New Hampshire Deer Hunting Season 2023 

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New Hampshire may be one of the best-kept deer hunting secrets in the US. The tough winter conditions and record-high apple harvests over the past few years have contributed to the increase in white-tailed deer populations. With a healthy white-tailed deer population estimated at over 100 000, turning it into the perfect hunting ground.

If you’re interested in hunting white-tailed deer in the state of New Hampshire, there are a few rules and regulations that you’ll need to know. Join us as we explore all that there is to know about hunting white-tailed deer in New Hampshire.

Season Dates 2023

Deer season is divided into four seasons in New Hampshire; Archery, Muzzleloader, Firearm, and Youth Weekend. New Hampshire has been divided into 24 Wildlife Management Units (WMU), all of which have their own seasonal dates, making it one of the most complicated states to figure out hunting seasons.

SeasonDates (Start to end)
ArcherySeptember 15th – December 15th
MuzzleloaderOctober 29th – November 8th
FirearmsNovember 9th – December 4th
Youth WeekendOctober 22nd – 23rd
This is a basic breakdown of New Hampshire deer hunting seasons. For a more complex breakdown, see below.
ArcheryAny DeerAntlered Deer Only
WMU ASeptember 15th – December 8thSeptember 15th – December 8th
WMU B-MSeptember 15th -December 15thSeptember 15th -December 15th
Muzzleloader Any Deer Antlered Deer Only
WMU A, B, C1, C2, D1, D2E, E, FOctober 29th October 29th – November 8th
WMU G2, I1, I2October 30thOctober 30th – November 8th
WMU J1October 29th – October 30thOctober 31st – November 8
WMU H1, H2, KOctober 29th – October 31stNovember 1st – November 8th
WMU D2W, J2October 29th – November 1stNovember 2nd – 8th
WMU G1October 29th – November 2ndNovember 3rd – November 8th
WMU L,MOctober 29th – November 8th                  –
FirearmsAny DeerAntlered Deer
WMU A                –November 9th – November 27th
WMU B, C1, C2, D1, D2E                –November 9th – December 4th
WMU E, F, G2, I1, I2November 9thNovember 10 – December 4th
WMU J1November 9th – November 10thNovember 11th – December 4th
WMU H1, H2, J2, KNovember 9th – November 11thNovember 12th – December 4th
WMU D2WNovember 9th – November 12thNovember 13th – December 4th
WMU G1November 9th – November 13thNovember 14th – December 4th
WMU L, MNovember 9th – November 18thNovember 19th – December 4th
Special PermitsAntlered Deer 
WMU L2000 Permittees
WMU M4000 Permittees
Youth HuntAny Deer
All WMU’s statewideOctober 22nd – October 23rd
Deer BaitingDates
WMU A-LOctober 19th – November 16th
WMU MSeptember 15th – December 15th

For a white-tailed deer to qualify in the state of New Hampshire as an antlered deer, it must have one antler three (3) inches long. If you want to know when deer start growing antlers, see here. In addition, special permits are awarded to lottery winners to harvest one antlerless deer (1) in either WMU M or WMU L.

The state of New Hampshire allows prospective deer hunters to set bait for deer prior to hunting them. Deer baiting is allowed throughout deer season in Wildlife Management Unit M.  

License Costs

New Hampshire requires hunters that are over the age of 17 years to purchase a hunting license for every deer season they wish to participate. Licensing is divided into two categories; resident and non-resident.

License TypeResidentNon-resident
Hunting/Freshwater Fishing Combination*$56.00$151.00
Senior Hunting/Freshwater Fishing Combination*$7.00N/A
Senior Archery$3.00N/A
Special Archery-Deer$26.00$26.00
Senior Muzzleloader$3.00N/A

Minors under 16 are not required to purchase a general hunting, fishing, or archery license. However, they are required to purchase the following licenses for hunting deer: Special Archery Deer, Unit M and Unit L special Deer tags. 

All minors must have completed a Hunters Education Course and be assisted by a licensed hunter over 18 years old. In addition, non-resident minors that are under the age of 16 are required to purchase a muzzleloader license. 

When purchasing a hunting license, you are required to purchase a Wildlife Habitation Fee of $2.50. In addition, a $2 transaction fee is charged per license form ($2.75 online). For more information regarding licenses, contact New Hampshire Fish and Game

Bag Limits

There are no white-tailed deer bag limits in the state of New Hampshire. However, only one deer may be harvested per license.

WeaponBag Limit
ArcheryOne (1) deer of either sex
Firearm( Regular hunting)One (1) deer 
MuzzleloaderOne(1) deer
Special Archery Deer PermitOne antlered deer
Special Unit L  PermitOne antlerless deer
Special Unit M PermitOne antlerless deer

Deer that have been harvested must be registered at the nearest registration station within a 24 hour period. All deer must be accompanied and registered by the person who took the deer. Deer may only be hunted from  ½ hour before sunrise to  ½ after sunset.

What Weapons Can You Hunt With in New Hampshire?

  • Archery- Bow & Arrow
  • Muzzleloading rifles
  • Handguns 
  • Shotguns
  • Crossbows

Let’s look further at the gun and weapon regulations for hunting deer in New Hampshire.


ShotgunsMust be 10, 12, 16, or 20 gauge and shoot slugs or 00 or larger buckshot.
HandgunsCannot exceed .45 Caliber.
PistolPistols are permitted but cannot be loaded with more than 6 rounds of ammunition at any time.
Prohibited FirearmsAny automatic firearms are prohibited, air rifles are prohibited, it is illegal to shoot a deer with a .22 or smaller rimfire firearm.
Prohibited AmmunitionNo shotgun ammunition is permitted other than slugs or 00 or larger buckshot.

Bow and Arrow:

ArrowsArchers must have their names and address on arrows or bolts.
BroadheadsBroadheads can be fixed but must not be less than ⅞ inches wide and not more than 1½ inches wide. Retractable broadheads are permitted but cannot be less than ⅞ of an inch wide when open. 
Bow characteristicsMinimum draw weight for hunting deer is 40 lbs.


Crossbow draw weightCrossbows must have a minimum pull of 125 lbs, a working mechanical safety, and a total length greater than 25 inches. 
Arrows/ boltsThe hunter’s name and address must be plainly marked on crossbow bolts. No Crossbows that are fitted with 2 or more bows, limbs, or strings, are permitted for the purpose of a take. 
BroadheadsMust be ⅞ inches at the widest point. 

Muzzleloading Rifle:

Powderblack powder or black powder substitute only.
CaliberSingle barrel of.40 caliber or greater.
Legal projectileMuzzleloaders can only be loaded from the muzzle.
IgnitionMatchlock, flintlock ignition system, percussion ignition system with a primer or percussion cap, or a wheel-lock.

What Types of Deer Are Popular to Hunt in New Hampshire?

White-tailed deer are the only type of deer available to hunt in New Hampshire. These deer are the most popular species of deer to hunt in the US; you’ll know when they are in the area from their noticeable dispersed deer droppings

What else is Popular to Hunt in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire offers over 30 000 acres of hunting wilderness with a large selection of big and small game for hunters to target. Here are some popular wildlife species targeted in New Hampshire:

  • Black Bear
  • Moose 
  • Wild Turkey
  • Water Fowl
  • Furbearers
  • Pheasants 

Hi there! I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. You'll often find me at my local archery and shooting ranges honing my skills.

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