Archery Deer Season

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Hunters are looking forward to Vermont's two-part archery deer hunting season of October 2 - 24 and December 4 - 12, and with good reason. More deer are taken in Vermont's archery season than in most other New England states.

Two archery licenses are allowed and two deer may be taken anywhere in the state, but only one may have antlers three inches or longer.

In order 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 an archery deer hunting license, costing $17 for residents and $25 for nonresidents, in addition to their standard hunting license. Nonresidents also have the option of purchasing an archery-only license at $60.

Tree stands and ground blinds may only be built or used if the hunter has landowner permission. This includes portable as well as 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 conveniently and easily read. Landowners are exempted from this requirement.

On Vermont State Wildlife Management Areas, no nails, bolts or screws, including screw-in climbing steps, or wire, chain or other material that penetrates through the bark may be used.

Because additional restrictions apply, hunters are urged to read the entire law governing the use of stands and blinds on pages 29-30 of the "2004 Vermont Digest of Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Laws," available where licenses are sold.

Hunters who are planning their first Vermont archery deer hunting trip or who are looking for new hunting areas should get a copy of the 2003 Vermont deer seasons report, which gives the number of deer taken in each town in archery, rifle and muzzleloader deer hunting seasons. The report is available on Fish & Wildlife's website ( and from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501. Telephone (802) 241-3700.

For convenience, Vermont hunting licenses are now available via credit card from the Fish & Wildlife Department's website if you have a 2003 Vermont hunting license and type in the hunting license number. Places to stay overnight are found at (, and guides are listed on the Vermont Guides' Association website at (