Andy Timmins (603) 271-2461
Dan Bergeron: (603) 271-2461
August 18, 2023

Ruffed Grouse

Concord, NH – Small game hunting season for gray squirrel starts on September 1 and is a great way to introduce someone new to hunting. On October 1, ruffed grouse, woodcock, cottontail rabbit, pheasant, and snowshoe hare seasons each open, all of which are exciting species to pursue and make excellent table fare. Small game hunters will want to check out the 2022/2023 New Hampshire Small Game Summary Report, which presents data from the annual Small Game Hunter Survey. Participation in these surveys by hunters significantly enhances the Department’s management of these species.

While the New Hampshire Small Game Summary Report includes a variety of species, the primary focus of the data is the Granite State’s two most sought-after small game birds: ruffed grouse and woodcock. The report provides long-term statistical trends for both species of birds, which comprised 87% of reported hunter effort during 2022. Other species of interest to small game hunters included in the report are snowshoe hare and gray squirrel.

“Fall is a magical time in New Hampshire, and hunting small game is a great way to celebrate the season,” said New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Game Program Supervisor Andrew Timmins. “Pursuing small game provides a unique opportunity to introduce youth and novice hunters to the sport, and because small game species are habitat dependent, new hunters must learn about the food and cover requirements of the species which adds to the experience. Hunters have the ability to assist in our understanding and management of small game populations by providing data related to observations, harvest, and effort. These surveys are easy to obtain and complete, and they provide the Department with necessary data to promote small game populations and opportunities to enjoy this resource.”

If you hunt small game, please take part in this year’s surveys:

Everyone who completes either of these two surveys will be entered into a raffle to win a firearm donated by Sturm Ruger and the Ruffed Grouse Society, respectively.

“A big thank you to all the small game hunters who participated in our survey efforts,” said Timmins.

Learn more about small game hunting in New Hampshire at

Wildlife research and management activities in New Hampshire are funded through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, a user-pay, user-benefit program supported by the purchase of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment.