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NH Fish and Game News


Watch for Deer on the Roads


Summer is Time for Hunter Education in NH!


NH Fish and Game Department Launches New Website


Proposed NH Fish and Game License Fee Increases Announced


Sign the Kids Up for Barry Conservation Camp! 01-28-15

Registration is underway for summer youth programs at Barry Conservation Camp in Berlin, N.H. The camp offers weekly, overnight summer camp programs for boys and girls, age 8-16. Barry Camp is operated by UNH Cooperative Extension 4-H and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Kids who enjoy hands-on learning about outdoor skills and the environment will love Barry Camp. New this year is a specialty week for youth interested in learning more about careers as a Fish and Game Conservation Officer.

To select camp programs and register, visit http://extension.unh.edu/4H/4HCamps.htm, email 4Hcamps@unh.edu or call 603-788-4961.

2015 summer programs at Barry Conservation Camp open for registration:

Mini-Camp: June 28-July 1, 2015. Ages 8-12. Cost: $305 -- Mini-Camp is perfect for first-time campers and younger children. This abbreviated session will include 3 nights and 4 days. Campers will enjoy our caring staff who will introduce them to many fun and exciting camp activities. Learn about nature, try your hand at crafts, explore outdoor games, sing around the campfire...this week has it all.

Fish Camp: July 5-10, 2015. Ages 10-16. Cost: $495 -- Come along and catch the big one! Novice anglers will learn the basic skills and equipment needed to get started fishing while campers with more experience will work on improving their fishing skills and exploring the finer details of the angling world. Campers will also hike, swim, canoe, create campfire skits and enjoy a host of other great activities.

4-H on the Wild Side I: July 12-17, 2015. Ages 10-16. Cost: $495 -- Experience the great outdoors! Create a meal from gathered plants, fillet a fish and cook it over an open fire, sleep under the stars, climb a mountain, swim in a pond, create nature crafts, and more. Experience a week of exciting outdoor adventures.

Hunter Education: July 19-24, 2015. Ages 12-16. Cost: $495 -- Join N.H. Fish and Game Department Hunter Education staff, volunteer instructors and camp counselors to learn and practice safe, responsible and ethical hunting. If a camper wishes to be eligible for hunter education certification at the end of the week, then some homework must be completed prior to coming to camp.

North Country Adventure: July 26-31. Ages 12–16. Cost: $495 -- Get ready for a fantastic week of exciting outdoor adventure. This week will focus on building your woodscraft skills. Campers will track wildlife, go on a canoe or backpacking adventure, learn about trapping, practice survival skills, navigate with compass and GPS and practice hunting skills. Plenty of fishing and shooting sports, too.

Junior Conservation Officer : August 2 – 5. Ages 14-17. $305 -- A new session for older campers who are interested in learning about outdoor careers. New Hampshire Conservation Officers will be at camp all week and will teach a host of fun, exciting and interesting sessions. In addition to traditional camp activities, topics will include search and rescue, crime scene investigation, firearms safety, tracking, surveillance, night vision technology, wildlife laws, arrest procedures, K-9 techniques, and much more.

Support Barry Camp: You can help ensure Barry Conservation Camp is here to connect future generations with the outdoors by contributing to the Barry Camp Fund. Additional improvements and a capital campaign are underway. Learn more at http://www.wildnh.com/barrycamp.

Sponsor a camper: Although Barry Conservation Camp is competitively priced, many families find it challenging to finance a week at camp. Fortunately, there is a strong tradition of individuals and organizations providing "camperships." If you'd like to learn how to help send a youngster to camp, visit http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource002315_Rep3402.pdf or call 603-788-4961.


Deer Season Update, Deer Baiting Ends November 19 in Most WMU's - 11-10-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire hunters have taken an estimated 5,102 deer statewide as of November 9, according to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Two days remain in the muzzleloader season, and archery deer hunters have been afield since September 15. The long-awaited start of the regular firearms season is this Wednesday, November 12, with various numbers of either-sex days in each Wildlife Management Unit (WMU). Be sure to check the 2014-2015 NH Hunting & Trapping Digest for WMU specific regulations (available at license agents or online at http://www.wildnh.com/pubs/hunting.html).

“The season is off to a strong start and hunters have been reporting seeing lots of deer. Many hunters are likely looking forward to the start of the firearms season, but with an increasing number of hunters afield, hunters are reminded that wearing blaze orange greatly reduces hunting related incidents and keeps everyone safer,” said Dan Bergeron, Fish and Game’s Deer Project Leader.

The statewide estimated deer kill to date of 5,102 is the fifth highest in the last nine years, exceeded by 2007, 2013, 2012 and 2006 respectively. The 2014 totals represent a 16% decrease in harvest from the same point last year. Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Grafton Counties are showing the highest registrations to date.
Hunters are also reminded that, under new regulations this year, the deer baiting season ends on November 19 in all Wildlife Management Units except WMU M and on Governor’s and Long Islands, where it will remain open through December 15. Also, hunters holding a Disabled Veterans or Paraplegic hunting license can continue to bait for deer through December 15 statewide. A baited area shall not be considered an active bait site when all containers used to hold bait and all bait materials are completely removed.

Successful hunters can continue to help the less fortunate by donating venison. Contact the NH Food Bank at (603) 669-9725 for more information.

Hunting season dates and information for all game species can be found in the 2014-2015 N.H. Hunting Digest. For more information on hunting in New Hampshire, as well as license and permit sales, visit http://www.huntnh.com.


72% OF HUNTERS SUCCESSFUL IN 2014 N.H. MOOSE HUNT - 11-08-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire’s 2014 moose season wrapped up on Sunday, October 26. While hunters have until close of business today to register their moose at N.H. Fish and Game headquarters or regional offices, preliminary figures show that 91 hunters succeeded in taking their moose during the 9-day season. With a total of 127 permits issued, this represents a statewide success rate of 72%. The breakdown for the harvest this year was 57 bulls (63%) and 34 cows (37%). Final season results will be available upon completion of registration data entry and analysis.

“We’re pleased with this success rate,” said Kristine Rines, Fish and Game’s longtime moose biologist. “The percentage has been down a bit the last two years, so this is good.”

Around the state this year, preliminary numbers show moose hunters having an 81% success rate in the Connecticut Lakes Region; 79% in the North Region; 64% in the White Mountain Region; 68% in the Central Region; 80% in the Southwest Region; and 40% in the Southeast Region.

Participants reported on some interesting adventures as they brought their harvested moose in to biologists at regional check stations. At age 70, Dwight Poland Sr. of Antrim has entered every year since the moose hunt lottery began and finally won a permit this year. Hunting with his nephew Mark Poland of Hillsboro, he shot a 540-pound cow on Saturday. He and Mark had a long, difficult drag bringing the moose out from a remote location. When they brought the cow into the check station, where biologists document the harvest and take biological samples, it at first appeared that only one ovary was present. Hunters are required to bring out all edible meat, a sample of the liver and kidney for testing, the rack of males, and the reproductive tract of females, including both ovaries. Luckily, Poland’s nephew had insisted that they gather and bring everything on the list, and biologist Kristine Rines was soon able to locate the other ovary. “Otherwise I would have had to send them back to the field to get it,” Rines said.

Information on tick loads carried by the harvested moose will be further evaluated as part of an ongoing study.

Check out a growing gallery of photos and stories from this year's successful New Hampshire moose hunters at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm.

Want some ideas for how to use all that moose meat? Check out a video of Wild Cheff Denny Corriveau demonstrating a moose cheese steak sandwich recipe at http://youtu.be/r5xbHW9B_bU?list=UUVqyvPVbcq9dm96OZpNL8dg.

Get into the spirit of the New Hampshire moose hunt with a limited-edition 2014 New Hampshire moose hunt commemorative shirt; order at http://www.huntnh.com/mooseshirt.

In all, more than 10,000 people entered the moose hunt lottery for a chance to win a permit for the New Hampshire moose hunt. About 85 percent of the permits went to New Hampshire residents. The odds of winning a moose permit in the lottery are about 1 in 59 for New Hampshire residents and 1 in 221 for nonresidents.


2014 N.H. Youth Deer Hunt Weekend Results, Deer Season To Date
- 11-06-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- Preliminary reports show that young hunters succeeded in harvesting 367 deer during the 2014 Youth Deer Hunt Weekend in New Hampshire, down 24% from the 2013 total of 483. This unofficial total does not include information from all registration stations. The 2014 total is slightly above the average since the youth deer hunt began in 1999.

The overall reported deer kill for New Hampshire through November 2, 2014, with comparisons to the previous 8 years, is posted at http://wildnh.com/Hunting/deer_hunt_take_November-1.htm. These results include registrations through the first weekend of the muzzleloader season. The total estimated kill to date is 3,692, down 18% from this point last year. It is still the fourth highest total for this point of the season in the past 9 years, exceeded only in 2012, 2013, and 2007. Grafton, Rockingham, and Hillsborough counties are showing the highest registrations to date.

New Hampshire’s muzzleloader season continues through Tuesday, November 11, and the regular firearm season opens on Wednesday, November 12. Be sure to check the 2014-2015 Hunting and Trapping Digest for wildlife management unit specific regulations.

“Deer breeding activity is picking up, so the next few weeks should provide prime hunting opportunities,” says Fish and Game Deer Project Leader Dan Bergeron.

During this year’s New Hampshire Youth Deer Weekend, the Rheinhardt family of Bow, N.H., took to the woods after the last football game of the season. “Over the two-day hunt, we were able to introduce new hunters to the woods, participate in two youth hunters’ first deer success and watch our 11-year-old son harvest a deer many New Hampshire hunters wait a lifetime to shoot,” reported Megan Rheinhardt. Her son Wyatt's youth weekend deer was an 8-point whitetail buck that after field dressing weighed 212 lbs., making Wyatt eligible for New Hampshire’s Trophy Deer Program. See a photo at http://wildnh.com/Newsroom/2014/Q4/youthdeer.html.

The Rheinhardt family has participated in New Hampshire’s youth deer hunt weekend for the past five years. “We are so proud of Wyatt and Myles for developing a passion for the outdoors,” Rheinhardt continued. “Hunting in the woods as a family is an activity I am so grateful for, and this year’s hunt has added to this appreciative feeling … allowing us to celebrate the outdoors and create memories with friends and family that will last a lifetime! Thank you for having a youth weekend in the state of New Hampshire that allows us an extra special time in the woods with our kids.”


Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH Announces 2014 Grant Awards to NH Fish and Game 11-03-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire announces 2014 grant awards of $53,355 to the NH Fish and Game Department. Funds raised from the annual Moose Permit Auction were down significantly this year due to a reduction in the number of permits awarded to the Foundation, but Board Chair Steve White reports that a private fund stepped forward to match to Moose Permit proceeds, allowing the Foundation to fulfill 56% of grant requests from Fish and Game.

