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Hiking Season is Here! Buy Your Hike Safe Card

As the summer hiking season gets underway, the NH Fish and Game Department reminds outdoor enthusiasts to buy their Hike Safe card before they hit the trails. Voluntary Hike Safe Cards are available from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Purchase the card online at to support Fish and Game search and rescue efforts and be exempt from liability for repaying search and rescue costs in New Hampshire (unless caused by reckless or intentional behavior).

Hike Safe Cards may only be purchased online, $25 for an individual, or $35 for a family (parents and minor children), and are good through the end of the calendar year. To date, the Department has sold 1389 cards, bringing in $36,239.84.

“Whatever outdoor activity you enjoy – hiking, biking, paddling, cross country skiing, or walking the nature trails in your town, the Hike Safe Card is your back-up plan for the great outdoors,” said Fish and Game Director Glenn Normandeau. “Buying a card is a great way to help support Fish and Game’s search and rescue activities.” Funds raised through sale of the hike safe cards go to Fish and Game’s Search and Rescue Fund, with the exception of a $3 transaction fee.

People who possess a valid NH hunting or fishing license, or a current registration for an off-highway recreational vehicle, snowmobile or boat, are already exempt from repaying rescue costs due to negligence. “Buying a fishing license gives you the same protection and a chance to go fishing, as well,” added Normandeau.

In recent years (2011-2013), Fish and Game has conducted an average of about 180 search and rescue missions each year. Under state law, the Fish and Game Department can pursue reimbursement for rescue costs if the person rescued is deemed to have acted negligently. In practice, it has proven difficult to recoup costs in this way.

In addition to Hike Safe card sales, Fish and Game’s search and rescue activities are supported by a $1 fee collected for each boat, snowmobile and OHRV registered in New Hampshire. Over the last several years, annual search and rescue expenditures have exceeded revenues brought in through registrations, adding to the Department’s growing deficit.

Learn more about the Hike Safe Card and see Frequently Asked Questions about the card at  

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit


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