Moose Hunt Wrap-Up

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It's official: the 15th annual New Hampshire moose hunt reduced the number of Granite State moose by exactly 350. The statewide success rate was 72%, same as in 2001. For the moose-hunt trivia buff, here are some more numbers from the hunt, which took place October 19 - 27:

A total of 215 bulls and 135 cows were taken.

The largest bull moose of the hunt was 935 pounds, taken in Columbia by Gene Chandler of Bartlett. The largest cow, taken in Berlin by William Odom of Maryville, TN, weighed in at 725 pounds. The moose with the greatest antler spread -- 62 inches -- was taken in Groton by Hydrick Stone Sr. of Laurens, SC.

The oldest successful hunter was 86-year old Robert Dorr of Groveton, who took a 520-pound cow in Jefferson. Eleven-year old Ryan Valcourt of Goffstown was this year's youngest successful moose hunter; he took a 595-pound cow in Franconia.

Hunters came from 19 U.S. states and Quebec. Women took 14 of the moose; the remaining 336 moose hunters were men. In 250 of the successful hunts, the moose was taken by the permittee; subpermittees took 100 moose.

For the majority of hunters, hunting moose in New Hampshire is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and most hunters have some amazing, heartwarming, silly or grueling stories to tell. Among the successful hunters was Duke Lovetere, a Hampton chiropractor whose mother chose him as subpermittee. "I've been hunting since I was about 10, usually with my dad or my granddad or uncle," says Lovetere. "One of the nicest things about this hunt was being able to share the experience with my mother." Lovetere describes his mother as a former marathon-runner and "in phenomenal shape," more than able to handle the often-rugged tasks associated with scouting for and hunting moose. Lovetere says the day was beautiful, crisp and snowy, and that he, his mom and their guide Chuck saw fisher, deer, spruce grouse and more than 30 moose before deciding to take their 785-pound bull.

In a remarkable coincidence, Lovetere's friend and hunting buddy Joe Baroni was also chosen in the moose-hunt lottery; Baroni's moose could easily have been mistaken for Lovetere's moose's twin, say the men. "It was quite a sight," reports Lovetere, "The two big bulls together on a giant flatbed truck, driving down the streets of Pittsburg."

One hunter bagged his big bull with a bow and arrow at 44 yards. Another, carrying on the family tradition, hunted with his father and brother, and took his moose with his grandfather's firearm. In one case, a hunter's subpermittee moved to Colorado a week before the moose hunt; at the last minute, the permittee was connected with an experienced hunter/scout and the pair's hunt was successful.

Click here for a selection of photos from the 2002 moose hunt.