In New Hampshire, hunting licenses are required for persons 16 years of age and older. Some licenses and permits are required for all ages. Hunting licenses, valid January 1–December 31 annually, may be purchased at:
- Fish and Game Department Headquarters at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, NH;
- Fish and Game Region 1, 2, and 4 offices;
- License agents located throughout the state; and
- Various town or city clerks
Applicants must purchase their own licenses. Trapping and fur buyer licenses, valid July 1–June 30 of each year, are only available at the Fish and Game Department’s Concord Headquarters.
To obtain a license at resident rates, the person must present to the issuing agent a valid New Hampshire driver’s license or non-driver’s picture identification card issued by the NH Department of Safety, Div. of Motor Vehicles. For applicants under 18 years of age, the parent or guardian of the applicant shall be a resident and present their valid NH driver’s license or non-driver’s picture identification.
Hunter education requirements
Anyone applying to hunt with a firearm or bow must present a previous hunting or archery license or a Certificate of Completion from an approved Hunter or Bowhunter Education course. For duplicates of lost certificates, call (603) 271-3214. Date of birth must be included if applying by mail.
There is no minimum age for youth hunting in New Hampshire. Youth hunters can hunt all species during the open season. 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.
Accompanying adults may not carry a firearm or bow during the special youth hunting weekends, but may during the regular hunting seasons for those species. All deer taken by youth hunters must be tagged with either a home-made tag or the back page of the New Hampshire Hunting Digest. All deer, bear, and turkey must be registered according the to rules applying to those species for adults.
Hunter education is not required for youth hunters under age 16, but youth should try to complete the hunter education course sometime between the age of 12 and their 16th birthday. Then they will have the required hunter education certification when they apply for their first hunting license after they turn 16.
Both resident and non-resident youth may hunt during the special weekends, but non-resident youth are eligible for the youth deer hunt ONLY if their state of residence allows New Hampshire youth to participate in its youth deer hunt.
Lost licenses can be replaced at Fish and Game’s Concord Headquarters, or at the license agency that issued the original license. The cost of a duplicate license is $6.00.
NH residents who are regular active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard permanently stationed outside the state may be eligible for free temporary hunting and fishing licenses. These are available at NH Fish and Game Headquarters in Concord; Region 1, 2, and 4 offices; or by mail or fax (603) 271-5829. Download an Active Duty Military License application and send with a copy of your duty orders. Call (603) 271-3422 for information.
An archery license allows you to:
- Hunt deer with a bow and arrow during the archery season and to take one deer following season restrictions; and
- Hunt other species with bow and arrow, provided you have the appropriate license or permit.
It is legal to hunt deer with bow and arrow while using the firearms deer tag during the firearms deer season under a Regular Hunting or Combination License without an archery license, and in compliance with Wildlife Management Unit restrictions for deer during the firearms deer season.
During the muzzleloader season, the firearms deer tag may only be filled using a muzzleloader. Archers may fill their archery deer tag any time during the archery season. The Special Archery Deer Permit allows the taking of a second antlered-only deer with bow and arrow during the archery deer season. This permit must be purchased at the same time you purchase your archery license.
Carrying handguns while bowhunting
You may carry a handgun while bowhunting if:
- You possess a valid firearms hunting license; or
- You possess a valid pistol/revolver license.
An Annual Deer Crossbow Permit ($5) allows the hunter to use a crossbow during the firearms deer season only. The hunter must have a valid firearms deer tag and follow all Wildlife Management Unit restrictions for deer during the firearms deer season. Any deer taken shall be tagged with a valid firearms deer tag.
A Disabled Crossbow Permit (permanent; $10) allows the use of crossbows during any season where use of a bow and arrow is allowed. This permit must be applied for at Concord Headquarters. A current year hunting license is required. This permit does not include separate tags (all ages). Hunters holding a disabled crossbow permit are limited to using only a crossbow, recurve, or compound bow. The following permanent license/permits are also available to qualified NH resident hunters: Disabled Veteran License, Paraplegic License, and Hunt from a Motor Vehicle Permit.
Any person whose privilege to fish, hunt, trap, guide, take or land lobsters and crabs, or engage in commercial marine fishing activities is currently suspended or revoked in any other state or province is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a license for such activity in New Hampshire (RSA 214:18-b). It is unlawful to possess more than one of any type of regular hunting license or permit, use another person’s license or permit, allow another person to use your license or permit, or not show your license upon demand.
Exceptions: When a license is not required
Resident landowners and their minor children under the age of 16 may hunt and trap on their own land in season without a license. This exception does not apply to activities requiring a special license or permit (e.g., archery, muzzleloader, pheasants, turkey).
Children under 16 years of age do not need a regular New Hampshire hunting license while hunting when accompanied by a properly licensed person 18 years of age or older. Minors must have a permit or license for turkey, Special Unit M deer, special archery deer, bear, nonresident muzzleloader, and trapping.