Fall Turkey Shotgun Season Coming to New Hampshire, Monday-Friday, October 10-14, 2011
New Hampshire’s five-day fall shotgun turkey hunting season takes place Monday through Friday, October 10-14, 2011, in all but six of the state's Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). Areas open to fall shotgun turkey hunting encompass much of the Connecticut River Valley and southern New Hampshire, including WMUs D1, D2, G, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, J2, K, L and M. For a map and more information on turkey hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_turkey.htm.
The turkey license required to hunt turkey in New Hampshire covers both the spring and fall turkey seasons during a calendar year; the price is $16 for residents and $31 for non-residents. In addition to the turkey license, residents also must have a current N.H. hunting, archery or combination license, and nonresidents must have a big game hunting or archery license, depending on their hunting plans.
Hunters may take only a single turkey (of either sex) during the fall, either with bow and arrow during the archery season, or with a shotgun during the shotgun season. The bird must be tagged with the "fall" tag that comes on the turkey license.
New Hampshire also has a long fall archery season for turkey, which runs from September 15 through December 15 throughout the state, with the exception of WMU A in northern N.H., which is closed to fall turkey hunting.
Ted Walski, the N.H. Fish and Game turkey project leader, advises that the state's wild turkeys are doing well this year. Hatching weather was favorable for turkeys this summer in most of New Hampshire. While there was significant rainfall last spring, most of the turkey hatch occurred between May 25 and June 7, which was a period of hot, sunny weather. A summer turkey brood survey indicated good numbers of turkey poults. So those afield should be seeing an abundance of turkeys in the fields and woods this fall.
Last fall (2010) hunters registered a total of 1,010 turkeys in New Hampshire. Of these, 291 turkeys were taken during the archery season, and 719 turkeys were harvested during the fall shotgun season.
Since turkeys tend to gather in groups in the fall, hunters are advised to be extremely selective in deciding when to shoot, both as a matter of safety and to guard against hitting more than one bird with a single shot. “Even if the turkeys are not ‘flocked up,’ their cryptic coloration, coupled with the pellet pattern cast by a shotgun, requires that hunters exercise extreme restraint when choosing a shot,” says Fish and Game wildlife biologist Mark Ellingwood, adding, "Pursuit of flocks visible from public roadways is discouraged for reasons of safety and fair-chase.”
Licenses, permits and more information on turkey hunting in New Hampshire is available at www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_turkey.htm.