Seventy-five hunters and their helpers stalked New Hampshire moose Tuesday for the first time in 87 years as anti-hunting activists quietly protested at wilderness weigh stations.
“I think in about six months time I’ll be wearing this fur in a coat,” said William Chapin of Contoocook, posing in the bed of his pickup truck with the 652-pound bull moose he bagged about a half-hour after the season opened.
“It’s unspeakable,” said Elinor Ware of Northfield, president of the New Hampshire Animal Rights League, as she viewed the moose.
For the first time since 1901, New Hampshire was open to a three-day moose hunt for 75 hunters selected in a lottery that attracted more than 6,000 applicants. Near the end of the first day of the hunt, officials said 12 kills--eight bull moose and four cows--were reported at four weigh stations.
The 1987 Legislature approved the hunt at the urging of hunting enthusiasts. Moose hunting was banned in the state at the turn of the century because the animals were almost extinct.
Fish and Game Department biologists, who studied the state’s moose population for the hunt, estimated the herd at 4,000.