The New Hampton Fishery was awarded $5,000 to renovate a pre-existing hatchery structure to provide for specific lights and timers. This will allow for photo-manipulation and egg procurement to increase the survival rate of brook and brown trout eggs which are supplied to other state hatcheries from New Hampton.

To redesign and upgrade the NH Fish and Game website to be compatible with mobile devices and tablets, the Foundation awarded $3,000 for web design coding and training.

Continuing to support the efforts to preserve our valued moose population, the Foundation awarded $1,160 towards federal funding for the testing of heavy metal cadmium in the moose population.

The Becoming an Outdoor Woman program (B.O.W.) was awarded $600 to provide for 2 scholarships for women to attend the Fall 2015 educational workshop to introduce women to new outdoor skills.

The Wildlife Division was awarded $1,800 to purchase tarps, ropes and carbineers to safely and efficiently remove and relocate bears from trees in populated areas where culvert traps are inappropriate.

A grant of $5,000 was awarded to the Great Bay Discovery Center towards the replacement of the 1,700 foot boardwalk. The Foundation will continue to support the Center and the Great Bay Stewards as they seek to secure federal funding of this valuable walkway along the estuary of Great Bay in Greenland, NH.

A request for a Land Habitat Cultipacker was granted for $1,500, to prepare firm seedbeds and plant cover crops in wildlife areas to provide more food for wildlife in state land areas.

A grant of $10,000 was awarded to the Law Enforcement division to complete the purchase of flotation jackets so that all Conservation Officers will be protected year round.

The Foundation will continue to support the multi-year building and renovation of signs, kiosks and informational panels in all Wildlife Management Areas around the state. This year’s grant was for $6,875 for 11 signs, 4 kiosks and 4 informational panels.

Wild Times for Kids is a youth magazine provided to grade school classrooms throughout the state focusing on wildlife and conservation. The Foundation approved $3,420 towards the publication of the Spring 2015 issue.

A new program Wildlife Recreation Access Program (WRAP) was awarded $10,000. This will provide incentives including gates, signage and parking areas to private landowners who agree to keep their lands open for at least 5 years for hunting, fishing and wildlife watching.

The Foundation will again sponsor the 2015 Hunting and Fishing Expo with an award of $5,000. This free annual event draws over 1,000 visitors each year and showcases services and products related to hunting, fishing, trapping, and conservation accomplishments.

In addition to these grants, the Foundation also supports on-going program needs at the Department by managing restricted funds from individual and corporate donations on behalf of the Barry Conservation Camp Maintenance Program and the Law Enforcement Canine Program.

Foundation Chair Steve White states that the Foundation must begin soliciting funds now for the 2015 grant program. As all funds from the 2014 Moose Permit Auction have been expended, and with the number of moose permits expected to remain at the same level in 2015, private and corporate donations are essential to the Foundation’s continued support of the many critical Fish and Game programs that are unfunded, yet affect our wildlife and the use and enjoyment of NH’s wilderness.

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire is the official non-profit partner of the NH Fish and Game Department. The Foundation raises funds in support of the Department's critical wildlife, conservation and educational programs important to New Hampshire family traditions of hiking, hunting, fishing and watching wildlife, and to preserve these outdoor gifts for generations to come.

If you are interested in making donations to Fish and Game programs through the Foundation, please contact Gail Huntting, Foundation Administrator at (603) 496-2778 or email admin@nhwildlifefheritage.org.

To learn more about the Foundation and how you can help conserve New Hampshire's wildlife and wild places, visit the Foundation’s new website at http://www.nhwildlifeheritage.org.


N.H. Moose Hunt Opening Weekend Brings 32% Success     10-30-14

CONCORD, N.H. – About a third of New Hampshire’s moose hunters were successful during the first two days of the nine-day season, achieving a 32% success rate on the opening weekend of the hunt. On Saturday and Sunday (October 18 and 19), a total of 41 moose were taken by hunters statewide – 29 bulls and 12 cows. Last year, about 18% of moose hunters were successful during the opening weekend.

The weather was warm and rainy on the opening day of the moose season, but Sunday dawned cold, with a dusting of snow in the North Country. “Cool weather is good for moose hunting, because moose tend to be a little more active when it’s cold,” said Kristine Rines, who has been the N.H. Fish and Game Department’s moose biologist for 28 years.

The largest moose checked in during the opening weekend was a bull with a dressed weight of 810 pounds and an antler spread of 43 inches, taken in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) D-1 in Bethlehem by Shawn Couture of Phillipston, Mass.

The all-women team of Teresa Shackford of Madison, N.H., and her sub-permittee Heidi Bliss-Libby of West Baldwin, Maine, took a 530-pound bull in WMU C-2.

Another success story from C-2 was a delighted Stanley Magdziarz of Hooksett, N.H., who took a 770-pound bull. Now 78 years old, Magdziarz has been entering the moose hunt lottery since it began in 1988, and this was the first time his name was drawn.

Moose hunter and Fish and Game furbearer biologist Patrick Tate of Hudson, N.H., and his wife were headed out to hunt in Success, N.H., on the first day of the hunt, but stopped to help some young people fix a disabled pickup truck. Two Fish and Game Conservation Officers saw his generous action, and suggested some hunting areas and offered to help with retrieval if they were not involved in a mission. The next morning, Tate, who was the subpermittee on his wife’s antlerless-only permit, shot a 630-pound cow about a quarter mile into a timber cut, an area of dense blowdowns. Tate called the COs, who were involved in a rescue. It soon concluded, and before long they were on hand to help Tate drag the moose out with the aid of a four-wheeler. “Had I not stopped to help those people, I never would have encountered the COs!” said Tate.

Kristine Rines reported that, “We are noticing that some of the moose coming in are in good shape, while others are quite thin. Overall, we don’t seem to be seeing a lot of ticks on the moose this year. The whole purpose of the mortality study now underway is to determine whether there is something in addition to the ticks that is impacting the state’s moose population.”

Rines explained that biologists at the moose check stations are also taking blood samples to test for West Nile Virus and EEE, and taking liver and kidney samples to check for the presence of heavy metals, in particular cadmium.

Fish and Game manages New Hampshire’s moose population in accordance with density goals defined in its 2006-2015 moose management plan. This plan seeks to meet regional moose population goals by balancing and incorporating social, economic, public safety and ecological factors, using the best available science.

New Hampshire’s nine-day moose hunt continues through Sunday, October 26, 2014. This year, more than 10,000 people entered the moose hunt lottery for a chance to win one of the 124 permits drawn for the New Hampshire moose hunt. In addition two permits are auctioned off by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, and one permit is given to a young person with a serious illness through the “Hunt of a Lifetime” program.

For more about moose hunting in New Hampshire, including a list of check stations, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm.

Get into the spirit of the adventure by getting your own limited-edition 2014 New Hampshire moose hunt commemorative shirt at http://www.huntnh.com/mooseshirt.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit http://www.huntnh.com.


N.H. Youth Deer Hunt Set For October 25 - 26, 2014 -
10-13-2014


CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire’s youth deer weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, 2014, is the perfect time to take a youngster hunting. This special weekend gives young people age 15 and younger the opportunity to go deer hunting with an adult mentor, without the pressure of competing with thousands of adult hunters.

Accompanying adults must be licensed hunters and are not allowed to carry a firearm; the idea is to concentrate your time and attention on coaching your young companion.

Prospects for this year’s youth season are good, according to Dan Bergeron, Deer Project Leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. New Hampshire’s deer population is healthy and will provide excellent opportunities. In 2013, young hunters took 483 deer during the youth weekend.

“The weekend presents a great opportunity to introduce your son or daughter, grandchild, or even a young friend to the joys, excitement, and rewards of deer hunting; all under the careful guidance of an experienced adult” said Bergeron. “You can help teach them about the sights and sounds of the forest, how to interpret wildlife sign, and how to use this knowledge to track and harvest a white-tailed deer. It’s a great excuse to get young people and yourself, out in the fresh air, have some fun, and enjoy some beautiful fall foliage. Teaching a young person how to hunt and seeing their excitement can help even the most avid hunter remember why they love the sport so much. This shared experience can build bonds that last a lifetime. We hope hunters will spend the weekend teaching the state’s youth what hunting is all about."

Bergeron notes that hunting can also help youngsters learn about the environment, conservation, tradition and ethics, and it can build a deep and abiding appreciation for the wildlife and wild places that many of our citizens and visitors cherish. 

New Hampshire has offered a special youth deer hunt since 1999. Nonresident youth may participate in New Hampshire’s youth deer weekend only if their state of residence allows New Hampshire youth to participate in its youth deer hunt.

For more about New Hampshire’s youth deer hunting weekend, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Youth_deer_wknd.htm.

For more information on deer hunting in New Hampshire, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_deer.htm.


NEW HAMPSHIRE WATERFOWL HUNTING SEASONS SET
08-30-14

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has set final season dates and bag limits for the 2014-2015 waterfowl hunting season, after considering comments from sportsmen at the recent public meeting.

New Hampshire's upcoming waterfowl season is very much like last year's. The overall duck season is 60 days, with a bag limit of six birds daily; and the Canada goose season is 70 days, with three birds in the daily bag. One significant change in this year's regulations is that the daily bag limit for canvasbacks has been reduced from two birds to one bird daily bag limit, with a possession limit of three birds.

A map of the waterfowl zones may be viewed at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_waterfowl.htm

Following are the waterfowl seasons for ducks, Canada geese, mergansers and coots:

     * The Northern Zone waterfowl season opens on October 2 and runs straight through November 30, 2014.

     * The Inland Zone waterfowl season opens on October 2 and runs through November 2; then reopens November 16 through December 13, 2014.

     * The Coastal Zone waterfowl season opens on October 3 and runs through October 13 (Columbus Day); then reopens November 16 through January 3, 2015.

To hunt for migratory birds, a resident must have a current Regular NH Hunting, Combination or Archery License. A nonresident must have a Regular NH Hunting, Combination, Archery or a Small Game License. No license is required for youth hunters (under age 16); youth must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older. In addition, duck and goose hunters age 16 and older must have:

    • NH Migratory Waterfowl License;

    • National Migratory Bird Harvest Information or "HIP" certification number to hunt ducks, geese, woodcock and snipe; and a

    • Federal Duck Stamp with the hunter's named signed across the face.

The Federal Duck Stamp can be purchased at many U.S. Post Offices or at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord or Fish and Game Region 2 Office in New Hampton.

HIP permit numbers can be obtained by calling 1-800-207-6183, or go to the "Buy Your License Online" section of the Fish and Game website http://www.huntnh.com to receive a permit number (there is no charge). This number should be written on the hunting license. Harvest information from HIP helps Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service make more reliable estimates of the number of all migratory birds harvested. Each year, a random selection of hunters is asked to complete a voluntary harvest survey.

