New Hampshire moose hunt success rate dips

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire wrapped up its moose hunting season with a success rate lower than last year, partly due to unseasonable warm weather at the start of the hunt, officials said.

State Fish and Game Department biologist Kristine Rines says preliminary estimates show that 54 hunters took 37 moose during the nine-day season that ended Sunday, Oct. 29. The success rate was about 68 percent, compared to 72 percent last year.

Rines said higher temperatures during the opening weekend, Oct. 21-22, made it challenging for hunters.

“Moose can’t tolerate the heat, so they bed down and don’t move around much,” she said.

Hunters achieved a 19 percent success rate during those first two days, compared to 25 percent the year before.

This year, the state issued its lowest number of permits since it started its modern-day moose hunt in 1988. That’s partly because of the impact of parasites, both winter tick and brainworm, on the moose population, although the Fish and Game Department says moose are not currently a threatened or endangered species in the state.

Rines said this year biologists also collected blood samples from the moose to test for West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. Those results aren’t yet available.

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