CONTACT:
Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
November 4, 2005


Regular Firearms Season for Deer Starts November 9

CONCORD, N.H. -- November 9 is opening day for regular firearms deer hunting in New Hampshire, ushering in the season most hunters look forward to all year. Many of the state's estimated 63,000 deer hunters will go afield during the 26-day season, which continues through December 4, 2005.

"For many New Englanders, this season represents a traditional opportunity to get together with family and friends, enjoy our bountiful resources and put natural, healthy food in the freezer before the onset of our long winter," said Kent Gustafson, Deer Project Leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. "It should be a good season, since deer numbers continue to recover from the harsh winters a few years back."

Acorns and apples are more abundant than during the past two years, Gustafson says, noting that deer use of these fall foods will make the animals' activity and movements somewhat less predictable.

In 2004, hunters in New Hampshire registered a total of 10,133 deer during the firearms, archery, youth and muzzleloader seasons. Early reports from the 2005 muzzleloader deer season now in progress indicate that, as of October 30, the 2005 statewide total estimated deer take is 2,783, very similar to the 2004 results at this point in the season. The muzzleloader season runs through November 8. New Hampshire's Youth Deer Hunt weekend took place on October 22-23. The unofficial reported harvest total for the 2005 youth weekend was 263 deer, similar to recent years (294 in 2004, and 289 in 2003).

Hunters should check the 2005-06 New Hampshire Hunting Digest for Wildlife Management Unit and season-specific either-sex day regulations and additional details. To download the digest, click here and on the orange publication cover, or pick up a copy from license agents or Fish and Game offices.

If you haven't purchased your license yet, you can buy it online (if you've purchased a N.H. hunting license since 2000) by clicking here to visit Fish and Game's online license sales site at http://www.nhfishandgame.com. Licenses also may be purchased at Fish and Game headquarters or from license agents across the state. The basic New Hampshire hunting license costs $22 for residents and $103 for nonresidents. Hunters under age 16 don't need a license, but must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult who is at least 18 years old. All deer taken, including youth deer, must be registered.

All hunter-killed deer are registered at one of many official deer registration stations in the state. About 10 percent of those deer will be examined by wildlife biologists, providing Fish and Game with important information on the health of the state's deer herd. New Hampshire's deer population is estimated at about 85,000 animals, with greater numbers in the southern half of the state.

This is also an excellent time for hunters to help those less fortunate by sharing their harvest with the "Hunt for the Hungry" program run by the New Hampshire Food Bank. For more information on donating game meat, contact the food bank at (603) 669-9725.

For more information on deer hunting in New Hampshire, click here.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.

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