Hunters are asked to report all banded birds by calling toll-free to 1-800-327-BAND. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will send a certificate with information about the bird.

For more information on waterfowl hunting in New Hampshire, or to buy licenses and permits online, visit http://wildnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_waterfowl.htm.

 


Seen any Wild Turkey Broods? Report Your Sightings to Fish and Game!    05-16-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is asking for the public's help in tracking wild turkey broods in New Hampshire this spring and summer. It's easy to take part. If you observe groups of turkeys with young between May 15 and August 31, 2014, report your sightings to Fish and Game at its web-based turkey brood survey at http://www.wildnh.com/turkeybroodsurvey

"People enjoy participating, and by doing so, they are helping us monitor the turkey population," said Ted Walski, Fish and Game Turkey Project Leader. "We get reports from all over the state through this survey, adding to the important information biologists gather on turkey productivity, distribution, abundance, turkey brood survival and the timing of nesting and hatching."

Last year (2013), summer brood survey participants reported seeing 1,676 broods, up from 1,085 sightings in 2012. Biologists are especially interested in getting more reports of turkey broods in the three northernmost New Hampshire counties (Coos, Carroll and Grafton).

The term "brood" refers to a family group of young turkeys accompanied by a hen. New Hampshire hens generally begin laying eggs sometime from mid-April to early May and complete their clutch of about 12 eggs in early to mid-May. Incubation lasts for 28 days, and most eggs hatch from late May to mid-June. If incubating turkey eggs are destroyed or consumed by predators, hens often lay a replacement clutch of eggs that hatch late June through late July. Reports of adult male turkeys are not being requested at this time.

Many factors can affect turkey productivity in any given year. Young turkeys are extremely sensitive to cool temperatures and rain, both because it can impact their health, and because these conditions adversely impact insect populations that are a critical source of nutrition for young turkeys. Since spring weather is highly variable, survival of the annual hatch of wild turkeys is also highly variable.

Turkey populations depend on a large annual influx of young turkeys to sustain themselves over time, so the number of young turkeys that survive to be “recruited” into the fall population is of great interest to turkey managers. A large sample of turkey brood observations collected throughout the summer can provide turkey managers with insight into the size of the “graduating class” of turkeys that will become adults. This explains why turkey managers throughout the country incorporate information from brood surveys into their management programs.

This year, turkey watchers are also being asked to report any observations of avian pox on turkeys. The avian pox virus, which is not harmful or transferable to humans, is characterized by wart-like growths on the head and upper neck area of the bird. During the 2014 Internet Winter Flock Survey, wild turkeys were observed with pox lesions at 26 sites in 18 towns, out of a total of 1,400 observations logged. To learn more about avian pox, visit http://www.wildnh.com/Wildlife/turkeyvirus.html.

Fish and Game relies on citizen participation to get as much turkey brood data as possible through this important survey. The survey will close on August 31, 2014. To report your turkey brood observations, go to http://www.wildnh.com/turkeybroodsurvey

Wildlife research and management in New Hampshire is funded in part by Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, a user-pay, user-benefit program supported by your purchase of fishing tackle, firearms, ammunition, archery equipment and motorboat fuels.


Last Chance to Catch the King     5-15-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- This is likely to be the last spring that anglers will be able to fish for large brood stock salmon in central New Hampshire, as the program that was the source of these big fish has been phased out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"It’s hard to believe, but this will be the final season of the Atlantic salmon broodstock fishery," said N.H. Fish and Game Department Fisheries Biologist Matt Carpenter.

Since 1993, Fish and Game has stocked Atlantic salmon into the Merrimack and Pemigewasset rivers to provide a fishing experience that would normally require travelling to Canada. Anglers from all over the region have come to New Hampshire each spring to try their luck at the broodstock fishery, which offers the chance to catch salmon that weigh as much as 15 pounds.

"The broodstock fishery was never meant to be an end unto itself," explained Carpenter. “It was a byproduct of the Merrimack River Atlantic Salmon Restoration Project, which ended in September of 2013 because of poor survival and shifting priorities within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.” 

Carpenter assures that the Atlantic salmon available for stocking this spring will not disappoint. "At 4 to 5 years of age, they have had plenty of time to grow, with many fish exceeding 10 pounds," Carpenter says. "We have just under 700 fish to stock this spring, so we should be able to hit all of the usual spots in Bristol, Franklin, Concord, and Hooksett."

The timing of stocking the broodstock fish is always a challenge in the spring, when heavy rains can wash salmon down river and make accessing the river difficult for anglers. Fortunately, trees begin to absorb more water during leaf out, so water levels generally begin to drop a little faster by the middle of May. Fish and Game began by stocking 200 salmon in Bristol on May 12, 2014, but with heavy rain in the forecast for the weekend, further stocking will be on hold until flows recede. "We hope to resume stocking some time next week (the week of May 19), depending on the amount of rain that we get," said Carpenter.

To fish for brood stock salmon, anglers need a current New Hampshire fishing license and an $11 brood stock salmon permit. Both can be purchased online at http://www.fishnh.com or from Fish and Game license agents statewide. Only salmon marked by Fish and Game with a T-bar anchor at the base of the dorsal fin may be kept, and the bag limit is 1 per day and 5 total for the season. For more information on New Hampshire’s brood stock salmon fishery, including an access map, visit http://www.fishnh.com/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm

Find out what it's all about by watching a short video about brood stock salmon fishing on the Merrimack at http://www.fishnh.com/Fishing/atlantic_salmon.htm.

Brood stock anglers are encouraged to report their experiences to Fish and Game by contacting Matt Carpenter at 603-271-2612 or matthew.carpenter@wildlife.nh.gov.



Volunteers Needed to Become Wonders of Wildlife Docents     5-14-14

CONCORD, N.H.: Are you are interested in sharing your interest in wildlife and aquatic resources with New Hampshire schoolchildren? Then consider becoming a Wonders of Wildlife Program (WOW) volunteer docent for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department! A new series of docent training sessions begins June 3, 2014. Applications must be received by May 28, 2014.

The Wonders of Wildlife Program is designed to introduce New Hampshire youth to the wise use of our state's wildlife and aquatic resources. Trained volunteer WOW docents present interactive Wonders of Wildlife programs targeted to students in grades 3-6. Teachers request specific programs for their classes and our docents travel to the school to present the program. WOW programs are also in demand for scout troops, 4-H and other organized youth groups. Docents also assist in staffing Fish and Game Department events such as Discover WILD New Hampshire Day, and they may be called upon to lead activities at environmentally based field days around the state.

Those completing the training are expected to contribute at least 48 volunteer hours, during the two years following the training, to the education of youths and adults by delivering programs that focus on New Hampshire wildlife, endangered species, aquatic ecology and wetlands, in schools or to organized youth groups in New Hampshire.

To find an application for the training to become a Wonders of Wildlife docent, as well as a new training schedule for June 2014, please visit the Fish and Game website at http://www.wildnh.com/Education/WOW_docents.htm.

For more information about the Wonders of Wildlife program, contact coordinator Mary Goodyear at the N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord NH 03301; e-mail: mary.goodyear@wildlife.nh.gov; or call 603-271-6649.

 


Learn More About Wildlife and the Outdoors at these May Events - 4-29-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- Spring is a great time to get out and learn about wildlife and nature. Following is a roundup of workshops and talks that are open to the public, sponsored by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and its partners. Follow the links for more details.

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GPS WORKSHOP IN CONCORD, NH – MAY 6 IN CONCORD

UNH Cooperative Extension is offering a GPS workshop at NH Fish and Game Headquarters in Concord on Tuesday May 6, 2014. In the morning, get yourself up-and-running with handheld GPS receivers, in the afternoon, learn how to bring data into Google maps and upload features from those maps into a GPS. For more information and to register, visit http://www.wildnh.com/Newsroom/2014/Q2/GPS_workshop_042514.html

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FREE TALK ON NH FISH AND GAME REPTILE AND AMPHIBIAN REPORTING PROGRAM - MAY 7 IN CONCORD

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program (RAARP) will be the topic of a spring Citizen Science lecture on May 7, 2014, from 6 to 7 pm at the NH Fish and Game Department in Concord. Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Michael Marchand will summarize the reptiles and amphibians that are found in New Hampshire and discuss how citizens can become involved in tracking their distribution and abundance. The talk is part of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services’ Jody Connor Limnology Center (JCLC) Citizen Science Lecture Series. For more information, visit http://www.wildnh.com/Newsroom/2014/Q2/RAARP_Citizen_Science_Talk_042514.html.

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SPOTLIGHT ON HUNTING WORKSHOP - MAY 10 IN NORTHWOOD
 
Folks who may be interested in getting into hunting, and those who share the woods with hunters and are interested in learning more about this outdoor pursuit, should check out a free workshop from noon to 5 p.m. on May 10, 2014, at Camp Wah-Tut-Ca, 292 Blakes Hill Road, in Northwood, NH. The workshop will be led by NH Fish and Game State Lands Habitat Biologist Jim Oehler and Fish and Game Owl Brook Hunter Education Center Coordinator Tom Flynn. For more information, visithttp://www.wildnh.com/Newsroom/2014/Q2/hunting_workshop_Northwood.html.

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SOMETHING'S FISHY HERE - FISH MIGRATION EVENT - MAY 10 IN NEWMARKET

To learn more and play an active role in helping river herring get from the sea back into the Lamprey River, join the folks from Fish and Game and the Lamprey Rivers Advisory Committee on Saturday, May 10, from 10:00 to noon as they gather fish and help them get up and over the McCallen Dam in Newmarket. Other fish might include see-through baby American eels and prehistoric lamprey eels. This rain-or-shine event is free and registration is not required. For more information, visit http://www.fishnh.com/Newsroom/2014/Q2/Fish_migration_talk_042514.html.

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HOW IS CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTING NH'S WILDLIFE RIGHT NOW?

FREE TALKS - THREE LOCATIONS - MAY 12 IN HANOVER, MAY 22 IN AUBURN, AND MAY 28 IN CONCORD

What is the connection between NH’s declining moose populations and the skimpy shrimp catch off NH’s coast in the last two years? And what is happening to NH’s birds? Join conservation planners and wildlife enthusiasts to hear from expert biologists on the health trends of moose, shrimp and birds and the connection with climate change. Learn about the N.H. Ecosystems and Wildlife Climate Change Plan to help better manage wildlife in our changing climate. 

Three sessions to choose from: May 12 in Hanover; May 22 in Auburn, and May 28 in Concord. For more details, visit Climate and Wildlife Talks.


