FISH AND GAME
GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO FISH AND GAME
Definitions, Inclusions, Methods of Taking, Etc.
Words and phrases used in this title shall be construed as follows:
I. Air rifle: A gun operated by compressed air or nonflammable gas cylinder by which a projectile of any size or kind can be discharged or propelled. For use in taking small game, such device shall be not less than .22 caliber and shall deliver not less than 12 foot-pounds of kinetic energy at the muzzle.
I-a. Angling: The taking of fish by line in hand, or rod in hand to which is attached a cast of artificial flies, or an artificial bait, or hooks or other devices for the attachment of bait. A person may have in use not more than 2 such lines at one time. Nothing in this title shall prohibit the use of a rod-holder in a boat.
II. Bag and Creel Limit: The number or weight of any kind of wildlife permitted to be killed in a specified time.
II-a. Baiting: The act of placing meat, carrion, honey or any other food or ingestible substance capable of luring or attracting coyote, fur-bearing animals, game birds, or game animals with the exception of gray squirrel.
II-b. Baited Area: An area where meat, carrion, honey or any other food or ingestible substance is placed, capable of luring or attracting coyote, fur-bearing animals, game birds, or game animals with the exception of gray squirrel.
III. Brook Trout: Charr, commonly called brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, and Loch Leven trout.
IV. Closed Season: That period of time during which fish, game, wild or fur-bearing animals or marine species may not be taken or killed, and all periods of time not included within the open season.
IV-a. Commercial Fisherman: Any person who takes, possesses, lands, or transports, on the waters of this state, any marine species by any method for the purposes of sale.
V. Fin Fish: Includes all species and subspecies of fish listed under the definition of fish.
V-a. Firearm: Any weapon, including a starter gun, which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.
VI. Fish: A member of any of the following classes: Cyclostomata, including, but not limited to, hagfishes and lampreys; elasmobranchii, including, but not limited to, sharks, skates, and rays; and pisces, including, but not limited to, trout, perch, bass, minnows, and catfish; including, any part, product, egg or offspring thereof, or the dead body or parts thereof, excluding fossils.
VII. Fly: A hook dressed with feathers, hair, thread, tinsel or any similar material to which no spinner, spoon or similar device is added.
VIII. Fur-Bearing Animals: Beaver, otter, marten, sable, mink, fisher or fisher cat, raccoon, bobcat, fox, coyote, opossum, weasel, skunk, and muskrat.
IX. Game: Game birds and game animals.
X. Game Animals: Moose, bear, caribou, elk, deer, wild rabbit, hare and gray squirrel.
XI. Game Birds: Ruffed grouse or partridge, spruce grouse, commonly called spruce partridge, pheasant, quail, European partridge, chukar partridge and turkeys.
XII. Guide: Any person who engages for hire, either directly or indirectly, in the business of guiding in this state.
XIII. Guiding: Includes every act whereby a person for hire directs, aids, assists or instructs another person in taking wildlife in this state.
XIII-a. Habitat stronghold: A high-quality habitat that supports the ability of wildlife to be more resilient to increasing pressures on species due to climate change and land development.
XIV. Inclusion of Dates: Whenever a period is named during which an act is permitted or prohibited, both the first and second dates named shall be included within such period.
XIV-a. Loaded: A round or projectile in the chamber fully dischargeable by pulling the trigger.
XV. Marine Species: Includes all fish which usually inhabit salt water, and all shellfish, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, clams, marine worms, other marine invertebrates and marine plants found in the coastal waters and estuarine waters under the jurisdiction of this state as defined in RSA 1:14 and 1:15.
XVI. Migratory Birds: See federal regulations.
XVII. Nonresident: All persons not coming within the definition of resident.
XVIII. Number; Gender: The singular shall include the plural; and the masculine shall include the feminine and neuter.
XVIII-a. OHRV: Off highway recreational vehicle as defined in RSA 215-A:1, VI.
XIX. Open Season: That period of time during which wildlife may be legally taken or killed.
XX. Person: Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, business trust, political subdivision or any other public or private entity.
XXI. Possession: Actual or constructive possession, and any control of things referred to.
XXII. Protected Birds: All wild birds not included within the terms Game Birds and Unprotected Birds.
XXIII. Resident: A resident of the state as defined in RSA 21:6, except that no person shall be deemed to be a resident who claims residence in any other state for any purpose.
XXIII-a. Revoke or Revocation: The recision, cancellation, nullification or invalidation of a license, the ability to acquire a license, or the ability to participate in any of the activities specified in the revocation.
XXIV. Sell and Sale: Includes barter, exchange, and offering or exposing for sale.
XXV. Set Line: A set line means any unattended line which is placed in the freshwaters of the state, including through the ice, for the purpose of taking fish which is not under the direct view and control of the person placing the line.
XXVI. Small Game: Ruffed grouse or partridge, spruce grouse, commonly called spruce partridge, pheasant, quail, European partridge, chukar partridge, wild rabbit and hare, gray squirrel and migratory birds (subject to federal regulations).
XXVI-a. Suspend or Suspension: The temporary discontinuance or cessation for a period of time of a license, the ability to acquire a license or the ability to participate in any of the activities specified in the suspension.
XXVII. Take or Taking: Includes pursuing, shooting, hunting, killing, capturing, trapping, snaring, and netting wildlife, and all lesser acts, such as disturbing, harrying, worrying, wounding, or placing, setting, drawing, or using any net or other device commonly used to take wildlife, whether they result in taking or not, and includes every attempt to take and every act of assistance to every other person in taking or attempting to take wildlife, provided that whenever taking is allowed by law, reference is had to taking by lawful means and in lawful manner.
XXVII-a. Taxidermy: The process of preparing, as in but not limited to, preserving, stuffing, and mounting the skins of wildlife for compensation.
XXVIII. Transport and Transportation: All carrying or moving, or causing to be carried or moved.
XXIX. Unprotected Birds: English sparrows, European starlings, and the common feral pigeon commonly known as the rock dove, Columba liva, except such birds as are protected by the laws of the federal government.
XXX. When Accompanied: Within sight and hearing, excluding electronic devices, when actual physical direction and control can be effected.
XXXI. White Deer: All deer which are primarily and predominantly white in color.
XXXII. Whole to Include Part: Every provision relating to wildlife shall apply to a part of such wildlife.
XXXIII. Wild Animals: All animals other than domestic animals.
XXXIV. Wild Birds: All birds other than domestic birds.
XXXV. Wildlife: Refers to all species of mammals, birds, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians, invertebrates, reptiles or their progeny or eggs which, whether raised in captivity or not, are normally found in a wild state.
XXXVI. Wildlife corridor: A habitat linkage that joins 2 or more areas of wildlife habitat, allowing for fish passage or the movement of wildlife from one area to another.
Source. 1935, 124:1. 1937, 188:3. 1939, 216:1. 1941, 126:2-7. RL 241:1. 1945, 131:1. 1947, 40:1. 1949, 9:1. 1951, 84:1. 1953, 193:2. RSA 207:1. 1955, 277:5. 1959, 24:1; 72:1. 1961, 188:1. 1965, 145:1. 1971, 90:2. 1973, 61:1; 207:1. 1975, 163:1; 340:6-9. 1977, 12:2; 67:2; 111:1; 247:1. 1979, 57:1. 1981, 148:1. 1983, 49:1; 251:1; 254:2; 449:18. 1985, 42:1. 1986, 9:1. 1991, 224:1; 229:1, 2. 1992, 171:1, 2. 1993, 235:2, 3. 1994, 43:1. 1997, 10:1. 2005, 11:1. 2006, 14:1. 2008, 65:1. 2010, 18:1, eff. July 6, 2010. 2018, 77:1, eff. July 1, 2018; 324:4, 5, eff. Aug. 24, 2018. 2019, 243:3, 4, eff. Sept. 10, 2019.
207:1-a Ranch Bred Mink.
The provisions of this title shall not apply to ranch bred mink.
Source. 1961, 125:1, eff. July 17, 1961.
