Hunting at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge is an important recreational use that also serves as an important wildlife management tool. All hunters are required to adhere to state and federal regulations. Hunting dogs are allowed only when assisting with waterfowl hunting and retrieval. Baiting and trapping are never permitted at the refuge. More information about hunting at Great Bay NWR can be found here.
The New Hampshire coast is a mix of suburbia, fields and woodlands – and that seems to suit white-tailed deer. The coastal area has a much higher deer density than the big forests that cover much of the state. Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers an annual two-day deer hunt limited to shotguns with slugs for hunters lucky enough to draw a tag (map). Hunters are not assigned areas and may take a deer of either sex. Deer, along with turkey, may be taken during the fall archery hunt (map). A spring firearms turkey hunt provides the public with additional opportunities. All deer and turkey hunters must hold a valid hunting license, as well as a refuge permit for the specific season and species. As of 2022, all prospective hunters must apply for a permit online using the RecAccess portal. Winners are selected by a randomized lottery and notified within a week of the lottery closing date. To increase opportunities for teaching the next generation of hunters, the refuge hosts a weekend-long youth turkey hunt (generally in late April). Great Bay NWR also provides excellent waterfowl hunting along several stretches of scenic coastline (map). Neither of these opportunities require entrance into a refuge lottery.