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Hirst Wildlife Management Area, Boscawen

Birding in New Hampshire

Hirst Wildlife Management Area
Boscawen, New Hampshire 03303
Hirst Wildlife Management Area webpage
Hirst Wildlife Management Area map

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Merrimack County

Hirst WMA, Boscawen
Coordinates: 43.2825635, -71.6186714
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About Hirst Wildlife Management Area
The property can be accessed from Queen Street in Boscawen. Access is an old woods road on the south side of Lower Queen Street. The water can be accessed with a canoe or car top boat.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department purchased 115 acres of the Hirst Marsh property in 1971, acquiring approximately 2/3 of the marsh. In 1987, an additional 25 acres, encompassing the remaining one-third of the marsh was purchased. The final purchase of 16 acres in 1991 provided a protective upland buffer to the marsh and public access to the WMA for hunting, fishing, and recreational activities. Purchases were made with state and federal funding and by generous donations of previous landowners.

The 30 acre Hirst Marsh was a naturally occurring wetland created by beaver activity. When beaver became inactive, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department constructed a concrete dam to maintain the water level and the exceptional waterfowl habitat this marsh provides. The marshland vegetation is comprised mainly of cattails, grasses, and sedges along the edge with emergent aquatic vegetation species of bur reed, pickerelweed, water shield, and white water lilies surrounding open marsh. A small island with shrubby vegetation provides excellent nesting cover for ground-nesting waterfowl.

The NH Fish and Game Department has maintained artificial wood duck nesting boxes in the marsh since 1978 with a high utilization rate by wood ducks and hooded mergansers. Mallards and black ducks are also known to nest on the marsh. Autumn migrants include green- and blue-winged teal. Other common wildlife species include beaver, muskrat, otter, fisher, white-tailed deer, and common turtle species.

The Town of Boscawen and the City of Concord manage 490+ acres of contiguous wildlife habitat adjacent to the Hirst Marsh WMA.
From Hirst Wildlife Management Area webpage