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10-18-2009, 11:44 AM
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State's annual moose hunt off to slow start
By LORNA COLQUHOUN
New Hampshire Union Leader Correspondent


PITTSBURG Miles from home, practically in the middle of nowhere, hunters of two wildly different species met up in the woods of Indian Stream yesterday morning.

Tom Stachulski of Salem was bird-hunting with a flock of friends, and Scott Seavey of Derry was flushing out a moose with his son, Scott, home from Nevada where he was serving in the U.S. Air Force.

The bird hunters heard a shot and went to investigate and, long story short, everyone in some way knew each other and lent the Seaveys a hand in getting the cow moose out of the woods, about eight miles up Indian Stream, and to the check station at the end of the road.

"We had a whole lot of friends," Scott Seavey said, "a whole crew of guys."

Yesterday was the first day of the nine-day moose hunt in New Hampshire, and while the day was cool and fine, hunters were slow in getting their prizes out to be registered, where spectators came and went throughout the day to see what was happening and, like Glen Huntress of Farmington, do a little wishful thinking.

He and his wife, Kelly, left home at about 7:30 a.m. to see what was going on at the top of the state. Huntress has tried every single year since the first hunt in 1988 for his moose permit, but unlike his brothers, never won one.

"It's coming," he said. "I can feel it."

By 10:30 a.m., just one bull and one cow had passed through the check station, where a team of biologists were waiting to weigh the moose, measure antlers, and take samples for further study that will them determine the health of the herd.

"The moose are pretty active when it's cold," said Fish and Game biologist Will Staats. "It was probably a little noisy this morning with the crunchy grass (from the night's hard frost), but this weather insures that animals don't get too warm" before the hunters have a chance to dress them.

Rick Kirshner of Deering took a 700-pound bull along the Deadwater Loop in Clarksville early yesterday.

"Got him at 7:10 a.m.," he said. "I spent 64 hours scouting. I was looking for a mature bull."

Kirchner, who drawn three permits over the years and helped out on a half dozen other hunts, is an avid hunter and will have a game supper later this fall with his friends, who seem to multiply when he has moose meat packing the freezer.

"We'll have deer, rabbit, elk, turtle," he said. "It's a lot of fun."

After filling out the paperwork, posing for pictures and telling a couple of stories from the morning's hunt, it was time to get back to his camp.

"It's all work from the time it hits the ground," he said.

A bit of a lull came around noon, to the disappointment of some veteran spectators, who could recall years when trucks and trailers were backed up to the road waiting to check in.


But for Ken and Sandy Brown of Woodsville, it was a good time for some tailgating, and they munched on ham sandwiches waiting the next moose to come in. The couple comes up every year to see the what luck the hunters are having.

"Over the years, I've tried and tried and tried to get a permit," Ken Brown lamented. "I gave it up. Now I'm too old to wrestle one out of the woods."

Indeed, those early hunters were lucky. Staats said Sunday tends to be a busier day for many who are lucky on opening day.

"They might get one tonight and spend all night getting out of the woods," he said.

The hunt runs through sundown next Sunday.