Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461
Mark Ellingwood: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
November 7, 2007
Opening Day for Firearms Deer Season Is Nov. 14; Early Results for Youth Weekend
CONCORD, N.H. -- Opening Day for New Hampshire's firearms deer season takes place November 14, 2007. Many of the state's estimated 60,000 deer hunters will go afield during this season, which runs through December 9, except in WMU A in northern New Hampshire, where it closes on December 2.
"For many New Englanders, the firearms deer season represents a traditional opportunity to get together with family and friends, enjoy our bountiful resources and put natural, healthy meat in the freezer before the onset of our long winter," said Kent Gustafson, the Deer Project Leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
Early indications suggest that an abundant, healthy deer population is providing excellent opportunities for hunters, according to Gustafson. As of November 4, 2007, archery and muzzleloader hunters had taken an estimated 4,518 deer, a 28% increase from 2006 at this point in the season. "That total is the highest we've seen since we started keeping in-season records in 1986," said Gustafson. "The high deer harvest so far certainly bodes well for hunter opportunities for the rest of the fall."
The 2007 Youth Deer Hunt weekend took place on 27-28 October. Though young hunters did not set a new record this year, they came close to matching last year's record numbers for their special weekend. The unofficial reported New Hampshire Youth Hunt harvest total for 2007 was 605 deer. "While the final youth kill total and distribution will not be available until the registration slips have been entered and verified, the final total will be in excess of 600 for the second year in a row, in spite of a rainy start to the weekend," said Gustafson. During the 2006 youth weekend, young hunters took a total of 668 deer, which was a big jump from the previous year's (2005) total of 326 deer.
Deer hunters should note Wildlife Management Unit- and season-specific either-sex day regulations, available in the 2007-2008 New Hampshire Hunting Digest, (to download, click here and on orange publication cover), or obtained from Fish and Game license agents around the state. Of particular note this year, in WMU A only, a new antler point restriction is in place and both the regular firearm and archery seasons for deer end a week early.
Hunting licenses can be purchased online anytime (if you've bought a N.H. hunting license since 2000) at www.nhfishandgame.com (click here for online sales). Licenses also are sold at Fish and Game headquarters and 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 at least 18 years of age.
All deer taken by hunters, including deer taken by youth, must be registered at one of many official deer registration stations in the state.
Successful hunters can help the less fortunate by sharing their harvest with the "Hunt for the Hungry" program at the New Hampshire Food Bank. For more information on donating game meat, call (603) 669-9725 or click to visit www.nhfoodbank.org.
In 2006, hunters in New Hampshire registered a total of 11,766 deer during the firearms, archery, youth and muzzleloader seasons. Last year's harvest represented approximately 14% of the pre-hunt deer population. New Hampshire's deer population is estimated to be about 85,000 animals, with greater numbers in the southern half of the state. Management of the deer population by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is guided by a 10-year Big Game Management Plan.