-- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department set final season dates and bag limits for the 2016-2017 waterfowl hunting season, after considering comments from sportsmen at a public meeting last spring.
New Hampshire's fall waterfowl season will be similar to last year's for regular ducks and Canada goose. The regular duck season is 60 days, with a bag limit of six birds daily; and the Canada goose season is 70 days, with three birds daily. One significant change in this year's regulations is the reduction in sea duck days from 107 to 60 with a daily bag limit reduction from seven birds to five birds, of which no more than 4 shall be eiders, scoters, or long-tailed ducks. The possession limit will be fifteen birds, of which no more than 12 shall be eiders, scoters, or long-tailed ducks.
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 and coots:
The Northern Zone waterfowl season opens on October 4 and runs straight through December 2, 2016.
The Inland and Connecticut River Zone waterfowl season opens on October 4 and runs through November 6; then reopens November 22 through December 17, 2016.
The Coastal Zone waterfowl season opens on October 5 and runs through October 16; then reopens November 22, 2016 through January 8, 2017.
The sea duck season opens on November 15, 2016, and runs through January 13, 2017.
To hunt for migratory birds, a resident must have a current regular New Hampshire 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); 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:
NH Migratory Waterfowl License;
National Migratory Bird Harvest Information or "HIP" certification number to hunt ducks, geese, woodcock and snipe; & a
Federal Duck Stamp with the hunter's named 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 Region 2 Office in New Hampton.
HIP permit numbers can be obtained by calling 1-800-207-6183, or go to the "Buy Your License Online" section of the Fish and Game website www.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 or by calling toll-free to 1-800-327-BAND. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 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).
For more information on waterfowl hunting in New Hampshire, or to buy licenses and permits online, visit www.huntnh.com