No person shall at any time of the year take, in any manner, number, or quantity, fish, game, fur-bearing animals, or protected birds, or buy, sell, offer or expose for sale the same, or any part thereof, transport or have the same in his possession, wherever taken or killed, except as permitted in this title; and this prohibition shall be a part of each permissive section or part thereof. A person doing anything prohibited or neglecting to do anything required by this title, with reference to such fish, game, fur-bearing animals, and protected birds, shall be deemed to have violated this section. A person who counsels, aids or assists in a violation of a provision of this title, or knowingly shares in any of the proceeds of said violation by receiving or possessing either fish, game, fur-bearing animals, or protected birds, shall be fined or imprisoned as provided in this title in the case of a person guilty of such violation.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:2.
207:2-a Minors Hunting.
I. No person shall knowingly permit any minor, including a nonresident minor, less than 16 years of age to hunt using a firearm, bow and arrow, air rifle, or crossbow and bolt, except when accompanied by a person at least 18 years of age who is properly licensed for said activity. In accordance with RSA 626:8, II(b), such person shall be held criminally liable and fully accountable for any damage incurred or for any violations which may be committed by the minor under the age of 16 while hunting using a firearm, bow and arrow, air rifle, or crossbow and bolt.
II. No minor, including a nonresident minor, under the age of 16 shall hunt using a firearm, bow and arrow, air rifle, or crossbow and bolt, except when accompanied by a person at least 18 years of age who is properly licensed for said activity.
Source. 1993, 235:4. 1997, 10:23, eff. Jan. 1, 1998. 2018, 77:2, eff. July 1, 2018.
207:3 Lawful Methods of Taking.
I. Wildlife shall be taken in the daytime between 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset with a gun, firearm, muzzleloader, or air rifle, fired at arm's length, bow and arrow or crossbow, or a lever-action carbine chambered in .357, .44 Magnum, or .45 Colt in any area where hunting is restricted to handgun or pistol, unless otherwise specifically permitted. An air rifle may be used to take small game but shall not be used to take moose, bear, turkey, or deer. The executive director shall specify the method and manner of taking small game with an air rifle in rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A.
II. A full automatic rifle shall not be used at any time nor shall a semi-automatic rifle be used to which is attached a magazine or clip holding more than 6 cartridges, nor shall a full jacketed metal case bullet be used, either in its original form or any alteration thereof.
III. Paragraph II shall not apply to the use of .22 or smaller caliber rimfire firearms.
IV. A person may take wildlife during the open season therefor with the aid of a dog, unless otherwise specifically prohibited.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:3. 1945, 146:1. RSA 207:3. 1977, 247:2. 2006, 19:1, eff. May 22, 2006. 2018, 77:3, eff. July 1, 2018; 324:11, eff. Aug. 24, 2018. 2021, 12:1, 2, eff. June 22, 2021.
It is unlawful for a person to discharge a firearm or a .22 caliber or larger air rifle when used for hunting purposes or to shoot with a bow and arrow or crossbow and bolt within 300 feet of a permanently occupied dwelling without permission of the owner or the occupant of the dwelling or from the owner of the land on which the person discharging the firearm or air rifle or shooting the bow and arrow or crossbow and bolt is situated. Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person, or guilty of a misdemeanor if any other person.
Source. 1967, 388:1. 1973, 530:59. 1996, 161:3. 2004, 40:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2005. 2018, 77:4, eff. July 1, 2018.
207:3-b Town of Bow.
All hunting is forbidden in the following area of the town of Bow with any firearm other than a shotgun, muzzle loading rifle, bow and arrow, or crossbow as provided in RSA 208:7-a: Southeast from the Concord-Bow boundary line along the west bank of the Merrimack River, then westerly along the Bow-Hooksett boundary line, then northerly along Interstate 93, then westerly along Robinson Road, then northwest along Branch Londonderry Turnpike East, then southerly along Woodhill Road, then southwesterly along Dunbarton Center Road to the Bow-Dunbarton boundary line, then northwesterly along the Bow-Dunbarton boundary line to the Bow-Hopkinton boundary line, then easterly along the Bow-Hopkinton boundary line to the Bow-Concord boundary line, then southeasterly and easterly along the Bow-Concord boundary line to the west bank of the Merrimack River.
Source. 1975, 162:1. 1989, 32:1. 2003, 35:1, eff. July 1, 2003.
207:3-c Use of Firearms, Bow, or Crossbow in or Across Highway Prohibited.
I. No person shall discharge a firearm, bow and arrow, air rifle, or crossbow and bolt from within 15 feet of the traveled portion of or across any class I through V highway of the state. This section shall not apply to those persons holding a special permit pursuant to RSA 207:7-a.
II. No person shall discharge a firearm, bow and arrow, air rifle, or crossbow and bolt from or across the following public highways of the state including the rights of way thereof:
(a) Route 93 from the New Hampshire/Massachusetts state line in the town of Salem to the New Hampshire/Vermont state line in the town of Littleton;
(b) Route 89 from the intersection with Route 93 in the town of Bow to the New Hampshire/Vermont state line in the town of Lebanon;
(c) Route 95 from the New Hampshire/Massachusetts state line in the town of Seabrook to the New Hampshire/Maine state line in the town of Portsmouth;
(d) Route 293 from the intersection with Route 93 in the city of Manchester to the intersection with Route 93 in the town of Hooksett;
(e) Route 393 from the intersection with North Main Street in the city of Concord to the Concord/Chichester town line;
(f) Route 202/9 from the intersection with Route 114 in the town of Henniker to the junction with Route 31 in the town of Hillsborough;
(g) Route 16, commonly known as the Spaulding Turnpike, from the intersection with Route 95 in the town of Portsmouth to the Milton/Middletown town line;
(h) Route 3, commonly known as the F.E. Everett Turnpike, from the New Hampshire/Massachusetts state line in the city of Nashua to the intersection with Route 101 in the town of Bedford;
(i) Route 101 from the intersection with Route 114 in the town of Bedford to the intersection with Route 1 in the town of Hampton.
III. Any person convicted of discharging a firearm, bow and arrow, air rifle, or crossbow and bolt prohibited under the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation.
Source. 1979, 37:1. 2004, 40:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2005. 2018, 77:5, 6, eff. July 1, 2018.
I. The executive director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the opening and closing of the season for the practice of baiting for coyote, furbearing animals, game birds, or game animals with the exception of gray squirrel.
II. No person shall engage in the act of baiting on the property of another unless he has secured from the owner or occupant of the property upon which the bait is to be deposited a permit in writing, signed by the owner or occupant, and until he has filed a copy of the permit with the conservation officer in whose district the person plans to bait, together with a topographic map or copy thereof showing the specific location of the bait site.
III. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, persons holding a valid trapping license who have complied with the landowner permit requirements of RSA 210:11 shall be allowed to place bait for the trapping of fur-bearing animals during the open season.
IV. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the executive director may grant a special permit for scientific purposes, animal damage control, or for any other purpose at the discretion of the executive director.
V. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no person shall place bait less than 300 feet from a dwelling or public roadway, pathway or trail.
Source. 1991, 224:2. 1995, 59:1. 2008, 65:2, eff. July 20, 2008.
207:3-e Use of Telemetry Equipment Restricted.
No person shall use a telemetry receiver to locate trail or tree hounds from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset while in any motorized vehicle or within 300 feet, as measured from the center of the traveled position, of any public highway or any private road open to use by the public. Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person, or guilty of a misdemeanor if any other person.
Source. 1991, 363:2, eff. July 2, 1991.
207:4 Repealed by 2016, 234:2, I, eff. June 10, 2016.
207:5 Limit on Possession.
No person may have in his possession at one time more wildlife than he may lawfully take in 2 days, unless otherwise provided in this title.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:4. RSA 207:5. 1977, 247:3, eff. Aug. 19, 1977.
No person, while hunting or obviously on his way to or from hunting, shall have a ferret in his possession, custody or control.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:5.
207:7 Hunting from Motor Vehicle, OHRV, Snowmobile, Boat, or Aircraft.
I. No person shall take or attempt to take wild birds or wild animals from a motor vehicle, OHRV, snowmobile as defined in RSA 215-C:1, boat, aircraft or other craft propelled by mechanical power.
II. No person shall have or carry, in or on a motor vehicle, OHRV, snowmobile, or aircraft, when moving, a cocked crossbow, a loaded rifle or loaded shotgun, muzzleloader, or air rifle, except a person or a person's agent while in the act of protecting his or her interest in their livestock or crops. Except when crossing or traveling on a public way, such person or the person's agent may carry a loaded rifle or shotgun, muzzleloader, or air rifle while traveling through or between farming or agricultural areas while in the course of protecting his or her interest in their livestock or crops.
