New Hampshire’s hunting season for pheasant gets underway on October 1 and continues through December 31. There will be 73 stocking sites in 49 towns. This fall, 12,260 adult ring-necked pheasants will be released in all ten New Hampshire counties. Pheasant hunters have a daily bag limit of 2, and a season limit of 10 birds.
Pheasants will be released on select state Wildlife Management Areas, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control areas and private lands open to public hunting. Each site will receive approximately 140 birds for the season, with the exception of federal flood control areas, which will receive approximately 36 more birds per site. Fish and Game will continue to release birds as close to opening day as possible and to consistently stock a Thursday/Friday schedule in-season. All stocking will be completed by the start of moose season on October 19.
“Please keep safety foremost in mind: wear hunter orange, control your firearm muzzle and know where your hunting partners are at all times. Shoot only within your zone of fire, and keep your hunting dog under control,” said Fish and Game Pheasant Project Leader Karen Bordeau. “Do take the time to thank private and federal landowners when you use their lands. Your hunting ethics on their lands and your thoughtfulness will help keep these lands open.”
Fish and Game asks hunters to refrain from training dogs at release sites during the three days prior to October 1. Dog training flushes pheasants from release sites, often onto posted property or other areas not suitable for hunting.
The list of towns to be stocked (including road names) can be seen on the Fish and Game website at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_pheasant.htm; printed lists are also available at Fish and Game headquarters and regional offices.
Pheasant hunters must purchase a $26 pheasant license, in addition to the regular New Hampshire hunting license or non-resident N.H. small game license. Licenses can be purchased at http://www.huntnh.com or from any Fish and Game license agent. Pheasants are purchased exclusively with revenues from the sale of pheasant licenses.
The southern portion of the Mascoma River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Canaan will not be accessible for pheasant hunters via the culvert and road that is typically used to cross the Mascoma River; pheasant will continue to be stocked on the Mascoma WMA in the extensive old-field habitat on the north side of the river. In addition, the Maple Street site in Hopkinton will no longer be stocked, due to a change in land use recreation.
At another popular pheasant hunting site, the Conner Farm Wildlife Management Area in Exeter, hunters and other visitors are being asked to access the WMA on foot through a gate at the back of the new parking area (learn more at http://www.wildnh.com/Newsroom/2013/Q3/connerfarm.html).
All pheasant hunters are urged to follow these basic safety guidelines:
Wear hunter orange on your head, back and chest.
Control your firearm muzzle at all times.
Always wear safety glasses.
Know where your hunting partners are at all times.
Shoot only within your zone of fire.
Be sure of your target and what is beyond.
Always keep your hunting dog under control.
For more information on hunting in New Hampshire, including online license and permit sales, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunting.htm.