New Hampshire Hunting
Who Needs a License?
Hunting licenses are required for persons 16 years of age and older. Some licenses and permits are required for all ages; see Resident License Fees.
Buying a License
Hunting licenses, valid Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of each year, may be purchased online via huntnh.com, from license agents, Fish and Game Department Headquarters in Concord, Fish and Game Region 1, 2, and 4 offices. Applicants must purchase their own licenses. Trapping and fur buyer licenses, valid July 1 to June 30 of the next year, are only available at Fish and Game’s Concord headquarters or through the mail.
To purchase a hunting or archery license on the Internet site or at a Walmart, you must have held a hunting or archery license or taken Hunter Education or Bowhunter Education in N.H. in the year 2000 or later. There may be a delay of as much as one week after taking the N.H. Hunter Education course before the information is in our database.
Hunter Education Requirements
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.
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 N.H. 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 N.H. driver’s license or non-driver’s picture identification.
Lost licenses may be reprinted at the original issuing agent or Fish and Game’s Concord headquarters, once at no charge. If purchased at a license agent, and it is at least one week from the date of issue, the license can be reprinted from the online sales site. There is no charge for reprints, however, there is a limit on the number of reprints allowed.
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. Call (603) 271-3422 for information. Non-resident military personnel on regular active duty, and permanently stationed in New Hampshire, may purchase licenses at N.H. resident rates (cannot be purchased online or at Walmart).
An archery license allows you to:
- Take deer with a bow and arrow during the archery season.
- Take deer with a crossbow in WMU-M during the archery season following season restrictions (Deer Hunting Regulations), and
- Take other species with a 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 License and in compliance with Wildlife Management Unit restrictions. During the muzzleloader season, the firearms deer tag may only be filled using a muzzleloader or crossbow.
Archers may fill their archery deer tag any time during the archery season.
The Special Archery Deer Permit allows the taking of an antlered-only deer with bow and arrow during the archery deer season. This additional permit must be purchased at the same time you purchase your archery license.
See Deer Hunting Regulations for a complete listing of deer season regulations.
Carrying Handguns while Bowhunting
You may carry a handgun while bowhunting, but it is not legal to use a handgun to assist in the taking of an archery-tagged deer.
Annual Deer Crossbow Permit (annual, $5) allows the hunter to use a crossbow during the firearms deer season only. Permits available only at N.H. Fish and Game headquarters in Concord. Permit applications can also be downloaded online and mailed into headquarters in Concord. 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.
It is legal to use a crossbow to take the species listed below under any of the following circumstances:
- If you have an Archery license and you are 68 years of age or older;
- If you possess an Archery license or are less than 16 years of age and are taking deer in Unit M;
- During the muzzleloader season with the muzzleloader license;
- During the firearm season if you possess an Annual Deer Crossbow Permit;
- If you are a youth participating in the Youth Deer Weekend.
- TurkeyCrossbows are a legal method of take for spring season, fall shotgun season and the turkey youth weekend.
- BearCrossbows are a legal method of take for bear season.
Crossbows are a legal method of take for moose season.
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). Hunters holding a disabled crossbow permit are limited to using only a crossbow. They are not allowed to use a longbow, recurve, or compound bow.
For information visit huntnh.com: Disabled Veteran License, Paraplegic License, and Hunt from a Motor Vehicle Permit.
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 — When a License is 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.). Resident Landowner special licenses must be purchased from Fish and Game headquarters, either in person or by mail.
- Children under 16 years of age do not need a regular N.H. hunting or archery license. Youth must be accompanied by a properly licensed person 18 years of age or older. Minors must have a permit or license for turkey, Special Unit L or M deer, special archery deer, bear, nonresident muzzleloader, and trapping.