Lieutenant Heidi Murphy: (603) 271-3127
Captain Michael Eastman: (603) 271-3129
August 27, 2020

Concord, NH –The Granite State’s bear season will officially open on Tuesday, September 1, and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Law Enforcement Division is ready to assist successful hunters with the registration of their bruins this year. All bear harvests must be reported to Fish and Game Conservation Officers (COs) within 12 hours of take, and to make this process more convenient and efficient for hunters, the following contact options will be available as of September 1:

  • Phone notification: Hunters can call 603-271-3361, seven days a week, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to report their kill. Once contact information has been furnished, a Conservation Officer in your area will contact you directly to initiate and schedule the harvest registration process.
  • Digital notification: New this year, hunters can notify Conservation Officers electronically of their harvest by simply completing a few lines of personal information and initiating contact. You will be called as soon as possible by a CO in your area to schedule your bear’s registration. Visit to contact a CO electronically.

Hunters are reminded that a bear does not have to be intact at the time of registration, and successful hunters may skin and quarter their harvest prior to registration and present the necessary parts to COs. The expeditious care and handling of bear meat is crucial—once a bear is down, the time to properly dress your trophy and the meat is immediately.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department urges bear hunters to take advantage of the state’s weather, woodlands, and natural resources this fall. Detailed information regarding the 2020 black bear seasons is available at:

Because of the COVID-19 public health emergency in New Hampshire, hunters should be aware of the increased number of people recreating in the outdoors this fall—it is more important than ever to be absolutely sure of your target and what lies beyond it. Hunters are strongly encouraged to maximize pre-season scouting and be prepared with back-up locations if their desired spot is busy with other outdoor enthusiasts this black bear season.

No other changes have been made to the 2020 bear season. Adult hunters (age 16 and older) must have a valid Regular NH Hunting, Combination, or Archery License, and a Bear License and valid tag to hunt black bear. Youth hunters (under 16 years of age) do not need a Regular NH Hunting, Combination, or Archery License, but they do need a Bear
License and valid tag.

People who would like to try bear hunting this fall and were unable to complete Hunter Education due to class cancellations associated with COVID-19 or for any other reason should consider the Apprentice Hunting License. This license allows those 16 and older interested in trying hunting to do so under the guidance of an experienced hunter without first taking Hunter Education. Learn more at or call (603) 271-3422 for more information.