Bob Harris - OUTDOORS and FREE - October 28, 2011 (PRINT OUT BOB'S ARTICLE)
- BE READY FOR DEER HUNTING -
The state’s popular muzzleloader deer season began on October 29 and goes through November 8th. Opening day for New Hampshire’s regular firearms deer season begins November 9, 2011, a date anticipated with great enthusiasm by an estimated 60,000 New Hampshire deer hunters. The annual Firearms Deer Season runs through December 4, 2011 in most of New Hampshire, except in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) A in northern New Hampshire, where it closes on November 27.
“For many New Englanders, the firearms deer season is a traditional opportunity to get together with family and friends, enjoy our bountiful resources and put some wonderful meat in the freezer before winter,” stated Kent Gustafson, the deer biologist for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. According to Kent, overall, the 2011 deer season is expected to be good for New Hampshire hunters. Deer in much of the state entered the winter season in good condition last year thanks to a decent acorn crop.
“While snow piled up in mid-January and February, creating challenges for the deer, warm weather in mid-March quickly reduced snow depths. So, although the winter of 2010-11 was above average in severity statewide, it could have been much worse for New Hampshire’s deer population, which is still recovering from decreases resulting from a series of severe winters since 2007,” Gustafson commented.
The archery deer season began September 15 and was limited to antlered deer. According to Kent Gustafson, archers have taken a preliminary total of 1,025 deer as of October 16, 2011. That number is up somewhat from the total for the year 2010 at this point in the season, but continues to reflect the desired reduction in antlerless archery kill during September. Since October 1st, the archery season has once again been “either sex”. New Hampshire’s archery deer season extends through December 15, except in WMU-A, where it closes on December 8th. For a comparison by county (based on where deer were registered, not necessarily where harvested), readers can visit: www.huntnh.com/Hunting/deer_take_October.htm.
Remember when you take to the woods this fall, take your hunting and your safety seriously. Every hunter should think and act in a manner that promotes safety as their first priority. Here are some basic reminders to those heading into the woods:
1. Keep the muzzle of your gun pointed in a safe direction at all times.
2. Never point a gun at anything you do not intend to shoot and keep your finger
off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
3. Treat every gun as if it were a loaded gun.
4. Be sure to wear articles of Hunter Orange clothing (jacket, vest, hat, etc.) to alert others of your presence. This coloration will not spook deer.
During the deer season, there are non-hunters who also enjoy going into the wilds, many who are out to do some wildlife watching or just some hiking and to enjoy being outdoors. Although New Hampshire has a safe record from hunting accidents, it is highly recommended that non-hunters in the fields also wear clothing items of Hunter Orange coloration during the hunting season. Doing so will assure that you are readily seen by hunters who may also be in the area.
Bob Harris can be reached via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org