III. No person shall have in or on a boat or other craft while being propelled by mechanical power, or in a boat or other craft being towed by a boat or other craft propelled by mechanical power, a cocked crossbow, a loaded rifle or loaded shotgun, muzzleloader, or air rifle.
IV. The provisions of this section shall not apply to law enforcement officers carrying guns or firearms in the line of duty.
Source. 1935, 124:1. 1937, 188:4. RL 241:6. 1947, 47:1. 1949, 16:1. RSA 207:7. 1969, 11:1. 1971, 308:1. 1983, 449:19. 2003, 35:3. 2005, 210:6, eff. July 1, 2006. 2018, 324:7, eff. Aug. 24, 2018.
207:7-a Disabled Persons.
I. RSA 207:7 shall not apply to a disabled person who is suffering from paraplegia or who is suffering from the loss of, or the loss of the use of, both lower extremities and who has obtained a current license to hunt; provided, however, that such person must first obtain from the executive director a special permit entitling said person to hunt while using a motor vehicle, not to include boats with motor attached or aircraft. For purposes of this section, "motor vehicle" shall include off highway recreational vehicles and all terrain vehicles as defined in RSA 215-A:1, and snowmobiles as defined in RSA 215-C:1. No loaded firearm, shotgun, or rifle shall be carried or transported with a cartridge in the chamber, magazine, or clip attached to the firearm, shotgun, or rifle, while the vehicle is in motion. The executive director may issue such a permit upon application in person or upon documentary proof of such disability by a licensed hunter. Such permit shall be carried upon the person of the permittee while hunting and shall be produced for inspection upon the demand of any law enforcement officer. A $10 administrative fee shall be charged once, upon application to the executive director for such permit.
II. The permit shall be perpetual. The executive director shall retain the records for such permits for a period not less than 7 years. Loss or destruction of the permit after 7 years shall obligate the permittee to re-establish eligibility.
Source. 1957, 188:1. 1963, 81:1. 1988, 95:1. 1996, 202:1. 2005, 210:7, eff. July 1, 2006.
Any person who violates a provision of RSA 207:7 shall be guilty of a violation and shall be guilty of an additional violation for each wild bird or animal taken or possessed contrary to said provision.
Source. 1959, 32:1. 1977, 588:35, eff. Sept. 16, 1977.
207:8 Taking for Hire.
No person shall take fish or game for wages or hire.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:7.
207:8-a Remote Control or Internet Hunting Prohibited.
I. No person shall offer for sale, take, or assist in the taking of wildlife by use of remote control or Internet hunting. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor if a natural person and guilty of a felony if any other person. In addition, the executive director may impose a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 for each violation of this section, with the moneys received from imposition of such civil penalty to be deposited in the fish and game fund.
II. For the purpose of this section "remote control or Internet hunting" shall mean the use of a computer or other electronic device, equipment, or software, to remotely control the aiming or discharge of a firearm or other weapon, that allows a person, not physically present, to take wildlife.
Source. 2006, 73:1, eff. April 28, 2006.
207:8-b Use of Tranquilizers Prohibited.
No person shall take game using a tranquilizer propelled from a bow, crossbow, or firearm. This shall not apply to the executive director of fish and game or the executive director's authorized agents.
Source. 2007, 23:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2008.
207:8-c Use of Drugs on Wildlife.
I. In this section:
(a) "Drug" means any chemical substance, other than food or mineral/vitamin supplements, that affects the structure or biological function of any mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian under the jurisdiction of the fish and game department.
(b) "Normal animal husbandry practices" means practices related to the production and care of animals in accordance with RSA 21:34-a, II(a)(4).
II. No person shall administer any drug, including but not limited to drugs used for fertility control, disease prevention or treatment, immobilization, or growth stimulation, to any mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian under the jurisdiction of the fish and game department without the written authorization from the executive director or his or her designee, except as provided in paragraph III or IV.
III. This section does not apply to the use of a drug as an aid in normal animal husbandry practices.
IV. This section shall not be construed to limit employees or agencies of the state or the United States, or local animal control officers or licensed wildlife rehabilitators in the performance of their official duties related to public health, wildlife management, wildlife rehabilitation, or wildlife removal. However, a drug shall not be administered by any person for fertility control or growth stimulation without the written authorization of the executive director or his or her designee, except as provided in paragraph III.
V. An officer of the fish and game department may take possession of any mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian under the jurisdiction of the department, if the officer has probable cause to believe the animal has been administered drugs in violation of this section.
VI. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
Source. 2008, 82:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.
207:9 Angling, Restriction of Fishing to.
Fish shall be taken only by angling unless otherwise specifically permitted. If a fish is unintentionally taken contrary to the prohibitions or restrictions contained in a provision of this title, such fish shall be immediately liberated and returned to the water without unnecessary injury.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:8.
207:10 Prohibited Devices.
A trotline, tips-ups, set and trap lines, crossbows, spears, grappling hooks, naked hooks, snatch hooks, eel wires, eel pots, and nets, shall not be used in any fresh waters of the state to take fish, unless otherwise specifically permitted. No person shall possess, while hunting or trapping any wild bird, or wild animal, including bear, any snare, jack or artificial light, swivel, pivot or set gun, except as otherwise permitted. Any person convicted of illegal night hunting shall forfeit such firearms, jacks or other equipment used or usable in the illegal night hunting at the time of the violation. Prohibited articles, upon conviction of a violation of illegal night hunting, shall become the property of the fish and game department, and shall be sold at auction by the executive director within one year of the forfeiture. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of lights for checking traps as permitted in RSA 210:13.
Source. 1935, 124:1. 1937, 188:5. RL 241:9. 1945, 74:1. RSA 207:10. 1955, 48:1. 1971, 23:1. 1994, 51:2. 1997, 8:1. 2001, 161:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2003.
The provisions of RSA 207:10 relative to use of certain prohibited devices shall not apply to the fish and game executive director or his authorized agents when engaged in removing nuisance animals, birds or fish.
Source. 1969, 45:1, eff. May 12, 1969.
207:10-b Tracking Wildlife; Permission Required.
No person shall at any time of the year affix tags, markers, or radio transmitters on any fish, game, or fur-bearing animals, or any wild animals or birds without first procuring written permission of the executive director or his agent. It shall be unlawful to locate or attempt to locate any such wildlife tagged with the permission of the executive director with the aid and use of a radio receiver, except by the person authorized by the executive director to do so.
Source. 1981, 10:1, eff. May 10, 1981.
207:10-c Crossbows Permitted for Certain Persons with a Disability.
I. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 207:10, a crossbow permit may be issued to a person who has a permanent physical disability and as a result of that disability the person cannot operate a conventional longbow or compound bow safely. Such permit shall allow that person to take any species permitted to be taken by bow and arrow pursuant to RSA 208:5, provided that the bow and arrow license under RSA 208:5 and the necessary licenses under RSA 208, RSA 209, and RSA 214 have been acquired each year. The permit applicant may be required to appear before the executive director, the director's designee or designated medical consultant or consultants to substantiate the presence of the disability and demonstrate the ability to safely use a crossbow. The applicant shall be responsible for submitting medical documentation as required by the executive director. The executive director may require a second medical opinion from a medical consultant or physician designated by the executive director to verify the disability. Any costs associated with obtaining the medical documentation, re-evaluation of the information or a second medical opinion, upon recommendation of the medical consultant or consultants, are the responsibility of the applicant. The executive director shall determine the eligibility of the applicant, and the executive director's decision shall be final.
II. The crossbow permit shall be perpetual. The executive director shall retain the records for such permits for a period not less than 7 years. Loss or destruction of the permit after 7 years shall obligate the permittee to re-establish eligibility.
III. The medical documentation requested under paragraph I shall consist of:
(a) Signed application and statement of disability by the applicant; and
(b) Signed medical section to be completed by the applicant's physician or advanced practice registered nurse providing applicant's medical history, physical examination findings and attesting to the disability and its permanence.
IV. The fee for taking deer shall be the same as provided in RSA 208:5, and the fee for taking bear, wild turkey, or carp shall be the appropriate fee established under RSA 214:9.
