut Lakes Region to 25% in the southeastern part of the state.
Hunters whose names were selected in today’s drawing will be notified by mail. Lists of successful applicants and alternates are available online here; at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord; and at the Department’s regional offices in Durham, Keene, Lancaster and New Hampton.
Limited-edition 2012 New Hampshire moose hunt shirts will be available this summer.
For more information on hunting moose in New Hampshire, click here.
A description of the lottery process and table of applicants and odds may be downloaded here.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.