NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — It's the start of firearm season for white-tailed deer in New Hampshire, but hunting licenses are down.

The Telegraph of Nashua reports the number of hunting licenses sold in New Hampshire has fallen by a third in the past 25 years, from a peak of 97,000 in 1988 to just under 60,000 now.

A similar decline is seen throughout the country, as society becomes more urbanized.

"Twenty, twenty-five years ago, you could hunt almost anywhere around here," said Bob Lee, a hunter and owner Lee's Gun Shop in Hudson. "Now, due to expansion of homes, it's harder and harder to find areas," he said. "People say, 'I don't want to drive four hours to go hunting.'"

New Hampshire's recent Youth Hunting weekend, however, saw an increase in participants, to 411.

Deer hunting season ends Dec. 8 for rifles and shotguns. It continues through Dec. 15 for hunting by archery. It ended Tuesday for black-powder or muzzle-loading firearms.