New Hampshire Hunting

New Hampshire offers a diverse and exciting hunting experience for outdoor enthusiasts. From regular game animals like turkeys, deer, and various small game to big games like black bears and moose, the state provides ample opportunities for hunters to enjoy their passion. However, before embarking on a hunting adventure in New Hampshire, it’s essential to understand the regulations, obtain the necessary licenses and permits, and familiarize yourself with the different hunting seasons and the abundant wildlife in the region.

Hunting Regulation in New Hampshire

Hunting regulation in New Hampshire is enforced and managed by the New Hampshire Division for Wildlife and Forestry. The state is divided into several hunting units, each with its specific regulations. It is crucial for hunters to be aware of these regulations to ensure they stay within the legal boundaries while hunting.

License, Permits, and Tags Regulations

  1. Compulsory Hunting License: Hunters must possess a valid New Hampshire hunting license or any required tags and permits every time they enter a hunting area.
  2. No Transfer of Permits: It is strictly prohibited to transfer hunting permits, tags, or stamps to other individuals for use.
  3. Validity of Permits and Tags: Permits, tags, and stamps are only valid for the dates specified on them and for the person they are allotted to.
  4. Check Stations: In wildlife management areas with check stations, hunters and their assistants must undergo checking before and after hunting.
  5. Agreement to Comply: By signing a New Hampshire hunting license, permit, tag, or stamp, hunters agree to comply with all the conditions and terms provided by the license and permit.
  6. Hunter Education Course: To apply for a valid New Hampshire hunting license, hunters must be 10 years or older, complete a hunter education course, and have a certificate to prove their completion.
See also  New Hampshire Gun Permit

Firearms and Archery Regulations for Hunting

  1. Possession of Firearms and Archery Equipment: It is prohibited to possess hunting firearms and archery equipment or discharge a firearm on public hunting land without a valid hunting license.
  2. Inspection of Hunting Equipment: Hunters must possess only one firearm or archery equipment required for the game they intend to hunt. Exceptions are made for hunters assisting others, and all hunting equipment must be available for inspection by wildlife representatives.
  3. Firearms Prohibited with Dogs: While hunting with dogs in New Hampshire, specific firearms are prohibited, such as rifles with a muzzle energy rating less than 12,000-foot pounds and shotguns with shot smaller than 00 buckshot.
  4. Bow and Arrow Restrictions: Bow and arrow hunting have specific regulations, including the prohibition of certain bow types based on weight and drawing capacity.
  5. Arrow Specifications: Legal arrows must have a minimum cutting diameter of ¾ inch width.

Hunting Dogs Regulation

  1. Hunter Responsibility: Hunters must not leave their dogs unattended during hunting and must keep them under control at all times, except when pursuing game.
  2. Responsibility for Dog Actions: Hunters owning dogs are fully responsible for their actions, including damages or injuries caused by the dogs.
  3. Voice Control and Identification: Dogs must be under voice control and carry identification at all times, especially when pursuing games or in public areas.

Vehicles and Aircraft Restrictions

  1. Four-Wheeled Vehicles Only: Only four-wheeled vehicles are allowed in public hunting lands.
  2. Aircraft Prohibition: The use of aircraft for transporting or herding mammals and hunting with aircraft is strictly prohibited.
  3. Motorized Vehicle Restrictions: The use of motorized vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is generally prohibited in hunting areas except for designated roads.
  4. Loaded Firearms Prohibited in Vehicles: It is prohibited to carry loaded firearms or archery equipment in vehicles, boats, or any carrier. Exceptions are made for disabled permit holders.
See also  New Hampshire Gun Laws

Open Carry While Hunting

  1. Open Carry Permitted: Open carry is allowed while hunting in New Hampshire. However, using a firearm to take deer is not allowed during licensed bow hunting sessions.

New Hampshire Hunting License Permits and Tags

Hunting licenses in New Hampshire vary based on age, residency, and the type of game animal hunters wish to pursue. Some of the available hunting licenses include:

  1. Big Game Licenses: Issued based on specific big game species, such as bears, deer, and moose.
  2. Small Game Licenses: Issued for various small game species, including furbearers.
  3. Turkey Hunting License: Issued based on a draw system for turkey hunting.
  4. Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp: Required for migratory bird hunting.
  5. Youth Hunting Licenses: Available for young hunters interested in hunting big and small game.

New Hampshire Hunting Seasons 2023/2024

The hunting seasons for various wildlife in New Hampshire vary, and it’s essential to adhere to the specified dates for each game to avoid hunting violations.

New Hampshire Wildlife Games and Fish

New Hampshire offers a variety of wildlife games and fish, making it an exciting destination for hunters. Some of the most common games and wildlife in the state include elk, moose, deer, black bears, turkeys, coyotes, foxes, and more.

New Hampshire Shooting Ranges

For hunters looking to hone their skills, New Hampshire boasts several shooting ranges where they can practice and improve their marksmanship.

Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease

For those interested in owning or leasing hunting lands in New Hampshire, there are various options available throughout the state.

See also  New Hampshire Constitutional Carry


New Hampshire offers an exhilarating hunting experience for both residents and non-residents. However, hunters must be well-informed about the state’s regulations, obtain the necessary licenses, and respect the designated hunting seasons to ensure a safe and enjoyable hunting trip.


  1. Do I need a hunting license to hunt in New Hampshire?

Yes, a valid hunting license is compulsory for all hunters in New Hampshire.

  1. What are the regulations for possessing firearms and archery equipment while hunting?

Hunters must possess a valid hunting license to carry firearms and archery equipment on public hunting land. They are allowed to carry only the equipment necessary for the game they intend to hunt.

  1. Can I hunt with dogs in New Hampshire?

Yes, hunting with dogs is allowed, but specific regulations regarding firearms apply when hunting with dogs.

  1. Are there any restrictions on the use of vehicles while hunting?

Yes, there are restrictions on the use of vehicles, including a prohibition on using aircraft for hunting and carrying loaded firearms or archery equipment in vehicles.

  1. What are the hunting seasons for various games in New Hampshire?

Hunting seasons vary for each game and are subject to change annually. Hunters must check the latest hunting regulations to know the specific seasons for each game.

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