From Fish & Game: It's fall, and hunting season is here

September 21. 2018 6:31PM
New Hampshire foliage makes for a colorful backdrop to any fall hunting expedition. (Jon Charpentier/NHFG)

Everyone who has lived in New Hampshire for any length of time knows that fall is hunting season.

There is also a spring hunting season, and for some species there is year-round opportunity. But fall is it if you are a hunter.

But if you are not a hunter, beyond this, you may not be aware of what that entails. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the agency tasked with being the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources. This involves setting seasons and take limits, enforcing the laws, manning check stations for hunters to register their animals, conducting studies to determine the health and populations numbers of the species, offering hunter education classes and communicating information about all these activities.

To set seasons according to location, the state is divided into Wildlife Management Units or WMUs. These are not to be confused with Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), which are tracts of land owned by the agency for the primary purpose of protecting lands to improve habitat for wildlife and to provide opportunities for recreation, including hunting, fishing and wildlife watching.

It is now archery season for deer and turkey, which runs from Sept. 15 through Dec. 15 (except archery, deer and turkey seasons close Dec. 8 in WMU A). Bear hunting season began Sept. 1, and this year odds are extremely good of finding ample bear activity and harvesting a bear, as the population in New Hampshire is about 5,800 animals.

It is also a good time to pursue small game. Squirrel season got underway on Sept. 1, which may help reduce the extremely high numbers we have seen lately.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend will be held statewide in New Hampshire on Sept. 29-30. Participating youth must be age 15 or younger and be accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older, and the adult may not hunt.

Fish and Game produces a hunting report every couple of weeks throughout the season. If you have any questions about the rules and regulations, the new Hunting Digest covers everything.

The Fish and Game's Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness offers classes year-round on hunter education, archery, shooting sports and outdoor skills.

The fall shotgun season for turkey runs Oct. 15-21 in WMUs D2, G, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, J2, K, L and M. Note that the previously open fall shotgun season in Unit D1 will be closed in 2018. Looking ahead, the much-anticipated regular firearms deer hunting season opens Nov. 14.

Hunters who cannot use all of their meat are encouraged to consider donating it to Hunt for the Hungry Program through the NH Food Bank.

If you've never tried hunting but are interested in learning more or being part of the locavore movement, consider a mentored hunt.

Regardless of your preferred activity, New Hampshire is a great place to get outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our state, especially in the fall.
Hunters take to the New Hampshire woods for fall hunting. (Victor Young/NHFG)


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