Big Game Hunting photo

An attorney in New Hampshire nailed a monster moose with a 68.5-inch wide rack after 20 years of unsucessful permit applications.

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_A Manchester attorney and part-time Freedom resident now claims the record for bagging the moose with the biggest rack after checking in a bull with a breadth measuring 68.5 inches. Attorney Jack Middleton, a senior partner with McLane, Graf, Raulerson and Middleton of Manchester, has been a lawyer for 50 years and has spent 24 years as a New Hampshire District Court judge. In the woods of Dixville, he took with him his son, Peter Middleton of Portsmouth, as his second, and hunting guide Dustin Parent of New Hampshire Guide Services.
_Prior to this year, Middleton had applied for a moose permit for 20 years without success, he said, but now he is encouraged to reapply in the years ahead. “How bout that.. . . Holy smokes,” he said, when New Hampshire Fish and Game biologist Ed Robinson confirmed the record. The moose hunt, which began Oct. 16, will wrap up Sunday, said Kristine Rines, Moose Project leader.

The rack was measured at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Moose Check-In Station at the Berlin Fish Hatchery. Removing a tooth to determine the bull’s approximate age, Robinson said the moose was at the top of his prime at 9 1/2.

Comparing the Middleton moose with the one that set the previous record in 1996, she said both moose were the same age and were identical in weight at 775 pounds.

“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.”_