Wild turkeys in New Hampshire are a wildlife restoration success story. The state now offers generous spring and fall turkey hunting opportunities, as well as a special youth hunt, April 27–28, 2013. The highest concentration of turkeys is in the Connecticut River Valley—though they are well distributed throughout the state, and their clucks, purrs and gobbles may be heard just about anywhere!
Turkey Hunting Licensing Requirements
Adult hunters (16 or older) must have a Regular NH Hunting, Combination or Archery License and a turkey license to hunt turkey. Youth hunters (under 16 years of age) do not need a hunting, combination or archery license, but they do need a turkey license. Each turkey license comes with two tags: one valid for taking one male or bearded bird during the spring season, and one valid for taking one bird of either sex in the fall. Fall hunting may be done statewide (except WMU-A) with bow and arrow during the fall archery season, or with a shotgun during the fall shotgun season in those units where allowed (see season chart below).
Turkey HUNTING Regulations
- Fall: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.
- Spring: ½ hour before sunrise to 12 noon.
Turkey must be tagged immediately upon killing. Registration of a fully feathered intact carcass is required within 24 hours of taking. The turkey may be gutted. See list of Turkey Registration Stations.
Shotguns must be between 10 and 20 gauge. New for 2012, the allowable shot size for taking wild turkey has changed from #2, #4, #5 and #6 to a shot size of #2 or smaller. This legalizes the use of modern, heavier-than lead loads that utilize a blend of shot sizes.
A person who has taken a turkey may assist another properly licensed turkey hunter by calling only. The person assisting by calling shall not possess a firearm or bow and arrow.
Archers must have their name and address on arrows. Fixed blade broadheads cannot be less than ⅞ inches wide; there is no upper size limit. Retractable blade broadheads are permitted (must be not less than ⅞ of an inch wide when open). Minimum draw weight for turkeys is 30 lbs.
It is unlawful to:
- possess a turkey that hasn’t been properly tagged.
- possess a detached turkey tag. Upon killing a turkey the tag shall be filled out and immediately attached to the turkey.
- take a turkey with a rifle, dogs (during spring season), bait, electronic calling devices, live decoys, by cooperative drives or while the turkey is in a tree.