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Deer totals increase in new NH wildlife harvest summary

From New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

-- The annual Wildlife Harvest Summary which summarizes data gathered by wildlife biologists from New Hampshire 2011hunting seasons is now available online at

A limited number of print copies are also available at the Fish and Game Department in Concord and at regional offices in Durham, New Hampton, Lancaster and Keene.  

The summary provides a complete breakdown of 2011 hunting season statistics, including many totals by town and Wildlife Management Unit (WMU). Statistics are provided for deer, moose, bear, turkey and furbearers. 

The total number of deer taken in 2011 was 11,109, an increase of 14 percent from the 9,759 deer taken by hunters in 2010.

According to the report, recent limitations on either-sex hunting have helped speed up deer population recovery in much of the state. Of the total harvest, archery hunters took 2,787 deer; the muzzleloader total was 2,251; and regular firearms hunters took 5,596 deer. 

The summary includes data from the N.H. Trophy Deer Program, run by the N.H. Antler and Skull Trophy Club, which annually recognizes hunters who take deer with a weight of 200 pounds or more by each of three hunting methods, archery, muzzleloader and regular firearms. For 2011, the heaviest deer at 245 pounds was taken by Jon B. Dunkling of Williamstown, Vt., with a muzzleloader. 

Hunters took 418 black bears during the 2011 season, a 41 percent decrease from the 2010 level, and a 27percent decline from the preceding 5-year average of 574 bears. The reduced bear harvest last fall appeared to be the direct result of abundant and diverse mast crops across much of the state. Abundant food decreased the need for bears to travel far in search of food.

Current bear population management goals aim for stabilization in the north, population reduction in the White Mountains region, and allowance for measured growth in central and southern parts of the state. 

Moose hunters saw a lot of moose activity in 2011, thanks to cool, rainy weather. A total of 290 moose were taken during the nine-day season. Moose hunters' overall success rate was 71 percent. Hunters traveled from 16 states to participate, but New Hampshire residents took 81 percent of the moose harvested.

The oldest hunter was Robert Houle, a 78-year-old man who took a 900-pound bull in Wildlife Management Unit C2. The youngest moose hunter was 9-year-old Dylan Douglas, who took a cow weighing 500 pounds in WMU J2. 

Turkey hunters registered a total of 3,672 wild turkeys during the 2011 spring gobbler season and youth hunt, very similar to the previous year. Youth Turkey Hunt Weekend participants accounted for 14.2percent of the spring total. During the fall turkey season, a total of 643 birds were taken, 432 during the fall shotgun season and 211 by archers. 

During the 2010-11 trapping season, 497 trappers held licenses, a 7 percent increase from the previous year. Average pelt values increased from the previous year for most species. Only coyotes experienced a decrease in pelt value. The value of the 2010-11 fur harvest was $89,477, based on average pelt values and the total amount of fur harvested in New Hampshire.  

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