Spaces At Barry Conservation Camp Filling Up Fast - 3-31-14

CONCORD, N.H. – If you want to send kids to Barry Conservation Camp in Milan, N.H., this summer, sign up soon, because spaces are filling up fast. Registration is underway for 2014 camp programs for youth (boys and girls age 8-16). A weekly, overnight summer camp operated by the UNH Cooperative Extension 4-H Program and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Barry Camp is for youth who enjoy hands-on learning about outdoor skills and the environment. 

To select camp programs and register, visit http://extension.unh.edu/4-H-Youth-Family/Barry-Conservation-4-H-Camp, email: 4Hcamps@unh.edu or call Larry Barker 603-788-4961.

2014 summer programs at Barry Conservation Camp:

4-H Shooting Sports: June 22-27, 2014. Ages 10-16. Cost: $485
A week centered on the NH 4‐H Shooting Sports program. Certified instructors will help youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, and the basic principles of hunting. Previous shooting sports experience is preferred, but not essential.

Mini-Camp: June 29-July 2, 2014. Ages 8-12. [FULL]

Fish Camp: July 6-11, 2014. Ages 10-16. Cost: $485
Novice anglers will learn the basic skills and equipment needed to get started fishing while campers with more experience will work on improving their fishing skills and exploring the finer details of the angling world. Campers will also hike, swim, canoe, create campfire skits and enjoy a host of other great activities.

4-H On The Wild Side: July 13-18, 2014. Ages 10-16. Cost: $485
Experience the great outdoors! Create a meal from gathered plants, fillet a fish and cook it over an open fire, sleep under the stars, climb a mountain, swim in a pond, create nature crafts, and more. Experience a week of exciting outdoor adventures.

Hunter Education: July 20-25, 2014. Ages 12-16. Cost: $485
Join N.H. Fish and Game Department Hunter Education staff, volunteer instructors and camp counselors to learn and practice safe, responsible and ethical hunting. If a camper wishes to be eligible for hunter education certification at the end of the week, then some homework must be completed prior to coming to camp.

North Country Adventure: July 27-August 1, 2014. Ages 12–16. Cost: $485
Get ready for a fantastic week of exciting outdoor adventure. This week will focus on building your woodscraft skills. Campers will track wildlife, go on a canoe or backpacking adventure, learn about trapping, practice survival skills, navigate with compass and GPS, practice hunting skills, and more. There will be plenty of fishing and shooting sports, too.

Help Build the Barry Camp Fund: Located in the White Mountain National Forest, Barry Conservation Camp provides a close-knit community for 38 campers and 11 staff. Newly renovated cabins each house seven campers and a counselor. Public support is needed to ensure Barry Camp is here to connect future generations with the outdoors; you can help by contributing to the Barry Camp Fund -- a campaign to ensure that Barry Camp will always be here to nurture new generations of outdoor enthusiasts and conservation-minded citizens. Find out more at www.wildnh.com/barrycamp.

Sponsor a camper: Although Barry Conservation Camp is competitively priced, many families find it challenging to finance a week at camp. Fortunately, there is a long camp tradition of individuals and organizations providing “camperships” to Barry Conservation 4-H Camp. To find out how you can help send a youngster to camp at http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource003620_Rep5173.pdf
or call Larry Barker at 603-788-4961.


Take Down Birdfeeders -- Don't Get Caught By Surprise This April!
03-27-14

CONCORD, N.H. – While it may look more like mid-January rather than late March across the New Hampshire landscape, don’t be fooled. Spring is here. The late March sun is strong and snow will soon start to melt fast. As the days become warmer, bears will start to get active and it is time to put the birdfeeders away until late fall. Some homeowners have already reported seeing bears at birdfeeders in different areas across the state. To help prevent bear visits, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department recommends taking down birdfeeders from April 1 to December 1. 

The Fish and Game Department urges the New Hampshire public to be proactive and take action now to prevent attracting a bear to their home. Do not wait for a bear to get the birdfeeder and then respond. Doing so encourages foraging behavior by bears near residences. A single food reward will cause the bear to return and continue to search the area for food. 

While bear/human conflicts during 2013 (527 complaints) were below the long-term average (695 per year), 2012 was a challenging year resulting in a record total of over 1,100 statewide complaints, according to Fish and Game Bear Biologist Andrew Timmins. Nearly 10% of the bear complaints during 2012 involved bears at bird feeders. Additionally, another 40% of the complaints were the direct result of bears raiding unsecured garbage at homes and businesses. “These two common food attractants accounted for half of the total bear-human conflicts in that year and could have been easily avoided by removing or securing common food attractants around the yard,” said Timmins.

“The rate of bear/human conflicts that will occur this spring and summer is unknown and difficult to predict. Bears went to den in good shape due to generally abundant foods (i.e., beechnuts, apples, mountain ash berries, and choke cherries) last fall. However, it has been a long denning season and bears have depleted considerable body fat,” said Timmins. “When bears emerge, they will be hungry and food will be limited until spring green-up occurs. We are hoping homeowners will be vigilant and remove/secure attractants so as not to entice bears and create nuisance behavior.” 

Black oil sunflower seeds are simply too high a quality of food (high in fat and protein) for bears to ignore. Natural bear foods during spring and summer are generally high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat. As a result, birdseed is high on the menu! If bears have previously acquired sunflower seeds at your home, they will be back looking for more. The best way to prevent attracting bears is to remove birdfeeders until December 1 and secure other household food attractants. 

Homeowners should take action to reduce the chances of a bear visiting their home. Avoid encounters with bears by taking a few simple precautions:

* Stop all bird feeding by April 1. 
* Clean up any spilled birdseed and dispose of it in the trash.
* Secure all garbage in airtight containers inside a garage or adequate storage area, and put garbage out on the morning of pickup, not the night before. If using a dumpster, inform your dumpster company that you need a dumpster with metal locking tops and doors that are inaccessible to bears and other wildlife.
* Avoid putting meat or other food scraps in your compost pile.
* Don't leave pet food dishes outside overnight.
* Clean and store outdoor grills after each use.
* Finally, never feed bears!

These steps will help to ensure that your backyard does not become attractive to bears and other wildlife, which is important because it prevents property damage by bears and because it keeps bears from becoming nuisance animals. 

For more information on preventing conflicts with black bears, visit wildnh.com/Wildlife/Somethings_Bruin.htm.

If you have questions about bear-related problems, you can get advice by calling a toll-free number coordinated jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department: 1-888-749-2327 (1-888-SHY-BEAR). 


Remove Bobhouses From Ice By April 1 - 03-25-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- Attention ice anglers: The ice might still be quite nice in many places, but according to state law, all bobhouses (AKA ice shanties), must be removed from the ice no later than the end of the day on April 1. 

Once you’ve moved your bobhouse to the shoreline, take care to move the structure to your own property. Do not leave bobhouses on public or private property without permission – that’s also a violation of state law.

The law is designed to ensure that bobhouses and their contents do not fall through the ice and become a hazard to boaters, or get left behind on shore, explained Lt. Heidi Murphy of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Law Enforcement Division.

Failure to remove a bobhouse from public waters, public property or private property by the deadline can result in a fine and a one-year loss of the owner’s fishing license. In cases where Conservation Officers cannot identify the bobhouse owner, Fish and Game has the authority to seize any bobhouse not removed by the deadline, and its contents. 

One final note, if you're tired of that bobhouse and are planning to upgrade, you are not allowed to make a bonfire out of it. Burning a bobhouse on the ice is illegal and will result in a fine and one year loss of your fishing license.

For more information, contact your local Conservation Officer or Fish and Game's Law Enforcement Division in Concord at (603) 271-3127.


Spring Into Discover Wild New Hampshire Day - 3-20-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- Spring is coming! Saturday, April 19, will be the 25th annual Discover WILD New Hampshire Day, an Earth Day celebration the whole family will enjoy. Admission is free. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H.

This annual festival brings together exhibits and demonstrations from environmental and conservation organizations from throughout the state. See live animals, big fish and trained falcons. Try your hand at archery, casting, fly-tying and B-B gun shooting. Count on lots of hands-on crafts activities for the younger kids, too. 

Discover WILD New Hampshire day is a place to find new ways to get outside and enjoy New Hampshire's great outdoors. Explore new trends in recycling, environmental protection and energy-efficient hybrid vehicles. Everyone is a conservation partner in New Hampshire – come learn more about our natural world, and discover how you can get involved!

Dog owners take note – please leave your dog at home. Due to public safety concerns, no dogs except official service animals will be allowed into the event.

Demonstrations and special events will go on throughout the day. A food concession will be available. Watch for more details at http://www.wildnh.com.

For photos of previous Discover WILD New Hampshire Day events visit http://www.wildnh.com/Events/DWNH_Day.html

Discover WILD New Hampshire Day is co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.


Ice Conditions Unsafe on Parts of Lake Winnipesaukee and Other Large Lakes - 01-30-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire Fish and Game Department officials warn that this winter's uneven temperatures and high winds have affected ice formation, particularly on the state's larger lakes. Fish and Game is urging those heading out onto the ice to exercise caution as they do so. A large number of anglers are expected to head out onto the state's lakes and ponds this weekend to participate in the Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby (February 8-9, 2014). 

A recent aerial survey of Lake Winnipesaukee by the N.H. Civil Air Patrol revealed treacherous ice conditions on some parts of the big lake, including an area of open water near Welch Island.  To view the aerial photo of Lake Winnipesaukee taken on January 25, 2014, visit Ice Safety Photo.

"Caution is in order for those going out onto the ice, especially on the large lakes," said Fish and Game Lt. James Goss. "Don't let the cold temperatures fool you – some areas that have traditionally been safe for ice anglers and other outdoor recreationists are not safe this year. We are urging people to check the ice thickness for yourself before you go out onto any frozen waterbody."

Because of the unpredictable ice conditions, it is not advisable to drive vehicles onto the ice, Goss said.  Those on foot should carefully assess ice safety before venturing out by using an ice chisel or auger to determine ice thickness and condition. Continue to do this as you get further out on to the ice, because the thickness of the ice will not be uniform all over the waterbody. 

Fisheries Biologist Don Miller notes, "Even though the winter of 2013-2014 has been cold so far, ice conditions on Lake Winnipesaukee are highly variable.  One area of note where extreme caution should be exercised extends from Lakeshore Park in Gilford, east to Welch Island and across to Long Island, Moultonborough.     The area extends south to Diamond and Rattlesnake islands and west to the Gilford shore line.  This includes the vicinity commonly referred to as "the Broads."   While caution should be exercised on the ice at all times, this area of Winnipesauke has seen very poor ice conditions consistently over the past few years.        Extreme caution should be used in this area."

As shown in the aerial photo, even travel along the shore line south of Lakeshore Park is not recommended.

