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NH Hunting Report - November 14, 2019

Deer Hunting

 

New Hampshire's deer season is in full swing! Just as muzzleloader season ended on November 12, and the regular firearms season began on November 13. Read more about deer hunting in the Granite State at www.huntnh.com/hunting/deer/deer.html.

 

According to Wildlife Programs Supervisor Dan Bergeron, the 2019 total estimated deer harvest to date is 5,851, an increase of 5% from last year at this same point in the season when the number of deer taken was 3,881. The 2019 total harvest so far is the third greatest 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 www.huntnh.com/hunting/deer-harvest.html.

 

The Youth Deer Hunt weekend was October 26-27, and the unofficial reported youth harvest was 213 deer. This preliminary total represents a decrease of 46% from the 2018 total of 393 deer, however this figure may change as final registration information is entered and verified. Youth weekend success rates were likely affected by the extremely rainy and windy weather that dampened the Sunday of the weekend-long hunt.

 

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 preferable. Do your part and help keep our deer herd free of CWD. Learn more at www.huntnh.com/wildlife/cwd.

 

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

 

Not sure how to prepare your harvest? The upcoming November/December issue of the New Hampshire Wildlife Journal magazine features a story centered on the versatile meatball. With the perfect blend of family history and a variety of spices, New Hampshire's Wild Eats cookbook author Becky Johnson explores forest-to-table protein sources and innovative variations on the classic meatball. Also in this issue, Jeff Traynor writes about how trapping fits into a modern world.

 

Subscribe to the Journal at www.huntnh.com/pubs/wj-magazine.html. Order New Hampshire's Wild Eats: Cooking Your Catch at www.huntnh.com/wildeats.

 

Moose Hunt

 

New Hampshire's 2019 moose season wrapped up with hunters taking a total of 38 moose – 31 bulls and 7 cows – according to preliminary numbers from Moose Biologist Henry Jones. Hunters achieved a 76% success rate during the 9-day season.

 

Around the state, preliminary 2019 numbers show moose hunters achieving a 100% success rate in the Connecticut Lakes Region, 87% in the North Region, 70% in the White Mountain Region, 50% in the Central Region, 40% in the Southeast Region, and 67% in the Southwest Region.

 

Bear Season Harvest

 

Bear Project Leader Andrew Timmins reports that as of October 30, 688 bears, including 389 males and 299 females, have been taken by New Hampshire hunters. Bait hunters have harvested 468 bears, still hunters/stalkers have taken 145 bears, and hound hunters have registered 75 bears. This year's harvest is currently running 7% below the 5-year in-season average of 745 bears at this point in the season. This is reflective of a year when natural food and mast crops are abundant. The current season is tracking similarly to those of 2014 and 2015 when the total bear harvests were 786 and 754, respectively.

 

Due to the abundance of red oak acorns, apples, and mountains ash berries, it is expected that bears will remain active into late fall this year. As a result, opportunistic deer hunters may harvest some bears during the muzzleloader and firearms deer seasons in November. Bear season was extended in the White Mountains and Central Regions in 2018 to reduce population density, creating additional late-season harvest opportunity.

 

For a comparison of this year's harvest to the statewide bear harvest over the past six years, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/bear-harvest.html.

 

Fall Turkey Season

 

Fall turkey season registrations to date show that 93 turkeys have been harvested during the fall archery turkey season and 176 were taken during the fall shotgun turkey season, a total harvest 269 birds. These preliminary numbers are significantly below the 2018 figures at this point, when 313 birds were taken by archery and 610 by shotgun totaling 923 birds harvested. This year's decline in the fall turkey harvest is a result of the spring 2019 season, when for the first time hunters were able to take a second spring gobbler. Hunters can now take two male birds in the spring, with one of the spring birds required to be taken in Wildlife Management Units H1, H2, J2, K, L, or M, or one male turkey in the spring and one turkey of either sex in the fall. The fall archery turkey season continues through the end of the deer archery season. To learn more about turkey hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/turkey.

 

Important Resources for Hunters:

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More for Hunters

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NH's Wild Eats Cookbook

 

NH Wildlife Journal

 

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 www.huntnh.com/hunting/apprentice.html.

 

Game Meat Processing: For a list of butchers in New Hampshire who process moose and other game meat, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/butchers.html.

 

Get Your WILD Deal: Order by December 6 and get the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's 2020 NH Wildlife Calendar AND a one-year subscription to New Hampshire Wildlife Journal. The calendar includes 2020 hunting and fishing season dates. Visit www.wildnh.com/shop/wild-deals.html to order, or call 603-271-3422.

 

Share the Bounty: Hunters are reminded of the New Hampshire Food Bank's request for venison donations. Call the New Hampshire Food Bank at (603) 669-9725 or visit www.nhfoodbank.org 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 www.huntnh.com/ogt.

 

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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 huntnh.com/funding/wsfr.html.