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CONTACT:
Kent Gustafson, 603-271-2461
Mark Ellingwood, 603-271-2461
Jane Vachon: 603-271-5619
November 4, 2010

Hunt NH!

Hunters: Please Take Part in November Deer Management Survey

CONCORD, N.H.:  Attention, hunters – New Hampshire Fish and Game wants your input on managing the state's deer herd. If you held a N.H. hunting license in 2009 (or held a lifetime or over-68 hunting license), watch for a letter in the mail from Fish and Game with instructions on how to participate in an important online deer management survey being conducted this month.

"We're doing the survey to gather opinions from a wide range of hunters about the various options for buck age-structure management in New Hampshire," said Steve Weber, Chief of Fish and Game's Wildlife Division.  "Over the last few years, an increasing number of hunters have asked us to implement buck age-structure management regionally or throughout the state in an effort to increase the number of older-aged (large-antlered) bucks available to hunters." 

There are positive and negative trade-offs associated with various buck age-structure management options.  “Those trade-offs could result in significant changes to our basic hunting season structure, so it’s important for us to understand how all our deer hunters feel about this issue before making any recommendations,” said Weber.

To accomplish this, Fish and Game is conducting an unprecedented effort to survey every person who held a New Hampshire hunting license in 2009 to identify New Hampshire deer hunters' preferences and priorities on buck age-structure management.

"We’re so serious about this issue, almost 66,000 letters were delivered to the Post Office November 1," said Weber. If you did not buy a license or hold a lifetime or over-68 N.H. hunting license in 2009, you will not be asked to take the survey.

To help hunters learn more about the issue before they take the survey, Fish and Game has provided some important background information about the topic on its website at www.huntnh.com/buckagestructure. "This background will be very helpful in responding to the survey," said Weber.  The information was compiled by a 15-member task force made up of hunters, wildlife biologists and Fish and Game Commissioners.  The task force was created to ensure a balanced approach to the complicated issue of buck age-structure management.

To recap: Letters explaining how to take part in the survey will arrive in early November. Before taking the survey, hunters should get informed on the issue by checking out the background information on the Fish and Game website.

"Hunters' participation is a critical part of the decision-making process," said Weber. "Be sure to respond promptly, or you'll miss this opportunity to let your voice be heard."

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