Moose Hunt Lottery Applications Available

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If you'd like to try for a chance to hunt moose this fall, it's time to enter N.H. Fish and Game's 2005 moose hunt lottery. Applications for this year's hunt are now available online -- click here to apply -- or from license agents statewide. The application fee for entering the moose hunt lottery is $10 (nonrefundable).

"We encourage people to apply online if they can," said N.H. Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Kent Gustafson.

In 2004, more than 15,000 applicants entered the lottery for the chance to win one of 525 permits issued for the moose season. Lottery winners are selected through a computer-generated random number draw; the drawing for the 2005 hunt will take place on June 17. Those who are lucky enough to take part in the hunt have an excellent chance of success: about three-fourths of permit holders harvested moose in 2004.

Your chances in the lottery can improve with time. Unsuccessful applicants accrue one bonus point for each consecutive year in which they apply for the lottery. Applicants must apply each year to keep the bonus points improving their chances in future years. Applicants lose all accrued points if they do not apply for the lottery one year, or if they are offered and accept a moose permit. This is the second year of the bonus point system.

New Hampshire's moose hunt is nine days long, starting the third Saturday in October. This year, it runs from October 15-23. 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.

Applications for the 2005 hunt must be postmarked by midnight, May 27, 2005; 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. Hunters who receive a permit are not eligible to take part in the lottery for the following three years.

Moose permits are issued to both state residents and nonresidents. 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 overall 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.

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.