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Preliminary results show NH harvest down 6 percent

From the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

-- Based on preliminary registration tallies at the close of the season, New Hampshire hunters harvested 9,765 deer in 2010. The estimated statewide harvest was down 6 percent from the 2009 total of 10,384 deer.

The lower totals were not unexpected, reflecting an intended reduction in antlerless harvest to help deer numbers recover from two severe winters starting in 2007-08, according to Kent Gustafson, Deer Project Leader for the Fish and Game Department.  

"The mild winter of 2009-10 combined with a reduced antlerless kill will help the state's population recover from recent declines," Gustafson said. Another mild winter and reduced antlerless kill in winter affected areas will increase deer numbers back toward the population objectives.

New Hampshire has an estimated population of about 85,000 deer, with the 2010 kill representing about 11.5 percent of that total. Deer hunting closed on Dec. 15, the final day of archery deer season.

The unofficial deer kill for New Hampshire's 2010 season by county, with comparisons to previous years, is posted at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/deer_hunt_take_by_County.htm.

These figures are estimates based on the number of deer reported as being registered in each county, not necessarily killed in that county.

The unofficial harvest total for New Hampshire's 2010 bear season is 706 bears. While the harvest was down 7 percent from 2009, when 758 bears were taken, the second highest bear harvest in the state's history, the 2010 season concluded 36 percent  above the preceding 5 year average of 520 bears. The 2010 harvest consisted of 361 males and 345 females.  

Bear harvest distribution by method was 53 percent by bait hunters, 36 percent by still hunters and 11 percent by hound hunters.

The harvest distributions are consistent with those achieved during recent years. While method specific harvest percentages are influenced by the distribution and abundance of natural foods from one year to the next, hunter preference does play a significant role. Bear baiting has grown in popularity as reflected by harvest statistics.

A preliminary breakdown of 2010 bear season results by region and method may be found at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/bear_hunt_take.htm

Final official numbers from the 2010 hunting seasons will be available in the 2010 New Hampshire Wildlife Harvest Summary, which will be available in March.  

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