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New Hampshire Hunting

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Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

New Hampshire hunting consists of regular game animals like turkeys, deer, and various small games. The state is also quite famous for its big games like black bears and moose.

New Hampshire Hunting Regulation

Hunting regulation in New Hampshire varies from one region of the state to another, and each region is referred to as a hunting unit. The New Hampshire Division for Wildlife and Forestry is in charge of enforcing hunting laws, requirements, and regulations.

Some of the regulations you should know before you start hunting in New Hampshire include the following:

License, Permits, and Tags Regulations.

The regulations for hunting licenses in New Hampshire are:

  • It is compulsory for hunters to possess a valid New Hampshire hunting license, or any tag and permit required for the game, every time they are in a hunting area.
  • It is a prohibition to transfer hunting permits, tags, and stamps to any other person or hunter for use.
  • Hunting permits, tags, and stamps will only be valid for the dates inscribed on them and for the person it is allotted to.
  • In wildlife management areas with check stations, it is a prohibition for hunters and their assistance to evade the checking prior to and after hunting.
  • If you sign a New Hampshire hunting license, permit, tag, or stamp, it means you are in agreement to comply with all the conditions and terms provided by the said license tag and permit. You must also abide by all laws and regulations of the license, permit, tag or stamp, and you are obligated to allow inspection from a worker of the New Hampshire wildlife and forestry department who is inspecting for inappropriate use of the permit or any other hunting violation.
  • To apply for any of the valid New Hampshire hunting licenses, you must be 10 years or older, and must have completed a hunter education course, and have a certificate to prove this.

Firearms and Archery Regulations for Hunting

For the use of firearm and archery equipment while hunting in New Hampshire, the following laws, restriction, and regulations apply:

  • It is a prohibition to have in your possession hunting firearms and archery equipment or discharge a firearm on a public hunting land if you do not have a valid hunting license, or you are not in possession of the license.
  • You are only allowed to possess one firearm or archery equipment that is required for the game you want to hunt. An exception is made for a hunter carrying the firearm of another hunter in a bid to assist the person. Also, hunters are obligated to make their hunting equipment available for inspection by a representative of the New Hampshire wildlife and forestry department. Any hunter that refuses this regulation will be violating New Hampshire hunting law, and this may lead to revocation of licenses and other hunting privileges.
  • It is a prohibition to possess archery or firearm equipment in public hunting lands when it is a closed season or a no-hunting day.
  • It is a prohibition to have your archery equipment or a loaded firearm in your possession when you have reached the bag limit for a game.

While hunting with dogs in New Hampshire, the following hunting equipment is prohibited.

  • A rifle that fires cartridges and has a muzzle release energy rated to be smaller than 12,000-foot-pounds.
  • Any Shotgun that has a shot that is smaller than 00 buckshot.
  • Rifles that are muzzle-loaded and possess less than 44 calibers.
  • Handguns

For bow and arrow hunting it is a prohibition to make use of the following hunting equipment.

  • Bows that are long and have a weight smaller than 45 pounds for a 28-inch draw.
  • Recurve bows that do not have drawing weights up to 35 pounds.
  • Compound bows that do not have drawing weights up to 30 pounds.

It is a prohibition to make use of an arrow that has explosive heads, or heads coated with drugs, chemicals, and poisons to incapacitate games and wildlife. Arrows that are legal are those that possess a minimum cutting diameter of ¾ width for the inch allowed.

Hunting Dogs Regulation

The regulations for the use of hunting dogs in New Hampshire include the following:

  • A hunter that owns a dog must not leave it unattended. The dog must accompany and be by the hunter's side during the whole hunting period.
  • The hunter must keep the dog under control, and its movement physically restrained at all times except when the dog is pursuing a game.
  • Hunters that own a dog will be held responsible for all actions of the dog, and this includes damages or injuries caused by the dog.
  • The dog should be under the owner’s voice control every time, and in hunting areas, safety zones, and closed areas, the owner must physically restrain the dog.
  • The dog must carry a bag for identification at all times, and this includes when it is in public areas or when it is pursuing a game.

Vehicles and Aircraft's Restrictions

For the use of vehicles, while hunting in New Hampshire, the requirements include the following:

  • Only vehicles that are four-wheeled will be allowed in public hunting lands.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of aircraft to transport or herd mammal games.
  • It is also a prohibition to use aircraft for hunting in New Hampshire, and this includes using aircraft for the discharge of firearms or archery devices into public lands. Exceptions are made for those permitted by the department to do so.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of any motorized vehicle in hunting areas of the state, and this includes motorcycles and every other type of terrain vehicle. However, exceptions are made for roads that have been designed for the use of these vehicles. But for maintained roads, parking of vehicles must be within a distance of 25 feet.
  • It is a prohibition to carry any form of a loaded firearm or archery equipment in a vehicle, boat, or any form of carrier. It is also a prohibition to discharge firearms or archery equipment from these vehicles, with exceptions made to hunters that have a disabled permit.
  • It is a prohibition to discharge a firearm or archery equipment from outside a hunting area to inside the hunting area.

