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Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
December 22, 2008

2008 New Hampshire Deer Harvest Still Strong

Click to skip to comparison chart by county.

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire's preliminary estimated 2008 hunter harvest of 10,945 deer represents an excellent year for the state's deer hunters and is reflective of a healthy deer population.  This year's total was about 19% below the final deer kill for the 2007 season, which was the second highest in New Hampshire's history, only exceeded in 1967 when 14,204 deer were taken.  The deer hunting season closed in the state on December 15, the final day of archery deer season.

"The expected decrease in the 2008 harvest is the result of several factors," said Kent Gustafson, Deer Project Leader at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.  "The long, severe winter of 2007-08 reduced deer numbers in much of the state, and in response to that winter, either-sex hunting days were reduced in many Wildlife Management Units to reduce the doe kill and allow populations to recover more rapidly."  The late season harvest was also somewhat impacted by the recent ice storm, as some hunters were unable to take advantage of the last weekend of archery season.

New Hampshire has an estimated population of about 85,000 deer with the 2008 kill representing about 13% of that total. While the number of deer registered in most counties in 2008 is down from the actual kill in 2007, the large decline in registrations in Merrimack County was also influenced by the closure of two registration stations and resulting registration of deer in adjacent counties.

The unofficial deer kill for New Hampshire's 2008 season by county, with comparisons to the previous 8 years, is listed below.  Please note that the numbers for 2008 are estimates based on the number of deer reported as being registered in each county (not necessarily killed in that county) and do not represent complete, verified data.

Deer Kill by County 1999 -2007 and Estimated Deer Registrations at Close of 2008 Season 

COUNTY 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008*
Belknap 507 536  433 566 411 554 555 681 771

549

Carroll 681 645 509 608 492 570 498 575 752 391
Cheshire 908 899 821 984 802 927 1,040 1,133 1,284 1,216
Coos 1,376 1,392 890 1,111 1,068 1,008 1,221 1,127 1,215 984
Grafton 1,661 1,633 1,126 1,440 1,332 1,357 1,431 1,819 2,201 1,811
Hillsborough 1,143 1,214 1,147 1,439 1,144 1,241 1,310 1,447 1,767 2,123
Merrimack 1,255 1,180 1,038 1,237 1,055 1,147 1,162 1,362 1,616 769
Rockingham 1,775 2,020 2,000 2,212 1,914 1,933 1,928 1,922 2169 1,743
Strafford 753 723 685 811 677 753 725 884 867 640
Sullivan 644 617 494 681 597 643 725 816 917 719
TOTAL 10,703 10,859 9,143 11,089 9,492 10,133 10,595 11,766 13,559 10,945

*2008 figures represent preliminary estimated deer kill at close of the deer season.

Final official numbers from the 2008 hunting seasons, including detailed analysis of the sex, age and distribution on a Wildlife Management Unit basis, will be available in the 2008 New Hampshire Wildlife Harvest Summary, which will be published in March 2009 and posted on the Fish and Game website.

The successful 2008 deer hunting season is a reminder that hunting activities contribute significantly to New Hampshire's economy - according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, approximately 61,000 people hunted in New Hampshire in 2006, generating more than $75 million of hunting-related expenditures in the state. 

For more information on deer hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_deer.htm.

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

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