November Deer Season Starts the 13th

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November 13 has been on the minds of Vermont hunters for some time. It marks the opening of Vermont's sixteen-day rifle deer hunting season, which continues through November 28.

"Vermont's November deer hunting season is traditionally a time of year for friends and relatives to get together," said Craig McLaughlin, Vermont's director of wildlife. "Many may have hunted with each other for years and others may be just starting out. But whether you hunt the softwood swamps or hardwood ridges alone or with a partner or two, Fall is a time to celebrate Vermont's hunting tradition and create memories that will last a lifetime."

Last year, 74,334 residents and 13,575 nonresidents bought Vermont hunting licenses. They took 6,928 bucks with three-inch or longer antlers during the sixteen-day season.

"Wearing fluorescent orange clothing is highly recommended," said Chris Saunders, hunter education coordinator. "That's because it's highly visible to humans, but not to deer. As a result, the smart hunters who wear it are just as likely to be successful, yet, nationwide, seven times less likely to be shot by another hunter."

"Hunter orange is a choice in Vermont," added Saunders. "But that's no excuse. In the past ten years, almost half of the state's hunting accidents might have been prevented with hunter orange."

"The greatest number of deer tend to be found in the southwest, southeast, east-central and northwestern regions of the state," says Wildlife Biologist John Buck. "The biggest bucks hang out in the Northeast Kingdom and in the Green Mountain Range."

Vermont's deer population is estimated at 125,000 to 140,000 deer this year.

A hunting license costs $16.00 for residents and $85.00 for nonresidents. Hunters under 18 years of age get a break at $8.00 for residents and $25.00 for nonresidents. Licenses are available on Vermont Fish & Wildlife's website if you had a hunting license last year (www.vtfishandwildlife.com or www.vtfwdsales.com), and at close to 500 agents statewide.

Planning for your hunt is a great way to ensure it is enjoyable, and it boosts your chances of seeing more deer. To help in planning a successful Vermont deer hunt, be sure to obtain copies of the 2004 Digest of Hunting, Fishing & Trapping Laws, the Hunting Guide Map and last year's report on deer hunting season - all available from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501. Tel 802-241-3700. Email: (fwinformation@anr.state.vt.us). The 2003 report on deer hunting, which includes the number of deer taken in each town, also is available on the department's website