New Hampshire Wildlife News
by Certified Wildlife Biologist, Eric P. Orff

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE FISH AND GAME DEPARTMENT WILDLIFE DIVISION

31 October 2022
Bear Season Update #3

As of October 27th, 1,045 bears (516 males, 529 females) have been reported to the bear project.  Bait hunters have harvested 728 bears (367 males, 361 females), still hunters/stalkers have taken 266 bears (134 males, 132 females) and hound hunters have registered 51 bears (15 males, 36 females).  The current overall harvest sex ratio is 1.0 males per female.  Method-specific harvest sex ratios include 1.0 m:f for both bait and still hunters.  The harvest sex ratio of the hound hunter harvest is 0.4 m:f.

Regionally, 225 bears (126 males, 99 females) have been taken in the North, 285 (132 males, 153 females) in the White Mountains, 316 (142 males, 174 females) in the Central, 97 (53 males, 44 females) in Southwest-1, 116 (57 males, 59 females) in Southwest-2 and 6 (all males) in the Southeast region. 

Below is a breakdown of the bear harvest through October 23rd for the past 6 years.  Currently, this year’s harvest is running 26% above the 5-year in-season average (827 bears) and 37% above the 2021 tally (764 bears) at this point in the season.  This season is tracking very similarly to 2018 and 2020 when 1,053 and 1,183 bears, respectively, were harvested.

While the overall harvest has been high, harvest levels over the remainder of the season are predicted to be low.  Due to a lack of available foods, bears have started to den, specifically pregnant females.  Harvest by opportunistic deer hunters during muzzleloader and rifle season is higher during strong food years.

The bait hunting portion of the season has ended in all regions.  The still hunting season will end in the North, Southwest- 1, Southwest-2 and Southeast regions on November 8.  The still hunting season remains open in the White Mountains and Central regions until November 30.  The statewide hound hunting season ends on November 8.

Thank you to everyone for promptly submitting registration slips.  Please continue to submit all bear registration slips and premolars with deer data mailings during the rest of the 2022 bear season.  Thanks again for your continued effort.  

2022 IN-SEASON BEAR HARVEST TALLY COMPARED TO PREVIOUS 5 YEARS
AS OF 10/23/22 AS TALLIED ON 10/27/22

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
  SUM SUM SUM SUM SUM SUM
9/15 263 555 379 602 376 577
9/30 430 894 616 965 643 952
10/15 476 998 703 1071 733 1036
10/23 499 1029 743 1098 764 1045

 


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