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NH Apprentice Hunting License FAQs

"Take a friend – Make a hunter"


What is the NH Apprentice Hunting License?
The New Hampshire Apprentice Hunting License allows people who are interested in hunting or bowhunting the chance to do so – under the guidance of an experienced hunter – without first having to take a Hunter/Bowhunter Education course.
Why was the Apprentice Hunting License introduced?

The license gives hunters the opportunity to introduce friends and family to the hunting experience. It gives non-hunters a chance to buy the license and try hunting with an experienced hunter before committing to taking a Hunter/Bowhunter Education course.

How old do I have to be to get an Apprentice License?

You can buy a New Hampshire Apprentice Hunting License if you are age 16 or older.

How old do I have to be to accompany an apprentice hunter?

You must be 18 years or older to accompany an apprentice hunter in New Hampshire.

Do other states have this program?

More than 30 states have established some kind of apprentice hunting program.

Where can I buy a NH Apprentice Hunting License?

Apprentice licenses can be purchased only at NH Fish and Game headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH, or by mail (print-and-mail application). Apprentice Hunting Licenses and permits are not available at license agents or online.

How much does the license cost?
The NH Apprentice Hunting License costs the same as a regular hunting license. The additional cost of species-specific licenses, such as pheasant, bear or turkey, is also the same for apprentice hunters. These licenses must be purchased at NH Fish and Game headquarters. License fees for resident and nonresident hunting licenses are listed in the current NH Hunting and Trapping Digest or at www.wildnh.com/licensing/license-prices.htm.
Are people who are not residents of New Hampshire allowed to buy the NH Apprentice Hunting License?

Yes. The license is available to both state residents and nonresidents.

How is the Apprentice Hunting License different from a regular hunting license?

A person holding a NH Apprentice Hunting License is allowed to hunt, only when accompanied by a properly licensed hunter who is 18 years of age or older. The Apprentice Hunting License can be bought only once in a person's lifetime, and is valid from the date of purchase through December 31.

What does "accompanied" mean?

"Accompanied" means the experienced hunter maintains actual physical direction and control -- keeping the apprentice within sight and hearing at all times, without use of electronic devices.

What are the responsibilities of the person accompanying the apprentice?

The apprentice can hunt only under the direct supervision of a properly licensed hunter who is 18 years of age or older. While hunting, the experienced hunter must have the apprentice within sight and hearing, excluding electronic devices, and be able to maintain actual physical direction and control. The hunter accompanying an apprentice is fully accountable for any damage incurred or violations that may be committed by the apprentice while hunting. Apprentice hunter rules are similar to those governing youth hunters (under age 16) in New Hampshire.

Can the hunter accompanying an Apprentice License Holder carry a firearm and hunt?

Yes. If the accompanying hunter uses all the tags he or she has (tags out) for the species the apprentice is targeting, then they are no longer a legal accompanying hunter.

As an Apprentice License holder, do I have to be accompanied by the same hunter all year, or can I hunt with different people?

You do not always have to go with the same hunter, but you are allowed to hunt only when accompanied by a properly licensed hunter who is 18 years of age or older.

Can Apprentice Hunting License holders buy species-specific tags?

Yes. Apprentice Hunting License holders can purchase turkey, pheasant, bear and waterfowl licenses to use during their apprentice year; these may only be purchased at NH Fish and Game Department headquarters. The Apprentice Hunting License is not valid to take moose. It also does not apply to the 3-day small game license for nonresidents.

What if I purchase an Apprentice Hunting License early in the year and decide later to add another license or permit, like a pheasant tag?

Yes. You would need to come to NH Fish and Game headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH, to purchase the additional license/permit.

I'm planning to go hunting with a registered guide. Can I buy an apprentice license?

Yes. The guide may serve as your accompanying hunter; the specific guidelines governing "accompaniment" must be followed.

Can Apprentice Hunting License holders purchase a combination hunting/fishing license?

No. The NH Apprentice Hunting License cannot be purchased as part of a combo license. If desired, a fishing license must be bought separately.

What if I buy an Apprentice Hunting License early in the year and then take and pass a Hunter Education course – would I then be able to hunt alone?

In this situation, in order to hunt unaccompanied, you would have to come to NH Fish and Game headquarters in Concord, surrender your Apprentice Hunting License and pay a fee to be issued a regular hunting license.

After the first year, if I don't have time for Hunter Education, can I just get another Apprentice Hunting License and go again next year?

Absolutely not. You may purchase an Apprentice Hunting License only once in your lifetime. After that, you must take and pass a Hunter/Bowhunter Education class and purchase a regular NH hunting license if you wish to hunt in New Hampshire.

Does an Apprentice Hunting License serve as proof of a previous hunting license when purchasing a regular license in a later year?
No.  The NH Apprentice Hunting License can be purchased only once in a lifetime. It is good from the time of purchase through the end of the calendar year. If Apprentice Hunters want to hunt in a future year, they must first complete a Hunter/Bowhunter Education course, then buy a regular New Hampshire hunting license.
I enjoyed the apprentice hunt and want to get a regular license. How do I find a Hunter Education class?

To find and register for a Hunter/Bowhunter Education class, visit www.huntnh.com/hunter-ed.html. Traditional and online courses are available. You can access the online Hunter Education materials anytime to get started. The best time of year to take a class is during the spring and summer. Don't delay in signing up for Hunter Education once your Apprentice Hunting year is over. If you wait until fall, it may be too late.

If I'm under age 16, do I need an Apprentice Hunting License to hunt without taking Hunter Education?

No. In New Hampshire, youth under age 16 do not need a license or Hunter Education to hunt (although they do need licenses/permits to target certain species, such as turkey or pheasant); they may hunt only under the direct supervision of a properly licensed person who is 18 years of age or older. Learn more about youth hunting in New Hampshire.

If I'm age 68 or older and have not previously held a hunting license, can I get an Apprentice Hunting License for free?

No. You would have to purchase the Apprentice Hunting License at regular license prices.

I want to take an Apprentice Hunter hunting. How do I get started?
If I want to go hunting, how can I find a hunter to take me out?

Talk to people you know who hunt; they often are glad to introduce someone who's interested to a sport they love. Your local Fish and Game club can be a good place to meet other hunters and find someone to accompany you. Contact information for many clubs in New Hampshire can be found at www.huntnh.com/hunting/where-hunt.html