CONCORD, N.H. — Preliminary reports show that young hunters succeeded in harvesting 246 deer during the 2016 Youth Deer Hunt Weekend in New Hampshire, down 37% from the official 2015 total of 391. This unofficial total does not include information from all registration stations. The 2016 total is below the average since the special youth deer hunt began in 1999.
“Despite very poor hunting conditions with heavy rains on Saturday and strong winds throughout Sunday, many of New Hampshire’s youth hunters were still successful over the weekend in harvesting, what for many was likely their first deer. More importantly, they were safely introduced to the sport by an experienced hunter and hopefully gained some memorable experiences, a new passion, and an appreciation for the state’s wildlife and natural areas,” said Dan Bergeron, the NH Fish and Game Department’s Deer Project Leader.
The youth deer weekend gives young people statewide the opportunity to go deer hunting with an adult mentor. Accompanying adults must be licensed hunters and are not allowed to carry a firearm, so they can devote all of their time and attention to coaching their young companions.
Youth also may hunt in New Hampshire during the regular deer seasons. All youth hunters under age 16 must be accompanied by a licensed adult 18 years or older while hunting. “Accompanied” means “within sight and hearing, excluding electronic devices, when actual physical direction and control can be effected,” pursuant to RSA 207:1, XXX.
New Hampshire also offers special opportunities for young hunters through a youth turkey weekend each spring and a youth waterfowl weekend in September.
For the latest harvest numbers on the overall deer season so far in New Hampshire, see www.huntnh.com/hunting/deer-harvest.html.
For more information about youth hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/youth.html.