NH Fish and Game Licenses in 2024: The Complete Guide

Are you planning to go fishing or hunting in the great state of New Hampshire this year? Ensuring you have the proper licenses and permits is crucial for staying compliant with state regulations and enjoying these outdoor activities responsibly. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about obtaining New Hampshire fishing and hunting licenses in 2024.

Types of NH Fishing and Hunting Licenses

New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department offers various license options to accommodate different needs and situations. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Fishing Licenses:

  • Resident Fishing License: For New Hampshire residents aged 16 and older.
  • Non-Resident Fishing License: For non-residents aged 16 and older.
  • Youth Fishing License: For children under 16 years old.
  • One-Day Fishing License: Valid for residents and non-residents for a 24-hour period.
  • Saltwater Fishing License: Required for saltwater fishing, in addition to a freshwater license.

Hunting Licenses:

  • Resident Hunting License: For New Hampshire residents aged 16 and older.
  • Non-Resident Hunting License: For non-residents aged 16 and older.
  • Youth Hunting License: For children under 16 years old.
  • Archery Licenses: Required for bow hunting seasons.
  • Muzzleloader Licenses: Required for muzzleloader hunting seasons.
  • Bear Licenses: Special permits for bear hunting.
  • Turkey Permits: Permits required for turkey hunting seasons.

The licenses cover different combinations of freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, small game hunting, big game hunting, and more. Be sure to purchase the appropriate license(s) for your intended activities.

NH Fishing License Fees and Requirements

To obtain a New Hampshire fishing license in 2024, you’ll need to meet the following criteria and pay the associated fees:

Resident Fishing License Requirements:

  • Proof of New Hampshire residency
  • Age 16 or older
  • Fees: $35 for an annual license, $17 for a one-day license

Non-Resident Fishing License Requirements:

  • Age 16 or older
  • Fees: $53 for an annual license, $17 for a one-day license

Youth Fishing License Requirements:

  • Under 16 years old
  • Fee: $6.50 for an annual license (free for children under 6)

In addition to a freshwater fishing license, you’ll need a saltwater license endorsement to fish in coastal or estuarine waters. This costs an extra $11 for residents and $31 for non-residents.

New Hampshire also offers free fishing days when no license is required for residents or non-residents. In 2024, these free fishing days are scheduled for January 20th and June 3rd.

How to Get a Fishing License in NH

You have three convenient options to purchase your New Hampshire fishing license:

  1. Online: Visit the NH Fish and Game Online Licensing System to buy licenses and permits 24/7. You’ll receive your documents via email instantly.
  2. In-Person: Licenses are available at the NH Fish and Game Department headquarters in Concord, as well as from over 250 license agents statewide, including many bait and tackle shops, town clerk offices, and sporting goods stores.
  3. By Phone: Call 603-271-3422 to purchase licenses over the phone using a credit card.

When purchasing, you’ll need to provide personal information like your name, date of birth, address, and eye color. For resident licenses, you must show proof of residency such as a NH driver’s license.

Once obtained, be sure to sign your license and keep it on you whenever fishing or hunting in New Hampshire. Conservation officers may ask to see it at any time.

NH Hunting License Requirements

In addition to the license fees and types outlined earlier, there are some specific requirements for obtaining a New Hampshire hunting license:

  • Hunter Education: If you were born on or after January 1, 1958, you must complete an approved hunter education course to purchase a hunting license in NH. Courses cover firearm/archery safety, ethics, wildlife management and more.
  • Proof of Residency: To qualify for a resident hunting license, you must be a legal resident of New Hampshire for at least six months. Acceptable documents include a NH driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter ID card, or utility bill.
  • Bear Licenses: A special bear license or permit is required for bear hunting and costs an additional $16 for residents and $31 for non-residents.
  • Turkey Permits: You need to apply for a turkey permit to hunt turkeys during the spring or fall seasons. Permit fees are $16 for residents and $31 for non-residents.
  • Archery and Muzzleloader Licenses: If you plan to hunt with a bow or muzzleloader, you’ll need the respective archery ($28.50 resident, $53 non-resident) or muzzleloader ($17 resident, $42 non-resident) license endorsement.

Be sure to review the NH Hunting Digest for the latest rules, regulations, and license requirements before your hunt.

