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Deer Hunting Regulations

Hunting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.

Deer must be registered at the closest open registration station within 24 hours. See  listing of stations. A conservation officer may request to see the head and hide of a deer taken under an archery license within 48 hours of killing. It is unlawful to hunt deer with a rimfire firearm. No shotgun ammunition, other than slugs or 00 or larger buckshot, may be used to take deer. Exception: Buckshot is prohibited for taking deer in Auburn, Chester, Greenland, Newington, Portsmouth and Stratham.


The archery deer season is antlered deer only September 15 – September 30 statewide. Any deer may be taken on the regular archery deer license beginning October 1. This is intended to help deer populations increase to population goals.

NEW FOR 2010 — WMU-A

The 2-point minimum antler restriction has been removed. Any antlered deer is legal during the antlered-only deer season. Muzzleloader season has been restored to the full 11 days prior to the regular firearms season, but both the archery and firearms deer seasons still close one week earlier than the rest of the state. The 2-point APR was removed due to concerns over the long-term negative effect on deer genetics.


Archers must have their name and address on arrows. Fixed blade broadheads cannot be less than ⅞ inches wide and not more than 1½ inches wide. Retractable blade broadheads are permitted (must be not less than ⅞ of an inch wide when open). Minimum draw weight for deer is 40 lbs.


To hunt deer during the muzzleloader season, a person needs a Regular NH Hunting License, plus a Muzzleloader License. A muzzleloader is defined as a single barrel, single shot firearm (40 caliber or greater) that can only be loaded from the muzzle. Only one deer may be taken with a muzzleloader or firearm with the firearm tag. No person shall have in possession, while taking deer during the muzzleloader season, more than one muzzleloading rifle and one muzzleloading handgun. No separate muzzleloader tag is issued.

Antlered/Any Deer—Definitions

  • Antlered Deer: Deer with at least one antler three (3) inches long.
  • Any Deer: All deer regardless of sex or age.


A crossbow means a device consisting of a bow mounted to a rigid stock for discharging quarrels, bolts, or arrows and having a mechanical means to hold and release the drawn string. A bolt means a short projectile for a crossbow that resembles an arrow.

A crossbow shall have a minimum pull of 125 pounds, a working mechanical safety and a stock no less than 25 inches in length.

See more information on crossbow permits.

Bear Brook Refuge

Deer may be hunted in the Bear Brook Refuge with bow and arrow only by persons holding a valid Archery License. No firearms are allowed in Bear Brook Refuge.

Chronic Wasting Disease

To help prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) into New Hampshire, the importation of hunter-killed white-tailed, black-tailed or mule deer, moose and elk carcasses or parts of such carcasses from CWD-positive jurisdictions is prohibited except for: de-boned meat; antlers; antlers attached to skull caps from which all soft tissue has been removed; upper canine teeth (also known as “buglers,” “whistlers” or “ivories”) from which all soft tissue has been removed; hides or capes with no part of the head attached; finished taxidermy mounts; and tissues prepared and packaged for use by diagnostic or research laboratories. CWD-positive jurisdictions include: In the U.S., Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming; in Canada, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge

A 2-day deer hunt will be held Nov. 13 and 14, 2010 on the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Applications and information on procedures and fees will be available after Aug. 9, from: Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950, (978) 465-5753. Hunters must have a valid firearms deer tag or Special Unit M tag to participate. Send completed application to: NH Fish and Game Dept., 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301, Attn: Wildlife Div. Application must be received by 4 p.m., October 1, 2010, or be postmarked by September 24, 2010.

It Is Unlawful To:

  • hunt deer with a .22 or less rimfire firearm, or with shot loads smaller than 00 buckshot.
  • kill any deer with antlers less than 3 inches during the Antlered Only deer season.
  • use 100% salt products as bait for deer hunting.
  • have more than 6 people participate in a joint drive for deer.
  • hunt deer or bear on islands, or in the water of any lake or pond in the state;
  • leave a deer in the woods for more than 12 hours without notifying a Conservation Officer as to the location and reason for not removing the deer.
  • buy, sell or offer for sale a deer or any part thereof, other than the head, hide or feet.
  • possess a deer that hasn’t been properly tagged.
  • possess a detached deer tag. Upon killing a deer, the tag shall be immediately filled out and attached to the deer.
  • assist another in taking a deer after you have taken one, unless you possess a valid unused tag or are accompanying a minor.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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