New Hampshire Hunting Seasons, 2018 – 2019

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Looking for a hunting adventure? New Hampshire hunting seasons offers every hunter an unforgettable opportunity to catch animals in its scenic woods and explore numerous hunting areas.

The state of New Hampshire is one of those perfect states for hunters, and that’s because pretty the much whole state is open for hunting. This means that all state, municipal, federal, county and private lands are open to hunts unless declared otherwise.

For private lands, of course, you’ll need a landowner’s permission. You can enjoy hunting various species such as deer, black bear and turkey as well as many small game species like snowshoe hare, grey squirrel, ring-necked pheasant and many others.


New Hampshire Hunting Seasons and All Available Games

new hampshire hunting season dates

#1. New Hampshire Deer Seasons




*November 2 - 12

Youth Season

October 26 – 27

Regular Firearms

*November 13 – December 8


*September 15 – December 15

*NOTE: Season dates may vary by unit.

#2. New Hampshire Bear Seasons



General Season

*September 1 – November 30

*NOTE: Season dates may vary by region.

new hampshire bear hunting season

#3. New Hampshire Moose Season



General Season

*October 19 - 27

*NOTE: By permit only.

#4. New Hampshire Wild Turkey Seasons




May 1 – 31

Fall (Archery)

September 15 – December 15

Fall (Shotgun)

*October 14 - 20

*NOTE: Only in certain WMUs.

#5. New Hampshire Small Game Seasons



Bag Limit

Snowshoe Hare

October 1 – March 31

*Bag limit: 3/2

Cottontail Rabbit

October 1 – January 1

Bag limit: 2

Grey Squirrel

September 1 – January 31

Bag limit: 5

Ring-necked pheasant

October 1 – December 31

Bag limit: 2 per day;
10 per season

Ruffed grouse, Northern bobwhite quail, Chukar, Hungarian partridge

October 1 – December 31

Bag limit: 4


August 15 – November 30
March 16 - 31

No limit


October 1 – November 14

Bag limit: 3

*NOTE: Bag limits may vary by zone.

License Requirements

A hunting license allows persons to take big and small game during the hunting season.

Who needs a license in New Hampshire?

Everyone who is over 16 years old is required to obtain a proper license. For minors, under 16 years old that is not necessary, but they are required to buy certain special licenses. Licenses for residents and non-residents have some differences in prices and rules, so if you are a non-resident make sure you have a proper license for the animal you plan to hunt.

There are special licenses for Senior Residents who have reached the age of 68. They can obtain their license for discounted prices, and the ones who were born on or before December 31, 1947, can obtain their license for free.

Before buying your first license, there is one requirement you need to meet first. By New Hampshire state law, anyone who wants to hunt must complete a Hunter Education Course before purchasing their first license.

Not sure if you enjoy hunting but want to try it? You don’t have to purchase a license just for that, there is an option for an Apprentice Hunting License.

This license allows you to try hunting, under the guidance of another license and experienced hunter. You can hunt without a Hunter Education course, but you can purchase this license only once in your lifetime, if you want to hunt in the future, you will have to buy a regular license.

You can purchase all licenses online, or you can visit your local agent.

state of new hampshire hunting seasons

Night Hunting in New Hampshire

Like to hunt at night? In New Hampshire, night hunting is allowed only for coyotes from January to March with the written permission from the landowner and the local conservation officer.

Artificial lights are allowed, except when hunting from a motor vehicle. Night vision is allowed as well.

Where to Hunt in New Hampshire?

If you are planning to hunt in New Hampshire, you can expect a lot of opportunities to find a perfect area for hunting. All state, municipal, federal, private and county lands are open for hunting unless it is posted otherwise.

There are four categories of land ownership; all of them allow hunting with a few exceptions.

  • Federal lands – most of this land is open for hunting except for the spots where tourists and campgrounds are.
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    State lands – these lands include more than 201, 513 acres and the majority of them are open for hunting.
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    Private lands owned by companies – most of the land is open for hunting because of the close relationship with the Fish and Game Department in New Hampshire, and because the hunters have always shown respect and hunted within prescribed regulations.
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    Private, County and Municipal lands – nearly all forestland in New Hampshire are privately owned, but most of these private lands remain open for hunting. Before each hunt, it is recommended that every hunter contact landowners and seek permission to hunt on their lands.

All forest lands are waiting for you in New Hampshire, but please make sure you leave nothing but your footprints!

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