New Hampshire Wildlife Rulemaking
These are New Hampshire’s furbearing species whose trapping and hunting seasons and bag limits are set by New Hampshire Fish and Game. Presently the populations of Canada lynx, American marten and bobcat have been overexploited and their seasons closed.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG) is continuing its biennial rulemaking process. Following public hearings that were held in December they continue to work on the draft rules which will be presented in the near future.

As we discussed in a previous email New Hampshire Wildlife Coalition is particularly interested in what NHFG will do to address the continuing decrease in furbearing species’ populations. Over the last two decades the trapping and shooting of furbearers has led to an alarming decline in take of these species, from an annual total over 11,000 of New Hampshire’s iconic furbearers trapped in 2002 to fewer than 2000 in 2021 (see chart below). In our opinion, this continuing decrease in take while the number of trapping licenses has increased is a clear indication of declining furbearer populations.

NHFG has yet to take any significant management actions to address this situation, continuing to manage these populations to maximize trapping and hunting opportunities, rather than considering the goals of population sustainability and ecosystem health.

You can read more about the decline in the fisher, red fox and gray fox populations here.

We believe much more drastic action needs to be taken and have advocated for closing the trapping and firearms season for fisher, decreasing the bag limits for the gray and red foxes and shortening their firearms season from seven months to only three. In addition we have recommended closing the coyote firearms and bow season from April 1st to September 1st.

Several of us on New Hampshire Wildlife Coalition testified or submitted testimony during this public process, This testimony recommended specific proposals for more conservative management of our furbearing species. Our testimony can be found on our website here.

New Hampshire Wildlife Coalition is committed to representing the unheard voices of wildlife. We are a volunteer, 501(c)3 organization, that relies on donations to advocate for wildlife. Consider a donation of $5 or whatever you can today.