New Hampshire Moose Hunters Have 52 Percent Success Rate

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As of October 25, a total of 353 moose had been taken in the 2006 New Hampshire moose hunt (229 bulls and 124 cows), meaning 52 percent of hunters holding moose permits had succeeded. The moose hunt was at its mid-way point; the nine-day season ran through Sunday, October 29.

The success rate to date for moose hunters is about 15% less than the last 2 years combined, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Moose Project Leader Kristine Rines. She noted that the moose "rut" (breeding period) was essentially over for the season by the time this year's hunt got underway, so moose have been less likely to be active and seen by hunters.

As with the 2005 hunt, cold, rainy, snowy weather has also been a factor in this year’s hunt, said Rines, who has worked at the Berlin moose check station all week. The challenging weather didn't stop Ted St. Onge of Goffstown, age 70, from taking a prime bull in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) B on Tuesday afternoon. St. Onge, who hunted by himself, said he scouted for more than 40 hours and was out hunting "from dark to dark" starting on opening day. He hunted on a large private parcel where he had received permission from the landowner to hunt, focusing on the areas where he saw the most moose sign. The whole experience was "exactly what I was looking for," said St. Onge. "The thrill of the hunt, and the meat. I had a great time."

The largest bull taken to date weighed 890 pounds and was taken in WMU A2 by hunter Anthony Gladfelter of Elizabethtown, PA. The moose was estimated to be more than 10 years old. The largest cow -- unusually large for a female moose at 760 lbs. -- was taken in WMU H1 by Richard Royce of Cornish, NH.

Regionally, as of October 25, the approximate success rates for the various regions are: Connecticut Lakes -- 64%; North region -- 63%; White Mountains -- 45%; central New Hampshire 39%; Southwest -- 24%; Southeast -- 15%. Moose density is greater in the northern regions of the state.

More than 16,300 people entered the 2006 lottery for a chance to be offered one of the 675 permits issued to hunt moose this year in the Granite State.