Owl Brook Hunter Education Center

 
Owl Brook Logo

Click on the image below to watch a short video about Owl Brook summer youth programs:

Owl Brook Youth Program Video

The N.H. Fish and Game Department's Owl Brook Hunter Education Center is dedicated to educating people in the knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to become safe and responsible hunters, trappers and stewards of the state's natural resources.

Owl Brook is managed by Fish and Game's Hunter Education Program. Located on 500 forested acres of land at 387 Perch Pond Road in Holderness, N.H., the center is the first facility of its kind in the state. It was made possible through a grant from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service), as well as many private donations.

The center hosts workshops, group programs and special events conducted by Fish and Game staff, hunter education and center volunteers, often in partnership ith organizations such as the N.H. Trappers Association and the National Wild Turkey Federation. These activities allow individuals and families to start the lifelong journey of becoming safe and responsible hunters and trappers. As much as possible, the "hands-on" and "learn by participation" approach is used at Owl Brook.

Facilities include Shooting Ranges, Classroom Space, Self-guided Trails
The Owl Brook Hunter Education Center includes an office/classroom building that can accommodate up to 60 students and features a series of exhibits exploring the principles of hunter education. Facilities include a four-target practice archery area and a 25-yard covered firing range suitable for small-bore and muzzleloader training. In addition, the center has a shotgun training area, hunter skills trail, orienteering course and a 14-target field archery course along a wooded trail. Visitors can explore a recreated traditional trapper's cabin. Self-guided interpretive trails for trapper education and a wildlife habitat management area are in the works.

Public Hours

The Owl Brook Hunter Education Center, including its interpretive trails and 4-target archery practice range, is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The 14-target archery course is open seven days a week, from dawn to dusk.

The classroom, covered shooting range and the shotgun range are open for center-sponsored events only. On weekends throughout the year, special activities and events take place at the center. Watch the Owl Brook Calendar of Events (click here) or call the center for more details.


Owl Brook Hunter Education Center brochure
Click to download Owl Brook brochure

Directions to Owl Brook Hunter Education Center
(387 Perch Pond Road, Holderness, NH 03245)

From the South:
Take I-93 to Exit 24 (Ashland), at the end of the ramp turn right onto Route 3/Route 25 and take this into the center of Ashland. In Ashland, bear left at the Y and continue along 3/25 south until you come to the blinking light at the junction of Route 175. Turn left onto 175 and follow it for 1.7 miles to Hardhack Rd. on the right. Once on Hardhack Rd., go about 75 yards and take a right onto Perch Pond Rd. Follow Perch Pond Rd. for 1.8 miles and the entrance to the center will be on the left. The building is 100 yards or so through the gate on the right.

From the North:
Take Exit 25 (Plymouth), at the end of the ramp turn left onto Route 175A. At the top of the hill, bear slightly right onto Route 175. Continue on Route 175 for 2.9 miles to Hardhack Rd. on the left. Once on Hardhack Rd., go about 75 yards and turn right onto Perch Pond Rd. Follow Perch Pond Rd. for 1.8 miles and the entrance to the center will be on the left. The building is 100 yards or so through the gate on the right.


A Brief History of Owl Brook

The Owl Brook Hunter Education Center opened on October 1, 2002, after ten years of planning and development. The N.H. Fish and Game Department's Hunter Education Program had been looking since the early 1990s for land on which to construct a multipurpose hunter education/outdoor skills training center. James Hall and Randy Curtis, then acting Hunter Education Coordinators, were instrumental in initiating this project. Both men saw the need of a center dedicated to the education of individuals in the safe and responsible practices of hunting, shooting and trapping. In May of 1995, Fish and Game was able to acquire 498 acres of land for this purpose in Holderness, N.H., adjacent to the Pemi Fish and Game Club.

Many Partners
The acquisition was only possible through cooperative effort. Fish and Game was able to use federal funds through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act to purchase 228 acres of land once intended as a housing development and with an extensive road system already in place. The Meredith Village Savings Bank then owned the property, and the bank agreed to sell the property at somewhat below the appraised value. In addition, Robert Ambrose donated 270 acres of land and the Pemi Club donated a right-of-way that connected the two parcels. The value of the donations was then used as the state's matching share to receive the federal dollars. With everything falling into place, the acquisition became final. The next step was writing a developmental grant to build the facility. Again, it took a combination of Fish and Game support, federal funds and private donations to make the center a reality. The facility was officially dedicated in September 2004.

Passing on the Heritage: Volunteer at Owl Brook!
Owl Brook's classroom building, shooting ranges, and interpretive trails and courses are important tools allowing Fish and Game to accomplish its mission at the center. The center offers basic, advanced and special opportunity classes and workshops on hunting, trapping, shooting, outdoors skills and wildlife management. The broader goal is to pass on the heritage of hunting and trapping to future generations. To achieve this goal, the center relies upon volunteer assistance from the state's sporting community. Click here for more information on volunteering at Owl Brook.

For more information on the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center, call: (603) 536-1290; or write to Owl Brook Hunter Education Center, 387 Perch Pond Road, Holderness, NH 03245.

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Wildlife Restoration in Action
wildlife restorationThe Owl Brook Hunter Education Center and Hunter Education in New Hampshire are made possible by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.

Here's how it works: Excise taxes are collected from the sales of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. These funds are distributed to state agencies to conduct research, manage wildlife populations, protect habitat and conduct hunter education programs. 

It's a great example of a user pay-user benefit system. Hunters and target shooters ultimately pay the excise taxes. They enjoy the benefits, namely opportunities for safe and satisfying hunting.

Educating safe and responsible hunters in New Hampshire wouldn't be nearly as successful as it is without the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.

There are over 500 volunteer hunter education instructors in New Hampshire. Their donated time is used as a match, enabling Fish and Game to receive enough federal funds to cover the entire costs of coordinating New Hampshire's Hunter Education Program.

So the next time you buy a gun, ammunition or archery equipment, remember that you're helping to fund wildlife management and hunter education.


About Us
 
NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

603-271-3421
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