Get Set for Fall Hunting

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Though summer heat is sizzling, many of New Hampshire's hunting seasons have been set, and it's none too soon to start planning for hunting trips in the brisk days of autumn. September 1 is the start of New Hampshire's hunting seasons for black bears. Our ruffed grouse season and several other small game seasons open on October 1. Of particular interest are the 2005 archery deer season, from September 15 through December 15; the muzzleloader deer season, from October 29 through November 8; and the regular firearms season for deer, from November 9 through December 4. More details on these and other New Hampshire hunting and trapping seasons are available at

"New Hampshire is blessed with diverse and abundant wildlife. Science-based management ensures that we can actively hunt New Hampshire wildlife and, at the same time, safeguard these invaluable resources for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations," said N.H. Fish and Game Wildlife Programs Administrator Mark Ellingwood. "In fact, revenue associated with hunting pays for wildlife management and protection, and represents our best means of manipulating populations to satisfy diverse public expectations. I encourage all of our citizenry to share in our proud heritage, unplug from your computers, cell phones and video games, and enjoy an invigorating day in pursuit of great exercise, knowledge of our natural world, lifetime memories with friends and family, and if you're lucky, healthy, lean, organic food for the table."

Highlights of New Hampshire's 2005 fall hunting seasons, at a glance:

* White-tailed deer*:
o Archery -- Sept. 15 - Dec. 15
o Youth deer weekend -- Oct. 22 - 23
o Muzzleloader -- Oct. 29 - Nov. 8
o Firearms -- Nov. 9 - Dec. 4
* Black bear*: Starts Sept. 1; end varies by WMU
* Ruffed grouse: Oct. 1- Dec. 31
* Fall wild turkey*: Archery only, Sept. 15 - Dec. 15
* Pheasant: Oct. 1- Dec. 31
* Snowshoe hare*: Oct. 1 - March 15 or 31 (varies by WMU)
* Moose: By permit only, Oct. 15 - 23
* Youth waterfowl weekend: Sept. 24 - 25
* Waterfowl: Varies by species and zone. By law, season details and dates are not set until later in the year. Details will be posted on the Fish and Game website when finalized.

*Season dates vary according to Wildlife Management Unit (WMU). For maps, check stations and more on New Hampshire's hunting seasons, click here.

If you've held a hunting license in New Hampshire in the year 2000 or later, you can purchase hunting licenses and permits online at Fish and Game's website (click here for online licensing). Hunting licenses and permits are also available at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord or from license agents statewide.

If you're looking to purchase your first hunting license, be aware that you must complete a hunter education course before you hunt; click here for a list of available classes.

Hunting is a recreational activity enjoyed by nearly 80,000 people in the Granite State each year, supporting the state's economy by generating $71 million in revenue and providing more than 1,400 jobs. In addition to these benefits, regulated hunting has allowed New Hampshire to maintain stable and healthy wildlife populations in recent years, according to Ellingwood.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.