Open Carry While Hunting.

You can open carry while hunting in New Hampshire, but you cannot use the firearm to take games like deer.

During a licensed bow hunting session, you must adhere to the following law:

  • The license will only be for possession of firearms while bow hunting, except the state or federal government, withdraws the permit.
  • Nobody hunting deer can shoot or attempt to shoot at a deer with a firearm during bow hunting.

New Hampshire has hunter harassment laws in the state for the protection of hunting activities.

The law states that:

  • Nobody should deliberately prevent or interfere with anybody that is taking part in a licensed hunting activity such as trapping or fishing.
  • Nobody shall intentionally disturb or prevent anybody from carrying out a legal hunting activity.
  • Nobody shall knowingly take part in any activity that disturbs or alert games in the wild in such a way that will affect a legal hunting activity.
  • Nobody shall make use of a drone or any other type of surveillance device to monitor legal hunting in the state, without getting the appropriate consent from those taking part in hunting.

New Hampshire Hunting License Permits and Tags

Before hunting any game or wildlife in New Hampshire, you need a valid hunting license. There are various New Hampshire hunting licenses, and they are available based on the age, residency, and type of game animal to hunt.

There are various types of resident and non-resident licenses in the state. To obtain any of New Hampshire resident licenses, you must have any of the state-approved means of identification as a resident. Also, you must not be a resident of any other state or region of the USA.

Although you may own homes in other states, you must claim residency in only New Hampshire, and it must be the state for your federal income taxation.

New Hampshire hunting licenses include the following:

Big game licenses

New Hampshire big game licenses are available based on the type of animal big game species to be hunted. Residents and nonresidents can purchase these licenses, but the price will vary. You must own a big game license for the animal you want to take.

For a big game license issued based on draws in the state, an application fee will be required. For residents of New Hampshire, the cost for a big game license draw permit is $7 while non-residents’ cost is $9. This money is non-refundable too.

Other types of big game licenses in New Hampshire include the following:

  • New Hampshire Bear Hunting License

This is the valid license issued in New Hampshire for the hunting of bear species. It costs $39.75 for residents and $101.75 for non-residents.

  • New Hampshire Deer Hunting License

This is a valid license issued for deer hunting in New Hampshire. The license allows a hunter to take both does and bucks deer. It costs $40.24 for residents and $401.83 for non-residents.

  • New Hampshire Moose Hunting License

This is a valid license for Moose hunting in New Hampshire. It costs $305.61 for residents and $2240 for non-residents.

  • New Hampshire Youth Big Game License

This is a valid license for youths that want to hunt big games in New Hampshire. It costs $15.1 for residents and $102.78 for non-residents.

Small game Licenses

Just like with the big game license, there are small game licenses for various species in New Hampshire. The license will depend on the small game that a hunter wishes to take, and they are available for residents and non-residents.

Some of New Hampshire small game hunting licenses include the following:

  • New Hampshire Annual Small Game License

This is an annual license valid for the taking of small game animals in the state, including furbearers. It costs $30.11 for residents and $82.78 for non-residents.

  • New Hampshire Annual Small game and Fishing Combo License

This is an annual license for small game hunting and fishing in New Hampshire. It is only available for residents of the state, and it costs $50.37.

  • New Hampshire Turkey Hunting License

This license is only issued based on draw. Hunters that get drawn will be allowed to partake in turkey hunting in New Hampshire. To get drawn hunters will have to pay the required application processing fee which is $7 for residents and $9 for non-residents.

  • New Hampshire Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp

This is a stamp issued for migratory bird hunting in New Hampshire. It costs $25 for residents and non-residents of the state.

  • New Hampshire Furbearers Hunting License

This license is issued only for the hunting of furbearers in New Hampshire. It costs $30.11 for residents and $82.78 for non-residents.

  • New Hampshire One Day Small Game Hunting License

This license is required to hunt small game in New Hampshire for just a day. It costs $13.9 for residents and $16.94 for non-residents.

  • New Hampshire Additional Day Small Game Hunting License

This license is required to hunt small game animals in New Hampshire for an extra day. It costs $6.81 for residents and Nonresidents.

New Hampshire Turkey Hunting License

There are 2 types of New Hampshire hunting licenses in the state, issued based on seasons. Turkey hunting in the fall costs $25.05 for residents and $153.68 for non-residents. Turkey hunting in the spring costs $30.11 for residents and $153.68 for non-residents.

New Hampshire Youth Small Game Hunting License

This license is required by youths that want to hunt small games in New Hampshire. It costs $1.26 for residents and nonresidents.

New Hampshire Fishing Licenses, Permits, and Tags

Just like with resident hunting licenses, you must have any of the state-approved means of identification as a resident before purchasing any of the state’s hunting licenses. Also, you must not be a resident of any other state or region of the USA.

Fishing License Permits and tags issued in New Hampshire include the following:

New Hampshire Annual Fishing License

This is an annual license for fishing in New Hampshire and it costs $35.17 for residents and $97.97 for non-residents.

New Hampshire Annual Senior Fishing License

This is an annual fishing license valid for residents that are at least 65 years old. It costs $9.85.

