Allison Keating: (603) 352-9669
Andrew Timmins: (603) 271-2461
May 17, 2023

Alicia Bentley of Franklin, NH took her first turkey early this spring in the town of Barnstead using her .410 gauge shotgun. The 15 lb jake had a 6” beard and came in gobbling hard to hen yelps on a box call. This new hunter was able to utilize the Apprentice License program and is now hooked thanks to the help of an experienced mentor.

Concord, NH –The Granite State’s spring turkey hunting season is now approaching its midpoint. The youth weekend took place on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30, and the regular spring season, which began on May 1, will conclude on Wednesday, May 31. All indications suggest that things are off to a successful start for New Hampshire turkey hunters. Preliminary results confirm that 427 turkeys were harvested during the youth weekend, which is consistent with last year’s total of 428 birds registered. As of May 14, 3,849 turkeys have been recorded, which is on track with last year’s numbers at the same time. These preliminary results represent online registrations and approximately one-third of traditional check-in stations. Results will be updated as more registrations are received with final numbers being reported after the season closes.

Hunters who successfully harvested a turkey in 2022 should have received a Turkey Hunter Survey in the mail. NH Fish and Game reminds hunters who received these survey cards to please fill them out and mail them back by June 9, 2023 to be entered in a raffle drawing. The information provided by hunters through this survey provides valuable insight for both turkey and furbearer species management. The survey is conducted in partnership with the New Hampshire Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation which generously donates raffle prizes in support of this continued wildlife monitoring effort.

“There is still time to get out and enjoy the woods and try your luck at calling in a spring gobbler,” said Allison Keating, the NH Fish and Game Department’s Turkey Project Leader. “Sunrise is earlier at this time of year, but hunting competition also lessons later in the season as many hunters have successfully harvested their spring bird.”

“The apprentice hunting license is a great way to get started and to try turkey hunting for the first time,” said Carter Heath, Regional Director for the National Wild Turkey Federation. “If you are new to turkey hunting you can go out with a mentor to try it out in a safe and educational way, and if you are an experienced hunter who has tagged out for the season you can take someone new and share your knowledge, skills, and passion for turkey hunting.”

The Apprentice Hunting License allows those age 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. All other hunters must have completed a Hunter Education class. To learn more visit

A New Hampshire turkey license/permit is required for hunters of all ages ($16 for state residents and $31 for nonresidents). Hunters age 16 and older must hold either a current New Hampshire hunting or archery license and a turkey permit. Licenses are available online at or from license agents around the state.

Spring turkey hunters interested in harvesting two male or bearded birds may take one bird statewide and the other may only be taken in WMUs H1, H2, J2, K, L, or M. The first bird must be legally registered before another bird can be harvested.

Turkey hunters who harvest a second bird during the spring season forfeit their chance to take a bird during the statewide fall archery and shotgun seasons. The fall shotgun season is restricted to designated Wildlife Management Units. The fall season allows for the taking of one bird of either sex.

Turkey hunters continue to have the option to register their harvested birds online or in person at a local registration station. Regardless of registration method, all harvested birds must be affixed with the tag that is issued with the hunter’s turkey license immediately upon taking, and all birds must be registered within 24 hours. Hunters choosing to harvest two birds in the spring (where permitted) must register their first bird prior to the taking of a second bird. To learn more about registering your harvest, visit

Wild turkey management is funded, in part, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Restoration Program.