Though all ice is potentially dangerous, the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H., offers a "rule of thumb" on ice thickness: There should be a minimum of six inches of hard ice before individual foot travel, and eight to ten inches of hard ice for snow machine or All-Terrain Vehicle travel. 

Keep in mind that thick ice does not always mean safe ice.  It is possible for ice to be thick, but not strong, because of varying weather conditions. Weak ice is formed when warming trends break down ice, then the slushy surface re-freezes. Be especially careful of areas with current, such as inlets, outlets and spring holes, where the ice can be dangerously thin. 

Tips for staying safe on the ice include:

•  Stay off the ice along the shoreline if it is cracked or squishy. Don’t go on the ice during thaws.

•  Watch out for thin, clear or honeycombed ice. Dark snow and ice may also indicate weak spots.

•  Small bodies of water tend to freeze thicker. Rivers and lakes are more prone to wind, currents and wave action that weaken ice.

•  Don’t gather in large groups or drive large vehicles onto the ice.

•  If you do break through the ice, don’t panic. Move or swim back to where you fell in, where you  know the ice was solid. Lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick hard. This will help lift your body onto the ice. A set of ice picks can help you pull yourself out if you do fall through the ice; wear them around your neck or put them in an easily accessible pocket. Once out of the water, roll away from the hole until you reach solid ice.

Ice safety is also very important for snowmobilers. Don't assume a trail is safe just because it exists; ask about trail conditions at local snowmobile clubs or sporting goods shops before you go.

To download a brochure from Fish and Game called "Safety on Ice - Tips for Anglers," visit http://www.wildnh.com/Outdoor_Recreation/ice_safety.html.


2014 N.H. Moose Hunt Lottery Opens - 1-28-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire's 2014 moose hunt lottery is now open. Enter today to try your luck on the adventure of a lifetime -- hunting moose in the rugged woods of the Granite State. Entering the lottery costs $15 for New Hampshire residents and $25 for nonresidents. The odds of being selected in last year's lottery were 1 in 35 for New Hampshire residents and 1 in 121 for nonresidents, some of the best odds in the nation for moose hunting!

To enter the N.H. moose hunt lottery, visit 
http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm, where you can enter online or print out a mail-in application, or buy one in person from any Fish and Game license agent or at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord. Moose hunt lottery applications for 2014 must be postmarked or submitted online by midnight Eastern Time on May 30, 2014, or delivered to the Licensing office at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord before 4:00 p.m. that day. Winners will be selected through a computerized random drawing on June 20 in Concord.

Each applicant can enter the moose hunt lottery once a year. A bonus point system improves the chances for unsuccessful applicants who apply each consecutive year. For example, last year resident applicants who had a total of 10 points had a 1 in 16 chance of being drawn, and a nonresident with 10 points had a 1 in 58 chance.

Last year (2013), more than 13,000 people entered the lottery for the chance to win one of 275 permits. More than 1,300 people continued to accrue bonus points because they submitted an application for a point only. Hunters from 15 different states won permits. 

While people travel from all over the country to take part in the New Hampshire moose hunt, the majority of permits (about 85%) go to New Hampshire residents. The number of permits available to nonresidents is capped, based on the prior year's sales of nonresident hunting licenses.

Since 2014 is a biennial season-setting year for Fish and Game, the exact number of moose hunt permits that will be offered for this fall's hunt has not yet been determined. Because of the continued decline in moose numbers in some areas, permit reductions are likely in parts of the state, according to Wildlife Programs Supervisor Kent Gustafson. Permit allocation proposals for 2014 will be developed through the state’s formal rulemaking process, with public hearings planned for late March/early April 2014. The initial draft proposal can be viewed on the Fish and Game website at  Wildlife Rule Proposal.

While permit numbers will likely be reduced in 2014, your chance of being drawn and offered a permit in the lottery will be improved if you rank all wildlife management units on your application, Gustafson noted. You will have the option to decline a permit if drawn for a unit you prefer not to hunt.

New Hampshire's nine-day moose hunt starts the third Saturday in October. This year's hunt runs from October 18-26, 2014. 

N.H. has had an annual moose hunt since 1988, when 75 permits were issued for a three-day hunt in the North Country. The state's current moose population is estimated at about 4,000 animals. The availability of moose hunting permits, with some issued for every area of the state, is made possible by careful management of moose populations. The resulting annual harvest of moose helps to regulate moose numbers, provides valuable information on the physical condition of moose and provides a unique recreational opportunity. Learn more about moose hunting in New Hampshire at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm.


Bobcats, Beaver Trapping, Winter Stream Fishing - All in NH Wildlife Journal - 01-25-2014

CONCORD, N.H. -- Delve into the shadowy world of New Hampshire's elusive bobcats in the January-February 2014 issue of NH Wildlife Journal. Biologists are studying the abundance, health and habits of the state's wildcats, which are making quite a comeback.

Also in this issue, walk the trapline with a hardy outdoorsman who traps beaver under the ice, mostly to help landowners control flooding and loss of timber. David O'Hearn is a licensed New Hampshire trapper carrying on a tradition that transcends the centuries.

Ice-fishing isn't the only game in town this time of year for determined Granite State anglers. A feature by fisheries biologist Andrew Schafermeyer explores open-water winter fishing, with tactics for river and stream anglers and a fascinating look at what life is like for fish during the coldest months of the year.

Naturalist's Notebook features that fun-to-catch fish, the yellow perch. Wild Ways takes readers on a snowmobile tour of Sullivan County. As always, the issue includes the popular Warden's Watch column, with tales from the day-to-day adventures of Fish and Game Conservation Officers.

Not a subscriber to New Hampshire Wildlife Journal? The magazine is published 6 times a year by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Subscriptions are just $12 for one year -- that’s 40% off the cover price -- or $20 for two years. A great gift idea! 

Read sample articles and find a print-and-mail subscription form at http://www.wildnh.com/Wildlife_Journal/WJ_mag.htm. Subscribe by February 7 and we’ll send you the current issue absolutely free.

To subscribe online, visit http://www.shopwildnh.com and click on the link for our partner, Kittery Trading Post (free issue not available for online subscriptions).

New Hampshire Wildlife Journal magazine contains no commercial advertising. Subscription revenue helps the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department conserve and manage the state's fish and wildlife, promote conservation education and create opportunities for outdoor recreation in the Granite State. Visit http://www.wildnh.com.


Winter 2014 Ice Fishing Class Opportunities In February - 01-24-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Let’s Go Fishing Program, in partnership with other groups, is offering ice fishing classes open to the public this winter, and several are still available and coming up. Classes are free unless otherwise noted. Be sure to call ahead to reserve your space:

     * Melendy Pond, Route 13, Brookline – Drop-in workshops Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Come when you can and stay as long as you like this free clinic does not require reservations. Contact Dale Riley, Tuesday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (603) 673-2987 or evenings at (603) 673-4036.

     * Amoskeag Fishways, Manchester – Two-part class on Friday, February 14, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Contact the Amoskeag Fishways at (603) 626-3474 for more information

     * Region 1 Fish and Game Office, Lancaster, NH - Saturday February 15, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Two-hour classroom session and the remainder of the day will be spent on a local pond. Contact UNH Cooperative Extension for sign-up at 603-788-4961.

     * Robinson Pond, Robinson Road, Hudson – Drop in workshops Saturday, February 22, and Sunday, February 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Come when you can and stay as long as you like this free clinic does not require reservations. Contact Dale Riley, Tuesday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (603) 673-2987 or evenings at (603) 673-4036

     * Haverhill Recreation Department – One-day workshop on Saturday, February 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call (603) 787-6096 for more information.

     * Grantham Recreation Department – One-day workshop on Saturday, March 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. E-mail fun@granthamnh.net or call (603) 443-2894 for more information.

All the ice fishing classes include a hands-on indoor session where students learn about ice fishing equipment, safety and practices, and winter ecology of lakes and ponds; plus a field trip where students head out to a local pond and put their newly learned skills to the test! Classes are open to everyone; those 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

New Hampshire Fish and Game’s "Let's Go Fishing" program has taught thousands of children and adults to be safe, ethical and successful anglers. Find out more at Lets Go Fishing Class schedule. The program is federally funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works to conserve, manage and protect the state's fish and wildlife and their habitats, as well as providing the public with opportunities to use and appreciate these resources. Visit http://www.fishnh.com.


Three-State Reciprocal Snowmobile Weekend - January 31 to February 2, 2014 - 1-03-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- The Snowmobile enthusiasts will have a chance to explore some new territory the weekend of January 31-February 2, 2014 (Friday through Sunday), during the New Hampshire-Vermont-Maine reciprocal snowmobile weekend. 

Following are the ground rules for the weekend:

     * All snowmobiles legally registered to ride in Vermont and Maine will be able to operate on New Hampshire trails during the three-day open weekend. To be legally registered in Vermont, snowmobiles must display, pursuant to Vermont law, a valid Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, Inc. Trails Maintenance Assessment, also known as the Trails Pass. All other New Hampshire laws and rules regarding the operation of snowmobiles must be adhered to, such as speed limits, youth operation standards, etc.

     * All snowmobiles legally registered in New Hampshire will be able to operate in Vermont and Maine during the reciprocal weekend. All other Vermont and Maine snowmobile laws and rules must be complied with, including Vermont’s mandatory liability insurance, safety education certification (if born after 7/1/1983), and youth operation requirements.

The Three-State Reciprocal weekend will occur annually in January /February (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), provided that our neighboring states continue to participate. The specific dates for each winter’s reciprocal weekend will be determined annually during a scheduled summer meeting.

"Over the last two seasons, this reciprocal opportunity has proven to be one of the busiest snowmobile weekends of the entire season. It has helped provide a significant financial boost for North Country businesses, including lodging, restaurants, rental agents, convenience stores and other area businesses," said Captain John Wimsatt, who oversees the N.H. Fish and Game Department’s Snowmobile and OHRV Law Enforcement, Safety Education and Registry programs. 

For information on snowmobiling in New Hampshire, visit:
     * N.H. Fish and Game Department at http://www.ride.nh.gov
     * N.H. Bureau of Trails at http://www.nhtrails.org
     * N.H. Snowmobile Association at http://www.nhsa.com

For information on snowmobiling rules in Vermont, visit http://www.vtvast.org/VAST.html.

For information on snowmobiling rules in Maine, visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/laws_rules/snowlaws.htm.


Winter 2014 - Free Ice Fishing Classes Offered - 1-02-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- The temperatures are dropping, and lakes and ponds are forming some great ice this year. Now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over, why not get outside and enjoy the New Hampshire winter by taking an ice fishing class?

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Let’s Go Fishing Program, in partnership with other groups, will offer several ice fishing classes open to the public this winter. Classes are free unless otherwise noted. Be sure to call ahead to reserve your space:

     * Lebanon Recreation Department – Three-part course on Tuesdays, January 14 and 21 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and Saturday, January 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Visit https://webtrac.lebcity.com, or call (603) 448-5121 to sign up or for more information.

