Licensing Requirements for Hunters

Eligibility for Hunting Licenses

Hunting licenses are mandatory for individuals aged 16 and above. It's essential to note that certain licenses and permits are obligatory regardless of age. Detailed information about these can be found in the Licenses & Fees section.

Procurement of Hunting Licenses

Annually valid hunting licenses, from January 1 to December 31, can be acquired through various channels. The primary method is online via huntnh.com. Additionally, licenses are available at authorized agents, the Fish and Game Department Headquarters in Concord, and Fish and Game Region 1, 2, and 4 offices. Each applicant must personally purchase their license. Specifically, trapping and fur buyer licenses, which are valid from July 1 to June 30 of the subsequent year, are obtainable solely at the Fish and Game’s Concord headquarters or via mail.

Online License Purchase Criteria

For online purchases or buying at retail outlets like Walmart, previous license ownership or completion of Hunter Education or Bowhunter Education in New Hampshire post-2000 is required. Post Hunter Education course completion, a potential delay up to one week might occur before the information is accessible in the database.

Hunter Education

For detailed requirements about Hunter Education, refer to the specific Hunter Education section.

Residency Requirements for License Acquisition

To qualify for a resident rate license, presentation of a valid New Hampshire driver's license or a non-driver's picture ID issued by the N.H. Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, is necessary. In cases where the applicant is below 18 years, the residency status of their parent or guardian, evidenced by a valid N.H. driver's license or non-driver's picture ID, is considered.

Special Provisions for Youth Hunters

For detailed regulations and provisions regarding Youth Hunting, refer to the Youth Hunting section.

Senior Resident Licenses

Information regarding licenses for senior residents can be found in the Licenses & Fees section.

Procedure for Lost Licenses

In cases of lost licenses, reprints are available at the initial issuing agent or the Fish and Game's Concord headquarters. If the license was purchased through an agent and it's been at least a week since issue, a reprint can be obtained from the online sales site. Reprints are free of charge, but there are limitations on the number of reprints allowed.

Special Licensing for Military Personnel

Free Licenses for Active Duty Military Residents

New Hampshire residents serving on active duty in branches like the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard, and who are permanently stationed outside of the state, have the privilege of acquiring complimentary temporary hunting and fishing licenses. These licenses can be obtained from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Headquarters in Concord, Region 1 and 4 offices, or through mail or fax at (603) 271-5829. Interested individuals must download an Active Duty Military License application from the Fish and Game website and submit it alongside their duty orders. For further details, they can contact (603) 271-3422.

Licensing for Non-Resident Active Duty Military

Non-resident military personnel who are on regular active duty and permanently stationed in New Hampshire are eligible to purchase regular hunting and fishing licenses at resident rates. However, it's important to note that these licenses cannot be acquired online or at Walmart. This provision allows non-resident military members to enjoy the same benefits as state residents, acknowledging their service and stationing in New Hampshire.

Archery Regulations and Permissions

Archery License Utilization

An archery license grants the following permissions:

  1. Deer Hunting During Archery Season: License holders can hunt deer using a bow and arrow in the designated archery season.
  2. Hunting Other Species: With the appropriate license or permit, other species can also be hunted using a bow and arrow.

Usage of Firearms Deer Tag

During the firearms deer season, hunters with a Regular Hunting License can legally use a bow and arrow to hunt deer, adhering to the Wildlife Management Unit restrictions. Additionally, in the muzzleloader season, the firearms deer tag may be filled using either a muzzleloader, crossbow, or bow and arrow.

Archery Deer Tag

Archers have the flexibility to fill their archery deer tag at any time during the archery season.

Special Archery Deer Permit

This permit is specifically for the taking of an antlered-only deer with a bow and arrow during the archery deer season. It must be purchased concurrently with the archery license. For comprehensive details about deer season regulations, refer to the Deer Hunting Seasons and Deer Hunting Regulations sections.

Carrying Handguns While Bowhunting

Bowhunters are permitted to carry a handgun. However, it is illegal to use a handgun to assist in the taking of a deer tagged for archery.