V. An administrative fee set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I shall be charged once, upon application to the executive director for such permit.
Source. 1981, 88:1. 1990, 140:2, I. 1993, 44:1. 1996, 202:2. 1999, 108:1. 2007, 52:1, eff. July 21, 2007. 2011, 7:1, eff. June 24, 2011. 2015, 186:3, eff. July 1, 2015. 2017, 17:2, eff. June 16, 2017.
207:11 Repealed by 1979, 5:1, eff. May 11, 1979.
207:12 Repealed by 1973, 410:2, eff. Aug. 29, 1973.
207:12-a Dog Training; Fee.
I. Any person who is licensed to hunt within the state may be issued a training permit for the training of bird dogs and trail or tree hounds during the closed season on any wildlife, except deer, moose, caribou, elk, lynx, cougar, bobcat, and turkey, upon application and the payment of a fee. The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the amount of the fee for the training permit and the period for the training of bear dogs. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, field trials shall be permitted pursuant to RSA 207:13.
II. Permits issued pursuant to this section shall contain information pertaining to the breed of dogs to be trained, the township and location where training is to take place, the days of the week, and times in which training will take place. Members of a bona fide dog club who maintain and stock a specific area of club grounds for the training of dogs or conducting of field trials, and whose right to use said land for this purpose is derived through ownership, lease or club-land owner agreement, shall not be required to have a permit under this section but shall be required to meet the requirements for a breeder's license as provided in RSA 212:25.
III. Dogs being trained pursuant to this section shall be accompanied by the permittee. "Accompanied" for the purpose of this section shall mean that the permittee must be able to see or hear the dog, or both, or have reasonable knowledge of where the dog is hunting. Nothing in this section shall require that the dog be within sight at all times.
IV. Anyone violating a provision of this section shall be subject to the penalty provided for in RSA 207:46 and shall, in addition, have his license to hunt suspended for a period of one year; and the license to train dogs under the permit provided for in this section shall be suspended for a period of 3 years.
V. Any protected species accidentally killed during dog training under this section shall be turned over to the fish and game department intact within 48 hours of the time of taking.
VI. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the executive director of fish and game shall have the authority to issue special permits for the use of bear dogs to control agricultural and property damage.
Source. 1973, 410:1. 1975, 113:1. 1977, 94:1; 113:3. 1981, 498:8. 1985, 247:1. 1993, 234:1, 2. 1995, 59:2. 1996, 126:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1997. 2015, 186:4, eff. July 1, 2015.
207:12-b Restriction on Nonresident's Dog Training and Use of Dogs for Hunting Bear.
I. Notwithstanding RSA 207:12-a, nonresidents from states or provinces or territories of Canada which allow the training or taking of bear with dogs, and who do not limit or prohibit New Hampshire residents from training or hunting bear with New Hampshire dogs, shall be the only nonresidents allowed to bring dogs into New Hampshire to train or take bear.
II. For the purposes of this section, the executive director shall determine the states, provinces or territories which prohibit or limit New Hampshire residents from the training or use of dogs for hunting bear. Such determination as to the degree of reciprocity shall be final.
Source. 1986, 100:1. 1991, 363:1, eff. July 2, 1991. 2012, 32:1, eff. July 1, 2012.
207:12-c Use and Training of Leashed Tracking Dogs.
Notwithstanding any provision of this title to the contrary, a handler with a leashed dog may track wounded deer, moose, or bear. The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the method and manner of take, time periods for training or using leashed tracking dogs, licensing requirements and fees, possession of recovered deer, moose, or bear, notification requirements, and other provisions deemed necessary to effectively regulate this practice. No person shall use an intact carcass of a deer, moose, or bear for training purposes, but may use samples of blood, tissue, and hide of a deer, moose, or bear legally taken or acquired in this state.
Source. 2006, 65:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.
207:13 Field Trials.
I. Field trials for dogs may be held at such times, in such manner, and under such restrictions, as may be prescribed by the executive director. Any person wishing to hold a field trial shall first obtain a written permit from the person on whose land it is proposed to hold the trial, present the same to the executive director, and pay a fee set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I, including field trials for coon dogs and such night hunts for coon dogs as authorized by paragraph II. The executive director may thereupon issue a permit for such field trial. The executive director or his duly authorized agent shall supervise the holding of such field trial, enforce the terms of the permits, and the rules for its conduct. The executive director shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A for the conduct of field trials as in his or her opinion are necessary to safeguard the interest of the wildlife of the state, provided that the executive director shall issue permits for beagle trials to any beagle club recognized by the American Kennel Club for trials to be run under the rules and regulations of the American Kennel Club. The fee for this permit shall be set by the executive director pursuant to RSA 206:10, I. The executive director or his or her authorized agent shall enforce the terms of such permits.
II. The executive director shall issue permits for night hunts to any coon club recognized by the United Kennel Club. Such night hunts shall be run under the rules and regulations of the United Kennel Club. Night hunts may take place in various selected locations throughout the state except on posted lands. Anyone may participate in the night hunts.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:12. RSA 207:13. 1955, 78:1. 1963, 299:2. 1977, 94:2. 1978, 10:1. 1981, 498:9. 1986, 214:1, eff. Nov. 15, 1986. 2015, 186:5, eff. July 1, 2015.
Any person, when hunting with dogs is permitted, may post along highways not more than 2 signs reading "Caution Hunting Dogs". These signs shall be 12 inches wide by 12 inches high with blaze orange letters on a yellow background and must be 40 inches over-all height, and shall be posted no more than 1,000 feet apart. Such hunter shall bear the cost and maintenance of his signs and shall not block driveways, intersections or rights of way with said signs. No such signs shall be posted on private roads or lands without permission of the owner. When not hunting, the owner of said signs shall remove the same.
Source. 1969, 452:2, eff. Sept. 1, 1969.
207:13-b Treed Animals.
It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot any wildlife which has been treed or cornered by a dog, unless the owner of said dog, or a member of his hunting party, is present when the animal is shot. Persons violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Source. 1971, 21:1. 1973, 528:113. 1977, 247:4, eff. Aug. 19, 1977.
Import, Possession, or Release of Wildlife
207:14 Import, Possession, or Release of Wildlife.
I. No person shall import, possess, sell, exhibit, or release any live marine species or wildlife, or the eggs or progeny thereof, without first obtaining a permit from the executive director except as permitted under title XVIII. The executive director shall have the authority to determine the time period and any other conditions governing the issuance of such permit. The executive director may refuse to issue a permit if he determines that such issuance may pose significant disease, genetic, ecological, environmental, health, safety, or welfare risks to persons, marine species or wildlife.
II. The executive director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to administer this section and relative to the importation, possession, exhibition, sale or release of all marine species and wildlife, including, but not limited to:
(a) Size, sex, number and quantity.
(b) Transportation, within or through the state of New Hampshire.
(c) Sale, inspection, processing, recordkeeping and marking.
(d) Method of keeping.
(e) Areas of release.
(f) Method of release.
(g) Method of taking.
(h) Permit fee schedules.
(i) Appropriate definitions.
III. The executive director may establish a list of marine species or wildlife or the eggs or progeny of such marine species or wildlife which may be exempted from any or all of the provisions of RSA 207:14.
IV. Except where otherwise provided, any person who violates this section or any rule adopted under this section shall be guilty of a violation and guilty of an additional violation for each marine species or wildlife possessed contrary to the provisions of this section.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:13. RSA 207:14. 1963, 164:1. 1969, 71:1. 1973, 304:1. 1979, 90:1. 1986, 214:2. 1990, 122:2. 1992, 171:3. 2003, 112:4, eff. Aug. 5, 2003.
Section 207:14-a, 207:14-b
207:14-a, 207:14-b Repealed by 1992, 171:12, I, eff. June 7, 1992.
207:14-c Prohibited Import of Animals and Fish; Risk of Zoonotic Disease Transmission.
The fish and game department shall monitor available information on animals and fish, not currently restricted under state and federal wildlife trafficking laws, that if transported into the state, will risk zoonotic disease transmission. The department may consult as needed with the department of health and human services, the state veterinarian, and scientific and educational institutions. The department shall make recommendation to the legislature on any legislation or rules needed for import or other restrictions on identified species, and to the governor if an executive order is deemed necessary.
Source. 2021, 208:2, Pt. III, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.
