“More of our trophy-class bucks over the last few years have been coming out of the southeastern and west-central parts of the state, specifically Rockingham and Grafton counties,” says Kip Adams, a New Hampshire Fish and Game Department deer biologist. “That’s also where some of our highest-density deer herds are right now, so they’re probably the best chance for hunters to kill a deer and make it a quality buck.” Well-balanced sex and age ratios have helped produce some exceptionally large-bodied whitetails in these areas of the Granite State. Overall, New Hampshire hunters can expect to see slightly fewer deer this fall, according to Adams. Last year, the pre-hunt population was 75,000. This year he estimates the number to be 70,000 and attributes the decline to the tough winter that struck the state last year, as well as to the overharvest of does in recent hunting seasons. To reverse the trend, there will be new restrictions on antlerless hunting this year-restrictions that as of press time won’t be finalized until late summer.
Rockingham and Grafton counties