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NH Hunting Report - November 23, 2020

Important Resources for Hunters:

 

Deer Hunting

New Hampshire's deer season is in full swing! Just as muzzleloader season ended on November 10, the regular firearms season began on November 11. Read more about deer hunting in the Granite State at www.huntnh.com/hunting/deer.html.

 

According to Wildlife Programs Supervisor Dan Bergeron, the total estimated 2020 deer harvest to date is 9,475, an increase of 4% from last year at this same point in the season when the number of deer taken was 9,217. The 2020 total harvest so far is the 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 www.huntnh.com/hunting/deer-harvest.html.

 

The Youth Deer Hunt weekend was October 24-25, and the unofficial reported youth harvest was 247 deer. This preliminary total represents a decrease of 14% from the 2019 total of 286 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.

 

Moose Hunt

New Hampshire's 2020 moose season wrapped up with hunters taking a total of 39 moose – 29 bulls and 10 cows – according to preliminary numbers from Moose Biologist Henry Jones. Hunters achieved a 75% success rate during the 9-day season.

 

Around the state, preliminary 2020 numbers show moose hunters achieving a 100% success rate in the Connecticut Lakes Region, 82% in the North Region, 60% in the White Mountain Region, 67% in the Central Region, 60% in the Southeast Region, and 33% in the Southwest Region.

 

Bear Harvest

The 2020 bear harvest continues at a record-setting pace, exceeding the previous greatest tally set in 2018 when hunters took 1,053 bears.  Bear Project Leader Andrew Timmins reported that as of November 17, there were 1,141 bears, including 584 males and 557 females, have been harvested by New Hampshire hunters. Bait hunters took 754 bears, still hunters/stalkers have taken 279 bears, and hound hunters have registered 108 bears. This year's harvest is currently trending 38% above the 5-year average of 827 bears at this same point in the season.  Bear harvest data this fall, such as harvest sex ratios, method-specific harvest tallies, and weekly distribution of harvest, continue to indicate that bears are more vulnerable to harvest this fall when compared with other more average years, which often reflects decreased food abundance. This was most notable in the North but is also evident in other regions. The high bear harvest in the southern regions, despite the abundance of acorns, has been equally notable. To date, bear hunting license sales are 15% greater than last year's sales with 12,298 individual licenses sold this fall versus 10,696 in 2019. While the bear season has ended in most regions, the still hunting portion of the season remains open in the White Mountain and Central regions through November 30.

 

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

 

Fall Turkey Season

The fall turkey season is well underway and has been a successful one for hunters with a total of 421 turkeys registered to date.  Registrations show that 134 turkeys were harvested during the fall archery turkey season, and 287 were taken during the fall shotgun turkey season that took place October 12-18 in certain Wildlife Management Units. These preliminary numbers are an increase of about 20% when compared with 2019 when a total of 352 birds were taken during the entire fall season. This fall, Wildlife Management Unit J2 is showing the highest success for both archery and shotgun seasons; Unit J2 is located south of Lake Winnipesaukee and includes the towns of Sanbornton and Gilford and runs south to Strafford and as far east as Milton, which is on the Maine border. There is still time for hunters to get out and harvest a turkey this fall. The archery season runs through December 8 in Wildlife Management Unit A and through December 15 in all other Wildlife Management Units.

 

More for Hunters

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.

 

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.