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NH Hunting Report - November 9, 2018

Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461



Deer Hunting



In New Hampshire, muzzleloader season continues through November 13, and the regular firearms season starts on November 14. Read more at


According to Deer Biologist Dan Bergeron, the 2018 total estimated harvest to date is 3,881, up 18% from last year at this same point in the season when the total was 3,276 deer taken. The 2018 total harvest to date is the fourth highest in the past nine years. Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Grafton Counties, respectively, continue to show the largest numbers of registrations. See a breakdown of results to date by county at


The Youth Deer Hunt weekend took place October 27-28, and the unofficial reported youth kill total was 378 deer. This preliminary total is up 40% from the official 2017 total of 270, but this figure may change as final registration information is entered and verified.


Hunters are reminded DO NOT USE urine-based lures. These products have the potential to spread Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a neurological disorder that is always fatal to white-tailed deer and moose. Synthetic lures are strongly recommended. If the bottle or package does not say “synthetic,” the product is almost certainly natural urine. Do your part and help our deer herd. Learn more at

Moose Hunt

New Hampshire’s 2018 moose season wrapped up with hunters taking a total of 41 moose – 35 bulls and 6 cows – according to preliminary numbers from Moose Biologist Kristine Rines. Hunters achieved a 77.4% success rate during the 9-day season.


Around the state, preliminary 2018 numbers show moose hunters achieving a 90% success rate in the Connecticut Lakes Region, 88% in the North Region, 67% in the White Mountain Region, 83% in the Central Region, and 40% in the Southeast Region. No permits were issued in the Southwest Region.

This year’s moose season was darkened by a disrespectful poaching incident in Coos County.


Operation Game Thief is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. For detailed information, and how you can help visit


Bear Harvest


Bear Project Leader Andrew Timmins reports that as of October 22, a total of 990 bears — 518 males and 472 females — have been brought in by New Hampshire hunters. Bait hunters harvested 591 bears, still hunters/stalkers took 324 bears, and hound hunters registered 75 bears. The total of 990 to date is a record bear harvest in New Hampshire, and exceeds the previous season record of 898 bears taken in 2016.


Some additional bear harvest may occur during the remainder of the general bear season, a result of the overlap (in select regions) with muzzleloader and firearms deer season (see the 2018-2019 New Hampshire Hunting Digest for specific closing dates by Wildlife Management Unit). Due to the lack of fall foods this year, it is likely that many bears will den early, but hunters will have opportunities to take a bear for several more weeks in select parts of the state.



Fall Turkey Season


Fall turkey season registrations to date show that 313 turkeys have been taken during the fall archery turkey season and 610 were taken during the fall shotgun turkey season, a total harvest to date of 923 birds. These preliminary numbers are significantly above the final harvest figures for 2017, when 174 birds were taken by archery and 276 by shotgun totaling 450 birds harvested. This year’s data represent increases of 80%, 121%, and 105% respectively. Strong turkey populations and a lack of fall foods have led to increased vulnerability and increased hunter success. The fall archery turkey season continues through the end of the deer archery season.


More for Hunters

The upcoming and redesigned January/February issue of NH Wildlife Journal magazine will feature an insightful and informational article on the essentials of coastal waterfowl hunting, sure to spark excitement in the New Year. You will also discover the hunting history and lasting legacy of Al’s Lodge, a camp and sporting destination in the Granite State’s North Country. Learn how to subscribe to the Journal at


Apprentice License: Don’t forget the apprentice hunting license, an option for those ages 16 and older who want to try hunting, but have not yet taken the required Hunter Education course. 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


Get Your WILD Deal: Order by December 8 and get the NH Fish and Game Department's 2019 Wildlife Calendar AND a one-year subscription to New Hampshire Wildlife Journal for just $17. The calendar includes 2019 hunting season dates. Visit to print a mail-order form, or call 603-271-3211.


Share the Bounty: Hunters are reminded of the New Hampshire Food Bank’s need for venison donations. Call the NH Food Bank at (603) 669-9725 or visit to find out how you can help those in need.


Report Poachers: If you are aware of poaching, call Operation Game Thief toll-free at 1-800-344-4262, or report wildlife crime online 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, which is supported by an excise tax on your purchases of firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment. Learn more at