New Hampshire Moose Hunt is October 15 – 23, 2011

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For nine exciting days, from October 15 to 23, 2011, lucky moose permit holders and their hunting partners will have the experience of a lifetime taking part in New Hampshire’s annual moose hunt. A total of 395 permit holders were drawn in this year’s lottery, randomly selected by computer from a pool of nearly 14,000 applicants. In addition, five hunters will have the chance to hunt moose because they were the highest bidders in an annual auction that benefits the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, and two permits were granted to youth with serious medical conditions through the Hunt of a Lifetime program.  Last fall, New Hampshire hunters took 302 moose, for a statewide success rate of 76%. 

Each hunter with a moose permit is assigned to hunt in one of 22 wildlife management units throughout the state. Most have spent the past several weeks or months scouting out potential hunting spots in their assigned areas. After taking a moose, hunters must have the animals registered and inspected at one of seven check stations around the state.  There, wildlife biologists check each moose to collect information about the overall health of the moose herd.  These check stations draw many interested onlookers, a reminder of the economic and symbolic importance of moose in New Hampshire, particularly in the North Country.  A list of moose check stations is posted at

As part of a sound management strategy, the moose hunt has been an annual event in New Hampshire for more than twenty years. Moose were scarce here around the turn of the last century; but with the implementation of hunting restrictions and scientific management funded by the federal Wildlife Restoration Program (supported by an excise tax on hunting equipment and ammunition), the population has grown to about 5,000 animals today from a low of 50 in 1950. The first modern-day moose hunt in New Hampshire took place in 1988, with 75 permits issued.  At that time, New Hampshire was home to approximately 4,100 moose.

Hunters are reminded to avoid consuming moose liver and kidney. Studies conducted by Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have revealed high levels of cadmium in some moose livers and kidneys sampled. As a result, officials from the Environmental Health Program at the N.H. Department of Environmental Services recommend that no moose kidney be eaten, and preferably no liver. If individuals do choose to eat moose liver, it should be from moose no older than 1.5 years. If the moose is older than that, consumption should be limited to a maximum of two meals (assuming six ounces per meal) of moose liver per year. Biologists at moose check stations can determine the age of the animal for hunters. If you have questions about this issue, call David Gordon, DES Environmental Health Program, at 603-271-4608.

Try your luck in the moose hunt next year! The annual moose hunt permit lottery opens in late January 2012 and runs through mid-May; and the drawing occurs in June. 

Visit a photo gallery of successful N.H. moose hunts -- and find out more about moose hunting in New Hampshire -- at


Retired2hunt's picture

  Another great state's


Another great state's managment of wildlife success story.  Look for the other aricles as the success rate reflects their great involvement in ensuring that their big game hunts and seasons coinside with the hunters of the state.  Great job New hampshire and your efforts!


numbnutz's picture

I wish I was one of those

I wish I was one of those lucky hunters. It has been one of my dreams to hunt moose. Sounds like New Hampshire did a great job with some sound management to protect and grow the moose numbers. It's alway nice to read about an animal recovery. The population went from about 50 to 5,000 moose. Anti hunters and animal extremeist can't say that they have rebounded a herd before. Hunters are the true consevationist along with good management practices by state agencies. Good luck to all have drawn these tags. looks like the odd were not very good, 395 tag for 14,00 applicants. I hope to read some sucess stories soon. I'd be out scouting from the time I found out I drew the tag from the time it started just to make sure I had the best chance possible to harvest a moose onthis hunt of a lifetime.

hunter25's picture

Well another great hunt just

Well another great hunt just around the corner. I would love to get a moose someday and have applied for many years here in Colorado without success. I may begin to aply in some of these eastern states as well as even thought he odds are stilll very long to draw the cost can be very favorable compared to some of the western non resident tags. You'll never get anywhere if you don't send those apps in. Interesting note about not eatin the liver or kidneys as i had never heard that before. I wonder if that applies to nay other big game animals as well? Those are not pieces that I ever carry out myself but I know many guys who do so it would be good to know.

Good luck to the lucky few that got that license this year.