     * Greenland Recreation Department – One-day workshop on Sunday, January 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visit http://www.greenlandrec.com to sign up and to get more information.

     * Laconia Recreation Department - One-day workshop on Saturday, February 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call (603) 524-5046 to sign up and to get more information.

     * Melendy Pond, Route 13, Brookline – Drop in workshops Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Come when you can and stay as long as you like this free clinic does not require reservations. Contact Dale Riley, Tuesday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (603) 673-2987 or evenings at (603) 673-4036.

     * Amoskeag Fishways, Manchester – Two-part class on Friday, February 14, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Contact the Amoskeag Fishways at (603) 626-3474 for more information

     * Robinson Pond, Robinson Road, Hudson – Drop in workshops Saturday, February 22 and Sunday, February 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Come when you can and stay as long as you like this free clinic does not require reservations. Contact Dale Riley, Tuesday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (603) 673-2987 or evenings at (603) 673-4036

     * Haverhill Recreation Department – One-day workshop on Saturday, February 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call (603) 787-6096 for more information.

     * Grantham Recreation Department – One-day workshop on Saturday, March 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. E-mail fun@granthamnh.net or call (603) 443-2894 for more information.

All the ice fishing classes include a hands-on indoor session where students learn about ice fishing equipment, safety and practices, and winter ecology of lakes and ponds; plus a field trip where students head out to a local pond and put their newly learned skills to the test! Classes are open to anyone, however, those 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

New Hampshire Fish and Game’s "Let's Go Fishing" program has taught thousands of children and adults to be safe, ethical and successful anglers. Find out more at http://www.fishnh.com/Fishing/lets_go_fishing_class_schedule.htm. The program is federally funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works to conserve, manage and protect the state's fish and wildlife and their habitats, as well as providing the public with opportunities to use and appreciate these resources. Visit http://www.fishnh.com.


Registration Opens For Becoming An Outdoors-Woman Winter Workshop - 1-1-14

CONCORD, N.H. -- Registration opens January 6 for the 2014 Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Winter Workshop, a one-day program where women can learn outdoor skills to enjoy during the winter months. The workshop will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2014 (snow date Sunday, February 16), at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness, N.H. A fee of $55 covers the workshop, lunch and most equipment use. Participants must be at least 18 years old. 

To sign up, visit http://www.nhbow.com and complete the mail-in registration form. Be sure to sign up soon, as BOW workshops fill up fast. Only mailed-in forms will be accepted (no walk-ins).

Winter BOW participants choose a single activity to explore during the daylong workshop. Learn how to ice-fish, explore winter outdoor survival skills, track wildlife on snowshoes, try snowmobiling (beginners only) or experience the popular ’Shoe and Shoot class (woodland target shooting on snowshoes). 

New Hampshire BOW programs are co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation (http://www.nhwf.org), a nonprofit group that advocates for the promotion and protection of hunting, fishing and trapping, as well as the conservation of fish and wildlife habitat.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public to conserve and manage the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats and provide opportunities to use and enjoy these resources. Visit http://www.wildnh.com.


Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH Presents "An Evening With Ben Kilham" - 12-31-13

CONCORD, N.H. -- Ben Kilham, NH's own acclaimed bear rescuer and rehabilitator, will appear at Red River Theatres in Concord, NH, on Wednesday, January 15, at 7:00 p.m. The evening is sponsored by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH, the official non-profit partner of the NH Fish and Game Department. 

Tickets are available by calling Red River Theatres at 603-224-4697 or purchase online at http://www.redrivertheatres.org. Tickets are $20 each. Proceeds will benefit the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, furthering their mission to help preserve wild places and wild things in NH for future generations. Red River Theatres is located at 11 South Main Street in Concord, NH.

Ben Kilham has been studying bears for more than 20 years, and is the only licensed bear rehabilitator in NH. The subject of numerous documentaries on his work, he is also the author of two books: Out On a Limb - What Black Bears Have Taught Me About Intelligence and Intuition and Among the Bears - Raising Orphaned Cubs in the Wild.

Kilham's rescue program was the recipient of a 2012 grant from the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, which raises funds in support of NH Fish and Game's critical educational, conservation and wildlife programs important to New Hampshire's quality of outdoor life.

To learn more about the Foundation and how you can help conserve New Hampshire's wildlife and wild places, visit http://nhwildlifeheritage.org.


Wildlife Control Operator Class Offered By NH Fish and Game - 12-26-13

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Wildlife Control Operators (WCO) training class, offered once a year, will take place on Thursday, January 29, 2014, at Fish and Game headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H., from 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

There is no charge for the one-day class, but pre-registration is required. To sign up, visit http://www.wildnh.com/Wildlife/wildlife_control_ops_class.htm and download a print-and-mail registration form. You can also request a registration form by calling 603-271-2461 or e-mailing wildlife@wildlife.nh.gov. 

Participants MUST be present by 8:15 a.m.; late arrivals will be denied certification.

The course is presented by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the New Hampshire Trappers Association, and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services.

A Wildlife Control Operator license is required for anyone planning to provide commercial nuisance wildlife control in New Hampshire, except for licensed trappers during the regulated trapping seasons. As part of the WCO licensing requirement, you must complete the day-long WCO class given once a year in Concord, as well as successfully completing a Fish and Game Trapper Education certification course. 

The WCO training class includes presentations on the capture and handling of wildlife, humane and ethical concerns, relevant New Hampshire state laws and rules, federal rules covering certain species, wildlife diseases, best management practices and proper trapping techniques. For more information and a full agenda for the WCO class, visit http://www.wildnh.com/Wildlife/wildlife_control_ops_class.htm.


New Rules for 2014: Hunter and Bowhunter Education To Be Combined

2014 IS Last Opportunity to Take Bowhunter Education as Stand-Alone Course
- 12-21-13

CONCORD, N.H. -- New for 2014, as of January 1, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will combine the basic hunter education program and the specialized bowhunter education program into one course, referred to simply as "hunter education." Those completing the course will get a single certification card that allows them to purchase both the regular firearms hunting license and an archery hunting license.

Separate bowhunter education courses will continue to be offered for a limited time -- only for the 2014 calendar year -- so anyone currently holding a Hunter Education certificate who wants to add the bowhunter certification without taking the combined course needs to do it in 2014. After January 1, 2015, only the combined course will be offered.

"This change will improve the Hunter Education experience in New Hampshire. Previously, there was quite a bit of duplication between hunter education and bowhunter education classes. This change streamlines the process for those needing both certifications and all participants will benefit," said Fish and Game Hunter Education Coordinator Joshua Mackay.

Hunter Education activities in New Hampshire are funded by the federal Wildlife Restoration Program, supported by an excise tax on firearms, ammunition and archery supplies.

Learn more at http://www.wildnh.com/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm.


New Hampshire Deer Harvest Highest in 6 years, Bear Take Down, Turkey Totals - 12-20-13

CONCORD, N.H. -- The preliminary numbers are in for New Hampshire's deer, bear and fall turkey hunting seasons, and it was a successful year for many N.H. hunters. 

The unofficial deer kill for New Hampshire’s 2013 hunting season was 12,387 deer -- up 7% from the final 2012 kill of 11,612. It was the highest take since 2007, and the fourth highest harvest on record in NH. 

"Based on where deer were registered, it appears as if most counties had deer kills similar to or above the 2012 harvest," said Dan Bergeron, the Deer Project Leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. 

The 2013 harvest represents about 14% of New Hampshire's pre-season population of about 87,000 deer. Deer hunting closed in the state on December 15, the final day of the archery deer season. 

The last three winters have been three of the mildest on record in New Hampshire since Fish and Game started recording winter severity index data during the winter of 1964-65. This has helped increase deer survival and reproduction and, as a result, the statewide kill has increased for the third year in a row,” said Bergeron. He noted that registration data are being entered and verified and by mid-January better information on the distribution of the kill by Wildlife Management Unit will be available.

The unofficial deer kill for New Hampshire’s 2013 season by county, with comparisons to previous years, is posted at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/deer_hunt_take_by_County.htm. The 2013 figures are estimates based on the number of deer registrations reported in each county, not necessarily killed in that county. As a result, they may not be directly comparable to the actual kill by county for previous years. This is particularly evident in the south-central portion of the state, where many deer killed in surrounding counties are registered in Hillsborough County.

Black bear hunters took a total of 569 bears in New Hampshire during the 2013 season. While this harvest is 30% less compared to the record harvest of 2012 (808 bears), this harvest was more consistent with the recent 5-year average (626 bears). 

“More abundant natural foods during 2013 resulted in a more “average” year in terms of both bear harvest and bear-human conflict levels,” said Andrew Timmins, the Bear Project Leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The 2013 bear harvest consisted of 340 males and 229 females, resulting in an overall harvest sex ratio of 1.5 males per female.

For a comparison of bear season results in recent years, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/bear_hunt_take.htm.

Fall turkey hunters did pretty well, considering that the relative abundance of fruits, nuts and seeds this fall made turkey flocks somewhat more difficult to encounter. A total of 811 turkeys (490 hens and 341 males) have been registered. Hunters took 286 turkeys during the September 15 – December 15 archery turkey season, and 545 turkeys during the October 14-18 fall shotgun turkey season, according to Fish & Game Turkey Biologist Ted Walski. A larger number of turkeys are taken during the May spring gobbler season; hunters took 4,522 turkeys in New Hampshire in May of 2013. As was the case during the spring season, the fall turkey harvest totals were highest from the Wildlife Management Units in southeastern New Hampshire: Unit J2 (189), Unit K (116), Unit L (101), and Unit M (97).

Final numbers from all the year's hunting seasons will be summarized in the 2013 New Hampshire Wildlife Harvest Summary, which will be issued in March 2014.

New Hampshire’s successful hunting seasons are a reminder that hunting activities, made possible by science-based wildlife management, contribute significantly to New Hampshire’s economy. In the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-associated Recreation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that more than 56,000 people aged 16 and older (resident and non-resident) hunt in New Hampshire. These hunters generate about $61 million in hunting-related expenditures each year.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit http://www.huntnh.com.


Free Ice Fishing Seminars At Fish And Game In January - 12-12-13

Polish up your ice fishing skills by taking advantage of two free ice fishing seminars being offered in Concord this January by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The talks will feature two local experts presenting their proven tactics for successful ice fishing. The talks will begin at 7 p.m. at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord. No pre-registration is necessary, but come early for a good seat!

