As of Wednesday, October 20, 2010, a total of 244 moose had been taken in the 2010 New Hampshire moose hunt (172 bulls and 72 cows). That means that 61% of hunters holding moose permits had succeeded by the mid-way point in the state's moose hunt. Last year at this point in the season, 50% of moose hunters had gotten their moose. The nine-day season runs through Sunday, October 24, 2010.
Among the successful hunters was Jack Middleton of Freedom, N.H., whose bull moose taken in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) A-2 set a new state record. The bull's rack boasted a spread of 68.5 inches, topping the old state record of 68 inches set in 1996.
Quite a few hunters have reported seeing rutting activity this year, which is unusual for this point in the season, according to moose biologist Kristine Rines of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. "It's pretty exciting for hunters to see bull moose sparring," Rines said. "Normally, the hunt falls at the tail end of the rut or shortly after it."
Aside from rain and wind on opening day, the weather has been ideal for moose hunting. "Temperature-wise, it's been perfect," said Rines, explaining that cool or cold days keep moose on the move. The animals have already grown their heavy winter coats, so to cope with warm days, they tend to bed down in the shade or move uphill in search of cooler elevations, making them harder to find.
The heaviest bull registered so far this season was taken in WMU E-2 by Leslie Fox of Peterborough, N.H. His bull weighed 970 pounds dressed (its approximate live weight would have been an impressive 1,462 pounds). The biggest cow taken so far weighed in at 730 pounds (approximate live weight: 1,065 pounds), shot by Wendy Sheridan of Milford, N.H.
Enthusiastic first-time hunter Karen Lavallee of Weare, N.H., took a nice yearling cow in WMU C-2. She was dressed for the successful occasion, with fingernails painted hunter orange and bearing the inscription "Moose 2010."
This year, more than 14,000 people entered the 2010 moose hunt lottery, held last spring, for a chance to win one of the 395 permits drawn for the New Hampshire moose hunt.
For more about moose hunting in New Hampshire, including a list of moose hunt check stations, visit www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm .
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit www.huntnh.com .