The New Hampshire moose hunt application period is open, and the application and information booklet can be found at www.wildlife.state.nh.us/hunting/moose.html. Your application must be postmarked or submitted online by midnight (ET) on May 26, 2023. Anyone who obtained a moose permit in 2020, 2021, or 2022 is not eligible to apply for a permit or accrue a bonus point in 2023. The moose drawing will be held at 9 a.m. on June 16, 2023. Only successful applicants will be notified. Results of the drawing will be posted at www.huntnh.com on the lottery day.
Moose applications must be submitted by paper or online. Paper applications can be found at www.wildlife.state.nh.us/hunting/documents/moose-lottery-app.pdf, but we encourage you to apply online where you will be given instant confirmation that your application has been received, thus reducing the likelihood that your application will not be received or that it may be rejected due to errors. You can apply online at www.nhfishandgame.com.
New Hampshire requires you to pay the non-refundable application fee. You do not need to pay for a hunting license or a moose permit unless you are successful in the drawing.
New Hampshire does not allow hunters to apply as a party.
The percentage of permits issued to non-residents shall not exceed the percentage of hunting licenses sold to non-residents the previous year (approximately 15%-17%). Permittees are selected through a computer-generated random number drawing. Each applicant selected in the drawing is assigned their first choice, except when the permit quota for that unit has already been filled. In cases where the quota in the applicant’s first choice unit has been filled, the applicant will be assigned to the next unfilled unit of their choice as indicated on the application. If all listed choices have previously been filled, the applicant will be unsuccessful in the drawing. Applicants not selected in the drawing will not be notified. New Hampshire has a three-year waiting period after accepting a moose permit. Bonus points cannot be accrued during the three-year waiting period after accepting a moose permit.
New Hampshire requires you to pay the non-refundable application fee of $25 at the time of application. You may pay online using Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. For paper applications, you must send a check payable to N.H. Fish and Game Dept., Moose Application. If you are drawn for a permit, a payment of $500 must be received at the New Hampshire Fish and Game headquarters no later than July 29, 2023 or postmarked no later than midnight on July 15, 2023. Failure to submit payment by the deadline will result in disqualification of the applicant and the permit will be offered to an alternate candidate. If you choose to decline your permit, you will not lose any accrued bonus points and you will be able to apply again the next year with no waiting period.
Successful completion of a hunter education course is required for New Hampshire hunters ages 16 and older who have not previously held a hunting license. Youth hunters must be at least 16 years old at the time of the application deadline to apply for moose. Each hunter who is successful in drawing a moose tag may select a subpermittee of any age to join them on the moose hunt. The subpermittee is a person who can hunt with the permittee, and either the permittee or the subpermittee can kill the moose. Only one moose can be killed per permit, so the permittee and subpermittee must be physically in the presence of each other so that they don’t both kill a moose. A moose permit winner is allowed to change their subpermittee until eight days prior to the start of the moose season. No permittee shall sell or barter the subpermittee portion of their permit.
While there is no legal requirement, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department recommends that any person hunting with a firearm or bow should wear a hat, a vest, or another article of clothing that is hunter orange. It should be visible from a minimum of 200 feet from all sides.
Applicants must be 16 years of age by the application deadline.
Starting in 2004, New Hampshire instituted a bonus point system. Unsuccessful applicants accrue one point for each consecutive year they apply for the lottery. Each point translates to a chance in the drawing: the first year you apply, you have one chance in the lottery; in the second year, you have two chances; etc. Applicants lose all accrued points if they do not apply for the lottery for one year or if they accept a moose permit. Applicants are required to provide either their driver’s license number or state ID as their bonus points are tracked by that number. If your driver’s license or state ID card numbers have changed since you last applied, you are required to contact New Hampshire or your points will be lost. You may apply for points only for $25 online or with a paper application.
For each year you are unsuccessful or purchase a point only, you build bonus points. The number of bonus points you have equates to the number of chances you have in the lottery. Max points for 2023 is 20. Non-resident draw odds in 2022 were 1 in 410, and resident draw odds were 1 in 96.
New Hampshire does not have any special youth moose tags.
New Hampshire recommends that moose be taken by any centerfire rifle larger than .22 caliber, a bow that has at least 50 pounds draw weight, or a .45 caliber or larger muzzleloading rifle. Hunters who purchase a regular hunting license may hunt with a bow or rifle. If you plan on only using archery equipment to hunt, you only need to purchase the archery hunting license. When bowhunting moose, all arrows must have the hunter’s name and address printed on them. Fixed blade broadheads must be larger than 7/8 of an inch but no larger than 1/12 of an inch. Mechanical broadheads must be larger than 7/8 of an inch when expanded. There is no upper size limit on a mechanical broadhead.
