Hunting in NH’s Connecticut Lakes Region

Deer Hunting

Deer hunting opens for bow hunts in September with muzzleloader and rifle opening in November. Deer live in stream bottoms, hardwood ridges and evergreen stands. Deer in the North Woods tend to grow large. For current deer hunting dates, check with NH Fish & Game

Bird Hunting

Bird hunting for grouse opens on October 1. Woodcock dates change annually. Grouse can be found in young, hardwood stands, alder swamps and sunny slopes while woodcock are found where the ground is soft and wet. For current woodcock dates, check with NH Fish & Game

Bear Hunting

Black bear inhabit the North Woods. Hunt for black bear in the fall. For current black bear dates, check with NH Fish & Game

Moose Hunting

Moose hunting is allowed by special permit only. Permits are obtained through a lottery system. Tag recipients are notified in late June For more on NH’s moose hunt, check with NH Fish & Game

Wes Lavin Deer NHCLR Winter Hunting

 

What to expect

The Connecticut Lakes Region is largely forested. Numerous logging roads provide excellent access the lands. There is little flat ground. The terrain is mountainous and rugged. A mix of rolling hills and with taller peak, elevations range from 2000 to 3700 feet above sea level. The forest is a mix of hardwoods such as maple and yellow birch and firs such as balsam and spruce. The logging activity keeps a steady age mix in the forest. This age mix is perfect habitat for grouse, deer and moose.

Water is dominate feature. Lakes, rivers and streams are everywhere. The bottom land provides excellent cover and feed. The bottom land in the forest can be very dense. Bush berries such as high bush cranberries, choke cherries and mountain ash are plentiful. Soft, flat ground near water grows thick stands of alders – perfect for resident and migrating woodcock.

Whitetail deer can be quite large. Bucks over 300 pounds are taken every year. Hunt ridgelines close to water sources. Or hunt high areas of beech and maple. NH deer season opens first to muzzleloading, next a limited buck and doe rifle season before the traditional bucks only rifle season. Archery season opens mid April and ends after the rifle season.

Upland bird hunters delight with the ample numbers of both ruffed grouse and woodcock. Grouse can be found along edges of roads, clear cuts and water ways. Grouse dine on the numerous ground berries, bush berries, ferns, and tree buds. Shooters prefer 20 gauge shotguns with a 7.5 load. Woodcock are present most of the month of October. Resident birds can be found in alder swamps. After the first cold snap the residents leave and migratory woodcock begin appearing in hardwood stands and along edges.

A New Hampshire hunting license is required to hunt the forests of the Connecticut Lakes Region. Sunday hunting is permitted in NH. HUnter orange is strongly suggested but not required. To obtain a NH Hunting license, bring proof of prior hunting license or a Hunter Safety Certificate. Here is a list of places to buy a license.