N.H. HUNTING REPORT – November 8, 2011

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New Hampshire's regular firearm season begins on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, with various numbers of either-sex days in each Wildlife Management Unit (WMU).  Be sure to check the 2011-2012 NH Hunting & Trapping Digest for WMU-specific regulations. The Hunting Digest is available through license agents or on the Fish & Game web site at www.huntnh.com/pubs/hunting.html.

Click here to buy your N.H. hunting license online -- right now!

Special Unit M Antlerless Deer Permits are sold out.

The start of deer season has gone well, with a statewide estimated deer kill -- as of November 6, 2011-- of 4,334 deer, somewhat above 2010 numbers at this point in the season. These reported totals include estimated registrations through the second weekend of the muzzleloader season, which wraps up today (November 8, 2011).

2011 Youth Deer Hunt Weekend hunters succeeded in harvesting 387 deer during their special weekend in October, up slightly from the 2010 total of 376.

Preliminary reports show that New Hampshire’s moose hunters harvested 289 moose during the 9-day season, in spite of being challenged by rain, wind, and warm temperatures.  With a total of 408 permits issued, that represents a statewide success rate of 71%, down a bit from last year, when weather conditions were perfect every day and the state realized a 76% success rate. The breakdown for the harvest was about 68% bulls and 32% cows, which is typical of moose hunting in New Hampshire.

Bear Hunt News
As of October 27, 2011, hunters reported harvesting 319 bears (204 males, 115 females) in New Hampshire. Bait hunters had harvested 189 bears, still hunters/stalkers 87, and hound hunters 43 bears.  The current overall harvest sex ratio is 1.8 males per female.

Currently, this year’s bear harvest is running 35% below the 5-year in-season average of 492 bears for this time period. The current harvest level is half of that reached in 2010 at this point in the season.  Regionally, 52 bears had been taken in the North, 92 in the White Mountains, 108 in the Central, 35 in Southwest-1, 30 in the Southwest-2 and 2 in the Southeast region. 

The bait hunting portion of the bear season has ended in all regions, and the hound hunting season ends today (November 8, 2011).  Bear hunting has concluded in the Southwest-2 and Southeast regions. The still hunting/stalking season will end in the North, Central and Southwest-1 regions today (November 8, 2011). The still hunting/stalking season in the White Mountains runs through November 22, 2011.

Given the number of hunters in the woods pursuing deer during the muzzleloader and regular firearms deer seasons, a slight increase in the statewide bear harvest is expected prior to the end of the season. Although the overall bear harvest decreases during abundant food years, the late season take (during deer season) often is higher during good food years as compared to poor food years, because bears delay den entry when fall foods are abundant and therefore are more susceptible to late-season harvest.  During poor food years, bears often den prior to the muzzleloader or firearms deer seasons.

Share the Harvest
Successful hunters who are willing to help the less fortunate can donate venison to the N.H. Food Bank through the “Hunt for the Hungry” program. For more information on how to donate, call the food bank at 603-669-9725 or visit www.nhfoodbank.org. If you’re donating a whole deer, you can bring it to Lemay & Sons Beef in Goffstown, N.H. (603-622-0022), and they will process it for the food bank at no charge.

CWD Alert
Hunters going out of state should be aware that regulations prohibit the importation into N.H. of hunter-killed deer, elk and moose carcasses or parts of carcasses from the 21 states and provinces where Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been found. Only de-boned meat, antlers, antlers attached to skull caps with all soft tissue removed, upper canine teeth with all soft tissue removed, hides or capes with no part of the head attached and finished taxidermy mounts may be imported from these 21 states and provinces.  Annual monitoring efforts since 2002 have not detected CWD in any New England state. Prevention of CWD in New Hampshire remains a top priority.  Learn more and review the list of CWD-positive jurisdictions at www.wildnh.com/Wildlife/CWD_QandA.htm.

Wear Blaze Orange
With the opening of the regular firearm season and the increasing number of hunters afield, hunters are reminded that wearing blaze orange reduces hunting related incidents.

Report Wildlife Law Violators!
Are you aware of a poaching situation? Call Operation Game Thief! You can report violations to Fish and Game's Operation Game Thief online anytime at www.wildnh.com/OGT, or call the 24-hour hotline at 1-800-344-4262. Confidentiality is guaranteed. Rewards are paid for tips that lead to arrest or citation.

The New Hampshire Hunting Report is published by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, monthly during the fall season and occasionally throughout the year. Click here to get this free report by email.

For more information on hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.huntnh.com.

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Researching, managing and restoring wildlife are funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. Your purchases of hunting equipment, sporting firearms and ammunition make a difference to New Hampshire's wildlife resources and this state's way of life. Click here to learn more.

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