207:15 Repealed by 1992, 171:12, II, eff. June 7, 1992.
All fish or the fry thereof, living wild birds or the eggs thereof or wild animals imported or released in this state contrary to the provisions of this subdivision shall be seized and forfeited as provided in RSA 207:17.
Source. 1961, 11:1, eff. April 28, 1961.
Possession as Evidence
207:16 In Closed Season.
Possession of fish, protected birds, game and fur-bearing animals during the closed season therefor, except as specifically permitted in this title, shall be prima facie evidence that the same were unlawfully taken by the possessor.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:14.
Disposition of Seizures and Acquisitions
207:17 Seizures and Acquisitions.
I. All fish and wildlife protected by this title, found in the possession of any person and not legally taken or possessed, shall be seized and forfeited. All such fish and wildlife so forfeited shall be disposed of by a conservation officer upon instructions from the executive director.
II. The proceeds from the sale of seized and road-killed furbearers and coyotes acquired by the department of fish and game shall be deposited in the fish and game fund.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:15. RSA 207:17. 1961, 12:1. 1977, 247:5. 1985, 217:2. 2007, 134:1, eff. July 1, 2007.
207:18 Other Property upon Conviction.
I. When a defendant is convicted of violating any of the provisions of this title, all fishing tackle, guns, shooting or hunting paraphernalia, traps, dogs, boats, decoys, bob houses or other appliances and vehicles except motor vehicles designed for use on the highway and required to be registered under the provisions of RSA 261 used in such violation may be seized and held until the fine and costs for the violation have been paid in full.
II. One year after conviction under paragraph I, if the defendant has not paid the fine and costs imposed in full or when the seized or confiscated property is not claimed by the defendant, the executive director is authorized to sell at public auction any of the seized or confiscated property of said defendant. All receipts from said sale shall be credited to the fish and game fund.
III. If the seized or confiscated property is of no monetary value, and cannot be sold pursuant to paragraph II, said property may be destroyed under the instructions of the executive director.
IV. In the event that the owner of any confiscated or abandoned property is not known or cannot be located, said confiscated or abandoned property may be sold at public auction by the executive director after one year from the date said property came into the possession of the fish and game department.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:16. RSA 207:18. 1979, 17:1. 1981, 146:5, V, eff. Jan. 1, 1982.
207:19 Fish or Wildlife, by Residents.
A resident of the state may transport, within the state, during the open season therefor, the number or limit of fish or wildlife, except deer, that he may lawfully take in 2 days. If such fish or wildlife is placed in the custody of a common carrier or transported in a package, said fish or wildlife, or the package containing the same, shall have attached thereto a tag or label plainly marked with the kind and number of such fish or wildlife, the name of the consignor, and the name of the consignee, the point of shipment and the destination.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:17. RSA 207:19. 1977, 247:6, eff. Aug. 19, 1977.
207:20 By Nonresidents.
A nonresident license holder may transport or have transported within the state, or from a point within the state to a point out of the state, the number or limit of fish or wildlife, except deer, that he may lawfully take in 2 days. If such fish or wildlife be placed in the custody of a common carrier or transported in a package, said fish or wildlife, or the package containing the same, shall have attached thereto a tag or label plainly marked with the kind and number of such fish or wildlife, the name of the consignee, the point of shipment and the destination. If such fish or wildlife is presented to a common carrier, the agent of said common carrier shall see that the license is properly endorsed before accepting such fish or wildlife for shipment.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:18. RSA 207:20. 1977, 247:7, eff. Aug. 19, 1977.
207:21 Special Permits.
Any transportation of fish or wildlife, except deer, not provided for in this subdivision, shall be allowed only under the terms of a special permit issued by the executive director, provided that a child under 16 years of age, hunting without a license but accompanied by a licensee 18 years of age or over, may transport fish or wildlife, except deer, killed by him, by identifying it with a tag bearing his name, residence, and the date taken or killed, until such time as he may be able to secure a special permit from the executive director.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:19. RSA 207:21. 1973, 72:18. 1977, 247:8, eff. Aug. 19, 1977.
Wildlife Damage Control
207:22 Repealed by 1999, 344:10, eff. Nov. 18, 1999.
207:22-a Limitations for Persons Posting Property.
I. Any person whose land is posted pursuant to RSA 635:4 to prohibit hunting shall forfeit the right to participate in the wildlife damage control program established pursuant to RSA 207:22-c, or to receive payment pursuant to RSA 207:23-a, except that this limitation shall not apply in the following circumstances:
(a) To a person who posts only the person's land lying within 100 yards of a dwelling or other farm or outbuildings contiguous to the person's dwelling and used regularly by the person, or the person's family or tenant.
(b) To any person whose land is posted for the protection of crops only during the closed season for the type of game birds or animals for which the person seeks assistance from the wildlife damage control program.
(c) To any person who posts such person's land "Hunting by Permission Only", provided that the names and addresses of the hunters who have received permission to hunt that land in that year shall be furnished when requested by the executive director, and that in the judgment of the executive director, the history of hunter access and hunter density represents a good-faith effort by the landowner to allow hunting.
II. Any person who has received payment pursuant to RSA 207:23-a shall forfeit the right to receive payment in a future year or growing season unless such person implements measures to prevent or mitigate future conflicts with bear that have been recommended in writing by the executive director or the executive director's agent.
Source. 1973, 532:9. 1999, 344:3, eff. Nov. 18, 1999. 2021, 91:122, eff. July 1, 2021.
207:22-b Repealed by 2010, 368:1(47), eff. Dec. 31, 2010.
207:22-c Wildlife Damage Control Program; Administration.
There is established a wildlife damage control program which shall be administered by the executive director in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture and the New Hampshire department of agriculture, markets, and food. The program shall emphasize a comprehensive approach that integrates wildlife management and wildlife control methods and strategies and shall respond to conflicts between wildlife and human populations by stressing the importance of prevention of damage by initiating one or more of the following courses of action:
I. A general wildlife damage mitigation program:
(a) The general wildlife damage mitigation program shall address conflicts between wildlife and human populations by disseminating educational and technical information, and providing assistance. The program may make available various repellents, institute the loan of direct control devices and materials including electric fences and frightening devices, and make referrals to nuisance wildlife cooperators.
(b) Actions under this paragraph shall be of a temporary nature and may include any other nuisance control methods available, as determined by the executive director, or designee.
II. A cooperative fencing program:
(a) Commercial growers may participate in a cost-share-fencing program where the state pays for the full cost of fencing materials only. Under this program, the executive director may provide payment from funds designated for this program in the fish and game fund to an eligible commercial grower for the purchase of fencing materials.
(b) Commercial growers desiring to participate in the cost share program shall submit written applications to the executive director in such manner as prescribed by the executive director on or before April l of each year.
(c) Construction and maintenance costs of installed fences shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
(d) The failure of a commercial grower to properly install and maintain fencing purchased under this paragraph shall make the commercial grower ineligible to participate in this program until approved by the executive director.
(e) The executive director shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A to implement and execute the cooperative fencing program, which may include but not be limited to eligibility criteria, fencing specifications, funding levels, and inspection procedures.
(f) The provisions and penalties of RSA 641 concerning false statements shall apply to all reporting and documentation required pursuant to this paragraph.
(g) For purposes of this paragraph, a "commercial grower" means any person who grows an agricultural or horticultural crop from which the person has derived, or reasonably expects to derive, an annual gross income from the sale of crops normally produced of at least $2,500.
III. A depredation permit program:
(a) The executive director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, regulating the issuance of depredation permits to kill animals causing damage to commercial crops or which pose a threat to human health and safety. Such rules shall address the method and manner of taking animals, the disposition of animals taken under such permits, as well as the qualifications necessary to participate in the program. Such qualifications shall include, but not be limited to, the provision of information concerning the history of damage, the record of preventative methods used in the past, and the public hunting access history.
(b) The depredation permit program shall include the issuance of pre-damage deer kill permits to commercial growers as defined in RSA 207:22-c, II(h) upon request to the director. Issuance of pre-damage deer kill permits will facilitate protection of qualifying crops at the onset of deer visitation to said crops. Any deer taken under this provision shall be subject to investigation by the local conservation officer to determine whether or not the potential existed at the time of taking for damage to have occurred. Depredation permits shall be issued following the procedures in this paragraph.
