Okay, some people may frown and say, “Hunting in New Hampshire? Really?!”
Well, yes, you heard right. This small but mighty state: the absolute treasure trove for every hunting enthusiast.
Despite its compact size, New Hampshire generously opens up vast stretches of public land, inviting hunters to roam, explore, and chase their quarry in the heart of nature.
Ready to discover the wonders when hunting in New Hampshire? Click on folks because an exciting outdoor escapade awaits you!
Table of Contents
New Hampshire Hunting Seasons
Curious about the best times to pursue your favorite game in New Hampshire?
Managed by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHF&G), the hunting seasons here span different times of the year, each offering a unique hunting experience.
|Deer Hunting||Archery: Mid-September to mid-December|
Muzzleloader: Late October to early November
Firearms: Early November to late December
Youth: Weekends of late October
|Black Bear Hunting||Early September to early November|
|Moose Hunting||Mid- to late October|
|Wild Turkey Hunting||Fall-Archery: Mid-September to mid-December|
Spring Season: Throughout May
|Upland Game Bird Hunting||Crow-Fall: Mid-August to Late November|
Crow-Spring: Mid to late March
Pheasant: Early October to late December
Woodcock: Early October to mid-November
|Small Game Hunting||Hare and Rabbit: Early October to late March|
Squirrel: Early September to late January
Popular Hunts in New Hampshire
Wanna explore what’s in the hunting safari of this small state? Well, you will not be disappointed.
From the majestic moose to the elusive whitetail deer, and even the cunning black bear and wild turkey, the Granite State is a hunter’s paradise just waiting for you to take aim!
Whitetail Deer Hunting
New Hampshire is basically a deer playground. These majestic species are everywhere, and they’re a thrill to hunt.
Their popularity comes from their abundance. With an estimated population of around 100,000 deer, New Hampshire offers plenty of opportunities for hunters. So even if you’re just starting, there’s a good chance you’ll have some action.
Now, going to the rules of the game. Deer hunters must follow the bag limit to ensure a thriving population of deer in the coming years: one (1) either-sex deer yearly. License to hunt deer is also available for everyone and can be bought online or over the counter.
Black Bear Hunting
Black bear hunting in New Hampshire is an experience of a lifetime. The thrill of tracking these majestic creatures through the dense woods? Unbeatable!
New Hampshire is home to a healthy and growing bear population. The rugged terrain, thick forests, and bountiful food make it a bear paradise.
Hunting bears with hounds or through bait is allowed in the state, but they have specific rules and dates. You can use bait from late August to mid-September, but you’ll need a special permit. As for hounding, the season usually runs from late September to late October.
If you’re interested in hunting black bears in New Hampshire, note that the bag limit is only one per season. And a separate black bear hunting license is required on top of the valid state hunting license.
Moose are the largest game animal in New Hampshire. They’re majestic, they’re huge, and they’re not as easy to find as you might think, which is part of the allure.
But here’s the thing – getting the opportunity to hunt moose in New Hampshire isn’t as simple as buying a tag. Because the moose population is smaller, the state manages it with a lottery system. This means you apply, cross your fingers, and hope you’re one of the lucky ones drawn.
If you’re lucky enough to win the lottery, you get to bag one moose. It can be either sex, but you’ve got to make sure you’re in the right Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) for the sex of the moose you’re after.
Best Hunting Areas in New Hampshire
If you’re looking for the best hunting spots to chase and enjoy your hunt in New Hampshire, then, you’re in luck.
The state boasts diverse landscapes, from the rugged White Mountains to the rolling hills and valleys. There’s no shortage of fantastic hunting grounds here; each has a unique appeal.
The Great North Woods
New to hunting in Hampshire? Well, there’s no better place to start than the Great North Woods.
This northernmost region of New Hampshire is the epitome of remote wilderness and offers an authentic hunting experience that is pure and raw. Its vast, lush forests and rugged terrain make it the perfect home for bears, moose, and deer.
Why is it a top hunting area? Well, firstly, the sheer abundance of game species here is mind-boggling. Plus, the sense of being in the true wilderness, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, adds an extra layer of excitement to your hunting trips. But remember, with this wild beauty comes responsibility.
Hunting here is governed by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department rules, so you’ll need to check the specific WMU regulations, but it’s a real outdoor experience that’s hard to beat.
The White Mountains
Home to some of the most rugged terrain in the state, the White Mountains offer a challenging yet rewarding hunting experience. Deer, bear, and turkey are all present here, but remember that this is tough terrain – come prepared!
What makes it best, you may ask? Well, it combines the rich diversity of huntable animals and the thrilling challenge of hunting in mountainous terrain.
This isn’t hunting for the faint-hearted, but for those willing to embrace the challenge, the rewards are immense.
Like the Great North Woods, the rules and regulations of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department apply here, so make sure to check the WMU for the specifics of your hunting location.
The Lakes Region
This area is known for its beautiful lakes and hills, but don’t let the serene beauty fool you – it’s a hot spot for hunting.
Besides the beautiful scenery, the area offers a different hunting challenge, balancing woodland, water, and open areas. Plus, the region’s natural beauty comes into its own during the hunting seasons, adding another dimension to your outdoor adventure.
As always, check the specific regulations for the WMU you’re hunting in to stay on the right side of the rules.
New Hampshire Hunting Regulations
New Hampshire takes its wildlife conservation seriously, and that’s why they’ve got rules in place to ensure that hunting is done responsibly. These regulations help to maintain healthy animal populations and keep the tradition of hunting alive and well.
It’s like a playbook for hunting in the state; you must be familiar with it before heading out.
Hunting License and Tags
First things first, you’ll need a valid license to have a legal hunt in New Hampshire. This applies to resident and nonresident hunters, and the license type is based on what you’re hunting.
There are general hunting licenses, deer permits, bear permits, turkey permits, and moose permits (those are lottery-based, remember?).
Tag and Permit Types
In New Hampshire, they’re pretty serious about ensuring everyone who takes to the woods understands the ins and outs of safe, legal, and ethical hunting. It’s all about keeping us and the wildlife safe.
So, if you were born on or after January 1, 1969, you’ll have to complete a Hunter Education course before you can buy a hunting license in New Hampshire.
In the course, you’ll learn all sorts of useful stuff, like firearms safety, bowhunting, the ethics of hunting, and even survival skills. You’ll also get clued up on wildlife identification and New Hampshire’s hunting laws and regulations – a must-know if you’re going to be out there pursuing your quarry.
Hunter Orange Requirement
During the firearms deer season in New Hampshire, all hunters and anyone accompanying them must wear a piece of clothing with solid or camouflage blaze orange to increase or maximize visibility.
Now, the regulations state that the hunter-orange clothing item you wear needs to be at least 50% orange in color. Camo-style hunter orange is okay, as long as it’s made up of at least 50% orange.
But, honestly, a solid color is generally more visible.
And that’s the scoop on hunting in New Hampshire, a place that is small yet teeming with adventures and opportunities for hunters. From the thrill of the chase to that perfect moment of triumph, the Granite State is your ticket to the ultimate hunting escapade.
Does this make you more hungry for more? Well, you got our hunt-by-state guide to widen your horizon about US hunting.