CONCORD — Small game hunting seasons are well underway in the Granite State and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Wildlife Division would like to ask successful hunters to complete the Small Game Hunter Survey and the Ruffed Grouse Wing and Tail Survey from now through January 8, 2021. These surveys are invaluable to biologists and help lay the foundation for the New Hampshire Small Game Summary Report, which presents final data from these surveys conducted annually by the Department. The 2019 report is now available by visiting www.huntnh.com/hunting/small-game.html.

While the New Hampshire Small Game Summary Report covers a variety of species, the primary focus is on New Hampshire’s two most sought after small game birds: ruffed grouse and woodcock. The report looks at long-term trends for observation rates and breeding surveys for both grouse and woodcock. Ruffed grouse and woodcock remain the two most popular small game species hunted in New Hampshire, comprising 85% of reported hunter effort. Other species of interest to small game hunters include snowshoe hare and gray squirrel.

“With a better understanding of small game populations, we hope to achieve improved management and provide enhanced opportunities for public enjoyment of our small game species,” said New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Small Game Project Leader Karen Bordeau. “We would very much like to see an increase in survey responses this fall from the northern tier of the state to better understand the potential effects of West Nile Virus on ruffed grouse and how young forest habitat may be helping to support small gamebird populations here in New Hampshire.”

If you hunt small game of any type, please take part in this year’s surveys:

Grouse hunters can participate in the Wing and Tail Survey by picking up grouse sample packets from participating locations listed at www.huntnh.com/surveys/ruffed-grouse.html.

Download the Small Game Survey form at www.huntnh.com/surveys/small-game.html, call (603) 271-2461, or email wildlife@wildlife.nh.gov (include your name and mailing address and mention the Small Game Survey).

Everyone who completes either of these two surveys will be entered into a raffle for a firearm donated by Sturm Ruger and the Ruffed Grouse Society, respectively.

“A big thank you to all the small game hunters who participated in our survey efforts, and best of luck in this year’s raffle,” said Bordeau.

Learn more about small game hunting in New Hampshire at www.huntnh.com/hunting/small-game.html.

Wildlife research and management activities in New Hampshire are funded through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, a user-pay, user-benefit program supported by the purchase of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment.

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