From the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
-- Vermont hunters are optimistic about the upcoming November rifle and December muzzleloader deer seasons and with good reason. Vermont has more older, bigger bucks after a regulation was enacted in 2005, protecting many yearling bucks.
The antler regulation for a legal buck is designed to recruit more older bucks into the population. Hunters may take one buck with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer, thus, spike-antlered deer are protected. A point must be one inch or longer from base to tip. The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length.
Vermont’s deer population is estimated at 120,000 to 145,000 this year with the greatest numbers found in the southwest, east-central, and northwestern regions of the state.
Youth Deer Hunting Weekend
Vermont’s Youth Deer Weekend is Nov. 7-8, this year, the weekend before the rifle season. A young hunter who has obtained a Vermont hunting license and youth deer tag may take one deer of either sex during youth deer hunting weekend. Anyone under 16 years of age who has successfully completed a hunter safety course and purchased the required license may obtain a free youth deer hunting tag to participate in Vermont’s special youth hunt.
Young hunters must be accompanied by an unarmed adult over 18 years of age who holds a Vermont hunting license. The adult may accompany up to two young hunters. Landowner permission is required to hunt on private land during youth deer and turkey hunt weekends.
The antler restriction does not apply during Youth Deer Weekend, and biologists hope to measure, weigh and age deer at 25 check stations across the state. These and other check station locations are available on a map from the department’s website at www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
Vermont’s traditionally popular 16-day November rifle season begins Nov. 14, and ends Nov. 29.
The 2008 Vermont Deer Harvest Report, available from the Fish & Wildlife Department’s web site 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 hunting licenses, including a buck tag and a bear tag, are only $20 for residents and $90 for non-residents. 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. Contact the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department for more information at 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501, telephone (802) 241-3700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.