CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has set final season dates and bag limits for the 2018-19 waterfowl hunting season, after considering comments from the sporting community at a recent public meeting.
New Hampshire’s fall waterfowl season will be similar to last year’s for regular ducks. The regular duck season is 60 days, with a bag limit of six birds daily. The Canada goose season has decreased to 60 days, with two birds in the daily bag.
A map of the waterfowl zones may be viewed at www.huntnh.com/hunting/waterfowl-season.html.
Following are the waterfowl seasons for ducks, mergansers, brant, coots, and Canada geese:
The Northern Zone waterfowl season opens on October 2 and runs straight through November 30, 2018.
The Inland and Connecticut River Zone waterfowl season opens on October 2 and runs through November 4; then reopens November 21 through December 16, 2018.
The Coastal Zone waterfowl season opens on October 3 and runs through October 14; then reopens November 21, 2018, through January 7, 2019.
The sea duck season opens on November 15, 2018, and runs through January 13, 2019, in all coastal waters, rivers, and streams seaward from the first upstream bridge. The daily bag limit for sea ducks is 5 birds, which shall include no more than 4 scoters, 4 eiders, or 4 long-tailed ducks.
To hunt for migratory birds, a resident must have a current Regular NH Hunting, Combination, or Archery License. A nonresident must have a Regular NH Hunting, Combination, Archery, or a Small Game License. No license is required for youth hunters (under age 16); however youth must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older. In addition, duck and goose hunters age 16 and older must have a:
NH Migratory Waterfowl License;
National Migratory Bird Harvest Information or “HIP” certification number to hunt ducks, geese, woodcock, and snipe; and
Federal Duck Stamp with the hunter’s name signed across the face.
The Federal Duck Stamp can be purchased at many U.S. Post Offices or at Fish and Game Headquarters in Concord or Fish and Game’s Region 2 Office in New Hampton.
HIP permit numbers can be obtained by calling 1-800-207-6183 or by going to the “Buy Your License Online” section of the Fish and Game website at huntnh.com to receive a permit number (there is no charge). This number should be written on the hunting license. Harvest information from HIP helps Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service make more reliable estimates of the number of all migratory birds harvested. Each year, a random selection of hunters is asked to complete a voluntary harvest survey.
Hunters are asked to report all banded birds at www.reportband.gov. Note the 1-800-327-BAND reporting method has been discontinued. After you report a band, the U.S. Geological Survey will send a certificate with information about the bird.
Hunters should exercise caution this fall when field dressing ducks, due to the possibility of the birds being infected with Avian Influenza (AI). Learn more at: www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/2015/fsc_hpai_hunters.pdf
For more information on waterfowl hunting in New Hampshire, including a duck identification guide, or to buy licenses and permits online, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/waterfowl.html.