Fishing and Hunting Seasons in New Hampshire

The fishing and hunting seasons in New Hampshire are carefully regulated to promote sustainable wildlife populations and ethical practices. Here’s an overview of what to expect in 2024:

Freshwater Fishing Seasons:

  • Lake Trout/Salmon: January 1 – September 30
  • Rainbow Trout: January 1 – October 15
  • Brook/Brown Trout: January 1 – October 15
  • Bass: January 1 – November 30
  • Pickerel: January 1 – December 31

Saltwater Fishing Seasons:

  • Striped Bass: April 1 – December 31
  • Cod/Haddock: Year-round
  • Tuna: Year-round

Big Game Hunting Seasons:

  • Bear: September 1 – November 24, and May 1 – May 31 (baiting period)
  • Deer (Archery): September 15 – December 15
  • Deer (Firearms): November 8 – December 8
  • Moose: October 19 – October 27
  • Turkey (Spring): May 3 – May 31
  • Turkey (Fall): October 12 – October 27

Small Game/Migratory Bird Seasons:

  • Pheasant: October 1 – December 31
  • Grouse: October 1 – December 31
  • Waterfowl: October 1 – January 5

Be sure to check the NH Hunting Digest for specific season dates, bag limits, and regulations for the game you plan to hunt. Some seasons may vary by Wildlife Management Unit.

Purchasing Licenses and Permits Online

One of the most convenient ways to obtain your New Hampshire fishing and hunting licenses is through the NH Fish and Game Online Licensing System. This secure portal allows you to quickly purchase and print licenses, permits, and stamps from any device.

The online system accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Discover for payment. Once your purchase is complete, you’ll receive a PDF copy of your license via email that can be printed or saved on your mobile device.

Buying online saves you a trip to a license agent or the Fish and Game office. However, you’ll still need to sign your printed license and have it on you when participating in hunting or fishing activities.

Regulations and Responsible Practices

While fishing and hunting are beloved outdoor traditions in New Hampshire, it’s crucial to follow all regulations set forth by the Fish and Game Department. These rules exist to protect wildlife populations, ensure fair chase, and promote ethical practices.

Some key regulations to keep in mind:

  • Bag and Possession Limits: There are strict daily bag limits and possession limits for fish and game species. Exceeding these limits can result in hefty fines.
  • Hunting Safety: Hunters must wear blaze orange clothing during firearms seasons. Hunting under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal.
  • Wanton Waste: It’s unlawful to kill wildlife without making a reasonable effort to retrieve and use the meat or fur.
  • Bait Restrictions: Using certain types of bait or lures is prohibited for some species to protect their populations.
  • Trespassing: You must obtain permission from landowners before accessing private property for hunting or fishing.

The NH Hunting and Fishing Digests contain the full set of rules that all licensed hunters and anglers must follow. Violating these regulations can lead to citations, license revocations, and even criminal charges in some cases.

Additionally, practicing ethical standards like quick kill methods, full use of harvested animals, and leaving no trace helps preserve New Hampshire’s outdoor heritage for future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do children under 16 need a fishing license in NH?

Children under 16 years old must obtain a Youth Fishing License to legally fish in New Hampshire. However, kids under 6 can fish for free with a licensed adult.

Can I use my NH fishing license in other states?

No, your New Hampshire fishing license is only valid within the state. You’ll need to purchase the proper licenses and follow regulations for any other states you plan to fish in.

How long is a NH hunting license valid for?

New Hampshire hunting licenses are valid for the current calendar year only. You’ll need to purchase a new license each year before going hunting.

Do I need hunter education to get a hunting license in NH?

If you were born on or after January 1, 1958, you must complete an approved hunter education course before obtaining a New Hampshire hunting license.

Can I hunt on Sundays in New Hampshire?

Yes, Sunday hunting is permitted in New Hampshire for licensed hunters following all regulations.

By understanding the license requirements, fees, seasons, and regulations outlined in this guide, you’ll be fully prepared to legally and responsibly enjoy fishing and hunting in the beautiful state of New Hampshire in 2024.

Remember to purchase your licenses through the official NH Fish and Game channels, carefully review all rules and limits, and take part in these outdoor activities ethically and sustainably. Tight lines and good hunting!

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