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New Hampshire

Hunting

Turkey 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. Each Turkey License comes with 2 tags which may be used in any order and allow the take of two (2) turkeys per year. Turkey hunters may take one (1) male or bearded turkey during the spring season and a second turkey of either sex during the fall. Or, hunters may take two (2) male or bearded turkeys during the spring season. However, the first spring turkey shall be legally registered before the second spring turkey can be taken. One of the spring turkeys may be taken statewide, but the other spring turkey shall only be taken in WMUs H1, H2, J2, K, L, or M. One (1) or two (2) turkeys may also be taken during the youth weekend, however all spring season registration and WMU regulations apply. The total fall season bag limit is one (1) turkey and hunting may be done statewide with bow and arrow during the fall archery season with a crossbow in WMU L or M during the 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, with the following shot and loads:

  1. between 10 and 20 gauge inclusively, with shot size of #4 and smaller, in hunting rather than target loads; or
  2. 28 gauge and .410, with shot sizes #7 through #9, a minimum shot density of 18 grams per cubic centimeter (G/CC), and a minimum barrel length of 18 inches

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; 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.
  • Take a turkey while the turkey is in a tree.

Hen Or Gobbler?

Gobbler

gobbler in the wild

Feature

Hen

hen in the wild

red, blue and 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 and wing droop

Strut

no strut

larger than hen

Size

½ to 2⁄3 size of gobbler

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