You might be surprised to learn that by default privately-owned land in New Hampshire is open to hunting. Unless you explicitly prohibit hunting by “posting your property,” hunters are free to come on your land and shoot whatever wild animal is in season.
What’s more, hunters are even allowed to set up tree stands (such as the one pictured above) on your property if you don’t put up “No Hunting” signs.
When a property changes hands, hunters may not take note. There are stories of new owners being surprised by hunters who had permission from prior owners.
Prohibiting hunting on your land protects wildlife from some of the cruelest forms of hunting, which include hounding and bow hunting. (Some forms of hunting, such as baiting and trapping, require the owner’s written permission.)
Free “No Hunting” Signs
NHARL offers free “No Hunting” signs for those interested in posting their property.
Posting your land against hunting protects wild animals from human predators, leaving so-called “game” animals to nature’s true carnivores.
When to Post
September 1 marks the start of a wide-scale assault on New Hampshire’s wild animals by human predators who have every advantage over their prey. If you have not already posted your property, summer (May 31 through August 31) is a good time to do it.
How to Post
To be effective, posting must be done according to specifications outlined on the New Hampshire Fish & Game site. Excerpt:
Under state law (RSA 635:4), the legal manner of posting calls for posting durable signs with any words describing the physical activity prohibited, such as “No Hunting or Trespassing,” in letters at least 2 inches high, and with the owner’s name and address. The signs shall be no further than 100 yards apart on all sides of the property and shall also be posted at gates, bars and all commonly used entrances.
Signs should be placed every 300 feet and at entrances. Estimate the perimeter of your property and divide by 300 feet to determine how many signs you need. If you have a plot plan for your property, it likely includes boundary measurements. Google Earth also includes a ruler tool for measuring distances.
If you wish to allow hikers on your property, cross out the words, “Trespassing for Any Purpose.”
Once your land is posted, it is illegal for anyone to be on your property without your permission. Contact your Conservation Officer to report any unlawful activitiy.
When you head out to post your property, make yourself visible to hunters by wearing a blaze orange vest, hat, or jacket. The more orange, the better. And don’t forget a vest for your dog.
- Put up “No Hunting” signs no matter how small your property is.
- Staple signs every 300 feet and at gates and entrances.
- Be sure to put your name and address on the sign using a permanent black marker.
- NHARL offer free “No Hunting” signs. More durable signs can be purchased online.