Many Applicants, Few Permits: Thousands Find Out Their Fate at NH's Moose Lottery
If Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, than the annual New Hampshire Moose Lottery drawing marks the unofficial start of the fall hunting season.
The annual drawing to select the lucky hunters who will be offered a permit to hunt moose in New Hampshire this fall was held Friday morning at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in Concord.
Fifty-one resident and non-resident hunting permits were issued through a computerized, random drawing out of a pool of 6,142 applicants. The overall chances of securing a much sought after permit were 1 in 120.
New Hampshire’s 2018 moose hunt will run from Oct. 20-28.
The majority of the permits were issued for Wildlife Management Units in the northern part of the state with Units A1, A2, BC1, C2, D1 and D2 accounting for 32 of them. Of the 22 WMUs in the state, three were closed to moose hunting this year based on biologic and public input.
Kris Rines, the Moose Project Leader addressed the crowd about the challenges facing the moose population in the state. She pointed out that the numbers of permits being issued was approximately 1 percent of the estimated population.
“We loose over 100 moose every year to motor vehicle collisions," she said.
She emphasized that the moose hunting permits do not adversely affect the overall health of the herd. What does impact them are ticks. Rines said that while some states have tried to combat the tick issues with man-made products, the only natural solution is to “hope for a drought."
Ticks do not flourish is heat and dry conditions. Unfortunately, those two conditions are not optimal for an animals that prefers cooler weather.
Rines said that “while I left my crystal ball at home, I don’t believe that the moose will disappear from the state’s landscape. But climate change is definitely a factor in their continued presence in the state.”
Fish and Game Executive Director Glen Normandeau thanked the crowd that gathered for the drawing and reminded them that hunt has come a long way since the first lottery, which issued 75 permits and was held in 1988.
Peter St. James and Pat Kelly from “Good Morning New Hampshire” on 107.7 The Pulse and 107.3 WEMJ broadcast live from Fish and Game Headquarters from 8-10 a.m. It marked the 13th year that The Pulse had broadcast the results of the lottery live.