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2021 Fall Shotgun Season for Turkey Is Underway

CONTACT: Allison Keating: (603) 352-9669 Dan Bergeron: (603) 271-1126 October 13, 2021

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department reminds hunters that the Granite State’s seven-day fall turkey shotgun season began on October 11 and runs through October 17, 2021.

Purchase of a turkey permit, and a New Hampshire hunting license for those age 16 or older, allows for the harvest of two turkeys per year, one of which may be a male or hen turkey taken during the fall.

Shooting hours for the fall season begin one-half hour before sunrise and end one-half hour after sunset. All New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG) rules and regulations associated with the state’s fall turkey season remain in effect, and hunters will continue to have the option of registering harvested birds either in person or online. Regardless of registration method, hunters must register their turkey within 24 hours of harvest.

Check Station Registration: It is recommended that hunters contact their local registration stations to determine if the location is operating and to confirm that they are registering birds during the fall season. Turkeys registered at a check station will continue to receive the official leg seal. For a list of registration stations in New Hampshire visit: https://wildlife.state.nh.us/hunting/deer-check-stations.html.

Online Registration: If birds are not registered in person, they must be registered online within 24 hours of take. The tag that is issued with the hunter’s turkey license must be affixed to the bird. To expedite online registration, hunters must have a reliable internet connection and should have the following information readily available:

  • Hunting/turkey license information
  • License plate number of the vehicle used while hunting
  • Town and Wildlife Management Unit where the turkey was harvested
  • Sex of the bird
  • Age of the bird (adult vs. juvenile)
  • Weight of the bird (to the nearest 1/4 pound)
  • Beard length (to the nearest 1/4 inch)
  • Spur lengths (to the nearest 1/16 inch)

Successful online registration will result in the generation of a confirmation number upon completion. Hunters must retain a copy of this confirmation as proof that their turkey was legally registered online by saving a digital version or printing a copy for their records. Accurately entered registration data is imperative because the information is used by wildlife biologists and conservation officers who depend upon its accuracy. To register turkeys online, and for tips on how to age, weigh, and measure birds, visit https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/hunting/turkey-reg.html.

Of the 18 New Hampshire Wildlife Management Units (WMU) in the state, 11 are open to the fall shotgun season including WMUs D2, G, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, J2, K, L, and M. For a detailed map visit http://www.wildnh.com/hunting/turkey-season.html.

The fall shotgun season was extended from five to seven days in 2016 to include two weekend days and provide increased hunting opportunity. New Hampshire also offers a fall archery season for turkey from September 15 to December 15 in Wildlife Management Units B through M (ends December 8 in WMU A).

Help Monitor the State’s Flocks for West Nile Virus This Fall: New Hampshire is participating in a regional effort to document the levels of West Nile virus present in wild turkeys this year. New Hampshire Fish and Game is asking willing hunters to collect blood samples from their harvested turkeys this fall. Those interested in participating should contact the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Region 4 Office by calling 603-352-9669 to request that a sampling kit be mailed to them.

Declining population trends in ruffed grouse across their eastern range has led numerous state wildlife agencies to initiate research to assess the effect of West Nile virus on this species. Preliminary results suggest ruffed grouse are highly susceptible to West Nile virus, however the effects of the virus on wild turkeys remains unknown. While the turkey population in New Hampshire remains stable, data collected through this effort will help to further wild turkey management efforts on a broader, regional level. All hunters who are passionate about the long-term health of the Granite State’s eastern wild turkey population are encouraged to participate this year during the fall turkey seasons. Collected blood samples will be supplied to the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study Project for testing. To learn more visit the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study.

To learn more about turkey hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.huntnh.com/hunting/turkey.html.