For the just the third time in his life, 92-year-old Glen Greene got his moose.
And his is one of a record number of successful hunts this year.
"We went out Tuesday morning and it was just barely daylight," said Greene. "We drove by a woods road and there was five or six."
His first shot missed.
"At my age, my eyes aren't very good," said Greene. "After that first shot — bingo — they spread."
But the "second rifle," a second hunter permitted to hunt under Greene's license, hit the mark.
Greene's now waiting to hear back from the butcher "at any moment" to let him know he can pick up his hard-earned moose meat.
"It dressed out at 540 or 550 pounds," said Greene.
And he's not the only lucky hunter after this year's five-day moose hunt.
According to preliminary numbers from the Department of Natural Resources and Energy, Greene's moose is one of 3,904 taken this year.
According to the department, it's the highest number of moose harvested since a managed moose hunting season was first created in 1960.
Prior to that, hunting moose in New Brunswick had been banned since 1936 due to a collapsing population caused by overhunting.
When the hunt reopened in 1960, only 400 licenses were issued, and only for bulls. The population at the time was estimated to be around 3,500 moose province–wide.
Herd 'relatively healthy'
Since then the population has slowly increased, peaking in 2015 to an estimated 31,800 animals. The last population estimate, published in the province's 2019 annual big game report, pegs the number of moose in New Brunswick at around 30,900.
CBC News requested interviews with a government biologist and the minister. Neither were made available.
According to an email from Dept. of Natural Resources spokesperson Nick Brown, there were 4,794 licenses available in the 2020 moose hunt draw. That means that of the hunters who received a license, just over 81 per cent were successful in harvesting one. This year 215 more animals were killed over last year's total.
"Weather conditions were better than average in 2020, and generally favourable to hunters for most of the moose season," wrote Brown. "Weather conditions... tended toward the calm, cool mornings preferred by hunters, and likely is largely responsible for the record moose harvest."
According to the provinces last published harvest report the moose herd is "relatively healthy," although it goes on to say there are a lot of unknowns because of the number of moose being killed by "unregulated harvest."
"The regulated licence allocation must be conservative to ensure sustainability of the moose population until a moose harvest and reporting system can be established that accommodates existing aboriginal and treaty rights."
As for Greene, he says he'll likely apply for another moose license next year, although his odds of success will be significantly reduced.
His previous hunt was in 2005, and before that in the early 1980's. But for now, he's busy contemplating what his first moose meat meal will be once it arrives.
"If it was a little bit colder, I could tell you for sure it'd be a stew," said Greene.