Licensing Requirements

To engage in hunting for furbearers, hunters must possess one of the following licenses: Regular N.H. Hunting, Combination, or Archery License. Notably, a Small Game License does not permit furbearer hunting.

Hunting Hours

Hunting hours for furbearers in New Hampshire are from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.

Species-Specific Regulations

Coyote

  • Open Season: There is no closed season for coyote hunting.
  • Night Hunting: Coyotes may be hunted at night from January 1 through March 31. Lights may be used, but not from a motor vehicle, snowmobile, or OHRV. Coyote night hunters are restricted to shotguns, .22 caliber rimfire, muzzleloaders, or archery equipment in certain towns with special rules (see Deer Hunting Regulations).
  • Electronic Calling Devices: Electronic calling devices are legal for coyote hunting.
  • Landowner Permission: Written landowner permission, filed with the local conservation officer, is required to hunt coyote at night or to place bait for coyotes.
  • Baiting Restrictions: Baiting for coyotes on ice-covered public waters is not permitted. From the close of the bear baiting season through December 15, baiting for coyote will be restricted to the use of meat, animal parts, carrion, or fish only.

Fisher

  • Sealing Requirement: Sealing of fisher pelts is required within 10 days of the close of the fisher season.
  • Submission of Lower Jaw: The lower jaw of the fisher must be submitted at the time of sealing.
  • Season Limit: The season limit for fisher is 2.

Raccoon

  • Night Hunting: Raccoon may be hunted at night.
  • Firearm Restrictions: It is illegal to use a rifle or pistol larger than .22 caliber, or shot size larger than number 4 birdshot for raccoon hunting.
  • Light Restrictions: It is illegal to take raccoons using a light from a motor vehicle or OHRV.

Trapping Licensing Requirements

General Trapping Regulations

  • Trapping licenses are required for anyone, regardless of age, except resident landowners on their own land or children under 16 years of age when accompanied by a licensee 18 years of age or over.
  • Trapping licenses expire on June 30 of each year.
  • Proof of completion of a trapper education course or previous trapping license within the last three years is required to obtain a trapping license.

Trapping License—Resident Minor

  • N.H. resident youths (under age 16) may purchase this license with proof of Trapper Education or a previous Trapping License. This license allows youth trappers to trap without adult accompaniment.

Nonresident Trapping Licenses

  • Nonresidents must be eligible for a N.H. Trapping License based on their state or province's trapping regulations.

Wildlife Control Operator’s License

  • Persons engaged in the practice of trapping nuisance animals must possess a Wildlife Control Operator’s License, available at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord or by mail.

General Trapping Regulations

  • Snares may be used for taking beaver and otter and shall only be set in water or under ice.
  • All traps/snares must have the name of the person setting them stamped or engraved on the trap or on a durable tag securely affixed to the trap or snare or chain holding the trap.
  • Only New Hampshire residents may trap beaver and otter during the N.H. open seasons.
  • Traps must be securely attached when set, either to the ground, a fixed object, a drag, or a slide wire.
  • Otter sealing is required within 10 days of the close of the otter season.
  • Fisher sealing is required within 10 days of the close of the fisher season.
  • There is no open season on bobcat, lynx, or pine marten.
  • No person may set, arrange, or tend any trap/snare upon any land or from the shores of any waters of which he is not the owner or occupant unless he has signed, written permission, and until a copy is filed with the conservation officer in whose district said person is going to trap, together with a description of the land on which trapping is to be done. The only exceptions are traps/snares placed in public bodies of water as defined in RSA 271:20 and on the following named rivers: Androscoggin, Ammonoosuc, Ashuelot, Bearcamp, Contoocook, Connecticut, Cocheco, Exeter, Lamprey, Mascoma, Merrimack, Merrymeeting, Isinglass, Pemigewasset, Pine, Saco, Soucook, Suncook, and Winnipesaukee and their navigable tributaries. Navigable tributaries are those waters from the tributary’s mouth to a point upstream where a person can row a boat or paddle a canoe when the water in the stream is in its ordinary condition.
  • No person may set or arrange any trap in a public way, cart road, or path commonly used as a passageway by human beings or domestic animals.
  • Any trapper causing injury or damage to domestic animals, with the exception of dogs at large, shall be liable to the owner. An injury to a licensed dog at large shall be reported to the town or city listed on the dog’s tag, and to the owner of the dog, if known.
  • No person may set or arrange any trap/snare in or under any bridge, ditch, or drainage system, whether artificial or natural, within the limits of the right-of-way of any public highway except by special permission of the executive director.
  • A trapper must visit set traps at least once each calendar day. A person trapping beaver through the ice must visit his traps at least once each 72 hours.
  • Trappers may use artificial lights to facilitate checking traps. Checking traps by the use of lights from a motor vehicle is prohibited.
  • While checking traps at night, no person shall have in possession a rifle, revolver, or pistol larger than a .22 caliber long rifle, air rifle larger than 25 caliber, or a shotgun with shells larger than number 4 birdshot.
  • Annual Trapper’s Report: All persons licensed to trap furbearing animals, whether they trapped or not, are required to submit an Annual Trapper’s Report by April 30 of each year.
  • Fur Dealers: Fur Dealers must submit a completed “Fur Dealers’ Record Book” (Furs Purchased—Form F&G 152, Furs Sold—Form F&G 152A) to N.H. Fish and Game on or before July 30 of each year. All licensees must carry on their persons a Form F&G 152 when buying the skins of furbearing animals.

Unlawful Activities

It is unlawful to:

  • Disturb or interfere with the dams or houses of beaver without obtaining a special permit from the executive director or his designee, except as provided in RSA 210:9.
  • Set or arrange any trap prior to the first day of the open season for trapping a species.
  • Disturb the trap of another person or take a furbearing animal from the trap of another person, unless specifically authorized in writing by the owner of the trap.
  • Place a trap within 15 feet of a muskrat house or injure or destroy the house, den, or burrow used by any game or furbearing animal.
  • Place a trap within 50 feet of exposed bait (see Statewide Restrictions on Lynx Protection Zone & Trap Restrictions).

Trapping on State-Managed Lands

Permits to trap on state-managed lands are issued by lottery every two years, in even years only, and are valid for two years. The next lottery will be in September 2024.

Permit forms, applications, property maps, and lists of available lands may be obtained from the Wildlife Division in Concord (603-271-2461), or downloaded from huntnh.com.

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.