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Biennial Hunting Season Setting

Data from New Hampshire’s hunting seasons are reviewed annually to monitor the status of game species, but unless otherwise necessary, changes are recommended every two years to make sure that season dates and bag limits are in line with population goals reflected in the state’s ten-year Game Management Plan PDF Document.


Proposed revisions to the hunting seasons are based on a review of field data and other scientific information. This biennial season setting occurs in even-numbered years.





The typical timeline for the regularly scheduled season-setting process is outlined below. Note that changes are sometimes necessary as the process unfolds:


NH Fish and Game Commission Approval: Approval of the initial rule proposals occurs at the February meeting of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission. Following the meeting, a synopsis of the rule proposals is published on this page.


NH Register Publication: The rule notice is published in the NH Register by mid-March. When available, the complete rulemaking notice is also published on the Fish and Game website. A summary press release is issued.


Opportunity for Public Comment: Public hearings on the season-setting proposals typically occur in late March/early April of the season-setting year. Three hearings are held around the state. For 2018, hearings have been scheduled for the following dates and locations; the hearings begin at 6:30 p.m.:


  • March 30, 2018 -- Fish and Game Region 1 Office in Lancaster
  • April 2, 2018 -- Keene High School, LGIA Room
  • April 3, 2018 --  N.H. Fish and Game Department, Concord


There is also an opportunity for written public comment.


Final Steps


After considering public comment, the Wildlife Division presents the final rule proposals to the NH Fish and Game Commission for its consideration and approval at the April commission meeting.


The rules then go before the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR) at the State Legislature for approval.


Publication of the New Hunting Season Dates


The NH Fish and Game website hunting pages are updated with any changes upon final approval of the rules. Visit


The new hunting seasons are also published in the N.H. Hunting and Trapping Digest which is published in mid-August.


NOTE: Rulemaking proceedings are managed by the Office of Legislative Services, Administrative Rules Division. Proposed rules and hearing dates are preliminary and subject to modification upon filing with the Office of Legislative Services. The final text of the initial proposal and the final date of public hearings will be noticed to the public by publication in the Rulemaking Register, and will be posted on this site as said information becomes available.



wsfrFunding Wildlife Management


Wildlife management activities in New Hampshire are funded by your license dollars and federal funds from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.