From the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
-- If you had a New Hampshire hunting license in 2009, watch for a letter in the mail during November from New Hampshire Fish and Game Department telling you how to participate in an important online deer management survey.
The survey seeks to gather opinions from a wide range of hunters regarding their preferences as they pertain to buck age-structure management.
Instructions on how to participate in the online survey will be mailed in November, and hunters will have two weeks to respond.
The survey will be online only. Because of cost and logistics, no paper copies of the survey will be issued.
Over the last few years, hunters have asked Fish and Game to implement buck age-structure management regionally or throughout the state in an effort to increase the number of older, and consequently larger-antlered, bucks available to hunters.
There are tradeoffs associated with various buck age-structure management options.
"Because of these tradeoffs, which could result in significant changes to our basic hunting season structure, it's important for us to understand how all deer hunters feel about this issue," said Steve Weber, chief of the Wildlife Division.
Buck age-structure management is a complex issue. To ensure the topic is addressed in a balanced way, a 15-member task force of hunters, wildlife biologists and Fish and Game Commissioners produced a package of background information about buck age-structure management for use by survey participants. The information is available on the N.H. Fish and Game website at http://www.huntnh.com/buckagestructure.
Fish and Game urges all deer hunters to familiarize themselves with this important information, as it will be essential to making informed decisions.
Although hunters won't get the survey notice until sometime in early November, anyone can look over the background information posted online. "Hunter participation is a critical part of the decision-making process," Weber said.