Report: Record number of antlered bucks taken

April 23. 2018 8:08PM
According to the newly released 2017 New Hampshire Wildlife Harvest Summary, hunters killed a total of 12,309 deer. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER FILE)

CONCORD — New Hampshire hunters killed 7,708 antlered bucks in 2017 — more than in any year since 1922, when the state first started keeping records.

The total kill during deer season was 12,309, according to the newly released 2017 New Hampshire Wildlife Harvest Summary.

“Archers took 3,102 deer, the youth weekend accounted for 270, while muzzleloaders and regular firearms hunters took 2,662 and 6,275 deer,” Fish and Game said in a news release.

The Harvest Summary includes data from the N.H. Trophy Deer Program, run by the N.H. Antler and Skull Trophy Club, which annually recognizes hunters who take deer with a weight of 200 pounds or more by each of three hunting methods (archery, muzzleloader, and regular firearms).

The heaviest deer for 2017 (253 pounds) was taken by Patrick Couch of Rochester using a regular firearm.

The 2017 bear harvest total was 587, down from the record harvest of 898 in 2016, according to the report.

“This decrease in harvest is largely the result of abundant fall mast crops in much of the state in 2017, which leads to decreased bear/human conflict,” the news release states.

The spring 2017 turkey harvest was 4,482, up from 3,882. That number has hovered around 4000 for the past 10 years.

The 2017 fall turkey harvest of 450 was down from 2016, when 1,101 were taken, the report says.

“Like bear, fall turkeys were less vulnerable to harvest as a result of the abundance of food,” the news release says.

The 2017 New Hampshire Wildlife Harvest Summary presents final data summarized by wildlife biologists.

The summary is available online at (select “2017”).

A limited number of print copies are available at the NH Fish and Game Department in Concord and regional offices in Durham, New Hampton, Lancaster and Keene.

Fish and Game said wildlife research and management activities in New Hampshire, including production of the annual NH Wildlife Harvest Summary, are funded through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, a user-pay, user-benefit program supported by the purchase of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment.

Learn more about hunting in New Hampshire at


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