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General Hunting Regulations


A baiting permit is required for any bait site. A baiting permit application (no fee) may be picked up at any Fish and Game office or from your local Fish and Game Conservation Officer (CO). Applications for permits to bait wildlife on private property must be signed by the private landowner. No bait shall be placed until the bait permit and map have been presented to the CO in person, or until 3 days have elapsed after date of postmark, if mailed. No bait may be placed from April 15 through August 31 (dates inclusive). Bait may not be placed at any site until September 1.

  • A landowner placing bait on his or her own property does not need a baiting permit, but they must meet all the other requirements listed below regarding the use of bait.
  • No person, except a licensed NH Hunting Guide, shall have more than 2 active bait sites statewide. A licensed NH Hunting Guide shall have no more than 6 active bait sites. A bait site is considered active if the season for the listed species is open or if no specific beginning and/or expiration date is noted on the permit form.
  • A baiting permit has 4 copies. It is the permittee’s responsibility to see that copies are held by: (1) the permittee; (2) the landowner; (3) the CO on whose patrol the bait is located; and (4) the NH Fish and Game office in Concord.
  • The copy of the baiting permit given to the CO must have a detailed topographical map, including a description of the location of the bait site and how to locate it. (If the map is so vague that the CO cannot find the site, the permit is invalid.)
  • Only the person to whom the permit is issued is permitted to place bait at the site.
  • The permittee must post a 3″ x 6″ durable sign at the site with the name and address of the permittee and up to 2 subpermittees. These 3 individuals are the only persons allowed to hunt with aid of the bait site. A licensed NH Hunting Guide must post a sign with his or her own name and address, but is not required to post the names of paying clients. The sign must be clearly visible not higher than 6 feet off the ground. If no subpermittees are identified on the sign, they may not be included at a later date. Once the sign has been posted, it may not be altered at a later date. No person other than the permittee authorized to place bait at a site shall remove, alter, or destroy said sign.
  • Bait may not be placed less than 300 feet from a dwelling, public roadway, pathway, or trail.
  • No person shall place bait in public waters or on ice-covered public waters.
  • It is illegal to bait for turkey or migratory waterfowl.
  • Permits expire at the end of the calendar year, unless an earlier date has been specified on the permit form, or the season has ended for the species identified on the baiting permit.
  • When requested by a 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

In addition to the General Baiting Rules, the following rules apply to State-owned and State-managed lands:

  • A baiting permit is required for any bait site on State-owned or State-managed lands, including White Mountain National Forest.
  • Applicants may apply for bait sites on State-owned or State-managed lands beginning April 1. Applications must be received before August 1. The application must be filled out completely, and must include a detailed map and directions to the bait site to be considered. Baiting permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications shall be mailed into the nearest Regional Office or to Fish and Game in Concord, Attn: Law Enforcement.
  • No person including a licensed NH Hunting Guide shall have more than 1 active bait site within an individual trapping unit. Visit for details regarding trapping units.
  • Permanent stands are illegal. All debris, litter, and temporary tree stands or blinds must be removed after the baiting season has ended.
  • Non-edible or non-digestible materials shall not be used as bait.
  • A total maximum of 30 active bait sites are allowed on the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters property in Pittsburg, NH.

Baiting Rule for Bear

In addition to all other applicable baiting rules, the following rule applies to baiting for bear:

  • No person except a licensed NH Hunting Guide shall place bait for the purpose of attracting and taking bear at more than 2 bait sites statewide.
  • No person except a licensed NH Hunting Guide shall have more than one bait site for bear in WMUs A, B, D1, H1, H2, I2, K, L, and M.

Dead Animals

If you find a dead deer, bear, moose or turkey you did not kill, do not tag or move it. Road killed wildlife may not be taken without permission of a law enforcement officer. Call Law Enforcement Dispatch at (603) 271-3361.

Discharge Restrictions/Compact Areas
(RSA 207: 3-a & 644:13)

  • It is illegal to discharge a firearm or shoot with a bow and arrow or crossbow and bolt within 300 feet of a permanently occupied dwelling without permission of the owner or occupant, or from the owner of the land on which the person shooting the firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow and bolt is situated. A firearm may not be discharged within 300 feet of any commercial, educational or medical building, or outdoor public gathering place.
  • Firearms may not be discharged within the compact area of any town or city (any contiguous area containing 6 or more buildings used as part time or permanent dwellings where each is within 300 feet of one of the other buildings, plus a 300 foot wide perimeter around all of the buildings).
  • It is unlawful to discharge a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow and bolt within 15′ of the traveled portion of, or across any class I through V highway, or from or across the following public highways (including the rights of way): I-93, I-89, I-95, 293, 393, Rte. 202/9 (from Rte. 114 in Henniker to Rte. 31 in Hillsboro), Rte. 16 (from I-95 to Milton/Middleton town line), Rte. 3/F.E. Everett Turnpike (from Mass. line to Rte. 101 Bedford), Rte. 101 (from Bedford town line to Rte. 1 Hampton).



Additional regulations apply to licensed NH Hunting Guides. Contact the Law Enforcement Division at (603) 271-3127.

Lacey Act

Interstate transportation of wildlife taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of a state law is a violation of federal law. The penalty can be up to $250,000 and 5 years in prison.

Leashed Dog Trackers

Leashed dog trackers are private citizens who can help track and recovered wounded deer, moose and bear. They are licensed by the Fish and Game Department for this activity, which may take place at night. Give them a call, they can help. Visit for a list of licensed leashed dog trackers.


Use of ATVs/4-wheelers requires written landowner permission unless on a sanctioned ATV trail.

Tree Stands/Blinds

Written landowner permission is required for any tree stand, ladder or observation blind which damages or destroys a tree by inserting into the tree any metallic, ceramic, or other object. Written landowner permission is also required if any tree is cut in conjunction with the use of any stand or blind or to construct a pit blind.

Town of Bow

See Deer Hunting for restrictions.

Wapack National Wildlife Refuge

This National Wildlife Refuge, located in Greenfield and Temple, NH, is CLOSED to all hunting. Information about Wapack NWR can be obtained from: Parker River NWR, 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950, (978) 465-5753.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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This publication is a summary of hunting and trapping regulations. It is not the full laws or rules. It is intended only as a guide to seasons, bag limits and other necessary information.
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