HomeState of NHBear Season Opens September 1 with Easier Hunter Reporting

Bear Season Opens September 1 with Easier Hunter Reporting

The Granite State’s bear season officially opens on Friday, September 1, and hunters now have new ways to register their harvest this fall. Different in 2023, bears can now be registered at one of nine participating registration stations.

Hunters can still register their harvest with a Conservation Officer (CO) as in prior years. Bears may also be registered at New Hampshire Fish and Game Regional Offices by biological staff, but hunters should call ahead to ensure appropriate staff availability. All harvested bears must be registered within 24 hours in person at a designated bear registration station, by Fish and Game Conservation Officers (COs) or regional biological staff.

Check station registration: Hunters can bring their bear to one of the following check stations, and are reminded to contact their location of choice to confirm hours of operation:

  • Morse Sporting Goods, Hillsboro: 603-464-3444
  • Wildlife Sport Outfitters, Manchester: 603-625-9958
  • The Tackle Shack, Newbury: 603-763-5508
  • The Barn Store of New England, Salisbury: 603-648-2888
  • John’s Archery Shop, Northumberland: 603-636-6140
  • L.L. Cote, Errol: 800-287-7700
  • Lucky 7 Farm, Washington: 603-933-3774
  • Trader John’s Gun Shop, Winchester: 603-239-4032
  • Brookline Cutting Barn, Brookline: 603-316-7957

CO registration: To register a bear with a CO, hunters can call 603-271-3361. Once contact information has been provided, a CO in your area will connect with you directly to initiate the harvest registration process.

Regional Office registration: Hunters can bring their harvest to Fish and Game Regional Offices from 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Biological staff may be in the field so hunters should contact their office of choice to confirm staff availability in advance:

  • Wildlife Division, Concord: 603-271-2461
  • Region 1, Lancaster: 603-788-3164
  • Region 2, New Hampton: 603-744-5470
  • Region 3, Durham: 603-868-1095
  • Region 4, Keene: 603-352-9669

A bear does not have to be intact at the time of registration, and successful hunters may skin and quarter their harvest prior to registration and present the required parts including head, hide, and reproductive organs to registration stations or Department staff. The expeditious care and handling of bear meat is crucial—once a bear is down, the time to properly dress your trophy and the meat is immediately.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department urges bear hunters to take advantage of the state’s weather, woodlands, and natural resources this fall. Detailed information regarding the 2023 black bear seasons is available at www.huntnh.com/hunting/bear.

Adult hunters (age 16 and older) must have a valid Regular NH Hunting, Combination, or Archery License as well as a Bear License and valid tag to hunt black bear. Youth hunters (under 16 years of age) do not need a Regular NH Hunting, Combination, or Archery License, but they do need a Bear License and valid tag.

People who would like to try bear hunting this fall and were unable to complete Hunter Education should consider the one-time Apprentice Hunting License. This license allows those 16 and older interested in trying hunting to do so under the guidance of an experienced hunter aged 18 or older without first taking Hunter Education. Learn more at www.huntnh.com/hunting/apprentice.html or call 603-271-3422 for more information.

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