Source. 1999, 344:4. 2001, 42:1, 2. 2009, 107:2, 3. 2010, 368:24, eff. Dec. 31, 2010.
207:23 Repealed by 1999, 344:10, eff. Nov. 18, 1999.
207:23-a Damage by Bears.
I. Any person engaged in the husbandry and sale of at least $1,000 in agricultural products as defined in RSA 21:34-a who suffers loss or damage to livestock, bees, orchards or growing crops,in an amount of $250 or more at the current wholesale value of the items, by bear shall, if he or she claims damage therefor, notify the executive director of fish and game in writing of such damage within 30 days of the discovery of such damage. The executive director or the executive director's agent shall investigate such claim within 30 days from the receipt of notice of such damage, and in accordance with RSA 541-A:29, determine whether such damage was caused by bear, and appraise the amount to be paid, and notify the claimant in writing of the determination.
II. If the person sustaining the damage claimed under this section is dissatisfied with the finding of the executive director, such person shall notify the executive director in writing, and an adjudicative proceeding shall be commenced pursuant to RSA 541-A:31.
III. If the person sustaining the damage is dissatisfied with the decision of the executive director following the adjudicative proceeding, a further appeal shall be available in accordance with RSA 541.
IV. The executive director, upon reaching final agreement with the claimant, or after the conclusion of an appeal, shall present a certificate of the amount of appraisal to the governor, who is authorized to draw a warrant upon any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated in payment therefor.
V. The executive director shall, in accordance with RSA 541-A, adopt rules to administer this provision, to include:
(a) Criteria to determine whether a person engaged in the husbandry and sale of agricultural products as defined in RSA 21:34-a qualifies to be a claimant hereunder, provided that any such person who shall document gross sales of any qualifying crop of at least $1,000 in a calendar year shall be deemed to qualify as a claimant.
(b) Procedures used to receive and document claims of damage by bear from claimants, to include when the damage occurred, which qualifying crop is affected, and what losses may be fairly attributed to action by such bear;
(c) A method to determine the current wholesale value of items covered by this section, to be used in the process of investigating and adjudicating any claim;
(d) Procedures to be used in the conduct of adjudicative proceedings hereunder; and
(e) Criteria to be used to recommend preventive measures and mitigating measures that claimants may use to prevent future harm, and that will be used to determine whether claims in future years shall be allowed for payment.
Source. 1895, 121:2. PL 150:1. RL 180:1. 1955, 324:4. RSA 470:1. RSA 207:23-a. 1967, 81:2, eff. June 26, 1967; 189:1, eff. Aug. 8, 1967. 2021, 91:123, eff. July 1, 2021.
207:23-b Repealed by 1999, 344:10, eff. Nov. 18, 1999.
207:24 Repealed by 2021, 91:124, eff. July 1, 2021.
207:25 Repealed by 1967, 189:2, eff. Aug. 8, 1967.
207:25-a Repealed by 1981, 79:1, eff. June 2, 1981.
207:26 Killing by Land Owner of Bird or Animal Inflicting Damage.
A person may pursue, wound or kill, on land owned or occupied by such person, any unprotected bird or wild animal which the person finds in the act of doing actual and substantial damage to poultry, crops, domestic animals, or the person's property, and may authorize a family member, employee, or other person requested to do so under the provision of a depredation permit issued by the executive director pursuant to RSA 207:22-c, III.
Source. 1935, 124:1. 1937, 188:6. RL 241:24. RSA 207:26. 1977, 247:13. 1999, 344:6, eff. Nov. 18, 1999.
207:27 Report of.
The person by whom or under whose direction any game or fur-bearing animal is wounded or killed shall, within 12 hours, report all facts relative thereto to the nearest conservation officer or to the executive director. Such report shall state the time and place of wounding or killing and the nature and amount of property destroyed.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:25.
The conservation officer who receives such notice shall immediately investigate the report and satisfy himself whether the game or fur-bearing animal has been wounded or killed, as reported.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:26.
207:29 Disposition of Game, Etc., Killed.
Any game or fur-bearing animal killed or wounded as provided in this subdivision shall, in the discretion of the executive director, be returned to the person who killed the same, be given to some charitable institution, or otherwise disposed of.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:27. 1999, 344:7, eff. Nov. 18, 1999.
207:30 Rights Reserved.
The provisions of this subdivision shall not impair the constitutional rights of persons to protect themselves or their property from injury or destruction by wild birds, game, or fur-bearing animals, protected by the laws of this state.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:28.
Season Closed by Proclamation, Etc.
The governor and council, upon the joint recommendation of the executive director of the fish and game department and the director, division of forests and lands, department of natural and cultural resources, when, in their opinion, the danger of starting fires in the woodlands of the state, during periods of protracted drouth or excessive dryness requires extraordinary precautions, may, by official proclamation, declare any or all of the woodlands of the state closed to hunters, fishermen, trappers and other persons whose presence in such woodlands might create a fire hazard under the circumstances, for such time as they may designate.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:29. 2017, 156:14, I, eff. July 1, 2017.
207:32 Special Precautions.
During periods when woodland is closed, the operation of sawmills and other machine units, except trucks and pleasure motor vehicles, in or near woodland may also be suspended and smoking prohibited. All persons engaged in lumbering operations may be required to furnish sufficient fire guards to patrol areas under operation, to provide sufficient fire-fighting tools which shall be located at convenient places therein, to forbid smoking within such areas and to take all other reasonable precautions to prevent fires. Each day's violation of any such suspension and each day's failure to meet any requirement hereof shall constitute a violation. Unlawful smoking shall constitute a violation.
Source. 1941, 217:8. RL 241:30. RSA 207:32. 1973, 531:49, eff. Oct. 31, 1973 at 11:59 p.m.
207:33 Woodland Defined.
Woodland includes cut-over land, slash, and such other land as bears a sufficient amount of wood growth, wood, weeds, grass or other growth as to be likely to be burned over.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:31.
Such proclamation shall be published in 2 or more newspapers of the state and shall be posted in such places and in such manner as the governor may order.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:32.
No person shall drop a lighted cigarette, lighted cigar, lighted match or other article likely to cause fire, within 200 yards of any woodlands during the time such woodlands are closed by such proclamation.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:33.
Injuring Property or Person
207:36 Injuring Property.
No person shall tear down, damage or destroy any fence, wall, lock, boat or dock, or leave open any gate or bars, or trample or destroy any crop, on land of another person, while taking, trapping, hunting, or pursuing any fish, game or fur-bearing animal.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:34. RSA 207:36. 1959, 30:1, eff. May 31, 1959.
207:36-a Use of Tree Stands, Observation Blinds, and Pit Blinds.
I. No person shall erect, build or use a tree stand or observation blind on land of another person that damages or destroys a tree by inserting into the tree any metallic, ceramic, or other object used as part of a ladder or observation deck, without express written permission from the property owner or designee.
II. No person shall erect, build or use a pit blind on land of another person without express written permission from the property owner or designee.
III. No person shall cut any tree in connection with any of the activities regulated under this section without the express written permission of the property owner or designee.
IV. The permittee shall carry such permit on his person while in the field and shall be subject to inspection on demand of any conservation officer.
V. All property owner permits shall expire on December 31 of each year unless rescinded by the property owner or designee.
VI. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a violation and shall be liable for the amount of damage caused by the act, to be recovered by the property owner sustaining the damage.
VII. The executive director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the form, issuance and filing of property owner permits for the tree stands, observation blinds and pit blinds.
Source. 1991, 144:1, eff. July 19, 1991.
207:36-b Littering; Penalty.
I. No person shall put, place or leave, or cause to be put, placed or left, in or upon any way, public property, private property, into or on the ice over any public water, or into or on any waters of the state, any bottles, glass, crockery, cans, scrap metal, junk, paper, garbage, old automobile or parts thereof, or refuse of any nature whatsoever, or any noxious thing.
II. Paragraph I shall not apply to any person who is the owner or tenant in lawful possession of such property, or has first obtained consent of the owner or tenant in lawful possession, or unless the act is done under the personal direction of said owner or tenant, all in a manner consistent with the public welfare.
III. Any person violating any provision of this section shall be guilty of a violation.
Source. 1997, 29:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.
