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NH Hunting Report - September 1, 2017

Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461


huntingNew Hampshire's hunting seasons are underway! Black bear and gray squirrel, and resident Canada geese seasons start September 1. Visit Fish and Game’s website at for hunting season forecasts by New Hampshire biologists, Wildlife Management Area maps, season dates, bag limits, and more.



What’s New? 


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 up a free copy from an agent.


Get your copy of the New Hampshire Wildlife Calendar, one of the top three wildlife calendars in the nation! Features: professional wildlife photography, hunting and fishing season dates, wildlife watching tips ... and more! On sale now for $9.95 at


The latest issue of NH Wildlife Journal Magazine features, "On the Hunt for Grouse," where a seasoned bird hunter finds that partnership with a dog adds a remarkable dimension to the hunting experience. Get your copy for $2.95 while supplies last, or save and subscribe at


Deer and Turkey


Archery season is almost here – New Hampshire’s long archery season for deer and turkey starts September 15 and lasts through December 15 (except archery deer and turkey seasons close December 8 in Wildlife Management Unit A).  Check out some of New Hampshire’s free public archery ranges at


The fall shotgun season for turkey runs October 16-22 in Wildlife Management Units D1, D2, G, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, J2, K, L, and M.


Looking ahead, the much-anticipated regular firearms deer hunting season opens on November 8. Check the Hunting Digest for Wildlife Management Unit specific either-sex deer hunting regulations.


Download a printable New Hampshire deer season Wildlife Management Unit map and season dates summary at


Don’t Use Urine-based Lures:  As the fall hunting seasons begin, Fish and Game urges hunters not to use natural urine-based deer lures. These products can potentially spread Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a neurological disorder that is always fatal to white-tailed deer and moose. Synthetic lures are strongly recommended. Do your part and help our deer herd. Learn more at

Bear Hunt Outlook

As bear hunters hit the New Hampshire woods starting September 1, odds are extremely good of finding ample bear activity and successfully harvesting a bear. With the current bear population estimated at 6,100 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, thereby allowing increased hunting opportunity. While bear densities remain highest in the three northernmost management regions, there are ample numbers of bears in the more southern regions, presenting exciting opportunities for good hunter success. Season lengths and dates vary by region and method.  Hunters must refer to the NH Hunting and Trapping Digest for specific season dates. Read Bear Biologist Andrew Timmins’ full outlook for the 2017 bear hunt at


Small Game and Upland Birds and Pheasant


Small Game Hunters: It’s a great time of year to be out in the colorful autumn woods hunting for small game. Squirrel season will get underway on September 1, and more seasons open in October.  This is a great chance to sharpen your skills and also a nice opportunity for introducing youngsters to hunting. Read Small Game Project Leader Karen Bordeau’s forecast for the 2017-18 small game season at

  • If you hunt for small game, be sure to fill in a small game survey form and be entered into a raffle for a quality firearm. See
  • For grouse hunters, there’s a separate survey, also with a firearm prize. New Hampshire has excellent opportunities for grouse and woodcock hunting, especially in the northern parts of the state

Pheasant hunters are reminded that due to safety concerns for Fish and Game staff, hunters and the integrity of the pheasant program, ALL pheasant stocking sites will be closed to pheasant hunting statewide until noon on in-season stocking days.  These closures will occur on Thursdays and Fridays, October 5-6, 12-13, and 19-20, 2017. See a list of pheasant stocking sites and learn more at


Waterfowl Hunting


Dates for the waterfowl hunting seasons can now be found in the NH Hunting Digest. Find a summary of information online at


The Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend will be held statewide in New Hampshire on September 23-24; participating youth must be age 15 or under and accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older (the adult may not hunt).


Events for Hunters


Outdoor Adventure Talks: Don't miss our series of free talks by hunting experts and others at the N.H. Fish and Game Department starting September 13. Topics include furbearer management, hunting dominant bucks, and fall turkey hunting.


Free Sporting Expo - Get set for the fall hunting and fishing seasons at a the New Hampshire Sporting Expo at Bass Pro Shops in Hooksett, NH, on Sunday, September 16, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.


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 New Hampshire, visit

For a listing of New Hampshire’s largest Wildlife Management Areas, visit; you’ll love the interactive map.


Please do your part in helping to maintain hunting access on private lands; see


Take a Friend, Make a Hunter!


Don’t forget the Apprentice Hunting License, an option for those ages 16 and older who want to try hunting, but have not taken Hunter Education. It allows hunting under the guidance of a licensed hunter age 18 or older. Apprentice licenses are available only at Fish and Game headquarters. 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