Dan Bergeron: (603) 271-2461
Mark Ellingwood: (603) 271-2461
March 12, 2020
The hearing originally scheduled for March 26, 2020 has been cancelled and the time of the March 30 hearing has been changed. Please note all updated dates, times, and venues.
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold three public hearings regarding the 2020-2021 hunting and trapping season rule proposals on the following dates and at the following locations:
- March 24, 2020 – Keene High School, 43 Arche Street, Keene, NH. This hearing begins at 6:30 p.m.
- March 25, 2020 – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Region 1 Office on Route 3, 629B Main Street, Lancaster, NH. This hearing begins at 6:30 p.m.
- March 30, 2020 – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH. This hearing begins at 6:30 p.m.
The review of rules occurs every two years to ensure that season dates and bag limits align with species population goals reflected in the state’s ten-year Game Management Plan. Proposed revisions are based on a review of field data and other scientific information.
The complete rulemaking notice is available on the Fish and Game Proposed Rules page at www.wildnh.com/legislative/proposed-rules.html.
The following are selected highlights of the proposed 2020-2021 wildlife rule package, but this is not a complete list.
New Hampshire’s regional deer, bear, and turkey populations are stable or increasing. Thus, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department proposes additional hunting opportunities in various regions of the state.
Deer: New Hampshire’s 2019 deer seasons resulted in the 7th highest deer harvest in 97 years. The rule proposals call for enhanced hunting opportunity in 11 of the 20 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in the state. These opportunities include additional either-sex hunting opportunities in WMUs C1, D1, D2E, G2, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, and K, and allowance for the use of crossbows during the archery season in WMU L.
It would no longer be necessary to purchase an annual deer crossbow permit to use a crossbow during the deer firearms season.
Bear: Because bear populations are above goal in four of the state’s six bear management regions, additional reductions are needed. Extending the baiting season by 7 days in the Central, Southwest 1, Southwest 2, and Southeast Regions and extending the still hunting season by 16 days in the Southwest 2 and Southeast Regions has been proposed.
Turkey: The state’s turkey population is stable, therefore the Department is proposing to maintain the same season structure as in 2019. Other turkey-focused proposals include permitting the use of .410 and 28-gauge shotguns with specific shot restrictions on high-density loads.
Moose: The Department recommends the issuance of 51 either-sex moose permits for the fall 2020 moose season. Of these, 1 permit will be allocated for the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation’s Dream Hunts program and 1 permit will be issued for use by the New Hampshire Wildlife Heritage Foundation. This allocation of permits is the same as was issued in 2019.
The 2020-2021 rule proposal package would also:
- Allow properly licensed deer and bear hunters who have already filled their tags to accompany youth hunters and individuals who have purchased an Apprentice Hunting License.
- Require hunters and trappers to provide the Department with the lower jaw of any harvested fisher during the sealing process, allowing the Department to track the age structure of the population and provide better information regarding the health of the State’s fisher population.
- Change the lifetime license rule to implement the archery lifetime license for disabled veterans authorized by Ch. 161, Laws of 2019, which amended RSA 214:13.
Updates on the 2020-2021 biennial season-setting process may be found on Fish and Game’s website at www.wildnh.com/legislative/proposed-rules.html.