New Hampshire small game hunting seasons open September 1: NH Department of Fish and Game

Karen Bordeaux (603) 744-5470
Dan Bergeron: (603) 271-1126
August 25, 2021

Concord, New Hampshire – Small game hunting season for gray squirrels begins on September 1st and is a great way to introduce someone new to hunting. On October 1, the seasons open for grouse, woodcock, and snowshoe hares, all of which are exciting species to chase and make great table food. Small game hunters will want to check out the New Hampshire Small Game Summary Report, which presents the final data from the Small Game Hunter Survey and the Ruffed Grouse Wing and Tail Survey, both conducted by the NH Department of Fish and Game each year. The 2020 report is now available online at

While the New Hampshire Small Game Summary Report Covering a variety of species, the primary focus is on the Granite State’s two most sought-after small game birds: the ruffed grouse and woodcock. The report looks at long-term trends in sighting rates and breeding surveys for both grouse and woodcock. Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock remain the most popular small game species hunted in New Hampshire, comprising 85% of reported hunting effort. Other species of interest to small game hunters include the snowshoe hare and the gray squirrel.

“With a better understanding of small game populations, we hope to achieve better management and provide better opportunities for public enjoyment of our small game species,” said Karen Bordeau, New Hampshire Fish and Game Small Game Project Leader. “We would very much like to see an increase in survey responses this fall from the northern and central levels of the state to better understand our small game populations in New Hampshire.”

If you hunt small game, take part in this year’s surveys:

Everyone who completes either of these two surveys will be entered into a raffle for a firearm donated by Sturm Ruger and Ruffed Grouse Society, respectively.

“Many thanks to all of the small game hunters who participated in our survey efforts,” Bordeau said.

Learn more about small game hunting in New Hampshire at

Wildlife research and management activities in New Hampshire are funded through the Federal Wildlife Restoration Aid, a user benefit and payment program supported by the purchase of firearms, ammunition and equipment. archery