New Hampshire Aquatic Nuisance Species Stamp

This is a fishing stamp for nuisance species in New Hampshire. It costs $25 for residents and $50 for non-residents.

New Hampshire One Day Fishing License

This is a fishing license valid for one day. It costs $13.9 for residents and $16.94 for non-residents

New Hampshire Five Days Fishing License

This is a fishing license valid for five days. It is valid for only non-residents and costs $32.14.

New Hampshire Additional Fishing License

This license allows an extra day of fishing. It costs $6.81 for residents and nonresidents.

New Hampshire Youth Fishing License

There are 2 types of fish licenses issued in New Hampshire. The first one is for youths that are either 16 or 7 years old and it is only available for residents of the state. It costs $9.85.

The second youth fishing license is for those that are less than 16 years old. The license is available for residents and non-residents and it is free of charge.

New Hampshire Hunting Season 2020/2021

Games have various hunting seasons. It is a hunting violation to take or capture games outside their hunting season, or make use of a weapon outside its hunting season.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in New Hampshire includes the following:

New Hampshire Deer Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (2nd of September to 30th of September)
  • Muzzleloaders Season (12th of September to 20th of September)
  • Plains Muzzleloader Season (12th of October to 20th of October)
  • Rifle Season (24th of October to 1st of November, 7th of November to 13th of November, and 18th of November to 22nd of November)

New Hampshire Plain Deer Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (1st of October to 23rd of October, 4th of November to 30th of November, and 15th of December to 31st of December)
  • Muzzleloader Season (10th of October to 18th of October)
  • Rifle Season (24th of October to 3rd of November and 1st of December to 14tth of December)

New Hampshire Moose Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (12th of September to 30th of September)
  • Muzzleloading Season (12th of September to 20th of September)
  • Rifle Season (1st of October to 14th of October)

New Hampshire Bear Hunting Season

  • Archery Season (2nd of September to 30th of September)
  • Muzzleloader Season (12th of September to 20th of September)
  • Rifle Season (2nd of September to 30th of September,10th of October to 14th of October, 2th of October to 1st of November, 7th of November to 13th of November, 18th of November to 22nd of November, and 2nd of September to 22nd of November)

New Hampshire Turkey Hunting Season

  • Fall Season (1st of September to 23th of October)
  • New Hampshire Small Games Hunting Season
  • Squirrel Season (15th of November to 15th of January)
  • Beaver Season (1st of October to 39th of April)
  • Bobcat Season (1st of December to 28th of February)
  • Snapping Turtle Season (1st of April to 31st of October)
  • Rabbit Season (1st of October to 28th of February)
  • Coyote Season (Open Season)
  • Fox Season (1st of October to 28th of February)
  • Marmot Season (10th of August to 15th of August)
  • Gray Squirrel Season (Open Season)

Season dates for each game from one hunting zone to another.

New Hampshire Wildlife Games and Fish

Some of the most common games and wildlife present in New Hampshire include the following:

New Hampshire Elk Hunting

Elk hunting in New Hampshire is well renowned because of the number of elks present in the state. As at the last estimation, about 280,000 are present in the state. New Hampshire is the state with the largest elk herds in the USA and the world. During Elk seasons, hunters from all over the nation troop into the state to capture elks.

New Hampshire Moose Hunting

The Moose population in New Hampshire is fast growing and it continues to be one of the big game species favored by hunters in the state.

New Hampshire Deer Hunting

The 2 most common species of deer in New Hampshire are the white-tailed and mule deer. The mule deer is well distributed in New Hampshire, while white-tailed deer inhabit the eastern region of the state and are also found in small quantities in the west.

New Hampshire Black Bear Hunting

Just like Mountain Lions, black bear hunting in New Hampshire is also common because of the large population of the animal in the state.

New Hampshire Turkey Hunting

Wild turkeys are quite famous among hunters in New Hampshire. Aside from hunting them, they are quite fascinating animals for recreational viewing, especially during their springtime mating period.

New Hampshire Coyote Hunting

Coyotes are well dispersed in New Hampshire and residents’ hunters in the state regard them as one of the most difficult predators to hunt. This is a testament to their smartness.

New Hampshire Fox Hunting

The common species of foxes in New Hampshire is the red fox. Like most predators, they are difficult to hunt because of their speed. They are also very sensitive games with great vision and smell. They are great swimmers too.

New Hampshire Shooting Ranges

Some of the shooting ranges in New Hampshire include the following:

  • Dalton Gang Shooting Club
  • Manchester Firing Line Range
  • Pemigewassett Valley Fish and Game Club

New Hampshire Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale in New Hampshire include the following:

  • Nelson, New Hampshire (Cheshire County) 29.4 acres.
  • New Ipswich, New Hampshire (Hillsborough County) 52.4 acres.
  • The Quail Ridge hunting & Dummer, New Hampshire (Coos County) 1131.49 acres.

Hunting lands for lease in New Hampshire include the following:

  • GREAT hunting and four-wheeling property in Pike County, 11 acres.
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