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Memorable Moments

Snapshots from Fish and Game History

For each week of our anniversary year, we present an image or event that looks back at a certain event, person or trend from the NH Fish and Game Department’s past.  Together, these images help tell the story of a small conservation agency that has fulfilled a big mission.



MEDIA – These images are available for one-time use in print, broadcast or online format. We encourage their use to help tell the story of Fish and Game’s 150 years of history. For high-resolution photos, click on image. Please credit NHFG archives.




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The Great New Hampshire Elk Hunt of 1941


Introduced in the early 1900s, elk were targeted in a remarkable two-day hunt - the only one of its kind in New Hampshire history. Today, it’s hard to imagine elk bugling over the New Hampshire hills. But back in 1941, what a time it was for 200 hunters who bagged 46 elk in the towns of Lempster, Washington, Goshen and Unity! Thirty-seven elk were shot on the first day, and nine on the second. A total of 18 bulls and 28 cows were taken, according to Fish and Game naturalist Helenette Silver. The average weight of the cows was 259 pounds, and the bulls averaged 301 pounds.– read on to learn about this event PDF Document




NH Fish and Game Enters the Computer Era

By Eric Orff, Retired Fish and Game Biologist


When I first started work at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in the fall of 1976, I had never before heard the words “personal computer.” Actually, those words were still a few years off with the PC becoming popular in the 1980s.


But let me tell you about the state of computerization when I landed the job as New Hampshire’s first black bear biologist in the fall of 1978. My first computer was literally a knitting needle with a wooden handle. Yup, just a few steps up from an abacus. As the state’s first bear biologist, I was immediately introduced to the McBee Card System. This way of counting bears had been adopted in 1956 – the first year after the bounty of $20 was removed from the bear’s head. Biologist Supervisor Dave White had been tallying bear numbers by town, sex of bear, manner of take and a few other variables for over two decades before I came on board. Dave had been doing it all with a knitting needle. So as the new bear biologist, I was given the task of assessing the bear kill in the same way – read on to learn how this worked PDF Document




Fishways at Amoskeag Falls

On July 27, 1878, a new fishway opened at Amoskeag Falls in Manchester. Designed by E.A. Straw, agent for the Amoskeag Company, the fishway would provide salmon an easier passage over the dam and upstream to their natural spawning grounds.



Fish and Game Newsletter

On July 6, 1953, the first issue of Fish and Game Newsletter was published. This weekly publication informed the general public of the research and management activities of the Fish and Game Department. The Newsletter continued until December 1969 and was replaced by a monthly magazine called NH Natural Resources. Other publications that kept our citizens informed over the years included Fish and Game Field Notes, Fish and Game Highlights, and currently, New Hampshire Wildlife Journal.



Winter BOWWinter Fun for Women is a Good Thing
In mid-February 2003, The NH Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program held its first annual “Winter BOW” workshop. The event was held at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord; women chose from Ice Fishing, Snowshoeing and Tracking, Snowmobiling, Backyard Wildlife Habitat and Winter Survival.  The following year it was moved to Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness, where it is still held today. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the event, with workshops that are very similar to the original program – why change a good thing? More information at:


Hunting Licenses Required
In February 1909, residents of New Hampshire were first required to purchase a license to hunt in the state. The original license fee was $1.00 and approximately $27,000 was collected. To purchase your license online today, visit:




Uel GardnerPioneer in Hunter Education

In January 1963, resident and nonresident hunters between the ages of 16 and 19 became required to pass a Hunter Safety Course before purchasing a hunting license. Since Hunter Education became mandatory, hunting incidents have dramatically decreased in New Hampshire - down from an average of 21 per year in the 1960s, to an average of 3 per year in the 2000s.

Photo by Uel Gardner



sectionJudy SilverbergConservation Education

In January 1984, a focus on wildlife conservation education was re-established in the Information and Education Division, even though this work had been an integral part of Fish and Game’s mission since the 1940s. A new position was created to increase public awareness of the important role of hunting, fishing and conservation in the management of New Hampshire’s natural resources. Judy Silverberg was the Project Wild coordinator for NH for more than 20 years.

Judy Silverberg