2004 Moose Lottery Apps Available

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Prospective moose hunters can now get their applications in for the 2004 New Hampshire moose hunt lottery and take advantage of a new bonus point system that will increase their chances of success in future drawings. The new system will not affect applicants' chances in the lottery for the 2004 hunt, but it will help them in future years, according to Steven Weber, Chief of New Hampshire Fish and Game's Wildlife Division. "The new bonus point system allows hunters to get in on the ground floor this year and start building up their points," Weber said.

The bonus point system, required by state law starting this year, allows hunters who enter the moose lottery and are not selected to earn a point that entitles them to an additional chance in the following year's lottery. Unsuccessful applicants accrue one point for each consecutive year in which they apply for the lottery. Each point translates to one chance in the drawing; that is, the first year you apply, you have one chance in the lottery; in the second year, you have two chances, and so on. (Note that having two points rather than one will improve your odds, but doesn't double them, because many other applicants will also have two points.)

All those who apply for the 2004 New Hampshire moose hunt lottery will accrue their first point that year. Prior application history will not affect the number of points received -- no points will be issued for applications submitted in years past.

Applicants will lose all accrued points if they choose not to apply for the lottery one year, or if they are offered and accept a moose permit. Hunters who receive a permit are not eligible to take part in the lottery for the following three years.

The new point system will change some of the information collected on the lottery application. In order to properly track the bonus points, applicants will be required to provide either a driver's license number or a state-issued non-driver identification number. Applicants will be responsible for letting N.H. Fish and Game know if this number changes.

Hunters who know they wouldn't be able to hunt this year because of scheduling conflicts within the moose season will still be able to accrue a point by answering a question on the application. A "yes" answer keeps you out of the lottery but lets you accrue a point. Be sure to answer "no" if you want a chance to be drawn for a permit this year.

In 2003, more than 14,000 applicants entered the lottery for the chance to win one of 485 permits issued for the moose season. Those who win in the lottery and take part in the hunt have an excellent chance of success in the field: three-fourths of permit holders were lucky enough to harvest a moose in 2003. Lottery winners are selected through a computer-generated random number draw; the drawing for the 2004 hunt will take place on June 18.

New Hampshire's moose hunt is nine days long, starting the third Saturday in October. Each permit-holder may select another hunter of any age to accompany him or her on the hunt. Only one moose may be taken per permit.

Moose permits are issued to both residents and nonresidents of New Hampshire. The number of permits available to nonresidents is capped, based on the prior year's sales of nonresident hunting licenses; generally, about 10 to 15 percent of the permits are issued to nonresidents. The odds of being selected are usually about 1 in 25 for residents, and 1 in 75 for nonresidents, some of the best odds in the nation for moose hunting.

The application fee for entering the moose hunt lottery is $10 (nonrefundable). Lottery applications are available online (click here) or from license agents statewide. "We encourage people to apply online if they can," said N.H. Fish and Game Data Manager Karen Cleveland. "You'll get immediate confirmation that your application was received and immediate feedback if there's a problem with your application."

Applications for the 2004 hunt must be postmarked by midnight, May 28, 2004; delivered to N.H. Fish and Game headquarters in Concord by 4:00 p.m. that day; or submitted online prior to the 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time deadline that day. Hunters who are offered a permit must pay a $100 resident or $300 nonresident permit fee, as well as hold a valid New Hampshire hunting license. It is not necessary to have a current hunting license to enter the lottery.

All proceeds from the sale of moose hunt lottery applications and permits are used to support New Hampshire's comprehensive moose management program, which includes education, research, protection and management. The state's current moose population is estimated to be about 6,500 animals. N.H. Fish and Game is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources. Click here for a moose-lottery Q&A.