Pheasant Season Opens October 1 in New Hampshire

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Thirteen-year-old Chris Forsey hunting with Rick Orford, both from Webster, took this nice cock, his second bird of the 2005 season, in Hopkinton. Photo by Eric Orff.CONCORD, N.H. – A long-standing fall tradition in New Hampshire, the hunting season for pheasant gets underway on October 1.  Around the state, hunters will be afield in pursuit of the flashy, ring-necked upland game birds.  This year, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will release 13,500 pheasants, purchased exclusively with revenues from the sale of pheasant licenses, at 73 stocking sites in 51 towns.  

“Most of the pheasant release sites are on private lands, stocked with landowner permission and available to sportsmen only because of their cooperation,” said Fish and Game Pheasant Project Leader Karen Bordeau.   “Please respect the property of these landowners, who make our pheasant-hunting tradition possible, by following all safety guidelines and by hunting courteously. Take the time to thank them for their generosity.”

The birds will be distributed over four stockings at all sites in 2008; stocking will be completed by October 18.  In-season stockings will be done on Thursdays and Fridays to maximize weekend hunting opportunities.

The list of towns to be stocked (including road names) can be seen on the Fish and Game website at; printed lists are also available at Fish and Game headquarters and regional offices. 

The pheasant season runs from October 1 to December 31, with a daily limit of 2 birds and a season limit of 10.  Pheasant hunters must purchase a $16 pheasant license, in addition to the regular New Hampshire hunting license.  Non-residents may hunt with a pheasant license and either a non-resident NH hunting license or a non-resident NH small game license.  Hunting licenses can be purchased at or from any Fish and Game license agent.

Fish and Game asks hunters to refrain from training dogs at release sites during the three days prior to October 1.  Dog training flushes pheasants from the release sites, often onto posted property or other areas not suitable for hunting.  

Pheasant hunters are urged to follow these basic safety guidelines:

Wear hunter orange on your head, back and chest.

Control your firearm muzzle at all times.

Always wear safety glasses.

Know where your hunting partners are at all times.

Shoot only within your zone of fire.

Be sure of your target and what is beyond.

Always keep your hunting dog under control.

For more information on hunting in New Hampshire, including online license and permit sales, visit