Apprentice Hunting Licenses
Take a Friend – Make a Hunter
If you want to try hunting but you haven’t taken Hunter Education yet, consider an Apprentice License. The Apprentice License gives you the chance to hunt -- under the guidance of an experienced hunter – through the end of the year, without first having to take a Hunter/Bowhunter Education course.
Apprentice Licenses expire at the end of the year and cannot be renewed or purchased a second time. If you want to hunt in a future year, you must complete a Hunter Education course and buy a regular New Hampshire hunting license.
Where to Buy an Apprentice License
Apprentice Licenses can be purchased only at NH Fish and Game Headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, NH, or by mail (see license forms). They are not available at license agents or online.
Key Points to Remember
- Supervision required: The Apprentice License holder is allowed to hunt only when accompanied by a properly licensed person who is 18 years of age or older. "Accompanied" means maintaining actual physical direction and control -- keeping the apprentice within sight and hearing at all times (without use of electronic devices).
- Good all year: The Apprentice License is valid from the date of purchase through December 31. It may not be used to hunt moose and does not apply to the three-day small game license.
- License fees: The apprentice license costs the same as a regular resident or nonresident hunting license.
- Once in a lifetime: You can buy an Apprentice Hunting License only once in your lifetime.
- If you want to hunt in a future year, you must first complete a Hunter/Bowhunter Education course, then buy a regular New Hampshire hunting license. You can register for Hunter Education courses (traditional or online) at huntnh.com/hunter-ed.html
I'm planning to go hunting with a registered guide. Can I buy an apprentice license?
Yes. The guide may serve as your accompanying hunter, as long as the specific guidelines governing apprentice hunting are followed.
What if I buy an Apprentice Hunting License early in the year and then take and pass a Hunter Education course – would I then be able to hunt alone?
In this situation, in order to hunt alone, you would have to come to NH Fish and Game headquarters in Concord, surrender your Apprentice Hunting License, and pay a fee to be issued a regular hunting license. Please call the Department for further information: (603) 271-3422.
If I don't have time for Hunter Education, can I just get another Apprentice Hunting License and go again next year?
No. You may purchase an Apprentice Hunting License only once in your lifetime. After that, you must pass a Hunter Education class and purchase a regular NH hunting license to hunt.
Does an Apprentice Hunting License serve as proof of a previous hunting license when purchasing a regular license in a later year?
No. If Apprentice Hunters want to hunt in a future year, they must first complete a Hunter Education course, then buy a regular New Hampshire hunting license.
I enjoyed the apprentice hunt and want to get a regular license. How do I find a Hunter Education class?
Visit https://www.wildlife.nh.gov/hunting-nh/hunter-education. Traditional and online courses are available. The best time to take a class is during the spring and summer – don’t wait until fall, or you may miss out on the season.
I want to go hunting. How can I find a hunter to take me out?
Talk to people you know who hunt; they often will be glad to introduce you to a sport they love. Your local Fish and Game club can be a good place to meet other hunters and find someone to accompany you.
How old do I have to be to get an Apprentice License?
You can buy an Apprentice License if you are age 16 or older. If you’re under 16, you don’t need a license
Can nonresidents buy a NH Apprentice Hunting License?
Yes. The license is available to both NH residents and nonresidents.
Who can accompany an apprentice hunter?
A properly licensed adult who possesses any license or permit need for the species being hunted and the method used.
What are the responsibilities of the hunter accompanying the apprentice?
The accompanying hunter must have the apprentice within sight and hearing at all times, without the use of electronic devices, and be able to maintain actual physical direction and control during the hunt. The accompanying hunter is fully accountable for any damage incurred or violations that the apprentice may commit while hunting.
Can the hunter accompanying the apprentice carry a firearm and hunt?
As an Apprentice License holder, do I have to be accompanied by the same hunter all year, or can I hunt with different people?
You can hunt with different people, as long as they are all properly licensed for that activity and are 18 years of age or older.
Can Apprentice License holders buy species-specific tags?
Yes. Apprentice Hunting License holders can purchase turkey, pheasant, bear and waterfowl licenses to use during their apprentice year; these may only be purchased at NH Fish and Game Department headquarters. The Apprentice Hunting License is not valid to take moose. It also does not apply to the 3-day small game license for nonresidents.