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New Hampshire Small Game Hunting Seasons Open September 1

Concord, NH – Small game hunting season for gray squirrel starts on September 1 and is a great way to introduce someone new to hunting. On October 1, ruffed grouse, woodcock, and snowshoe hare seasons each open, all of which are exciting species to pursue and make excellent table fare. Small game hunters will want to check out the New Hampshire Small Game Summary Report, which presents final data from the Small Game Hunter Survey and the Ruffed Grouse Wing and Tail Survey, both conducted by the NH Fish and Game Department each year. The 2019 report is now available online at www.huntnh.com/hunting/small-game.html.

While the New Hampshire Small Game Summary Report covers a variety of species, the primary focus is on the Granite State’s two most sought after small game birds: ruffed grouse and woodcock. The report looks at long-term trends for grouse observation rates and breeding surveys for both grouse and woodcock. Ruffed grouse and woodcock remain the most popular small game species hunted in New Hampshire, comprising 85% of reported hunter effort. Other species of interest to small game hunters include snowshoe hare and gray squirrel.

“With a better understanding of small game populations, we hope to achieve improved management and provide enhanced opportunities for public enjoyment of our small game species,” said New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Small Game Project Leader Karen Bordeau. “We would very much like to see an increase in survey responses this fall from the Northern tier of the state to better understand the potential effects of West Nile Virus on Ruffed Grouse and how young forest habitat may be helping to support small gamebird populations here in New Hampshire.”

If you hunt small game, please take part in this year’s surveys:

Grouse hunters can participate in the Wing and Tail Survey by picking up grouse sample packets from participating locations listed at www.huntnh.com/surveys/ruffed-grouse.html.
Download the Small Game Survey form at www.huntnh.com/surveys/small-game.html, call (603) 271-2461, or email wildlife@wildlife.nh.gov (include your name and mailing address and mention the small game survey).

Everyone who completes either of these two surveys will be entered into a raffle for a firearm donated by Sturm Ruger and the Ruffed Grouse Society, respectively.

“A big thank you to all the small game hunters who participated in our survey efforts!” said Bordeau.

Learn more about small game hunting in New Hampshire at www.huntnh.com/hunting/small-game.html.

Wildlife research and management activities in New Hampshire are funded through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, a user-pay, user-benefit program supported by the purchase of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment.