Pete Lester: (603) 271-321l
Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2462
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-32ll
August 29, 2003

Fall Hunting Seasons Underway

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department reminds outdoor enthusiasts that various hunting seasons start in September and run throughout the fall. The hunting season for bear begins statewide September 1, as does the fall crow season, and the goose season opens statewide September 2. Archery seasons for deer and turkey -- as well as sea duck hunting -- open September 15.

"Hunting and other outdoor activities have co-existed safely in the Granite State for many years," said Pete Lester, Hunter Education Administrator for Fish and Game. "We can all share the woods together and keep that great tradition going."

Fish and Game has worked to keep hunting a safe activity by providing mandatory hunter education courses for first-time hunters, as well as other educational programs. As a result, the state has an excellent safety record.

"As New Hampshire becomes more developed and less rural it's important to remind everyone to use common sense and wear an article of orange clothing, such as a vest or hat, and get out and enjoy the fall!" Lester said. "Hunters should remember that they share the woods and waters with others, and people who hike, bike, canoe and take part in other outdoor activities should be familiar with the various fall hunting seasons."

By far the most popular hunting season in the Granite State is the regular firearm season for white-tailed deer, which runs November 12 through December 7. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2001 about 67,000 hunters -- 86 percent of those who hunted in New Hampshire -- hunted for deer. In contrast, 22,000 hunters sought small game; 12,000 went after bear; 12,000 hunted wild turkey; and 6,000 hunted geese, ducks and other migratory birds.

New Hampshire's 2003 fall hunting seasons include the following:

  • White-tailed deer*:
    --Archery -- Sept. 15 - Dec. 15
    --Youth deer weekend -- Oct. 25 - 26
    --Muzzeloader -- Nov. 1 - Nov. 11
    --Firearms -- Nov. 12 - Dec. 7
  • Black bear*: Starts Sept. 1
  • September goose: Sept. 2 - 25
  • Youth waterfowl weekend: Sept. 27 - 28
  • Wild turkey*: Archery only, Sept.15 - Dec. 15
  • Sea ducks: Sept. 15 - Dec. 30
  • Pheasant: Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
  • Snowshoe hare*: Oct. 1 - Mar. 31
  • Ruffed grouse: Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
  • Pheasant: Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
  • Various waterfowl*: Oct. 7 - Jan. 12
  • Moose: By permit only, Oct. 18 - 26

*Season dates vary according to WMU and hunting method; for details, click here to download the 2003-2004 New Hampshire Hunting Digest; (click on the orange icon, top right), and at license agents and Fish and Game offices throughout the state.

Click here to purchase New Hampshire hunting licenses online, or visit license agents statewide at outlets such as bait shops, gun shops, outfitters and WalMarts.


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

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