EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

June 20, 2013

Moose lottery fever grips NH

Lottery is tomorrow

It’s not as popular as Powerball, but the players in New Hampshire’s moose lottery are every bit as enthusiastic.

State wildlife program specialist Linda Verville said a standing-room crowd of more than 100 will convene over coffee and doughnuts tomorrow morning at Fish & Game headquarters in Concord.

This year the state will award 275 permits. About 14,000 people from across the country, Canada and Europe will await word, monitoring a live radio broadcast or checking the department’s website.

Winners get the chance to participate in the big hunt, Oct. 19 to 27.

Last year only about a dozen hunters from Southern New Hampshire towns won permits. They were from Salem, Pelham, Sandown, Londonderry, Danville and Plaistow.

Hunters pay $15 just to apply. If they win the lottery, they will pay another $150 for the permit. It’s more for people from out of state: $25 to apply, $500 for a permit winner.

Winning is not easy.

Hunters are selected through a computerized random drawing.

“Approximately 15 to 20 of our guys normally participate. There’s probably one that’s been successful every three or four years,” Plaistow Fish & Game Club member Bill McNulty of Atkinson said.

“Guys who get it feel very fortunate to get into the lottery,” he said.

Pelham Fish & Game Club president Mitch Kopacz said moose hunters from the club will have applied. “There always is interest. It’s a huge event,” he said.

A bonus system awards more chances to unlucky hunters who have failed to win a permit, Verville said. “It accumulates. We’ve got some people with 10 (chances).”

Even when a hunter gets a permit that doesn’t mean he will bag a moose.

Verville said only 64 percent of last year’s permit holders got their moose.

“A moose will roam. You still do have to find one,” McNulty said.

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