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Moose with record rack bagged in Dixville

The rack on this nine-and-a-half year old bull moose set a new state record at 68.5 inches with 25 points and one dropped tine. A father-son team Jack Middleton of Manchester and Peter Middleton of Portsmouth, shot the quarry in Dixville. Their hunt was led by Berlin native, and Freedom resident Dustin Parent of New Hampshire Guide Services based in Laconia. Claire Lynch. (click for larger version)
October 27, 2010
Two former Berlin men, now guides in the Great North Woods, are boasting the best hunting expedition of their careers as hunters brought in three massive moose within hours of each other to the moose check in station at the Berlin Fish Hatchery in West Milan on Wednesday, October 20.

One, which was shot by prominent Manchester attorney Jack Middleton in Dixville, now boasts the largest rack in state's history at 68.5 inches wide. Middleton, who claims Freedom as his hometown, hired Dustin Parent of New Hampshire Guide Services of Laconia, and took his son, Peter Middleton of Portsmouth as his second. He has been applying for a permit for the last 20 years, he said. "They did all the work," he said of his guides, which also included Travis Williams of Center Harbor. "I just shot him."

Claiming a new state record, the large bull had 25 points with one dropped tine on the large rack. Removing a tooth to determine the bull's approximate age, biologist Ed Robinson of New Hampshire Fish and Game said the moose was at the top of his prime at nine-and-a-half. The Moose Hunt, which began on Saturday, October 16, will wrap up on Sunday, October 24 explained Kristine Rines, Moose Project Leader. Comparing the Middleton moose with the previous record set in 1996, she said both moose were the same age and were identical in weight at 775 pounds apiece. "The racks don't get any bigger once they reach 10 years of age," she explained. "This guy was at the very peak of his prime and getting to look like an old moose." The moose also had some velvet still dangling from the tips of the antlers on one side. The previous record had 22 tines in comparison, she said. The Middleton moose came from Zone A2 in Dixville, versus Zone A1 for the previous record.

Only minutes before Middleton's arrival, Dustin Parent's brother and fellow guide, Jason Parent, helped a New Jersey couple bring in two exceptionally large moose, both shot in the Berlin area.

Ludwig and Jennifer Bohler of Far Hills, New Jersey obtained their permits through the New Hampshire Moose Hunt Permit Auction of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire. The couple, which hunts together worldwide taking home deer, elk and the big game of safaris, spent nearly $6,000 apiece for the permit bids, they said.

The executive director of New Hampshire Fish and Game issues up to five permits for the auction with the proceeds benefiting education and conservation programs of New Hampshire Fish and Game. Ludwig Bohler's moose, which weighed 828 pounds, had a rack width of 58.5 inches and was five-and-a-half years of age. His wife, Jennifer's bull, in comparison, weighed "800 on the nose," said Conservation Officer Glen Lucas. Her moose had a rack width of 56 inches and was four-and-one-half years old, he said.

The Parent brothers, who claim Berlin as their hometown, have both been hunting since a young age. They have been business partners as guides for the past nine and have come close to breaking records more than once in previous years. "The closest we got was 65 inches in 2007 and 62 inches last year," Jason explained. "This day is best of any day I've ever seen and I've been doing this a long time." Working from their home base in Laconia, they also include their father, David Parent, who owns and operates Mt. Dustan Country Store and Cabins in Wentworth Location. It is here that they process the meat, cutting and packaging it for their customers. As far as why the two chose to go into the business of guiding hunters, Dustin chimed in and said, "We wanted to go on more moose hunts."

Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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