CONCORD — Over 20,000 muzzleloader hunters are expected to take to New Hampshire’s woodlands during the upcoming muzzleloader deer season, which runs from October 30 to November 9. Muzzleloaders are single-barrel, single-shot firearms which require that the projectile and propellant be loaded through a muzzle each time before firing. Muzzleloaders harken back to pioneer days, but have become an increasingly popular sporting firearm in recent years.
“Deer hunting is very popular in New Hampshire,” said Dan Bergeron, Deer Biologist and Game Program Supervisor at the NH Fish and Game Department. “People enjoy the opportunity to spend time in the field with friends and family. They also appreciate the high-quality food value of venison, which is a naturally fed, free-range source of lean protein for thousands of New Hampshire families. Last year hunters harvested approximately 13,044 deer in our state. If you assume that each deer provides about 40 pounds of venison, and that each venison meal weighs approximately 1 pound that amounts to almost a half a million meals of venison enjoyed each year.”
Bergeron also noted that, “New Hampshire’s 11-day muzzleloader season is extremely popular among hunters because of its early timing, milder weather, and the high level of buck activity that happens leading up to the peak of the deer breeding period in mid- to late November.”
In New Hampshire, muzzleloader hunters are given 11 days prior to the opening day of the regular firearms season to hunt deer. Hunters must obtain a regular hunting license ($32.00 for residents; $113.00 for nonresidents) and a muzzleloader license ($16.00 for residents; $41.00 for nonresidents).
“Hunters are reminded to maintain safety as their first priority,” said Bergeron. They are also urged to treat private landowners with respect, courtesy, and appreciation. “We are heavily dependent on the generosity of private landowners for hunting access in our state. We owe it to private landowners and our peers to treat private land with great respect. Without private land access, many hunters would be severely restricted in their hunting options.”
To learn more about hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.huntnh.com.