The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has proposed to reduce statewide moose hunt permit issuance from 71 in 2016 to 51 in 2017. The initial proposal was approved by the Fish and Game Commission at its February meeting. This begins the state’s rulemaking process, which includes developing a rule-making notice, scheduling public hearings and the opportunity to submit written comments. Hearing dates will be announced as soon as they become available.
Meanwhile, those applying for the 2017 New Hampshire moose hunt lottery should be aware that the estimated moose density in the South West Region, comprised of Moose Management Units H2-North, H2-South and K has declined to the “cut-off threshold,” established in the Moose Management Plan, at which permit issuance will be suspended. As a result, the proposal suspends permit issuance in those three units (no permits would be issued) during the 2017 lottery.
The initial proposal also reduces permit numbers in the North Region (units B, C2 and D1) from 25 to 15, and in the White Mountain Region (units C1, D2, E1, E2, E3 and F) from 20 to 15, with some permits continuing to be issued in all moose management units in these regions.
Lottery applicants should consider these possible changes when they apply. As noted in the moose lottery application information, applicants should rank all units to maximize their chances of being offered a permit. If successful in the lottery and offered a permit for a unit they prefer not to hunt, the permit can be declined without loss of accumulated points.
To enter the New Hampshire moose hunt lottery, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose.html. Entering the lottery costs $15 for New Hampshire residents and $25 for nonresidents. Moose hunt lottery applications for 2017 must be postmarked or submitted online by midnight Eastern Time on May 26, or delivered to Fish and Game headquarters in Concord before 4:00 p.m. that day.
Winners will be selected in a random drawing on June 16, 2017.
Lottery permits offered in the New Hampshire moose hunt have declined in recent years, in part because of the impact of parasites, both winter tick and brainworm, on the population. This situation is being closely monitored and a multi-year study is underway.
Visit www.wildnh.com/wildlife/moose to learn more about how New Hampshire’s moose are being managed as a changing climate and increasing parasite burdens influence the ability of the environment to maintain moose.