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CONTACT:
Kent Gustafson, 603-271-2461
Mark Ellingwood, 603-271-2461
Jane Vachon: 603-271-5619
October 12, 2010

N.H. Deer Hunters – Deer Management Survey Coming in November;
Background Information Available Now

CONCORD, N.H. -- If you had a New Hampshire hunting license in 2009, watch for a letter in the mail this November from New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Executive Director Glenn Normandeau, advising you on how to participate in an important online deer management survey.

Fish and Game is conducting the survey to gather opinions from a wide range of hunters regarding their preferences as they pertain to buck age-structure management. Over the last few years, an increasing number of hunters have asked Fish and Game to implement buck age-structure management regionally or throughout the state in an effort to increase the number of older-aged (i.e. large-antlered) bucks available to hunters.

There are tradeoffs associated with various buck age-structure management options. “Because of these tradeoffs, which could result in significant changes to our basic hunting season structure, it’s important for us to understand how all deer hunters feel about this issue,” says Steve Weber, Chief of the Wildlife Division.

In order to identify the preferences and priorities of New Hampshire's deer hunters, Fish and Game is conducting an unprecedented effort to survey every person who had a New Hampshire hunting license in 2009. Instructions on how to participate in the online survey will be mailed in November, and hunters will have two weeks to respond. The survey will be online only; due to cost and logistics, no paper copies of the survey will be issued.

Buck age-structure management is a complex issue, so to ensure that the topic is addressed in a balanced way, Fish and Game established a 15-member task force made up of hunters, wildlife biologists and Fish and Game Commissioners to cooperatively work on this effort. This task force has produced a package of background information about buck age-structure management for use by survey participants and anyone else interested in the issue, which is available now on the N.H. Fish and Game website at www.huntnh.com/buckagestructure. Fish and Game urges all deer hunters to familiarize themselves with this important information, as it will be essential to making informed decisions.

Remember – hunters won't get the survey notice until sometime in early November, but anyone can look over the background information posted online right away. "Hunters' participation is a critical part of the decision-making process," said Weber.

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