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February 25. 2014 5:27PM

State to restrict moose hunting permits to 124

Hunters may face tougher odds to win the state’s moose lottery.

New Hampshire Fish and Game is proposing 124 permits be distributed via the lottery, down from 275 issued in 2013. The moose hunting season is Oct. 18 to Oct. 26.

The decline in the number of permits was expected. It comes as state Fish and Game experts and researchers at the University of New Hampshire are studying moose mortality, reproduction and habit threats. The $695,000 study will monitor as many as 100 moose cows and calves in northern New Hampshire.

The 2013 moose lottery saw 13,000 people enter. The 275 permits issued went to hunters from 18 states, but 85 percent went to New Hampshire residents, according to Fish and Game.

The 2013 odds were 1 in 35 for residents and 1 in 121 for nonresidents.

It costs $15 for residents and $25 for nonresidents to enter the moose lottery.

Applications are available at Fish and Game license retailers, Fish and Game Department in Concord, and online: HuntNH.com/hunting/hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm.

The application deadline is May 30. Winners are selected June 20.

The number of permits issued will be finalized after hearings and rule-making meetings in March and April, but the number should be close to 124 given mortality data of the current moose population.

There are approximately 4,000 moose now in New Hampshire. The population is down significantly from a decade ago, but Fish and Game experts say the herd is not on the verge of disappearing in the state.

dtuohy@unionleader.com


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