Hunting on Hanover Conservancy Properties
In the absence of natural predators like wolves, lynx and mountain lions, New England white-tailed deer populations have soared. Overpopulations of deer can have many negative effects:
- Vehicle-animal collisions, especially in the fall
- Increased browse can eliminate the understory of forests (no regeneration is possible)
- Increased vectors for ticks and tick-borne disease transmission, such as Lyme disease
- Gardens and agricultural crops can be decimated
- More competition for resources leads to smaller, more sickly deer and starvation during harsh winters
For these reasons, the Hanover Conservancy supports managed hunts to regulate game animals, and allows deer hunting on all of our properties. Some properties require special permits and have restrictions on firearms and/or locations of the preserves that are closed to hunting; see each property’s page for details. Bait stations are generally not allowed. Hunting for other species, including black bear, is not permitted on Conservancy properties.
Deer Management Area Program (DMAP)
In 2018, the Town of Hanover began a Deer Management Area Program (DMAP) with NH Fish & Game, and Conservancy staff serve as advisors for the management of this lottery-style special hunting permit. The purpose of the permits is to allow hunters to take more doe than typical, which leads to a quicker reduction in herd size and promotes genetic diversity by leaving more bucks. Permits are generally issued in August, with initial registration in July.
Deer hunting in New Hampshire runs from September 15th through December 15th of each year (for bowhunting, with rifle and muzzleloader within that time frame). The Town of Hanover’s Deer Team, a subcommittee of the Biodiversity Committee, manages this program with oversight from Fish & Game. More information can be found on the Town’s website.
Hunting on Private Land
In New Hampshire, private land is assumed to be open for public access unless it is posted at regular intervals with clearly visible signs listing the landowner’s name and address. We commend NH Fish & Game for their excellent Landowner Relations Program, which is a great resource for landowners and hunters alike. Above all, we encourage respectful interaction between user groups- while you may not approve of hunting, it serves an important part in creating a healthy ecosystem. Whether you are hiking, biking, horseback riding or hunting, you represent a larger community while out on our lands.
Hunting is generally permitted on other publicly accessible lands, including Town of Hanover preserves and the Appalachian Trail Corridor. For most, information about regulations is clearly posted online and at trailheads. If in doubt, please contact the landowner to confirm regulations before visiting.