On Wednesday, January 15, Adrian Lavoie of YOAdrien Charters will present a seminar on ice-fishing for lake trout and white perch by jigging and tip-up fishing. Lavoie is entering his tenth year of professional guiding on New Hampshire lakes. He will de-mystify the new gear that's available to make ice fishing more comfortable and productive. His business, YOAdrien Charters, is a year-round guide service for anglers on lakes throughout New Hampshire, concentrating on the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee. During the winter months, Lavoie targets lake trout and white perch by jigging and tip-up fishing. He catches lots of other species through the ice, too, including rainbow trout, pickerel, crappie and bass. At this talk, you'll learn what a guided ice fishing trip is all about, plus get tips for your own winter ice fishing adventures.

On Wednesday, January 22, Tim Moore, a licensed NH fishing guide and owner of Tim Moore Outdoors, will talk about the tools, tactics, and techniques that he uses to pull hundreds of fish through the ice every winter. Moore has ice fished in New Hampshire for more than thirty years and has been featured on NH’s Wildside TV and NH Chronicle. He is an Ice Team Pro, as well as a member of Clam Outdoors, Vexilar, Maki Plastics and Oozie Jig Pro Staffs. At his seminar, Moore will discuss why having the right gear can increase the number of fish you catch. Learn how to choose the portable shelter that best fits your style of fishing; discover tactics for catching fish all day; and explore some of the tackle you can use to catch everything from panfish to lake trout. Moore spends much of his ice fishing time on Lake Winnipesaukee. "It's a big lake with a ton of diversity. I can spend the morning fishing for lake trout, then switch to chasing crappie, sunfish or perch in minutes,"

Moore says. If you are new to ice fishing, or new to the big lake, this talk is for you! 

For more information on the winter outdoor adventure talks, contact Mark Beauchesne, marketing and promotions coordinator for N.H. Fish and Game, at 603-271-6355.


Find Great Gifts For Outdoor Enthusiasts At Fish And Game! 12-9-13

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is your source for great gifts for the hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers on your list.

Choose how you want to shop:
Go to  http://www.wildnh.com/Shop/shop.htm to order Fish and Game logo shirts, hats, ceramic camp mugs at our convenient online store. This is a great place to order your 2014 New Hampshire Fish & Wildlife calendar ($9.95 - shipping is free for 1-5 calendars, US addresses only); this quality New Hampshire-made wall calendar features professional wildlife photography and hunting and fishing season dates. Use it to plan for a WILD year ahead.

SHOP AT FISH AND GAME HEADQUARTERS OR MAIL-ORDER GIFT SHOP:
 http://www.wildnh.com/Shop/shop.htm:

    * Gift certificates for 2014 fishing or hunting licenses – Our most popular outdoor gift! This certificate is redeemable at any license agent or can be used for merchandise at Fish and Game headquarters. Purchase over the counter, call 603-271-3422 to order by phone, or use the mail-order form at http://www.wildnh.com/Shop/order_form_gift_cert.htm. (Note: Gift certificates are available now; 2014 license sales will begin December 17.)

    * Gift subscription to New Hampshire Wildlife Journal -- Fish and Game's bi-monthly full-color magazine explores New Hampshire’s wildlife and outdoor recreation.        A great gift idea at $12 for one year (six issues) or $20 for two years. Order by mail or online at http://www.wildnh.com/Wildlife_Journal/WJ_mag.htm.

     * "The Best of Wardens Watch" – An entertaining collection of real-life stories by N.H. Fish and Game Conservation Officers, illustrated by cartoonist Will Staats, just $9.95.

     * Wildlife books and art – Browse our specialty selection of reference books for the informed outdoor enthusiast, as well as wildlife prints and artwork.

   * Fish and Game logo hats, shirts, mugs and the 2014 N.H. Fish & Wildlife Calendar are also available at Fish and Game headquarters and through the mail-order gift shop.

    * An exclusive line of N.H. Fish and Game logo shirts has been developed in partnership with Kittery Trading Post; look for the KTP link online at http://www.wildnh.com/Shop/shop.htm or check out the selection in-store at KTP.

Each purchase helps support Fish and Game's work conserving and managing the state's natural resources, held in the public trust for all of us, and future generations, to enjoy.


THANK A LANDOWNER TODAY - 12-02-13

Now is the perfect time to extend thanks to landowners who share access to their land. As you create your gift giving list, be sure to add those folks who allow you to use their land for outdoor recreation. It might be a farmer that allows you to walk through their fields to access a great fishing spot, a landowner that gives you permission to hunt in their woodlot, or a neighbor who allows you to snowmobile through their property. 

With more than 70% of New Hampshire in private ownership we need to make sure these landowners really know how much you appreciate them allowing you access to hunt, fish, watch wildlife, and recreate on their property. 

A few ways to say thanks to landowners: 

     * Visit the landowner at the end of the season to express your appreciation, and, if possible, provide them with some of your harvest or your best wildlife photograph from your time on their property.

     * Send a personal note or holiday card to the landowner, thanking them for sharing their land.

     * Send a gift basket, N.H. Fish & Wildlife Calendar, or gift certificate to a local restaurant.

     * Help them protect their property by documenting and reporting suspicious activities.

     * Offer to help with outdoor tasks, or to clean up and properly dispose of illegally dumped materials left on their property. 

If you are mentoring a young hunter or angler, be sure to include them in thanking the landowner – it's a great lesson for them to learn!

Remember – the tradition of hunting in New Hampshire will only continue if we all follow the basic principle of landowner relations: Treat the landowner as you would like to be treated and treat their land as you would like yours to be treated. Whatever your preferred sport, as soon as you set foot/tire/ski on someone else’s property, be sure to treat the land with respect so that future generations can also access the land.

Fish and Game’s Landowner Relations Program works in partnership with landowners, hunters and anglers to identify problems landowners experience in providing access, and work proactively to address them. To learn more about the program, visit http://www.wildnh.com/landshare.


Deer Harvest Up, Bear Season Average - 11-19-13

New Hampshire’s regular firearms deer hunting is going well, as hunters look forward to time afield during the Thanksgiving holiday week. Through November 17, 2013, hunters had taken an estimated 9,122 deer in New Hampshire. The 2013 statewide total through that date represents a 10% increase from the 8,313 registered at this point in the 2012 season. 

"Every county has shown at least slight increases from 2012, with Cheshire, Coos, and Carroll counties showing the largest increases," said Dan Bergeron, Deer Project Leader for Fish and Game. "The next couple of weeks, including the Thanksgiving holidays, should provide hunters with excellent opportunity, as the rut should remain strong during this period."

The statewide total continues to be the second highest in the past nine years, according to Bergeron. 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 regular firearms deer season runs through December 8 in most of the state, with the exception of Wildlife Management Unit A in northern New Hampshire, where it closes December 1. Deer hunters should note Wildlife Management Unit and season-specific either-sex day regulations in the New Hampshire Hunting Digest, available at http://www.wildnh.com/pubs/hunting.html or from Fish and Game license agents.

New Hampshire’s bear hunting season has ended in most of the state, with the exception of the White Mountains region (Units C1, D2, E and F), where it closes November 26. Preliminary results show that as of November 4, a total of 524 bears (322 males, 202 females) had been taken in the hunt, according to Fish and Game bear biologist Andrew Timmins. Through that date, bait hunters had harvested 306 bears, still hunters/stalkers took 133 bears, and hound hunters registered 85 bears. The current overall harvest sex ratio is 1.6 males per female. The bear harvest over the next 14 days in the White Mountains region (the only area still open to bear hunting) is expected to be low.

Hunting licenses can be purchased online anytime at http://www.HuntNH.com, from license agents statewide or at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord. The basic N.H. hunting license is $22 for residents and $103 for nonresidents. Hunters under age 16 do not need a license, but must be accompanied by a licensed adult at least 18 years of age.

For more information on hunting in New Hampshire, visit 
http://www.HuntNH.com/Hunting/hunting.htm.


Time to Sign Up for Snowmobile Safety Classes - 11-18-13

Winter is closing in, and snowmobile education classes are underway across the state. To operate a snowmobile in New Hampshire, any person age 12 or older must have either a valid Motor Vehicle Driver's License or have successfully completed an approved Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle (OHRV) Safety Education class taught by volunteer instructors trained by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. 
Additionally, all children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a licensed adult when operating a snowmobile, unless they are on property belonging to their parents, grandparents or guardians.

Sign up soon if you or someone you know needs a class. There is no charge for the classes, which are usually completed in a single day. Parents are encouraged to attend along with their children. For a current class schedule, visit http://www.wildnh.com/OHRV/schedule.html. New classes are added as they become available.

"Snowmobiling is a great way for families to have fun exploring the great outdoors, but riders have a responsibility to obey the rules of the trails, to be courteous and -- most of all -- to ride safely," said Captain John Wimsatt, who coordinates Fish and Game’s OHRV Education Program.

Many of the trained volunteer instructors teaching the safety classes are affiliated with one of the more than 100 snowmobile clubs in New Hampshire. “Joining a snowmobile club is a great way to learn about safe riding, help support local landowners and help maintain trails for your own and others' enjoyment,” Wimsatt said.

The New Hampshire Snowmobile Association (NHSA) and its member clubs have actively promoted safe and responsible riding since 1969. NHSA members work with Bureau of Trails staff and Fish and Game to manage over 7,000 miles of trails in New Hampshire and provide safety education to more than 1,500 riders each year. For more information on how to become involved with a snowmobile club, visit http://www.nhsa.com.

In addition to safety education, this winter Fish and Game Conservation Officers will use innovative enforcement patrols to detect and apprehend impaired snowmobile operators, enforce speed limits, deter unlawful off-trail riding and detect machines with modified exhaust. These ongoing initiatives will help to keep the state's snowmobile trails safe for all outdoor enthusiasts during the upcoming season.


Play It Safe - Wear Blaze Orange
Concord, N.H. - 11-8-13

Hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to put on a bright orange article of clothing when they head afield this fall. Wearing a fluorescent orange hat, vest or jacket makes you highly visible in the woods, one of several key safety precautions for hunters, hikers and others enjoying the autumn woods.

"Wearing blaze orange has definitely been shown to decrease hunting incidents across the country," said Josh Mackay, who coordinates the Hunter Education Program at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. "It is important for outdoors enthusiasts generally, but especially for hunters, because the overwhelming majority of hunting-related incidents involve members of hunting parties." 

Mackay stressed that, along with wearing blaze orange, the top safety rules for hunters are controlling the muzzle of your gun at all times and positively identifying your target -- and what's beyond -- 100 percent of the time. 

Overall, New Hampshire has an excellent record for hunter safety, largely attributable to the state's effective hunter education programs. The average number of hunting-related incidents per year has gone down each decade since mandatory hunter education classes became required in the 1970s. The 1960s saw an average of 21.4 incidents per year in New Hampshire. Fewer incidents have occurred each decade since, with an average of 2.8 incidents per year since 2002. Serious incidents are even rarer -- only four hunting-related fatalities have occurred in the state in the last 10 years. 

