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2016 License Fee Changes

Your hunting or fishing license is a ticket to a full year of outdoor adventure. It's also an investment in Fish and Game’s work conserving habitat, keeping land open and managing fish, wildlife and marine populations. Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau explains why the fee structure for licenses is changing.


Basic NH Hunting and Fishing License Fees Have Gone Up $10 in 2016


Legislation was passed (HB 212) giving Fish and Game the authority to set license fees. Increases were necessary to continue providing services to sportsmen and women. The fee structure for certain other license types has also changed. See the changes.


License Prices Have Not Changed in more than a Decade

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Prices have been static, but Fish and Game's expenses have gone up.  The Consumer Price Index reflects a 31% increase since license prices were last raised in 2003. Learn more about Fish and Game's funding challenges.


New for 2016 - Discounted Licenses for Resident Seniors

With rapid growth among older residents, and fewer young people in New Hampshire, the Department is no longer able to offer free licenses to all residents over age 68.


Those who turn age 68 on or after January 1, 2016, must purchase an annual license at the discounted price of $7 (transaction and wildlife habitat fees may apply): Senior Freshwater Fishing or Senior Combination Hunting and Fishing licenses are available online or at any license agent. Senior Muzzleloader and Senior Archery
licenses are $3. Residents must be at least 68 at the time of purchase to qualify for senior rates.


If you were born on December 31, 1947, or earlier, your permanent hunting and fishing license is grandfathered in. This is a free license that can only be obtained at Fish and Game headquarters or Regional Offices 1 ( Lancaster), 2 (New Hampton) and 4 (Keene).


A permanent clam/oyster license is available to all residents age 68 or older. It can only be obtained at Fish and Game headquarters or Regional Offices 1, 2 and 4.


All other license types, including Saltwater Recreational Fishing, must be purchased at the regular rates.


Learn more about hunting and fishing licenses for resident seniors.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is there any alternative?
Unfortunately, no. In the past, Fish and Game could tap the Fish and Game Fund to address shortfalls. Today that Fund would be in negative territory if the Legislature had not provided State General Funds for the last few years. Since no broad-based funding source has been established, the Department had no choice but to eliminate programs or move forward with the fee increases as authorized by the Legislature.
How much will licenses increase?
Basic hunting and fishing (and combination) licenses increased by $10. See a full list of all the fee changes for 2016 PDF Document
When will the new prices go into effect?
The new prices will go into effect January 1, 2016.
Why is there a shortfall?
When an agency relies on fixed fees that do not rise as costs go up, and participation does not increase over time, there comes a time when expenses outpace revenue. If you maintain existing programs and services, as we have, despite reducing personnel, the result is a deficit.
What costs have gone up?
Fish and Game’s costs for electricity, heat, fuel, equipment and vehicles have all risen since the last license price increase in 2003 (the Consumer Price Index has gone up 31% during that time). The cost of fish food has nearly doubled since 2007.
Can Fish and Game cut costs instead of raising fees?
We have cut costs. In 2006, NH Fish and Game had 212 funded full-time positions. Today we have 181. We have deferred purchases, used equipment longer, and left positions unfilled.
What kinds of services does Fish and Game provide to sportsmen and women?

Your license dollars help Fish and Game provide sportsmen's services, from the scientific management of our fish and game species, to Hunter Education, boat access programs, and land conservation. We bring you the information you need to make the most of the resource -- regulation digests, fishing and hunting reports, website resources, and workshops to hone your skills on everything from fly-tying to turkey hunting.


Our Conservation Officers keep poaching at bay, promote and enforce snowmobile and OHRV safety, and are there to provide rescue services if you get hurt or lost in the woods.


We provide access and opportunity: Fish and Game owns 54,000 acres of land, and has 19,000 acres under easement, all open to hunt and fish on. We own and maintain 143 boat ramps to provide access to the state's waters. Six Fish and Game hatcheries put nearly a million trout and salmon into our waters every year. We maintain 105 dams and operate fish ladders and an anadromous fish truck to move river herring up over dams to spawning areas.

Why are changes being proposed for Over-68 Licenses?

With large numbers of Baby Boomers now entering retirement every year, the Department can no longer afford to give all those over age 68 a free license. Seniors will continue to get a significant discount, and current over-68 license holders will be able to keep their free licenses.This and other fee adjustments are necessary for the Department to continue to fulfill its responsibilities. Your license fees are a ticket to a full year of outdoor recreation and help ensure that opportunities are there for future generations.

Why is the burden always on the sportsmen and sportswomen?

In the absence of broad-based funding alternatives, much of the cost of conserving New Hampshire’s wildlife and wild places will continue to be shouldered by the community of sportsmen and women. NH Fish and Game takes its stewardship of public money as seriously as it takes its stewardship of our state's natural resources. The flexibility to increase license fees for hunters, anglers enables the department to continue its important mission until a long-term funding solution is found. Learn more about Fish and Game's funding situation.


Thank you for your support.

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Save Money on Your License Purchases 


  • Buy all your tags/licenses at the same time. You’ll pay the transaction fee only once ($3 online, $2 at agents).  
  • Buy your licenses at a license agent or at Fish and Game Headquarters in Concord. You can save $1 per transaction (compared to buying online).
  • Pay with cash or check. Save the 2.25% credit card transaction fee charged at agents or online.


Investing in Our Natural World

New Hampshire's wildlife and wild places are at the heart of the Granite State’s great quality of life. Your license dollars do much more than stock fish and pheasants and staff deer check stations. Fish and Game’s work conserves habitat, manages fish and wildlife populations, enforces laws, educates the public, protects open land, and helps maintain access for hunting and fishing. Your license dollars are an important investment in clean water, clean air, open spaces and healthy wildlife.