207:37 Repealed by 1987, 95:4, eff. July 5, 1987.
207:37-a Negligent Discharge of Firearms, Bow and Arrow or Crossbow and Bolt.
Any person who shall negligently discharge any firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow and bolt while on a hunting trip, in the field, or while target practicing, in such a manner that the life of any person is endangered or so as to cause damage to the property of another person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and at the discretion of the executive director, the hunting license of such a person may be revoked for a period not to exceed 10 years.
Source. 1967, 173:1. 1973, 528:115. 1987, 95:1. 1991, 37:1. 1993, 235:5, eff. Aug. 14, 1993.
207:37-b Hunting License Revoked.
I. Any person, while on a hunting trip or in pursuit of wild animals or wild birds or while target practicing, who is convicted of shooting and wounding or killing a human being shall not be issued a license to hunt or, if the person holds a hunting license, the license shall be revoked and the person shall not be granted a license to hunt for the following period:
(a) If the shooting and wounding of a human being results in death or serious bodily injury, as defined in RSA 625:11, VI, the license revocation shall be for a period of 10 years.
(b) If the shooting and wounding of a human being results in less than serious bodily injury as defined in RSA 625:11, VI, the license revocation shall be for a period of 5 years.
II. A hunting license revocation under paragraph I shall commence immediately upon indictment or arrest. Upon conviction, the period of revocation shall be computed from the date of indictment or arrest.
III. A license to hunt may be granted or restored following a hearing before the executive director and the commission at any time following the full revocation period under paragraph I and following application for a license and successful completion of a hunter education program pursuant to RSA 214:23-a.
IV. A person convicted of negligently shooting and wounding or killing a human being while hunting or target practicing in another state or province shall not be issued a license to hunt in this state for any period of time that the person's privilege to hunt is suspended by the state or province where the offense was committed.
Source. 1987, 95:2. 1997, 188:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.
207:37-c Shooting Human Beings While Hunting.
I. Any person, while on a hunting trip, or in pursuit of wild animals or wild birds, or while target practicing, who negligently shoots and wounds any human being, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
II. Any person, while on a hunting trip, or in pursuit of wild animals or wild birds, or while target practicing, who shoots and causes the death of any human being, may be charged pursuant to the appropriate criminal code statute.
III. The provisions of this section shall apply to any person hunting or target practicing with a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow and bolt.
IV. In addition to the penalties provided in this section, the person shall be subject to license revocation under RSA 207:37-b.
Source. 1997, 188:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.
207:38 Abandoning a Wounded or Killed Human Being.
Any person who shall have shot and wounded or killed a human being shall forthwith render necessary assistance to the injured person and report immediately to the nearest conservation officer or law enforcement officer. Any person who knowingly fails to render such assistance shall be guilty of a class B felony and his license to hunt shall be revoked for life. The penalty for conviction under this section shall be in addition to any other penalty imposed by law.
Source. 1949, 223:2. 1953, 101:2. RSA 207:38. 1955, 66:1. 1973, 528:116. 1977, 343:1. 1987, 95:3, eff. July 5, 1987.
207:38-a Hunting Related Shootings.
Any person while hunting or in the field who shall cause any injury by shooting another human being shall report immediately to the nearest conservation officer or law enforcement officer giving his or her name, address, date of birth, hunting license number and any other information needed to identify that person. Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Source. 1955, 66:2. 1973, 531:50. 1977, 343:2. 1997, 188:3, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.
207:38-b Hunter Orange Recommendation.
I. Any person hunting with a firearm or bow and arrow in this state during the hunting season, except for a person legally hunting waterfowl, should wear a hat, vest or other suitable article of clothing of material in the color of hunter orange visible from all sides at a minimum distance of 200 feet. "Hunter orange" means a daylight fluorescent orange color with a dominant wave length between 595 and 605 nanometers, an excitation purity of not less than 85 percent, and a luminance factor of not less than 40 percent.
II. The executive director is directed to issue a written recommendation to each person purchasing a hunting license or to have printed on each hunting license the recommendation that the licensee should wear hunter orange when engaged in hunting in this state.
Source. 1983, 125:1, eff. June 7, 1983.
The executive director shall publish the 2 preceding sections in all pamphlet editions of the fish and game laws issued by him.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:36.
207:39-a Shooting Domestic Animals; Liability.
Any person, while actually engaged in hunting or in the pursuit of wild animals or wild birds, who causes death, injury, or damage to domestic animals, ducks, or fowl shall be liable for damages to the owner of the animals.
Source. 1965, 179:1. 1971, 89:1. 2005, 289:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.
207:39-b Intentional or Negligent Shooting of Domestic Animals; Penalty.
Any person, while actually engaged in hunting or in pursuit of wild animals or wild birds who knowingly or purposely causes death, injury, or damage to such domestic animals, ducks, or fowl through the discharge of a firearm or bow and arrow may have his or her license to hunt revoked and he or she may not be granted a license to hunt for a period not to exceed 5 years. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a hunter killing or injuring his or her own animal or a borrowed animal or one used by another member of the same hunting party, other than being liable to the owner of the animal. The executive director of the fish and game department may make such revocation and suspension of the privilege of obtaining a license and determine the term of such suspension when, in the executive director's opinion, reasonable evidence of a violation of the provisions of this section exist.
Source. 2005, 289:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.
207:39-c Reporting the Death or Injury of Domestic Animals.
Any person who negligently or accidentally causes death, injury, or damage to domestic animals through the discharge of a firearm or bow and arrow shall immediately report the death, injury, or damage to the local police department, and in the case of injury to such domestic animals, shall render aid to the animal in an attempt to save the animal's life.
Source. 2005, 289:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.
Closing Waters to Protect Ice
207:40 By Executive Director.
Upon application of any person interested in the cutting or harvesting of ice for domestic or commercial purposes in any of the public ponds, rivers or lakes, the executive director may, upon hearing, close to ice fishing, for such period of time as he may order, the whole or a part of any such waters as he may deem necessary to protect the crop of ice thereon while the same is being formed, cut and harvested.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:39.
The executive director shall give notice of such hearing by posting notice thereof, stating the time and place of such hearing and the purpose thereof, at least 5 days before the date thereof, in at least 3 public places in the town or towns where such waters are located.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:40.
The expense of separating, by suitable marks, monuments or boundaries, the area on which ice is to be harvested shall be borne by the petitioner.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:41.
Foreign Sporting Clubs
207:43 Rights Limited.
No foreign corporation, association, club or similar organization shall hold or acquire property in New Hampshire for the purpose of hunting, fishing, sporting or recreation, without first becoming incorporated in this state. Before becoming incorporated in this state, the purposes of such corporation shall be approved by the executive director.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:42.
The superior court shall have power by injunction or other appropriate process to restrain any corporation, association, club or other similar organization, and any member, servant or agent thereof, from occupying, using or enjoining any property held or acquired in this state in violation of the provisions of RSA 207:43.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:43.
Nothing in this title shall repeal any special laws of the state relating only to the Blue Mountain Forest Association.
Source. 1935, 124:1. RL 241:44.
I. Any person who violates a provision of this chapter, or any rule or regulation of the executive director, shall be guilty of a violation, except where otherwise provided, and an additional violation for each fish, bird or animal, or part thereof bought, sold, offered for sale or transported contrary to the provisions thereof.
III. Any person convicted of setting or having under his control a set gun as prohibited by RSA 207:10 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Source. 1935, 124:1. 1937, 188:8. RL 241:45. 1947, 69:2. RSA 207:46. 1959, 32:2. 1973, 528:117. 1981, 8:1, eff. May 10, 1981. 2016, 234:2, II, eff. June 10, 2016.
207:47 For Disobeying Officer.
Any person who shall refuse or neglect to stop when signalled to stop by any conservation officer who is in uniform or who refuses on demand of such officer to produce his fish and game license or to permit such officer to take the license or certificate in hand for the purpose of examination shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Source. 1949, 52:2. RSA 207:47. 1973, 528:118, eff. Oct. 31, 1973 at 11:59 p.m.
207:48 In Night.
If any person shall carry away or collect for the purpose of carrying away any seaweed or rockweed from the seashore below high-water mark, between daylight in the evening and daylight in the morning, he shall be guilty of a violation.
Source. 1973, 532:10, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
207:49 Without Leave of Owner of Marsh or Flats.
