Late Season Deer Hunting Opportunities

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Be sure to mark December 3-11 on your calendar as a great opportunity for late season deer hunting. These are the dates for Vermont's muzzleloader season and the second part of the archery season.

One of the most attractive reasons for getting out for December hunting is that you usually can count on having some snow for tracking, patterning deer activity, and for following up on shots.

Another prime factor for many of us is that you won't see nearly as many hunters as you do in earlier seasons. It's much quieter, and there is less competition for good hunting spots. Deer also are far more likely to be following natural activity patterns in early December, because they are not being disturbed by many other hunters.

Keep in mind that baiting and feeding deer are now illegal in Vermont.


What will you need for licenses? If you are going out with a muzzleloader, Vermont's regular hunting license ($16 for residents and $90 for nonresidents) and a muzzleloader license ($17 for residents, $25 nonresidents) are required. Archers need a standard hunting license and an archery license ($17 residents and $25 nonresidents). Nonresident archers also have the option of just purchasing an "archery-only license" for $60.

Annual Limit

Remember that Vermont has a two-deer annual limit per hunter.

Antlerless Deer

This is defined as a deer without antlers or with antlers less than three inches long.

Deer Limit by Muzzleloader

Muzzleloader hunters may take one legal buck, which is a deer with at least one antler having two or more points. A "point" must be at least one inch long, and the main beam counts as a point regardless of length. Those muzzleloader hunters who received a muzzleloader antlerless deer hunting permit may only take an antlerless deer in the Wildlife Management Unit designated on the permit.

Deer Limit by Archery

Archers may take one legal buck, which is a deer with at least one antler having two or more points, as above. In addition, one antlerless deer may be taken by bow and arrow in Wildlife Management Units A-B-C-F1-F2-G-H1-J1-J2-K1-K2-M2-N-O2-Q.

To find out more about Vermont deer hunting, be sure to get a copy of the Digest of Hunting, Fishing & Trapping Laws and its deer hunting law supplement, "Vermont Deer Hunting 2005." Both are available where Vermont licenses are sold and from the Fish & Wildlife office in Waterbury -- telephone 802-241-3700. The deer law supplement also can be printed from Fish & Wildlife's website (

If you are looking for a guide or places to stay overnight, be sure to check the Vermont Outdoor Guides' Association website ( or call them at 1-800-425-8747.