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License Information

Hunting licenses are required for persons 16 years of age and older. Some licenses and permits are required for all ages, see License Fees.

Buying a License

Hunting licenses, valid Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of each year, may be purchased online via, from license agents, Fish and Game Department headquarters in Concord, Fish and Game Region 1, 2 and 4 offices and some town or city clerks. Trapping and fur buyer licenses, valid July 1 to June 30 of each year, are only available at Fish and Game’s Concord headquarters.

Regular NH Hunting License

Wherever the term “Regular NH Hunting License” is used in this Hunting Digest, it is understood to include the Combination NH Hunting and Fishing License.

Residency Requirements

To obtain a license at resident rates, the person must present to the issuing agent a valid New Hampshire driver’s license or non-driver’s picture identification card issued by the NH Department of Safety, Div. of Motor Vehicles. Whenever the applicant is under 18 years of age, the parent or guardian of the applicant shall be a resident and present their valid NH driver’s license or non-driver’s picture identification.

Hunter Education Requirements

Anyone applying to hunt with a firearm or bow must present a previous hunting or archery license or a Certificate of Completion from an approved Hunter or Bowhunter Education course. Duplicates of lost certificates are $2.00 (call 603-271-3214); date of birth must be included if applying by mail.

Youth Hunters

See Youth Hunting.

Lost Licenses

Lost licenses can be replaced at Fish and Game’s Concord headquarters, or at the license agency that issued the original license. The cost of a duplicate license is $6.00 per license form.

Military Licenses

NH residents who are regular active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard permanently stationed outside the state may be eligible for free temporary hunting and fishing licenses. Available at NH Fish and Game Headquarters in Concord; Region 1, 2 and 4 offices; or by mail or fax (603) 271-5829 (download an Active Duty Military License application from the Fish and Game website and send with duty orders). A copy of duty orders must be presented for verification. Call (603) 271-3422 for information.


An archery license allows you to:

  1. Hunt deer with a bow and arrow during the archery season and to take one deer following season restrictions, and
  2. Hunt other species with bow and arrow, provided you have the appropriate license or permit.

It is legal to hunt deer with bow and arrow while using the firearms deer tag during the firearms deer season under a Regular Hunting or Combination License without an archery license, and in compliance with Wildlife Management Unit restrictions for deer during the firearms deer season. During the muzzleloader season, the firearms deer tag may only be filled using a muzzleloader.

Archers may fill their archery deer tag any time during the archery season.

The Special Archery Deer Permit allows the taking of a second antlered-only deer with bow and arrow during the archery deer season. This permit must be purchased at the same time you purchase your archery license.

See Deer Hunting for a complete listing of deer season restrictions.


Annual Deer Crossbow Permit (annual; $5) allows the hunter to use a crossbow during the firearms deer season only. The hunter must have a valid firearms deer tag and follow all Wildlife Management Unit restrictions for deer during the firearms deer season. Any deer taken shall be tagged with a valid firearms deer tag.

Disabled Hunters

Disabled Crossbow Permit (permanent; $10) allows the use of crossbows during any season where use of a bow and arrow is allowed. This permit must be applied for at Concord Headquarters. A current year hunting license is required. This permit does not include separate tags (all ages). New for 2012, hunters holding a disabled crossbow permit will be limited to using only a crossbow. They are not allowed to use a longbow, recurve or compound bow.

The following permanent licenses/permits are also available to qualified NH resident hunters: Disabled Veteran License, Paraplegic License and Hunt from a Motor Vehicle Permit. Visit for information and application forms.

Prohibited Acts

Any person whose privilege to fish, hunt, trap, guide, take or land lobsters and crabs, or engage in commercial marine fishing activities is currently suspended or revoked in any other state or province is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a license for such activity in New Hampshire (RSA 214:18-b).

It is unlawful to possess more than one of any type of regular hunting license or permit, use another person’s license or permit, allow another person to use your license or permit, or not show your license upon demand.

Exceptions (license not required)

  • Resident landowners and their minor children under the age of 16 may hunt and trap on their own land in season without a license. This exception does not apply to activities requiring a special license or permit (i.e. archery, muzzleloader, pheasants, turkey, etc.).
  • Children under 16 years of age while hunting, when accompanied by a properly licensed person 18 years of age or older, excluding turkey permit, special Unit M deer, special archery deer, bear, nonresident muzzleloader and nonresident trapping.

Persons exempted from purchasing an annual license may use the Special Deer and/or Bear Tag by writing their name and address on the tag.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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