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Bear Hunting In New Hampshire

Hunting Methods - Hounding - Baiting

For over 300 years, the black bears in New Hampshire were killed year-round. The combination of this, along with severe habitat loss, led to record low population numbers.

When Did Bear Hunting Start In New Hampshire?

A Bear Hunt Season was established in 1983.

Is The State Broken Down Into BMUs (Bear management units)?

The State is broken down into 24 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), All of which are open to bear hunting. The WMUs are; A1-2, B, C1-2, D1, D2 west and east,  E1-3, F, G1-2, H1, H 2 north and south, I1-2, J1-2, K, L, and M. 

Note: In WMUs that have one or more units are available to hunting, it will simply be listed as one Unit. 

When Is Bear Hunting Season?

General Season:

  • Sept 1–Oct 12 in WMUs: H2, K, L, M

  • Sept 1–Nov 12 in WMUs: A, B, C2, D1, H1, I2

  • Sept 1–Nov 30 in WMUs: C1, D2, E, F, G, I1, J1, J2

Baiting Season:  

  • Sept 1 – Sept 21 in WMUs: H1, H2, I2, K, L, M

  • Sept 1 – Sept 28 in WMUs: A, B, C2, D1, G, I1, J1, J2

  • Sept 1 – Oct 5 in WMUs: C1, D2, E, F

Dog Season:

  • Sept. 21 – Nov. 10  in WMUs: A, B, C1, C2, D1, D2, E, F, G, H1, I1, I2, J1, J2

Note: In WMUs that have one or more units are available to hunting, it will simply be listed as one Unit. 

What Weapons Are Permitted?

Archery: Bow and arrows with a draw weight minimum of 40 pounds; Crossbows with a draw weight minimum of 125 pounds;  Fixed blade broadheads no less than ⅞ inches wide and no larger than 1½ inches wide; Retractable blade broadheads no smaller than  ⅞ of an inch wide when open.

Firearms: Any firearms that are larger than .22 rimfire; Shotguns loaded with a single ball.

Muzzleloaders: Muzzleloaders of a .40 caliber minimum. 

Can Hunters Kill Cubs?

Yes. The New Hampshire Fish and Game does not have any specification on what size bear is or is not legal to kill. 

Can Hunters Kill A Bear Over Bait?

Yes. Baiting is legal. 

Is Dog Hunting Permitted In New Hampshire?

Yes. Hunting with dogs is legal.

What Procedure Must Hunters Follow After They Kill A Bear?

Immediately upon harvesting a bear, all hunters must fill our their bear registration form. They have 24 hours to take the carcass to be checked by a New Hampshire conservation officer.

What Is Their Reasoning For Hunting Bears?

  • Regulating bear population

  • Controlling nuisance problems

  • Recreational opportunity for sportsmen and women

What Is The Government Organization(s), That Is In Charge Of Bear Hunting/Wildlife?

New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHFG) -

When Does The New Hampshire Fish and Game Hold Their Meetings?

Any upcoming meetings will be posted here -

Are The Meetings Open To The Public?

The NHFG does not specify whether or not the meetings are open to the public.

Who Has The Power To Stop The Hunt?

The Governor and New Hampshire’s elected General Assembly Members have the authority to introduce and vote on proposed law changes. Robert Phillipson, Chairman of the NHFG Commission.

Hunt Clubs And Organizations That Participate In And Fund Bear Hunting.

Northern New England Outfitters -

Northern Land Guide Service -

Double U Hunting Supply -

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