Concord, NH — New Hampshire’s regular firearms deer hunting is going well, as hunters look forward to time afield during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Through November 13, 2011, hunters had taken an estimated 6,653 deer in New Hampshire, very similar to the 6,729 registered at this point in the 2010 season.
“Thanksgiving week should continue to provide good firearm and archery hunting opportunities as breeding activity is peaking,” said Kent Gustafson, Deer Project Leader for Fish and Game. “For many families, this is a traditional time to get out and enjoy the pursuit of whitetails, a time when deer hunting stories and Thanksgiving dinner are both shared with family and friends.”
For a comparison of harvest results by county at this same point in the season in recent years, visit http://www.HuntNH.com/Hunting/deer_hunt_take_November.htm.
The remainder of the regular firearm deer season statewide is for legally antlered bucks only. There is one exception — licensed firearm hunters with a valid Special Unit-M Antlerless Only Permit may use that permit through the end of the regular firearm season on December 4, while bow hunters may use it until the end of the archery season on December 15. The regular firearm season will run through December 4, with the exception of WMU-A, where it ends on November 27.
New Hampshire’s bear hunting season ends today. As of November 14, hunters had reported harvest of 376 bears (230 males and 146 females). Currently, this year’s harvest is 32% below the 5-year in-season average of 556 bears for this time period.
“It is important to recognize that the annual bear harvest has been high during several recent years as a result of a variety of factors,” explained N.H. Fish and Game bear biologist Andrew Timmins. “In fact, we have seen record bear harvests in New Hampshire during five of the last eight years. Some years have been abnormally high, which greatly influences recent averages and complicates comparisons to previous years. The current harvest is actually a more average year. Years with lower harvest numbers help buffer high harvest years, which generally results in a mean harvest that coincides with our bear management objective of about 500 bears per year.”
Regionally, 64 bears were taken in the North Region, 102 bears in the White Mountains, 133 in the Central Region, 45 in Southwest-1, 30 in Southwest-2, and 2 in the Southeast region of New Hampshire.
Hunting activity provides a significant boost to New Hampshire’s economy. According to the most recent National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, about 60,000 hunters in New Hampshire accounted for nearly $75 million annually in trip-related, equipment and other spending in the state.
Successful hunters can help the less fortunate by sharing their harvest with the “Hunt for the Hungry” program at the New Hampshire Food Bank. For more information on donating game meat, call 603-669-9725 or visit http://www.nhfoodbank.org.
For more information on hunting in New Hampshire, including online license sales, visit http://www.HuntNH.com/Hunting/hunting.htm.