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NH Hunting Report - October 15, 2019

2019 New Hampshire Hunting Seasons Are Underway


New Hampshire's fall hunting seasons are underway throughout the state. Black bear, gray squirrel, and resident Canada geese seasons kicked off on September 1, leading the way into upland bird, turkey, and deer seasons. Visit for hunting season forecasts by New Hampshire biologists, Wildlife Management Area maps, season dates, bag limits, and more.


At-a-glance overview of ongoing season dates in New Hampshire, including Youth Deer Weekend:

      • Archery: September 15-December 15 (ends December 8 in WMU A)
      • Youth Weekend: October 26-27
      • Muzzleloader: November 2-12
      • Firearms: November 13-December 8 (ends December 1 in WMU A)
    • BLACK BEAR: Starts September 1 (end dates vary by WMU)
    • GRAY SQUIRREL: September 1-January 31
    • SNOWSHOE HARE: October 1-March 31 (bag limit varies by WMU)
    • RUFFED GROUSE: October 1-December 31
    • MOOSE: October 19-27 (by permit only)
      • Shotgun turkey: October 14-20 (certain WMUs)
      • Archery turkey: September 15-December 15 (ends December 8 in WMU A)

Informational links of interest to hunters:



NH's Wild Eats Cookbook


Bear Hunt Update: Bear Project Leader Andrew Timmins reports that as of October 9, a total of 578 bears — 334 males and 244 females — have been brought in by New Hampshire hunters. Bait hunters harvested 430 bears, still hunters/stalkers took 124 bears, and hound hunters registered 24 bears. This year’s harvest to date is running 13% below the 5-year in-season average (669 bears) and 40% below the 2018 tally (962 bears) at this point in the season. Comparison to the 2018 bear season is somewhat misrepresentative given the record harvest that occurred in that year.  This year’s harvest is tracking similarly to that of a typical year when natural foods are abundant.


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 2019-2020 New Hampshire Hunting Digest for specific closing dates by Wildlife Management Unit).


Muzzleloader season will begin on Saturday, November 2. Check the 2019 NH Hunting and Trapping Digest for muzzleloader Wildlife Management Unit-specific regulations.


The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department 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 suggested. Do your part and help keep our deer herd free of CWD. Learn more at


orange cap

It’s the color of the season: all outdoor enthusiasts, hunters and hikers, should incorporate hunter orange into their woodland wardrobes—its common sense in the Granite State. Visit to purchase an official New Hampshire Fish and Game Department-branded hunter orange hat and be seen in the woods.


Waterfowl Hunting: Check out our waterfowl identification resources and more at


The New Hampshire moose hunt runs from October 19 through October 27, by permit only. 5,875 applications were submitted for the 49 available 2019 permits. 41 New Hampshire residents were selected, with the remaining 8 permit winners hailing from Wisconsin, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Maine. Good luck to those hunting!


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 have been given a quality firearm to raffle off to a lucky participant in each survey. Learn more at


The NH Fish and Game Department owns 94 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) across the state, encompassing nearly 60,000 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


Report a Poacher: 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