The following comments on biennial rules were submitted to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department by members of the New Hampshire Wildlife Coalition.

Comments by Meade Cadot, Ph.D.

An extensive study of a managed Fisher population in South Central Maine, involving 76 radio-collared Fishers tracked over 6 years, showed that it was trapping  that caused 80% of Fisher mortalities.

With the Fisher population in the Southwest Region of NH apparently so depressed, trapping should be paused.  It is worth noting that when the Fisher population was in trouble in the 1970’s, The New Hampshire Trappers Association supported a two-year moratorium on trapping, during which Fisher numbers rebounded.

Comments by Weldon Bosworth, Ph.D.

We propose the following rules changes for the 2023-2024 biennium:

  • Closing the trapping and hunting season for fisher statewide.
  • Limiting the bag limit of red fox and gray fox to three per season, that limit to apply to both trapping and hunting with firearms, crossbow or bow and arrow.
  • Shortening the season for taking red fox and gray fox by firearms, crossbow or bow and arrow to four months, December 1 through March 31.
  • Closing the season from April 1 to August 31 for taking coyotes by firearms, cross bow or bow and arrow.
  • Requiring permits or tags and registration for the taking of red fox, gray fox or coyote by firearms, cross bow or bow and arrow.

These proposals are made in recognition of the value of New Hampshire’s predatory furbearers to New Hampshire’s ecosystems and the fact that the current rules are based upon only a partial understanding of the abundance of these predatory species gained through trappers reports.  Until a database can be established for annual harvest of these predator species that includes those shot through their long seven- month open season, it is impossible to evaluate with any confidence the impact of current seasons and bag limits on these populations.

Petition by Chris Schadler, M.S.

Re: Rulemaking petition to close the season regarding the taking of coyotes by firearms, crossbow or bow and arrow from April 1 – August 31

Dear Director Mason,

Enclosed is a rulemaking petition that we submit under the guidance of the New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules Chapter FIS 214.01.  This petition relates to New Hampshire Fish and Game’s rulemaking authority for furbearing animals covered in Chapter FIS 300, Part 303.

This petition requests that Fis 303.06(a) be changed to reflect a closed season from April 1st  to August 31st  for taking coyotes either by firearms, cross bow or bow and arrow. 

With these changes, Fis 303.06(a) will now read: “Coyote may be taken by use of firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow from September 1 to March 31 ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.”