Dear Season Update

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New Hampshire's deer hunt is proceeding much as expected, with an estimated statewide harvest of 9,931 deer as of December 1. That represents an increase of 17% over the 2001 harvest at the same point in the season. Deer harvest numbers by county are shown in the chart below, with comparisons to the previous 6 years. While total harvest is up from 2001, good hunting conditions have contributed to this increase and the final assessment of the herd will not be made until all data from the season are analyzed.

"By and large, things are looking good at this point in the season," says Kent Gustafson, Fish and Game's deer project leader. He notes that most hunters are seeing deer, and that some nice bucks have been taken this fall.

For deer hunters who haven't had a chance to get out in the field yet, "Conditions are still very good across the state, with some snow on the ground," says Gustafson. "The opportunity is out there for some excellent hunting if you haven't gotten your deer yet."

According to Gustafson, the weeks following Thanksgiving holiday are a great time to be out in the woods. "The number of hunters traditionally goes down after the holiday boom," he says. "It's relatively peaceful and quiet."

The regular firearms season for deer runs through December 8th; the archery season continues through December 15th.