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NH Hunting Report - August 28, 2015

bearNew Hampshire's hunting seasons get rolling September 1 with the opening of bear and gray squirrel seasons, followed by the early season for resident Canada geese September 1-25 (statewide). Check out Fish and Game’s new mobile-friendly website at to read hunting forecasts by New Hampshire biologists, find links to Wildlife Management Areas, see the new Hunting Digest and more.


Buy your New Hampshire hunting licenses and permits online, anytime, at or visit one of our friendly NH license agents.


2015-2016 NH Hunting and Trapping Digest: Hot off the press, this publication has season dates, bag limits, check stations and in-depth information for hunters and trappers. Read it online at or pick it up when you buy your license.  


Bear Hunt Outlook:  The 2015 bear hunting season, which begins September 1, is expected to be a good one for New Hampshire bear hunters. With a current bear population estimated at 5,500 animals, bears are abundant, and at or above the desired population goal, in most areas of the state. This means that hunting seasons are fairly liberal in many regions, according to bear biologist Andrew Timmins. Hunters should be aware of recent Department rule changes that directly relate to bear hunting. First, a new rule now in effect bans the use of solid chocolate or candy containing chocolate when baiting bear in New Hampshire. A second rule change states that the use of crossbows to take bear is allowed in New Hampshire, with a valid bear license in addition to hunting or combination hunting and fishing license; the crossbow must have at least 125 lbs. draw weight. Read Andy Timmins’ full outlook for the 2015 bear hunt at


Small Game Hunters: Small game hunting gets underway with the start of the squirrel season on September 1.  This is a great chance to get out into the colorful fall woods and sharpen your skills; also a nice opportunity for introducing youngsters to hunting. Read Small Game Project Leader Karen Bordeau’s forecast for the 2015 small game season at If you do take part, be sure to fill in a small game survey form and be entered into a raffle for a quality firearm. For grouse hunters, there’s a separate survey, also with a firearm prize.


Archery seasons for turkey and white-tailed deer open September 15. Bowhunters have plenty of opportunity in New Hampshire, with a three-month fall season.


Waterfowl Hunting:  Dates have been set for the 2015-2016 waterfowl hunting seasons (see The youth waterfowl hunting weekend will be held statewide in New Hampshire on Saturday/Sunday, September 26-27; participating youth must be age 15 or under and accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older (the adult may not hunt).


Last Call for Hunter Ed:  Time is running out for folks who need a hunter education course.  Sign up right away at


Apprentice Hunting Licenses will again be available during the 2015 season. These licenses provide persons 16 and over who have not yet completed a hunter education course the opportunity to hunt under the guidance of a licensed hunter age 18 or older. This program gives people who may not have grown up with family or friends that hunted, or simply think they would enjoy the experience of being outdoors and learning the skills of hunting, the chance to give it a try. In 2014, a total of 1,353 individuals (944 men and 409 women) took advantage of the apprentice license program, hunting everything from deer to migratory waterfowl. Apprentice licenses are available only at Fish and Game headquarters. Learn more at


Opening Day for New Hampshire’s regular firearms deer season is November 11, 2015.  Both the archery and regular firearms seasons for deer will continue to end one week early in WMU A.  Download a printable N.H. deer season Wildlife Management Unit map and season dates summary at


Limited-edition 2015 moose hunt shirts available: Moose hunters and moose hunt fans should order their shirts soon at


Only a few Special Antlerless Deer Permits for Unit M are left. See


Share the Harvest – If you have extra meat this fall, share it with the less fortunate through the Hunt for the Hungry program. See


Free Sporting Expo September 19 at Bass Pro Shops in Hooksett - Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day at a big sporting expo hosted by Bass Pro Shops in Hooksett. Many familiar hunting and fishing vendors will be exhibiting, and Fish and Game will be there with information, license sales, and more. The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, Fish and Game’s nonprofit partner, will hold a giant raffle at the event. The Foundation will also draw the lucky winner of the special LHR muzzleloader commemorating Fish and Game’s 150th anniversary – a one-of-a-kind gun; raffle tickets for the muzzleloader are available at Bass Pro Shops or email


Outdoor Adventure Talks:  Don't miss our series of free talks by hunting experts and others at the N.H. Fish and Game Department this fall.  The line-up will be announced at 


Where Can I Hunt?  New Hampshire has more than a million acres of state and federal lands that are open to hunting - not to mention all the private landowners who generously allow hunters access to their properties.  For ideas on where you can hunt in NH, visit For a listing of New Hampshire’s largest Wildlife Management Areas, visit; you’ll love the interactive statewide map. Please do your part in helping to maintain hunting access on private lands; see


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





Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration: A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program
Researching and managing wildlife and teaching people to become safe, responsible hunters are activities funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, supported by an excise tax on your purchases of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. Learn more at