Hunters are gearing up for the start of Vermont’s statewide traditionally popular 16-day rifle deer season that begins November 16 and ends Sunday, December 1.
A hunter may take one buck during this season with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer. A point must be one inch or longer from base to tip. The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length. Spike-antlered deer, mostly yearlings, are protected during this season.
“Vermont’s pre-hunt deer population is estimated at 115,000-145,000 animals this year with the greatest numbers of deer found in the southwest, east-central, and northwestern regions of the state,” said Deer Project Leader Adam Murkowski. “Mild winter weather during the last two winters coupled with a healthy and robust deer population mean herd growth is expected in many regions of the state this year.”
Planning Your Hunt
The 2012 Vermont Deer Harvest Report, available from the Fish & Wildlife Department’s web site (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) has a wealth of information to help plan a hunt, including the number of deer taken in each town. Click on “Hunting and Trapping” and “Big Game” to download a copy of the report.
Vermont’s regular hunting licenses, including a November rifle season buck tag and a late season bear tag (for Nov. 16-24), still cost only $22 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Hunters under 18 years of age get a break at $8 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Licenses are available on Fish & Wildlife’s web site and from license agents statewide.
Hunters are reminded of a new law prohibiting shooting a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow while on or within 25 feet of the traveled portion of a public highway.
Last year was the safest year ever for Vermont hunters. There were no hunting-related shootings in any of Vermont’s hunting seasons. So far, 2013 is also accident-free, and the Fish & Wildlife Department is urging hunters to keep this safety record going by choosing to wear hunter orange.
“2012 was a fantastic milestone for Vermont’s 70,000 licensed hunters,” said Chris Saunders, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s hunter education coordinator. “However, we can’t rest on our laurels. Every year should be accident-free, and wearing at least a hunter orange hat and vest can go a long way to ensuring that.”
Hunters who get a deer on opening weekend of rifle season can help Vermont’s deer management program by reporting their deer at one of 7 biological check stations
listed below that will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on November 16 and 17:
- Marty’s Sports & Gunsmithing, Inc. – Bennington
- Jericho General Store – Jericho
- St. Marie’s, Inc. – Swanton
- Wright’s Enterprises – Newport
- Keith’s Country Store, Inc. – Pittsford
- R&L Archery – Barre
Paradise Farm Sugarhouse – Brattleboro