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Small Game Hunting

Small Game species in New Hampshire are: ruffed grouse, pheasant, quail, Hungarian/European partridge, chukar, cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare, gray squirrel and migratory game birds including waterfowl (see Migratory Bird Hunting). N.H. Fish and Game stocks approximately 12,200 pheasants at 50+ sites around the state.

Small Game Hunting Licensing Requirements

To hunt for small game, a resident must have a current Regular N.H. Hunting, Combination or Archery License. A nonresident must have a Regular N.H. Hunting, Combination or Archery License or a Small Game License. No license is required for youth hunters (under age 16); youth must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older.

Migratory bird hunters, see next page for additional requirements.

Pheasant Hunting Licensing Requirements

All pheasant hunters, with the exception of youth hunters who are accompanied by a properly licensed adult, must have either a valid Regular N.H. Hunting, Combination or Non-resident Small Game License, in addition to a Pheasant License.

Small Game Hunting Regulations

Hunting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, except for migratory birds (see Migratory Bird Hunting).

Ruffed Grouse Hunting

New Hampshire’s premiere game bird, the ruffed grouse, is king when it comes to upland game bird hunting. New Hampshire Fish and Game actively manages our lands to create young forests, one of the habitats critical for grouse and many other species. If you are a grouse hunter, we ask you to help us monitor this species by participating in our Ruffed Grouse Wing and Tail Survey. Read on and you can learn all about it!

Ruffed Grouse Wing and Tail Survey

N.H. Fish and Game conducts an annual grouse wing and tail survey to help gain critical information about ruffed grouse in New Hampshire. Hunter participation is key to this effort! A participating hunter will win a firearm donated by the Ruffed Grouse Society.

Any grouse hunter can participate by picking up grouse sample packets, which include envelopes and survey cards for two grouse samples, from participating locations listed at Completed packets must be returned to one of these locations.

Shaded Areas Closed to Cottontail Rabbit Hunting

Those areas indicated above are known locations of New England cottontail rabbits (endangered in New Hampshire), and are closed to hunting of all cottontail rabbits.

2015–2016 small game HUNTING SEASONS


Inclusive Dates

Management Units

Daily Limit

Season Limit

Cottontail Rabbit

Oct. 1–Dec. 31

H2, K, L, M
(except for closed areas,
see map below)



Falconry Season:
Oct. 1–Mar. 15

Gray Squirrel

Sept. 1–Dec. 31





Oct. 1–Dec. 31




Ruffed Grouse (Partridge)

Oct. 1–Dec. 31




Quail, Chukar,
Hungarian/European Partridge

Oct. 1–Dec. 31




Snowshoe Hare

Oct. 1–Mar. 31

A, B, C1, C2, D1, D2, E, F, G, J1



H1, H2, I1, I2, J2, K, L, M


* Pheasant License required.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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