The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire will auction off moose hunting permits to applicants who submit the highest bids through a sealed written bid process. In 2021, there was only one permit issued and it brought in over $30,000. The Wildlife Foundation can receive up to five permits, but due to the low moose population in New Hampshire, they only received one permit the last five years.
The 2023 moose permit auction package will not be available until early June. Bid forms and instructions will be available on the Foundation’s website at https://nhwildlifeheritage.org/. Typically, bids must be received by early August and will be opened towards the middle of August. Bid information may also be requested by contacting the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 603-496-2778.
New Hampshire does not offer landowner tags.
If you are successful in drawing a moose permit but do not want to go, you may refuse the permit. If you choose to refuse a permit, you will not lose any accrued bonus points and you will be able to apply the next year.
The permittee shall tag the moose immediately upon harvest and shall remain with the moose during transportation to the check station. If the moose was shot by the subpermittee, then both the permittee and subpermittee shall go to the check station. A list of check stations can be found on New Hampshire’s website.
To view New Hampshire’s moose hunting maps, go to www.wildlife.state.nh.us/maps/index.html.
Aside from the White Mountain National Forest, most of the land in the moose hunting zones is private. New Hampshire is an open hunt state, and private lands may be accessed by foot if nothing is posted. Timber companies have traditionally allowed hunting on their large tracts of land. New Hampshire also offers Wildlife Management Areas. For more information on access, go to www.wildlife.state.nh.us/maps/wma.html. ATVs are prohibited on the White Mountain National Forest lands.
The 2021 moose hunt had a total of 43 moose permits issued. Of those 43 permits, 40 were issued in the state lottery, including one coming from a deferred permit from 2020, one was an auction tag, and one was a Dream Hunt program participant. A total of 30 moose were harvested, 24 bulls and 6 cows. The overall success of the nine-day season in 2021 was 73%. For 2022, it looks like New Hampshire will cut the state lottery tags down to 40. One permit should still be allocated to the New Hampshire Dream Hunt program, and the other will be issued to the New Hampshire Wildlife Heritage Foundation. The 2022 moose hunt dates are October 15-23.
There is a combination of problems for moose that range from habitat loss to winter ticks and brain worm disease. New Hampshire Fish and Game is being very conservative with the moose permits. They cut all permits in units G, H1, H2 North, H2 South, I1, I2, J1, J2, and K. They are also proposing to keep the same permit numbers as the 2021 hunt season.
The further north you are, the better the moose densities. With that being said, the northern units, such as A1, A2, B, C1, and C2, allocate the most permits. Harvest success and trophy potential have remained solid in the Connecticut Lakes region (A1 and A2) and the North region (B, C2, and D2). The Connecticut Lakes region had an average harvest success of 100% in 2021, with A1 at 100% and A2 at 100%. The North region had an average harvest success of 87% in 2021, with B at 100%, C2 at 100%, and D1 at 50%.
When applying for a moose permit in New Hampshire, you can list every available moose unit in order of preference. If you want to assure you have a good hunt if you draw a New Hampshire tag, we recommend you apply in the top units, which are A2, B, A1, and C2. These units are mostly owned by private paper companies that are constantly logging, thus creating great habitat, and they allow access. If you can get around well and can handle a physically demanding hunt, then C1 and A1 are good units to list on your application. If you want a physically easier hunt, then only apply for A2, B, and C2. These areas all have 0.62-1.62 moose per square mile densities, which is better than many areas in Canada. Other notable units are D1 and D2. These units will produce a good bull, but you are going to have to spend more days afield to find the bull you want.
In the White Mountain region (C1, D2, E1, E2, E3, and F), there are large tracts of land that are closed to all vehicle traffic and you are required to get written landowner permission to hunt on the land. In units C1, E1, E2, and E3, they stopped logging and there is very little huntable habitat left. The brush has gotten very high, and with the hunts being post-rut, it can be almost impossible to find moose in the area. We recommend hunters don’t apply in these areas at this time unless they are in shape and are looking for a difficult hunt. As far as uninhabited wilderness goes, you will find the most in A1 and A2 of the Connecticut Lakes region; B and C2 of the North region; and C1, D2, E1, E2, E3, and F of the White Mountain region. With a random lottery and only a $25 application fee, it is worth having your name in the hat to hunt Canadian moose in the lower 48. If you need any help planning your hunt or getting applied, give us a call. If you draw a tag and want to hire an outfitter, call us as we work with the best outfitters in New Hampshire.