While most hunting-related incidents do not involve nonhunters, it's a good idea for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts getting out to enjoy the fall woods to think safety as well, by sticking to established trails, reviewing the hikeSafe guidelines (http://www.hikesafe.com), and wearing an article of blaze orange clothing during hunting seasons, which are already underway in the Granite State. Blaze orange pet accessories are also available.

For more information on dates and details of N.H. hunting seasons, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunting.htm.


Apprentice Hunting License:" Take A Friend - Make A Hunter"
CONCORD, N.H. – 11-05-13

This year, New Hampshire is once again offering the Apprentice Hunting License, an opportunity for sharing or participating in the hunting experience. First offered in New Hampshire in 2012, the license allows people to hunt, under the guidance of an experienced hunter age 18 or older, without first taking a Hunter Education course. In instituting the program, New Hampshire followed the lead of thirty states that have established apprentice hunting programs. 

The Apprentice License costs the same as a regular resident or nonresident hunting license and is valid from date of purchase through the end of the calendar year. It is available to state residents as well as nonresidents. You can purchase an Apprentice License just once in your lifetime. After that, you have to take a Hunter Education class in order to buy a hunting license. Apprentice licenses can be purchased only at Fish and Game headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, or by mail (visit http://www.wildnh.com/Licensing/license_forms.htm for an application.)

In its premiere year, the Apprentice License proved quite popular. In 2012, a total of 1,666 Apprentice Licenses were sold. Of these 427 were purchased by women. "It was exciting to see the number of younger people who participated," said Wildlife Programs Supervisor Kent Gustafson. He noted that the vast majority of apprentice licenses were sold to people age 16-34, a demographic that bodes well for the future of hunting in New Hampshire. The Apprentice License is expected to be a big hit this year as well.

Learn more about the apprentice license, including tips for both apprentice hunters and those who accompany them, at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/apprentice.html.

In a nutshell, here's how the Apprentice License works: 

     * One-time opportunity: You can purchase an Apprentice Hunting License only once in your lifetime. If you want to hunt in a future year, you must first complete a hunter education course, then buy a regular New Hampshire hunting license.

     * Accompanied: The licensed apprentice hunter is allowed to hunt only when accompanied by a properly licensed hunter age 18 or older. "Accompanied" means maintaining physical direction and control (keeping the apprentice within sight and hearing at all times, without the use of electronic devices).

     * Cost: The apprentice hunting license costs the same as a regular resident or nonresident hunting license. 

     * Restrictions: The Apprentice License may not be used to hunt moose and does not apply to the three-day small game license.


2013 Youth Deer Hunt Weekend Results For New Hampshire
CONCORD, N.H. 11-04-13

Preliminary reports show that young hunters succeeded in harvesting 411 deer during the 2013 Youth Deer Hunt Weekend in New Hampshire, which took place on October 26-27

"This year's preliminary youth hunt total is up 14% from 2012 and is also above the final 2012 total youth hunt weekend harvest of 388. It was also up from preliminary totals in other recent years: 363 in 2009, 376 in 2010 and 387 in 2011," according to Dan Bergeron, the Deer Project Leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.  The 2013 numbers remain preliminary because all registrations have not yet been reported and verified.

"Many of New Hampshire’s youth hunters were successful over the weekend in harvesting, what for many, was likely their first deer. More importantly they were safely introduced to the sport by an experienced hunter and close friend and hopefully gained some memorable experiences, a new passion, and an appreciation for the state’s wildlife and natural areas," said Bergeron.

The youth deer weekend gives young people statewide the opportunity to go deer hunting with an adult mentor. Accompanying adults must be licensed hunters and are not allowed to carry a firearm, so that they can devote all of their time and attention to coaching their young companions. New Hampshire has offered a special youth deer hunt since 1999. 

Youth also may hunt in New Hampshire during the regular deer seasons. All youth hunters under age 16 must be accompanied by a licensed adult 18 years or older while hunting. "Accompanied" means "within sight and hearing, excluding electronic devices, when actual physical direction and control can be effected," pursuant to RSA 207:1, XXX.

New Hampshire also offers special opportunities for young hunters through a youth turkey weekend each spring and a youth waterfowl weekend in September. 

For more information about youth hunting in New Hampshire, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/youth_hunting.htm.


'Tis The Season to Watch For Deer On The Road
CONCORD, N.H. 11-01-2013

Motorists are advised to watch for deer crossing roadways this time of year, especially at dawn and dusk. Deer are very active right now, as the mating season, or rut, is underway and bucks and does have their minds on other things than traffic! 

According to New Hampshire Fish and Game Department deer biologist Dan Bergeron, a hefty percentage – almost a third – of all deer-vehicle collisions in New Hampshire occur from mid-October through the end of November (see graph at http://www.wildnh.com/Wildlife/brake_for_deer.html. In a typical year, an estimated 1,200 deer/vehicle collisions occur in New Hampshire.

A few things to keep in mind to reduce the chances of colliding with a deer on the road:

     * Be especially cautious when driving at dawn and dusk, when deer are most active.

     * Remember, deer are creatures of habit. If you have seen deer crossing the road in a certain location, slow down and use caution when driving in that area.

     * If you see one deer on the road, keep a sharp eye out for others. 

"Don't get distracted watching the doe disappear into the woods," said Bergeron. "Stay alert -- her fawns or a rutting buck may be following close behind."

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department conserves and manages the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Learn more at http://www.wildnh.com.


New Resource: N.H. OHRV & Snowmobile Digest of Regulations 
CONCORD, N.H. 10-31-13

New Hampshire Snowmobile and OHRV (Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle) trail riders have a new resource available, the 2013-2014 N.H. OHRV & Snowmobile Digest of Regulations. This colorful new publication is slim – just 16 pages – but packed full of need-to-know information on rules of the trail road, riding responsibly and registering your OHRV or snowmobile. You’ll find general trail maps and learn where to find more detailed trail guides.

Check out the new digest online at http://www.ride.nh.gov/OHRV/ohrv.htm, or pick up a free copy at any Fish and Game office or at many registration agents, dealers and businesses throughout the state.

One section of particular interest details the license and age restrictions for riding. New Hampshire Fish and Game Department officials note that a number of new rules are in place for minors operating Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles, but snowmobile youth requirements remain unchanged.

In his introduction, Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau welcomes riders to New Hampshire, advising: "While you’re out having fun on the trails, be sure to wear the proper safety gear, including a helmet. Sign the kids up for the required safety education class, and stick around for it yourself – you might be surprised what you can learn. Above all, respect the limits of your machine and your own riding experience. Whatever season of the year you are cruising the trails, ride responsibly and have a great time."

The new digest is a joint publication of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the N.H. Bureau of Trails. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is responsible for OHRV and snowmobile registration, as well as safety education and enforcement. The N.H. Bureau of Trails (http://www.NHTrails.org), within the N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development, manages and administers many trail systems, provides grants to local clubs for equipment and trail maintenance activities.


NH Fish and Game Moves To Automated License Sales
CONCORD - 10-15-13

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is going electronic! Beginning with the 2014 license year, regular hunting and fishing licenses will be computer-generated and printed by the agent on regular paper, just as licenses purchased online or at Wal-Mart are done now. More than half of hunting and fishing licenses sold in N.H. (53%) are currently purchased online or at stores that use an automated system. New Hampshire is one of the few remaining states where regular licenses are hand-written.

A handful of agents around the state are already using the new point-of-sale (POS) system as part of a pilot project that began in August, and things are going well, according to Fish and Game Licensing Supervisor Sue Perry. 

When 2014 hunting and fishing licenses become available in mid-December, all Fish and Game license agents will be issuing hunting and fishing licenses via the automated system. Hand-written licenses will no longer be available after the 2013 license year ends. 

One change under the new system is that, starting with the 2014 licenses, a $2 transaction fee will be charged per license form. This fee will go to the vendor, Sovereign Sportsman Solutions (S3), for the automated system to cover the cost of its operation, just as online license buyers currently pay a transaction fee.

The new automated system offers many benefits:

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will gain faster access to critical license sales data, which can take months to get under the old system. It will also save on printing and shipping costs, since pre-printed license forms will not be needed.

For consumers, the license-buying transaction will be faster and easier. In many cases, their information will already be in the system. 

Fish and Game license agents will find their administrative reporting is streamlined, because end-of-month reports will be computer-generated, saving them time and effort. They will save time on transactions at the counter, as well, aided by helpful "prompts" to assist them during license sales. 

"This should be a positive change for everyone, because it will allow Fish and Game to operate more efficiently and effectively, using technology that has been adopted nationwide with positive results," said Perry. 

For more information, and Frequently Asked Questions about the upcoming move to electronic license sales, visit http://www.wildnh.com/POS.


Last Call For Hunter Education - Are You Ready For Hunting Season?   CONCORD, N.H. - 8-2-2013

Hunting seasons are almost here, so if you need a hunter education class, drop everything and sign up for one of the remaining classes available for 2013. You can register online at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed.htm. Just browse the calendar for the best date and location for you, then click on the course of your choice and complete the online registration form to officially join the class. Most of the remaining classes are in September. Walk-ins are accepted on a space-available basis, but there are no guarantees; pre-registration is highly recommended.

If you have already completed the online course, please sign up for the required field day now. There are a limited number of field days left available at the beginning of October. No field days will be offered from the end of October until the spring. Taking the online course does not guarantee you will find space in a field day.

Hunter education is required in New Hampshire before a new hunter can purchase his or her first hunting license. If you are age 16 or older, you need a license to hunt. To meet this requirement, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department offers Hunter and Bowhunter Education classes around the state. Participants must be at least 12 years old to achieve certification in basic Hunter Education or Bowhunter Education.

Those hunters who purchased the Apprentice Hunting License last year must take Hunter Education before they can purchase a hunting license this year. The Apprentice Hunting License allows people to hunt under the guidance of an experienced hunter, without first taking a Hunter Education course. You can purchase the license once in your lifetime. It is available only through the Fish and Game office in Concord.

Learn more at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/apprentice.html. The new license was very popular in its first year, with a total of 1,666 apprentice licenses sold in 2012.

For more information on Hunter Education in New Hampshire, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed.htm or call 603-271-3214.

Hunter Education in New Hampshire is funded by Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, a user-pay, user-benefit program supported by an excise tax on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. Learn more at http://www.wildnh.com/SFWR_program/sfwr_program.htm .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peregrine Falcon Cam
on nest in Manchester

Sponsored by Audubon Society, Spectra Access and Brady Sullivan Properties.


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New Hampshire Audubon Society - Massabesic Center
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The Great Bay Discovery Center and Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center
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“In nature nothing exists alone.”
~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~


“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth
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~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~