Hunting Small Game, Furbearers and Other Species

2012-2013 Small Game harvest Report
2014-15 Small Game Season Dates and Bag Limits

(Hunting license required for all species)

SMALL GAME
Species
Season dates
Daily Bag Limit
Wildlife Management Units
Snowshoe hare*
Oct. 1 - March 31
3
A-G and J1
Oct. 1 - March 31
2
H1, H2, I1, I2, J2, K, L, M
Cottontail rabbit*
Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
2
H2, K, L, M ONLY (except in select closed areas - click here for more details);
Falconry Oct. 1 - March 15
CLOSED
N/A
A-H1, I1, I2, J1, J2, southern Merrimack River Valley, and an area in Dover adjoining Maine*
Gray squirrel
Sept. 1 - Dec. 31
5
Statewide
No hunting in parks or cemeteries
Ring-necked pheasant (additional $26 pheasant license required)
Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
2 per day; 10 per season
Statewide
Ruffed grouse, Northern bobwhite quail, Chukar, Hungarian partridge
Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
4
Statewide
Crow

Aug. 15 - Nov. 30;
March 16 - 31

no limit
Statewide
Woodcock
(HIP survey required; click for info)

Oct. 1 - Nov. 14

3

 

Statewide

 

*No person shall take hare or rabbits by the use of a snare.
FURBEARER      
Species
Season dates
Bag Limit
WMUs
Gray fox, Red fox, Opossum, Skunk, Weasel, Raccoon
Sept. 1 - Mar. 31
No
Statewide
Fisher
(Sealing by Conservation Officer required within 10 days of close of season)
Dec. 1 - Jan. 31
10 per season; no more than 5 from combined areas of WMUs C1, D2, E, F, G, H, I J, K, L & M  
Mink, Muskrat
Oct. 15 - April 10
 
A - F
Nov. 1 - April 10
G - M
Coyote
No closed season
No
Statewide
Coyote night hunting (Written landowner permission required)
Jan.1 - Mar. 31
No
Statewide
OTHER SPECIES
Species
Season dates
Bag Limit
WMUs
Bobcat
CLOSED
N/A
N/A

Take a Survey - Win a Gun

Small Game Hunters have two Fish and Game surveys to participate in and possibly win a gun! 

  • Small Game Survey - Small game hunters can help Fish and Game by providing data on their hunts - click here to find out how to take part. through the annual Small Game Survey. Those who participate are entered into a raffle for a rifle donated by Sturm Ruger Company.

  • Grouse Wing and Tail Survey: By participating in our annual wing and tail survey, ruffed grouse hunters are helping bolster our knowledge of the king of game birds - and are entered into a drawing for a gun donated by the Ruffed Grouse Society. Click here for more info
2014-2015 Small Game Season Outlook

By Karen Bordeau, Small Game Project Leader

The small game hunting season will be here before you know it!  Ruffed grouse, woodcock, snowshoe hare and squirrel are exciting to hunt and all make excellent table fare.  Squirrel hunting is an excellent way to introduce a young person to the world of hunting, and, who knows, it might become their small game WMU mapnewfound passion!

Grouse are the number one game bird in New Hampshire; the 2013-14 N.H. Small Game Survey showed that nearly 66% of the hunting hours dedicated to small game went to hunting grouse.  Spring started off fairly well this year, and grouse were drumming early on.  We had few days of rain during the brood and nesting period, so the grouse season for this fall is looking average to above average.

Woodcock numbers remain stable in the Northeastern U.S. These birds return early and start nesting sooner than most other birds, and that was to their advantage this year, since they might have beat the heavy rain event we encountered. Woodcock are the second most popular small game species for hunters and accounted for 21% of the hunting hours last year. Woodcock populations are generally in good shape, even though there continues to be a small annual long-term decline in breeding numbers. Woodcock hunting pressure has declined substantially in the last decade, so we feel confident that there is room for some additional opportunity. The population will continue to be monitored closely and future hunting seasons will be adjusted as needed.

Snowshoe hare hunting is growing in popularity in New Hampshire. The snowshoe hare season is long and offers a hunting opportunity into March. Fish and Game's Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness offers a winter class in snowshoe hare hunting, so keep an eye out for it.

Squirrel is another traditional small game quarry. The squirrel season opens September 1 and is an excellent way to introduce a youngster or newcomer to the wonderful world of hunting.

Cottontail rabbits: Cottontail rabbit range remains fragmented and highly limited in New Hampshire.  Certain areas are closed to the taking of cottontails to protect our remnant New England cottontail populations. Be sure to note the list below for the closed areas for the taking of cottontails. 

Have a safe and successful fall hunting season!

­­­­­­­­­--------------

The following areas are closed to the taking of cottontail rabbits (click here for map):

(1) The portion of WMUs K, M and L bound by Route 28 from the Massachusetts border in Salem, north to Route 4 in Epsom, Route 4 west to I-93 in Concord, I-93 south to I-89 in Concord, I-89 north to Route 13 in Dunbarton, Route 13 south to the Massachusetts border in Brookline.

(2) The portion of WMU L bound by Route 202/11 west from the Maine border in Rochester, to Route 16, Route 16 south to Route 125, Route 125 south to Route 101, Route 101 east to the Squamscott River, north along the Squamscott River, north along shoreline of Great and Little Bay estuary to the Piscataqua River, and northwest along the Maine border to Route 202/11 at the Maine border.

For information and season dates for snipe, Canada geese and other waterfowl, CLICK HERE.


About Us
 
NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

603-271-3421
top bottom background image