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2016-2017 Hunting Rule Changes

Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461
Dan Bergeron: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211

July 28, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. -- Looking ahead to the state’s fall hunting seasons, New Hampshire hunters should be aware that certain rules have changed as a result of this year’s biennial rulemaking review. Following is a summary of some of the major changes.


Highlights of the 2016-2017 New Hampshire Hunting Rule Changes:


Changes to general baiting regulations: Several changes were made to wildlife baiting regulations, particularly regarding the application process for bait permits and submission deadlines. See a summary of these changes at


Deer Season: The number of either-sex days during the muzzleloader and regular firearm seasons has changed in several wildlife management units (WMUs). See the muzzleloader and regular firearms either-sex deer season dates listed by WMU at


In addition, the number of Special Unit L antlerless only deer permits was increased from 500 to 750, each with 1 tag, and were available for purchase online only. 2016 Special Unit L permits are now sold out.


A total of 4,000 Special Unit M permits were also offered this year, coming with 2 tags at a cost of $36 (Special Unit M permits are still available – see


Bear: The basic bear hunting season framework did not change, but it was clarified that dogs shall not be run from bait and that bear guide tags are non-transferable between guides. Guides are also now allowed six commercial bait sites and up to two personal bait sites. However, additional regulations apply to the use of bear guide tags for bears taken over bait. Learn more about the bear hunting season at


Moose: The number of permits offered in the New Hampshire moose hunt lottery was reduced from 105 in 2015 to 71 in 2016. The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire was allowed to auction up to two permits (the auction closes August 5 -- learn more at, and one Hunt of a Lifetime moose permit may be issued.


Turkey: The fall turkey shotgun season was extended from 5 to 7 days by adding a weekend at the end of the season.  The season will now run from October 10-16, 2016, in select WMUs.


Pheasant:  Due to safety concerns, on in-season stocking days the pheasant season will be closed statewide until noon. These closures will occur on Thursdays and Fridays, October 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21, 2016.


Fisher: Due to declining population trends in certain portions of the state, the statewide fisher bag limit was reduced from 10 to 5. Regional bag limits were also reduced to 3 in some parts of the state.


New Hunting Digest to Be Available in August

Hunting season dates for all game species are listed in the 2016-2017 NH Hunting and Trapping Digest, which will be available in late August at Fish and Game license agents, Fish and Game offices, or online at New this year, the digest will also include New Hampshire waterfowl hunting season dates.


For a complete and current list of all Fish and Game-related rules visit


The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public to conserve and manage the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Wildlife management activities are funded through the federal Wildlife Restoration Program, paid for by an excise tax on firearms, archery equipment and ammunition.


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