Baiting Regulations in New Hampshire
Baiting Permit Requirements
- Baiting Permit: A baiting permit is mandatory for any bait site. You can obtain current baiting permit applications (no fee) at any Fish and Game office or online at huntnh.com/licensing/forms.html.
- Landowner Approval: Applications for permits to bait wildlife on private property must be signed by the landowner.
- Submission: No bait shall be placed until two copies of the bait permit and a topographic map have been submitted to the Wildlife Division at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord.
- Seasonal Restrictions: Bait may not be placed from April 15 through August 31 (dates inclusive).
- Species-Specific Baiting: Bait may not be placed at any site until the baiting season for that species is open.
- Outdated Permits: Outdated versions of baiting permits will not be accepted.
Limits on Bait Sites
- Individual Limits: No person, except a licensed N.H. Hunting Guide, can have more than 2 active bait sites statewide.
- Licensed Guides: A licensed N.H. Hunting Guide may have up to 8 active bait sites, with 6 for commercial use and up to 2 for personal use.
- Clarification: Licensed N.H. Hunting Guides must indicate on the bait permit if the site is for commercial or personal use.
Bear Baiting Regulations
- Tagging Requirements: Any bear taken off a commercial site must be tagged with a bear guide tag.
- Guide Tags: A licensed guide can only use their guide tags on bears taken off commercial bait sites registered under their name.
- Personal Sites: No bear taken off a personal site can be tagged with a bear guide tag.
Permit Application Deadlines
- Bear Baiting: Applications for baiting permits on private land must be received by the Department or postmarked by the first Monday in August for bear.
- Other Species: For all other species (except coyote), applications must be received by the Department or postmarked by the first Monday in October. Coyote baiting applications may start in December for the following year.
- Topographic Map: Each baiting permit must include a detailed topographic map describing the location of the bait site.
- Permit Holder: Only the person to whom the permit is issued is allowed to place bait at the site.
- Signage: The permittee must post a durable sign at the site with their name and address, as well as those of up to 2 subpermittees. Only these individuals are allowed to hunt over the permitted bait site. The sign must be visible and not higher than 6 feet off the ground. Once posted, the sign cannot be altered or removed by anyone other than the permittee.
- Distance from Dwellings: Bait may not be placed less than 300 feet from a dwelling, public roadway, pathway, or trail.
- Coyote Baiting: From the close of the bear baiting season through December 15, baiting for coyote is restricted to the use of meat, animal parts, carrion, or fish.
- Water Restrictions: It is illegal to place bait in public waters or on ice-covered public waters.
- Prohibited Species: Baiting for turkey, moose, or migratory waterfowl is not allowed.
- Permit Expiration: Permits expire at the end of the calendar year unless an earlier date is specified on the permit form or the season has ended for the species identified on the baiting permit.
- CO Accompaniment: When requested by a Conservation Officer (CO), a permittee or an applicant to bait must accompany the officer to the proposed or existing site.
Baiting Rules for State-Owned and State-Managed Lands
- Baiting Permit: A baiting permit is mandatory for any bait site on State-owned and State-managed lands, including the White Mountain National Forest.
- Application Period: Permit applications for State-owned and State-managed lands must be received by the Department or postmarked between the first Monday in June and the first Monday in August for deer and bear. For baiting coyote for the following year, applicants may apply starting on December 1. Applications for all other species are accepted at any time.
- Application Details: Applications must be completed in full, including a topographic map and directions to the bait site, to be considered.
- Issuance Basis: Baiting permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis, except for permits for the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Forest, which are issued through a lottery system (visit wildnh.com/hunting/baiting-wildlife.html for more information).
- Submission: One copy of the bait permit application shall be submitted to the Law Enforcement Division at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord.
- Trapping Units: No person, including a licensed N.H. Hunting Guide, is allowed to have more than 1 active bait site within an individual trapping unit. Visit huntnh.com for details regarding trapping units.
- Bait Material: Non-edible or non-digestible materials are prohibited as bait.
- Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Forest: A total of 40 bait sites are allowed for baiting bear, and 20 bait sites for other species on the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Forest property in Pittsburg, NH. These are issued by lottery (see above).
- Tree Stands/Blinds: Additional regulations regarding tree stands/blinds may apply.
Baiting Rules for Bear
- Limitations: No person, except a licensed N.H. Hunting Guide, may place bait for attracting and taking bear at more than 2 bait sites statewide.
- Chocolate Prohibition: Bait containing chocolate or any cocoa derivative is not allowed. White chocolate may be used as bait.
Baiting Rules for Deer
- Limitations: No person, except a licensed N.H. Hunting Guide, may place bait for attracting and taking deer at more than 2 bait sites statewide.
- Seasonal Restriction: Baiting for the purpose of attracting and taking deer is prohibited before the opening of the deer baiting season.
- Special Permits: Persons holding a Disabled Veteran License or Paraplegic License may bait deer from September 15 through December 15, statewide.