New Hampshire Expands Range of Fall Shotgun Turkey Season
New Hampshire's five-day fall shotgun turkey hunting season takes place Monday through Friday, October 11-15, 2010, in 12 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in the Connecticut River Valley and southern New Hampshire (WMUs D1, D2, G, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, J2, K, L and M).
New Hampshire expanded the range of its five-day shotgun turkey season this year to include most of the southern part of the state. In addition to the 8 WMUs in western New Hampshire where this season has been in place for some time, four new units in eastern New Hampshire (M, L, J1 and J2) will be open for the fall shotgun turkey season for the first time in 2010. The new units include all of the towns in Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and most of Carroll County.
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. The fall archery season for turkey runs from September 15 – December 15 statewide (except it is closed in WMU A in northern N.H.).
Fall turkey hunters should 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, according to Wildlife Biologist Mark Ellingwood. "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," Ellingwood says. He also reminds hunters to use good judgment in deciding where to pursue turkey flocks: "Pursuit of flocks visible from public roadways is discouraged for reasons of safety and fair-chase."
Turkeys are doing well this year in New Hampshire. Numerous sunny days this spring and summer created good hatching weather, resulting in many turkey broods with good numbers of young. That makes the outlook promising for the state's fall turkey hunters.
Licenses, permits and more information on turkey hunting in New Hampshire is available at www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_turkey.htm.