If any person shall collect or carry away from any salt marsh or flats any flats-weed or any seaweed thrown thereon by the sea or tide, without leave of the owner of the marsh or flats, he shall be guilty of a violation.
Source. 1973, 532:10, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
207:50 Piling Below High-water Mark.
If any person shall pile below high-water mark, for the purpose of hauling it away, any seaweed or rockweed shall be guilty of a violation.
Source. 1973, 532:10, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
207:51 Sale Outside State.
If any person shall carry away or collect any seaweed, rockweed, or sea moss from the banks or shores of this state for sale outside the state, or for sale within the state for the purpose of its being carried outside the state, or shall sell any such seaweed, rockweed, or sea moss to be carried outside the state, he shall be guilty of a violation.
Source. 1973, 532:10, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
If any person shall pull or take any growing rockweed or sea moss from the rocks, banks or shores of this state, except by cutting same with a knife so as not to detach or injure its roots, he shall be guilty of a violation.
Source. 1973, 532:10, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
207:53 From Rocks.
If any person shall cut or take any growing rockweed or sea moss from the rocks, banks or shores of this state below high-water mark, above the amount of 3 bushels in any one day, allowed only in the case of a resident or summer resident of this state, he shall be guilty of a violation.
Source. 1973, 532:10, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
207:54 Enforcement of Laws.
Fish and game conservation officers, as well as all state and local police officers, in addition to their other powers and duties, shall enforce all laws relative to the collecting, carrying away, uprooting, cutting, taking, piling and selling of seaweed, rockweed, flats-weed, and sea moss.
Source. 1973, 532:10, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
Restitution for Illegal Taking or Possessing
207:55 Restitution for Illegal Taking or Possessing.
I. In addition to the penalties provided for violating any of the provisions of RSA title LXII or title XVIII or any rule made under the authority thereof, any person convicted of the illegal taking or illegal possession of game animals, game birds, or fur-bearing animals, resulting in the injury, death, or destruction of the same, may be sentenced to make restitution to the state for the value of each game animal, game bird, or fur-bearing animal so taken or possessed as follows:
(a) Marten, moose and bear: $1,000 per animal illegally taken or illegally possessed.
(b) Deer: $250 per animal illegally taken or illegally possessed.
(c) Wild rabbit, hare, muskrat and gray squirrel: $10 per animal illegally taken or illegally possessed.
(d) Wild turkey: $200 per bird illegally taken or illegally possessed.
(e) Ruffed grouse, spruce grouse, pheasant, woodcock, ducks or geese: $15 per bird illegally taken or illegally possessed.
(f) Fisher, bobcat, otter: $200 per animal illegally taken or illegally possessed.
(g) Fox: $75 per animal illegally taken or illegally possessed.
(h) Beaver and mink: $20 per animal illegally taken or illegally possessed.
(i) Raccoon: $20 per animal illegally taken or illegally possessed.
II. In every case of conviction involving the illegal taking or illegal possession of game animals, game birds, or fur-bearing animals, the court may order the defendant to reimburse the state in a sum or sums not to exceed the amount as established in paragraph I. Such reimbursements shall be paid directly to the court. If 2 or more defendants are convicted of the illegal taking or the illegal possession of the game animal, game bird or fur-bearing animal the reimbursement above prescribed shall be declared against them jointly and severally.
III. Courts ordering such reimbursement damages shall remit such monies as prescribed in RSA 206:34. Monies collected from such reimbursement damages shall be deposited in the fish and game fund.
IV. Any person failing to make a damage assessment payment as ordered by the court shall be guilty of contempt and such person shall not be eligible to purchase any license issued by the fish and game department until all assessments are paid in full.
Source. 1983, 263:1. 1994, 194:1. 2007, 134:3, eff. July 1, 2007.
Small Game and Game Birds
207:56 Authority to Set Seasons, Bag Limits, Methods and Manner of Taking Small Game Animals and Game Birds.
I. The executive director, after consultation with the commission, shall have the authority to open and close the seasons for the taking of small game and game birds as defined in RSA 207:1, XXVI and XI, except those birds protected under RSA 209:4, to fix the number and sex limitations for small game, and any other conditions governing the methods and manner of taking and reporting the same, subject to any restrictions imposed by statute.
II. The authority of the executive director under this section shall be exercised with reference to the state as a whole or for any specified county or part thereof.
III. All rules adopted by the executive director shall be in accordance with RSA 541-A.
IV. Any person who violates a rule adopted under this subdivision shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person and a misdemeanor if any other person, and shall also be guilty of a violation for each game bird or small game animal illegally taken or possessed.
Source. 1988, 219:1, eff. April 29, 1988.
Interference with Hunting, Trapping or Fishing
I. No person shall purposely obstruct or impede the participation of any individual in the lawful activity of hunting, fishing or trapping. No person shall purposely obstruct or impede the participation of any individual in the lawful activity of hunting, fishing or trapping. No person shall purposely engage in an activity that will tend to disturb wild animals, with intent to prevent their lawful taking. No person shall use a drone or UAV with the intent to conduct video surveillance of private citizens who are lawfully hunting, fishing, or trapping without obtaining the written consent of the persons being surveilled prior to conducting the surveillance.
I-a. For purposes of this section, "unmanned aerial vehicle" or "UAV" means any device capable of flying in the air which is remotely, automatically, or otherwise piloted without an occupant, including but not limited to, drones.
II. The provisions of paragraph I shall not apply to the actions of law enforcement officers and personnel of the department of fish and game in the performance of their official duties. The provisions of paragraph I shall not apply to any incidental interference arising from the lawful and normal activities of public land users.
III. The executive director shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to administer this section.
IV. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation.
Source. 1989, 308:1, eff. May 29, 1989. 2015, 38:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.
The legislature finds it is in the best interests of the state and its citizens to regulate, protect, restore, and conserve the wildlife resources of the state under a uniform scheme of management through the fish and game department. It is the intent of the general court to explicitly reaffirm the state's long-standing exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the wildlife of the state as established by title XVIII. The general court further finds that it is in the best interest of the state and its citizens that the fish and game department recognize, preserve, and promote our special heritage of hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife viewing by providing opportunities to hunt, fish, trap, and view wildlife in accordance with title XVIII.
Source. 1998, 95:1. 2001, 25:1, eff. July 14, 2001.
207:59 Exclusive Authority of the State.
The state of New Hampshire shall have exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the management, preservation, protection, propagation and taking of wildlife in the state. Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, no ordinance or regulation of a political subdivision may regulate the management, preservation, protection, propagation and taking of wildlife. Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting a political subdivision's property rights concerning land owned and controlled by that entity.
Source. 1998, 95:1, eff. July 19, 1998.
Lead Education Program
207:60 Lead Education Program.
I. To discourage the use of lead, the fish and game department, in consultation with the department of health and human services and in partnership with the department of environmental services, the Loon Preservation Committee, the Audubon Society of New Hampshire, and the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation, shall institute an educational program consisting of, but not limited to, press releases or articles for all news media, an informational brochure for distribution by licensing agents and at department sponsored training programs, videos for use by television outlets, posters for boat access kiosks and other bulletin boards, and a mobile display for use at public events.
II. The purpose of the educational program is to inform the public about adverse, though unintentional, effects of lead on wildlife, and how to reduce the introduction of lead into the environment through personal action.
Source. 1998, 312:2, eff. June 26, 1998.
Wolf Introduction Prohibited
207:61 Wolf Introduction Prohibited.
I. For the purposes of this subdivision, "wolf" means any canine classified as Canis lupis or Canis rufus.
II. No person or state agency shall introduce wolf populations to the state of New Hampshire.
Source. 1999, 80:2, eff. July 31, 1999.
Operation Game Thief
[RSA 207:62 contingently repealed by 2001, 107:3; see contingent repeal note set out below.]
207:62 Operation Game Thief; Fund Account Established.
The state treasurer shall establish a separate nonlapsing account within the fish and game fund to be known as the operation game thief account to which moneys obtained by the fish and game department shall be applied, including any federal moneys which become available and all donations received for such purpose. The moneys in this account including accrued interest, shall be used exclusively for, and shall be continually appropriated to, the administration and participation in Operation Game Thief.
Source. 2001, 107:1, eff. July 1, 2001.