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Vermont’s archery deer season attract more hunters

From the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

-- Hunters are enthusiastic about Vermont’s Oct. 3-25 and Dec. 5-13 archery deer hunting season.

According to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, recent changes in regulations coupled with favorable winter conditions in some parts of the state are resulting in hunters seeing more deer and bigger, older bucks in the population.  

The number of hunters increased 34 percent in the past three years. In 2005, 16,865 hunters purchased archery licenses but that number to 22,582 in 2008 when Vermont brought back the three-deer annual limit. A hunter may take up to three deer in a calendar year in any combination of seasons (Archery, Youth Weekend, November Rifle Season, December Muzzleloader).  Of these, only two may be legal bucks, and only one buck may be taken in each season.  All three deer in the annual bag limit may be antlerless deer.

A hunter may take up to two deer in Vermont’s archery season with two archery licenses.  Only one may be a legal buck, but both can be antlerless deer if hunting in any Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) except WMU-E, where antlerless deer hunting is prohibited in 2009.

To purchase an archery license, the hunter must show a certificate of satisfactorily completing a bow hunter education course or show a previous or current bow hunting license from any state or Canadian province, or sign an affidavit that they have previously held an archery license.

Hunters must have a standard hunting license in order to purchase an add-on archery deer hunting license. Nonresidents may purchase an archery only license for $60.  Vermont hunting and archery licenses may be purchased on Fish & Wildlife’s website (vtfishandwildlife.com).

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.  Tree stands and ground blinds may only be built or used if the hunter has landowner permission.  This includes portable and permanent stands and blinds.  A hunter constructing or using a stand or blind must permanently mark his or her name and address on it so that it may be easily read.  Landowners are exempted from this requirement.  

On Vermont State Wildlife Management Areas, it is illegal to use nails, bolts or screws, including screw-in climbing steps, or wire, chain or other material that penetrates through the bark.  

Because additional restrictions apply, hunters are urged to read the entire law governing the use of stands and blinds on page 17 of the 2009 Vermont Guide to Hunting, Fishing & Trapping, which is available online and where licenses are sold.  

Hunters planning their first Vermont archery deer hunting trip and those  looking for new hunting areas should get a copy of two publications, both available on Fish & Wildlife’s website (vtfishandwildlife.com) under Hunting & Trapping and then “Big Game.”  The 2008 White-tailed Deer Harvest Report gives the number of deer taken in each town in archery, rifle and muzzleloader deer hunting seasons.  Vermont’s Archery Deer Regulations 2009 provides the archery season regulations.   Hunter Information Kits containing both reports and other information is available from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT  05671-0501, phone (802) 241-3700; e-mail them at
fwinformation@state.vt.us.

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