Mark Ellingwood: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
April 2, 2010
2009 N.H. Wildlife Harvest Summary Available
CONCORD, N.H. -- Wildlife biologists from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department have finished tabulating the final numbers for the 2009 hunting seasons, and results are now available in the 2009 New Hampshire Wildlife Harvest Summary, available at www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunting.htm.
The new report provides a complete breakdown of 2009 hunting season statistics, including totals by town and Wildlife Management Unit (WMU), making it a valuable reference for both wildlife biologists and hunters scouting for the upcoming seasons. The annual summary includes statistics on deer, moose, bear, turkey and furbearers.
The report confirms that the total number of deer killed during the 2009 N.H. hunting season was 10,384. This was a decrease of 5% from the 10,916 deer taken in the state in 2008, but marked a harvest surpassing 10,000 for the sixth consecutive year. Residual impacts from the severe winter of 2007-2008, which was followed by another winter of above-average severity in 2008-2009, hindered deer population and harvest recovery in many parts of the state last fall. The Harvest Summary includes data from the N.H. Trophy Deer Program, run by the N.H. Antler and Skull Trophy Club, which annually recognizes hunters who take deer with a weight of 200 pounds or more by each of three hunting methods (archery, muzzleloader and regular firearms). For 2009, the heaviest deer, weighing 249 pounds, was taken in Grafton County with a regular firearm by Mark A. Evans of Wentworth, N.H.
Hunters took 755 black bears during 2009 season, representing the second highest bear harvest in New Hampshire history. (The record was 803 bears in 2003.) Hunters experienced high success early in the season, a trend that typically occurs in poor food years due to the increased vulnerability of bears to hunting. Food availability varied across the state, affecting hunter success and regional results. Hunters had success encountering bears at wild apple orchards, cornfields and select oak ridges in 2009.
Moose hunters enjoyed excellent weather during the 2009 hunt and took a total of 341 moose during the nine-day season, matching the previous year's 65% success rate. Hunters traveled from 17 states to participate. The oldest hunter was 83-year-old Philip Stockman of Center Tuftonboro, N.H., who took at 685-lb. bull with a 42.3-inch antler spread. The youngest hunter was 14-year-old Hunter Secord of Center Harbor, N.H., who took a 670-lb. bull with a 38.5-inch spread.
Turkey hunters registered a total of 4,063 turkeys during the 2009 spring season and youth hunt. Youth Turkey Hunt Weekend participants took 570 birds, or 14.1% of the total, similar to 2008 results. There were no significant changes in turkey harvest from 2008 to 2009 in any parts of the state. WMU J2 (east and north of Concord) registered the most gobblers in New Hampshire, with 532 birds.
During the 2008/2009 trapping season, New Hampshire trappers continued to provide valuable benefits to the state's citizenry. The activities of trappers, under the guidance of carefully regulated trapping programs, help maintain furbearer populations at acceptable levels. Data that trappers provide in annual trapper reports are essential for furbearer population management decision-making. Finally, the expertise that trappers provide to state, municipal and private interests in resolving wildlife/human conflicts represents an invaluable public service. The Harvest Report indicates that New Hampshire furbearers remain abundant and widespread. A total of 457 trappers held licenses in N.H. last season, a slight increase from the previous year. Only otter and muskrat experienced an increase in pelt values. The value of the 2008/09 fur harvest was $102,767, based on average pelt values and the total amount of fur harvested in New Hampshire.
A limited number of print copies of the "2009 N.H. Wildlife Harvest Summary" are available for pick-up at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord and at the Department’s regional offices in Durham, New Hampton, Lancaster and Keene, N.H. The report is available online anytime at www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunting.htm (click on Harvest Summary publication cover in column to right).
Hunting activity has a positive impact on New Hampshire’s economy; according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than 60,000 people hunted in New Hampshire in 2006, generating more than $80 million of direct hunting-related expenditures in the state.
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.