CONCORD, NH – Two types of special permits for taking antlerless deer in southeastern New Hampshire became available for purchase at 9 a.m. Wednesday, and a large surge in interest among hunters overwhelmed the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s online licensing site. The bottleneck was fixed and things were running more smoothly by mid-day, but many hunters were understandably aggravated.
The Department’s automated license system used by agents, including the Fish and Game headquarters Licensing Office, was also affected. This made for a long wait in line for hundreds of hunters who showed up at Fish and Game headquarters to purchase permits in person.
“No one could have predicted the kind of traffic we saw on our license sales site this morning. The system just couldn’t handle it,” said Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau. “I know it was frustrating for a lot of folks who were interested in getting a permit and when they finally got online, found that Unit L permits had sold out very rapidly. It was also tough for the folks stuck in line here at headquarters, and for our agents who couldn’t access the system to sell licenses and OHRV registrations to their customers. I apologize for the situation and appreciate everyone’s patience. I can tell you that we have addressed the capacity problem that hindered access today.”
This was the second year Fish and Game offered a limited number – 500 – of special antlerless-only deer permits for Wildlife Management Unit L. A total of 4,000 special permits have been offered for several years in Unit M, so they are generally available for a longer period of time. As of July 1, Unit L permits are sold out, and more than 1,000 Unit M permits have been sold. Interested hunters should purchase Unit M permits soon.
Antlerless-only permits have been issued in by Fish and Game since 1997 in an effort to stabilize the size of the deer herd in southeastern New Hampshire and minimize deer-human conflicts such as vehicle collisions and destructive browsing of ornamental plants. High deer densities and development make potential deer-human conflicts of greater concern in this region.