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Hunting Deer When They’re Hard to Find

Hunting Deer in One of the Toughest States to Find Deer


Editor’s Note: Josh Wade from Charlestown, New Hampshire, has been a Mossy Oak Pro for 7 years and been hunting whitetail for 18 years with a bow, a rifle and a blackpowder gun. “Here in New Hampshire we don’t have many deer, so we primarily have to hunt states like Missouri, where we can hunt in all three seasons.” 

Wade_day1I’ve hunted before in Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Missouri and Indiana, so I can say with some degree of authority that New Hampshire is one of the most-difficult states in the nation to hunt deer. When you go to the Midwest - Indiana and Illinois for instance - you just about always can see a deer every day, as long as you do your homework and scout.I can hunt in New Hampshire for 1-2 weeks and never see a deer. Although New Hampshire has big whitetails, most of the hunters I know here hunt for meat more than horns.

I’m often asked, “Why are there so few deer in New Hampshire?” Winter kill takes a toll on our deer herd most winters; also we have long hunting seasons. Our season starts September 15th and is open through December 15th. We also have Sunday hunting, so the deer don’t even get one day of rest. We have a 2-week long muzzleloader season; a month-long rifle season; and a bow season that lasts from September 15th to December 15th. You can harvest two deer with a bow and a third deer with a gun. Southeastern New Hampshire offers nuisance deer hunting, but that’s where the largest population of people are found. I live in the southwestern section of the state near the Vermont border with plenty of small tracts of land, but I prefer to hunt the larger tracts where I can get away from hunting pressure. I believe you see more deer on the smaller tracts, however, you also see more people on those smaller tracts. I like to enjoy the wild woods when I go deer hunting and not see 50 people in a day. The places where I hunt I may not see five people all season. I hunt a lot of public lands because here in New Hampshire, if the land’s posted properly, then the public can hunt on it. If a landowner has property posted, even if he doesn’t have the signs a certain distance apart on all sides of the land, the public can hunt it. If a landowner asks you to leave, you have to leave. But there’s a lot of public hunting land available on private property here in New Hampshire. 

Tomorrow: New Hampshire’s Josh Wade Hunts Deer Out of State

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