CONCORD — 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 last month with great fanfare at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s headquarters.
Gov. Maggie Hassan kicked off the festivities by pushing the button to start the computerized random selection of this year’s winners.
“This lottery is not only an important part of New Hampshire’s tradition and culture, but it boosts our economy by bringing people and tourism dollars to the state as people come here from all over the world to hunt,” Hassan said.
The governor participated in the traditional reading of the winners’ names to a packed audience of 100 or more people who were present in hopes of hearing their names on the list of winners who would be offered a permit to participate in this year’s hunt.
Winners were selected from a pool of more than 13,000 applicants. In addition, more than 1,300 people submitted an application for a bonus point only, but are not included in the lottery; the bonus point system improves the chance of winning for each consecutive year you enter and are not selected.
The names of the 2013 winners and alternates are posted on Fish and Game’s website at huntnh.com/Hunting/Moose_hunt/2013_Moose_Winners.html.
Winners will be offered permits to hunt moose in a specific Wildlife Management Unit during the Oct. 19-27, 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 New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
It turned out to be an exciting day for at least four people in the room who were selected for 2013 moose hunt permits. Among them was a smiling Beth Johns-Crawford of Derry. She has moose hunted as a subpermittee before, but this time her name was drawn.
“I’m excited to have my own hunt. I am psyched,” she said.
Ronald Tremblay of Hooksett could not believe he was hearing his name called, but it was true.
“Except for one year, I’ve been entering the lottery since it started, and this is the first time I’ve been picked,” said Tremblay, with a big smile.
Thomas Flynn of Alexandria and Jason Smith of Gilmanton were also present to hear their names drawn, and are enthusiastically looking forward to this fall’s hunt.
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 in which he or she can legally hunt.
In 2012, New Hampshire hunters took 179 moose, for a statewide success rate of 64 percent.
Limited-edition 2013 New Hampshire moose hunt shirts are available and may be ordered online at wildnh.com/mooseshirt.