New Hampshire’s bear hunters can take advantage of three seasons: stalking (“general”), dog season, and baiting season. Bears are found statewide, with the highest densities in central NH and the White Mountains. Hunters can buy a Bear License online or at any license agent—no lottery needed.
Bear Hunting Licensing Requirements
Adult hunters (age 16 and older) must have a valid Regular NH Hunting, Combination or Archery License, and a Bear License and valid tag to hunt black bear. Youth hunters (under 16 years of age) do not need a Regular NH Hunting, Combination or Archery License, but they do need a Bear License and valid tag.
Bear HUNTING Regulations
Hunting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.
Successful hunters must notify a Conservation Officer within 12 hours of taking a bear by calling (603) 271-3361 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and may be required to take a department employee to the kill site. Within 24 hours after time of kill, the hunter must exhibit the bear, with reproductive organs intact, to a conservation officer.
Black bear may only be taken by firearms larger than .22 rimfire, shotgun loaded with a single ball, muzzleloader not less than .40 cal., or bow and arrow of at least 40 lbs. draw weight.
Archers must have their name and address on arrows. Fixed blade broadheads cannot be less than ⅞ inches wide and not more than 1½ inches wide. Retractable blade broadheads are permitted (must be not less than ⅞ of an inch wide when open). Minimum draw weight for bear is 40 lbs.
To Bait Bear
A Permit to Bait Wildlife and map of the bait site must be filed with the local conservation officer before placing the bait. No person except a licensed NH Hunting Guide shall place bait for the purpose of attracting bear at more than 2 bait sites. No person except a licensed NH Hunting Guide shall have more than one bait site in WMUs A, B, D1, H1, H2, I2, K, L, and M. Baiting permit applications are available at regional offices. Baiting permit applications for state-managed lands and the White Mountain National Forest are accepted at regional offices April 1 through August 1. No bait may be placed from April 15 to August 31 (dates inclusive). See additional baiting regulations.
To Hunt Bear with Dogs
A free Take Bear With Dogs Permit is mandatory for anyone attempting to take bear with hounds. Nonresidents from states or provinces or territories of Canada that allow the training or taking of bear with dogs, and who do not limit or prohibit NH residents from training or hunting bear with NH dogs, are the only nonresidents allowed to bring dogs into NH to train or take bears. Permits available at Fish and Game in Concord, Regional Offices and through local Conservation Officers; form online at HuntNH.com.
It is unlawful to:
- hunt bear with a .22 or smaller rimfire firearm, or a shotgun loaded with any ammunition other than a single ball;
- take more than one bear in a calendar year;
- buy, sell or offer for sale a bear or any part thereof, other than the head, hide or feet;
- possess a bear that hasn’t been properly tagged;
- possess a detached bear tag. Upon killing a bear, the tag shall be immediately filled out and attached to the bear;
- assist another in taking a bear after you have taken one, unless you are accompanying a minor.