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Turkey Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon New Hampshire Hunting

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. 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 N.H. Hunting, Combination or Archery License and a Turkey License to hunt turkeys. A Small Game License does not allow for the hunting of turkeys. Youth hunters (under 16 years of age) do not need a hunting, combination or archery license, but they do need a turkey license. The fall 2018 turkey tag is valid for taking of one bird of either sex during the fall archery or fall shotgun season. Beginning in 2019, each turkey license will come with 2 tags, a spring tag valid for taking 1 male or bearded turkey during the spring season and a spring/fall tag which may be used to take a second male or bearded turkey during the spring season in WMUs H1, H2, J2, K, L, or M, or one bird of either sex during the fall archery or shotgun season. The first spring turkey must be legally registered prior to taking the second spring bird. Turkeys taken during the youth weekend shall constitute the first spring bird. Fall hunting may be done statewide with bow and arrow during the fall archery season, or with a shotgun or crossbow during the fall shotgun season in those units where allowed (see season chart and map).

Turkey Hunting Regulations

Hunting Hours:

  • Fall: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.
  • Spring: ½ hour before sunrise to 12 noon.

Turkeys 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 Deer/Turkey Registration Stations for a list of Turkey Registration Stations.

Shotguns must be between 10 and 20 gauge. The allowable shot size for taking wild turkey is #2, #4, #5, #6, #7 and above. The lack of an upper limit accommodates 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 bow and arrow, crossbow or firearm (other than a pistol or revolver).

Archery/Crossbows

Archers and crossbow users must have their name and address on arrows or bolts. Fixed blade broadheads cannot be less than ⅞ inches wide when open; there is no upper size limit. Retractable blade broadheads are permitted (cannot be less than ⅞ of an inch wide when open). Minimum bow and arrow draw weight for turkeys is 30 lbs. Crossbows must meet the requirements on Deer Hunting Regulations.

It Is Unlawful To:

  • Possess a turkey that hasn’t been properly tagged.
  • 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 with an air rifle while the turkey is in a tree.

Turkey Hunting Seasons

Season

Inclusive Dates

Wildlife Management Units

Season Limit

Fall Archery

Sept. 15–Dec. 8, 2018

A

Combined limit: 1 turkey

(either sex)

Sept. 15–Dec. 15, 2018

B–M
Fall Shotgun

Oct. 15–21, 2018

D2, G, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, J2, K, L, M
Spring

May 1–May 31, 2019

1st Turkey — Statewide

2nd Turkey — WMUs H1, H2, J2, K, L or M

1 or 2 (male or bearded)

Youth Hunt

April 27–28, 2019

Statewide

1 (male or bearded, which constitutes 1st spring bird)

Hen or Gobbler?

Gobbler

Feature

Hen

Red, Blue & White Colors

Head

Blue-Gray Color

Black

Body

Light, Rusty-Brown

Long Bristle-Like Beard

Beard

Usually No Beard

Usually ½-inch Or Longer Spurs

Spurs

No Spurs

Gobble, Drum

Calls

Yelp, Cluck, Cut

Strut With Tail Fan & Wing Droop

Strut

No Strut

Larger Than Hen

Size

½ To 2⁄3 Size Of Gobbler