Crossbow Usage

Crossbow regulations are detailed in the Deer Hunting Regulations section. Crossbows are legal for hunting under these circumstances:

  • Deer:

    • In the Archery season with an archery license for hunters aged 68 or older.
    • In the Archery season in WMU L or M with an archery license, or for those under 16 accompanied by a licensed archer.
    • In the Muzzleloader season with a muzzleloader license.
    • In the Firearm season with a firearm license, tagging any deer taken with a valid firearms deer tag.
    • For youth participating in the Youth Deer Weekend.
  • Turkey: Crossbows are legal for turkey hunting.

  • Bear: Legal for bear season.

  • Moose and Small Game: Legal for moose and small game season.

Provisions for Disabled Hunters

Disabled Crossbow Permit

This specific permit, priced at $10, is permanent and grants disabled hunters the right to use crossbows in any hunting season where bow and arrow usage is permitted. Key points regarding this permit are:

  • Application Process: The application for this permit must be submitted at the Concord Headquarters.
  • Annual License Requirement: Despite holding this permit, hunters are still required to purchase the appropriate hunting license each year.
  • Restrictions: The permit exclusively allows the use of a crossbow. Holders are not permitted to use a longbow, recurve, or compound bow.

Additional Resources for Disabled Hunters

For comprehensive information on licenses and permits tailored to disabled hunters, such as the Disabled Veterans License, Paraplegic License, and the Hunt from a Motor Vehicle Permit, interested individuals should visit huntnh.com. These resources provide detailed guidelines and application procedures to ensure accessible and inclusive hunting opportunities for disabled individuals.

Prohibited Acts in Wildlife Activities

In New Hampshire, strict regulations govern the issuance and use of licenses for various wildlife-related activities, including fishing, hunting, trapping, guiding, and commercial marine fishing. Key prohibitions include:

  1. License Suspension or Revocation: Individuals who have had their privileges for fishing, hunting, trapping, guiding, lobster and crab taking, or engaging in commercial marine fishing activities suspended or revoked in any other state or province are barred from obtaining a license for these activities in New Hampshire. This rule, established under RSA 214:18-b, ensures that individuals who have violated wildlife laws in other jurisdictions cannot continue these activities in New Hampshire.

  2. Ownership and Use of Licenses: It is illegal to possess more than one regular hunting license or permit of any type. This rule is designed to prevent over-exploitation of wildlife resources and ensure fair access to hunting opportunities.

  3. License Misuse: Using another person's license or permit, or allowing someone else to use your license or permit, is strictly prohibited. This measure is critical in maintaining the integrity of the licensing system, ensuring that only authorized and qualified individuals engage in these activities.

  4. License Presentation: License holders are required to present their license upon demand. This requirement facilitates the enforcement of wildlife laws and regulations by allowing authorities to quickly and efficiently verify compliance.

Exceptions to Licensing Requirements

In New Hampshire, certain individuals are exempt from the requirement to hold a regular hunting or trapping license, as detailed below:

  1. Resident Landowners and Minor Children:

    • Eligibility: Resident landowners and their minor children under 16 years of age can hunt and trap on their own land during the appropriate season without needing a regular hunting or trapping license.
    • Limitations: This exemption does not extend to landowners whose rights to obtain a license are suspended. Additionally, it does not cover activities requiring special licenses or permits, such as archery, muzzleloader, pheasant, turkey, etc.
    • Property Boundaries: Pursuit of any animal beyond the owner's property requires a regular hunting license. For special licensing, Resident Landowner licenses can be obtained from the Fish and Game headquarters, either in person or by mail.
  2. Children Under 16:

    • License Requirements: Children under 16 years old do not need a regular New Hampshire hunting or archery license.
    • Supervision and Special Permits: These youths must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult aged 18 or older. However, minors must have a permit or license for specific activities such as turkey hunting, Special Unit L or M deer, special archery deer, bear, nonresident muzzleloader, and trapping.
  3. Regular NH Hunting License:

    • Inclusion of Fishing: The term “Regular NH Hunting License” in the Hunting Digest includes the Combination NH Hunting and Fishing License.
    • Deer Tag and Small Game: This license comes with one deer tag and covers small game hunting.
  4. Tag Use for Exempted Persons:

    • Special Deer and Bear Tags: Those exempted from purchasing an annual license can use the tag available in the Special Deer and Bear Tag section of this publication or download one from huntnh.com.

These exemptions play a crucial role in encouraging responsible wildlife management and conservation, while also providing flexibility to specific groups of hunters and trappers in New Hampshire.

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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.