Friday, November 20, 2015

New Hampshire Hunting Report

Jessie TichkoHunters have enjoyed perfect fall weather for the first week of the regular firearms deer hunt in New Hampshire. Congratulations to Jessie Tichko of Canterbury, who took a 180-pound, 8-point buck on opening day. Good luck to everyone heading afield!

Deer check stations:
Hunting in New Hampshire:
New Hampshire hunting licenses and permits:
NH Hunting and Trapping Digest:

Deer Hunt Numbers:
The regular firearms deer hunting season started November 11 and an estimated 7,374 deer have been taken by hunters (by rifle, muzzleloader and archery) through November 15, 2015. This represents a decrease of 9% from the 8,119 registered at this point in the 2014 season. The statewide estimated deer kill to date represents the sixth highest in the last nine years. See a chart with preliminary numbers by county at

Hillsborough, Grafton, and Rockingham counties, respectively, are showing the highest registrations to date. Although total harvest numbers are down from last year at the same point, preliminary observations from biological check stations indicate that deer throughout the state are in very good physical condition this year.

"Reports suggest that acorns and beech nuts, which were relatively abundant at the start of the season, now appear to be absent in many areas of the state. Hunters can likely increase their chances of success if they can locate areas that still contain concentrated natural food sources. The next couple of weeks, including the Thanksgiving holiday should still provide hunters with a great opportunity, as the rut should remain strong during this period," said Bergeron.

Either-sex regular firearm hunting opportunities have ended in most Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), and the remainder of the regular firearm season in these units will be legally antlered bucks only. Units L and M are the exceptions, with either-sex regular firearm hunting continuing through Friday, November 20. Licensed firearm hunters with valid Special Unit-L and/or Unit-M Antlerless Only Permits may use these permits through the end of the regular firearm season on December 6, while bow hunters may use them until the end of the archery season on December 15. Unit M and L permits are sold out. The regular firearm season will run through December 6, with the exception of WMU-A, where it will end on November 29. Archery season continues till December 15 with the exception of WMU-A, where it will end on December 8.

Find more information about deer hunting in New Hampshire at

Want to hunt, but didn't get in your Hunter Education requirement? Check out the Apprentice License at

Bear Season Numbers:
As of November 13, New Hampshire hunters have taken a total of 656 bears (390 males, 266 females). Bait hunters harvested 379 bears, still hunters/stalkers have taken 191 bears and hound hunters have registered 86. The current overall harvest sex ratio remains at 1.5 males per female.

On a regional basis, 139 bears have been taken in the North, 179 in the White Mountains, 219 in the Central region, 78 in Southwest-1, 38 in Southwest-2 and 3 in the Southeast region.

Currently, this year's harvest is tracking nearly identical (within 2 %) to the five-year in-season average of 641 bears for the season to date, according to Fish and Game Bear Biologist Andy Timmins. The current harvest is 13% below the 2014 tally (which was an above average harvest year) at this point in the season.

The bait and hound hunting seasons have ended statewide. Additionally, the entire bear hunting season has ended in the North, Southwest-1, Southwest-2 and Southeast regions. The still hunting season will end in the Central and White Mountains regions on November 24.

Learn more about bear hunting in New Hampshire at

Small Game Hunters: Please take time to help monitor small game populations and participate in our small game and grouse wing and tail surveys; we've got a quality firearm to raffle off to a lucky participant in each (see

The NH Fish and Game Department owns 89 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) across the state, encompassing nearly 52,000 acres. The primary purpose of these lands is to protect and improve habitat for wildlife, but these lands are also open for public recreation including hunting. Check out our interactive WMA map at

Hunt for the Hungry: Have too much game meat? Find out how you can donate excess at

Report a Poacher: If you are aware of a poaching situation, call Operation Game Thief toll-free at 1-800-344-4262 or report wildlife crime online at

Know someone who would like to get the N.H. Hunting Report? Have them sign up at

Kent Gustafson or Ellen MacNeil: (603) 271-2461