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.