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Youth Hunting in N.H.

Hunting Regulations Icon New Hampshire Hunting

Hunting with young people allows them to develop their observational skills, and helps them gain the confidence and comfort level they need to enjoy a lifetime in the outdoors. We hope you’ll share your experience and take a young hunter out this fall; it will be a priceless experience for you as a mentor—and for your young friend as a future hunter, conservationist, and adventurer!

Youth Regulations

There is no minimum age for hunting in New Hampshire. Youth hunters (under the age of 16) may hunt during all regular hunting seasons when accompanied by a properly licensed adult hunter who is at least 18 years of age. All N.H. hunting rules apply.

“Accompanied” means within sight and hearing, excluding electronic devices, when actual physical direction and control can be affected. A properly licensed adult is one who possesses any and all licenses/permits needed for the species being hunted and the method being used by the youth hunter.

No regular N.H. hunting or archery license is required for hunters under 16 years of age, but there are certain tags youth must possess.

All deer, bear, and turkey must be tagged and registered according to rules applying to those species for adults. Deer taken by youth hunters should be tagged with the SPECIAL DEER tag. Adult hunters who have filled their tags are allowed to accompany a youth hunter, but the adult may not possess a firearm or take any game. Youths may not use a crossbow during the youth weekend for deer.

Hunter Education is not required for youth hunters under age 16, but youths should try to complete the Hunter Education course sometime between the age of 12 and their 16th birthday; that way, they’ll have the required Hunter Education certification when they apply for their first hunting license after they turn 16.

Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration: Over 75 Years of Restoring, Managing and Researching Fish and Wildlife

Our thanks to hunters, shooters, anglers, boaters, and our industry partners! With the purchase of firearms and ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment, and motorboat fuels, hunters, anglers, boaters and manufacturers pay excise taxes that are distributed to state fish and wildlife agencies for approved projects.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joins state fish and wildlife agencies, private industry, and the public in a partnership to conserve fish and wildlife resources.

With help from over $150 million in federal aid funding over more than three quarters of a century, N.H. Fish and Game has been able to:

  • Gain knowledge through research
  • Manage fish and wildlife populations
  • Acquire Wildlife Management Areas
  • Improve and protect fish and wildlife habitat
  • Restore fish and wildlife populations
  • Conduct Hunter and Aquatic Education programs
  • Construct, upgrade, and maintain more than 140 public access sites for boating and fishing.

Your purchase of hunting and fishing equipment and motorboat fuels supports wildlife and sport fish restoration and boating access facilities.

Special N.H. Youth Hunt Weekends

New Hampshire’s special youth hunt weekends are about much more than hunting. They’re a unique opportunity for kids to spend time in the woods with a parent, grandparent, or adult mentor and share the outdoors experience without the pressure of competing with thousands of adult hunters.

Waterfowl September 23–24, 2017

Deer (either sex)* October 21–22, 2017

Turkey** April 28–29, 2018

All N.H. hunting rules apply during special youth hunts. In addition, accompanying adults may not carry a firearm and may not take game. Adults may not accompany more than two youths during the deer and turkey youth hunts. Deer taken by youths during the special weekend shall constitute the one deer allowed by firearm per hunter.

* Non-resident youth hunters may participate in the N.H. Youth Hunt Weekend for Deer only if New Hampshire youth may hunt during special youth deer hunts in their state.

** Turkey License required.