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NH Hunting Report - November 22, 2016


Deer hunters love snow and, in at least parts of the state, the weather cooperated earlier this week. The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday will also provide good opportunities for hunters, with the rut still in progress and deer continuing to take advantage of abundant acorns in more southern parts of the state. Following you’ll find information on hunting in New Hampshire and updates on various hunting seasons. 


Deer Hunt Update:

Through November 13, New Hampshire hunters had taken an estimated 7,359 deer this fall. The statewide total was running nearly identical to the tally at that point in the 2015 season (7,374).  Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Grafton counties were showing the highest registrations to date. Rockingham County was running about 9% higher than last year.


The coming weeks, including the Thanksgiving holiday, should provide hunters with a great opportunity, as the rut should remain strong during this period.


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. 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 4, while bowhunters may use them until the end of the archery season on December 15. The regular firearm season will run through December 4, with the exception of WMU-A, where it ends on November 27.


Bear Season Numbers:

As of October 30, a total of 787 bears (422 males, 365 females) had been reported to Fish and Game, according to Fish and Game bear biologist Andy Timmins.  At that point in the season, this year’s harvest was 30% above the 5-year in-season average of 604 bears for this time period.  The harvest was running 25% above the 2015 level.  In terms of harvest numbers, the current season is tracking very similar to that of 2012, when the total bear killed equaled 812.  


As of the reporting date, bait hunters had harvested 483 bears, still hunters/stalkers had taken 215 bears, and hound hunters had registered 89 bears. The overall harvest sex ratio was 1.2 males per female.  The bait harvest this fall represents a new record.


On a regional basis, 156 bears had been taken in the North, 249 in the White Mountains, 232 in the Central Region, 80 in Southwest-1, 69 in Southwest-2, and 1 in the Southeast Region.  The harvest achieved this fall in the Southwest-2 region represents a new record level for that region.  By the end of the season, new harvest records will likely be set in both the White Mountains and Central regions, as well.


The last open bear hunting seasons close on November 22. 

Fall Turkey Seasons:

As of November 21, a total of 1,018 fall turkeys have been reported. This included 496 males and 522 females. Archery hunters have taken 243 birds, while the 7-day fall shotgun season resulted in a take of 775 birds, 30% of which (235) were taken on the added weekend. Wildlife Management Units with the highest reported take were J2 (180), K (117), H1 (93) and H2 (92).  The fall archery season for turkey continues through December 8 in WMU-A and December 15 in the remainder of the state. 

Report Banded Waterfowl:

Fish and Game biologists banded a total of 834 ducks in New Hampshire during the pre-hunting season effort this year – the second highest total banded in the 28 years of the program. This included: 649 mallards, 154 wood ducks, 24 black ducks and 7 black duck/mallard hybrids. 

“Please take the time to report your bands,” urges Waterfowl Biologist Jessica Carloni.  “A substantial amount of effort went into putting these markers on, and band reports provide important management data.”

Late season waterfowl hunting opportunities remain available in New Hampshire. Learn more at

Trapping Seasons Underway:

Trapping seasons in New Hampshire typically run from October through March statewide, with the bulk of trapping activity on land occurring during the months of November and December. Trapping is a highly regulated activity in which a small number of people participate – about 550 licenses were sold in 2015.  New Hampshire’s skilled trappers provide the state with important ecological and societal benefits, such as managing abundant furbearer populations, at no cost. This long-standing part of New Hampshire’s cultural heritage remains relevant and necessary today, preventing flooding damage by beavers, minimizing disease risks and providing critical tools for wildlife management.

Extended Dispatch Hours:

Colonel Kevin Jordan and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department are pleased to announce that as of December 5, the Department will have dispatch services seven days a week throughout the year. Dispatch will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. year round. During regular hunting seasons (from September through the first week of December) Dispatch is always open seven days a week, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Fish and Game Law Enforcement Dispatch can be contacted at (603) 271-3361.  The Operation Game Thief hotline number is (800) 344-4262. 

Fish and Game Has Great Gifts for Outdoor Enthusiasts!


If you’re looking for gifts for the hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers in your life, the N.H. Fish and Game Department gift shop at has what’s on their wish lists. You’ll make a hit, plus every purchase supports Fish and Game's work conserving and managing the state's natural resources. 


WILD Deal:

Order by December 5 and get the NH Fish and Game Department's 2017 Wildlife Calendar AND a one-year subscription to New Hampshire Wildlife Journal for just $17.  The calendar includes 2017 hunting season dates.  Visit


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

Hunt for the Hungry: Share game meat with the needy by donating to the NH Food Bank.  Learn more at




WSFRFederal 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