Vermont Deer Hunters Had Successful 2010 Season

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Biologists for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department have completed analyzing final harvest results from the 2010 deer hunting seasons and are qualifying last year's hunting seasons as a success.

During Vermont's four seasons last year (archery, youth, rifle and muzzleloader), hunters harvested a total of 15,523 deer. That number is well within the department's 2010-20 Big Game Management Plan that set the annual harvest objective between 14,000 and 18,000.

"Our 2010 deer harvest increased by two percent from the 2009 totals," said Mark E. Scott, Director of Wildlife for the department. "In all four seasons combined, our hunters brought home nearly one million pounds of wild venison, totaling almost 4 million meals."

A review of the 2010 hunting seasons and prospects for the 2011 seasons will be the main topics of discussions at a series of public hearings being held around the state starting this week. The first of Vermont's deer hearings is March 24 at Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester. Other meetings will be held March 28 (Lyndonville, at Lyndon State College), March 29 (Pavilion Auditorium in Montpelier), March 29 (Middlebury Union High School) and March 30 (Springfield High School). The meetings begin at 7 p.m.

The 15,523 harvest total includes 2,914 deer of both sexes taken by bow hunters, 1,712 deer during the weekend-long youth hunting season, 6,665 antlered bucks during the November rifle season, and 4,232 bucks and does during muzzleloader season. In-depth, season-by-season discussions will be held at the five public hearings.

A PDF version of the 2010 Vermont White-Tailed Deer Harvest Report, containing detailed season results information, is posted on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website (

"Deer hunting success depends on many variables," said Scott. "We hear from hunters during and after the seasons, but we gain our best understanding of the season when we can analyze the harvest numbers like we've done here."

Scott said the 2010 totals indicated that Vermont has a healthy and robust deer herd and estimates that Vermont had between 120,000-130,000 deer in Vermont at the conclusion of hunting seasons.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Well, this is decent news for

Well, this is decent news for me, and I may have to eat a little crow over it. Wink

I have been vehemently against the Antler Restrictions that were institued about 5 or 6 years ago.  The way I saw it, they took away 5,000 or so deer from the deer kill, and in turn, made 5,000 hunters less happy.

To me, the only reason that they are doing this, is for a small but vocal minority that wanted to try and make Vermont into a place like Kansas, Texas, Illinois, etc., and be a trophy deer destination.  However, that will never happen in Vermont.  Our terrain, nutrition, and winters will never allow for it.

I said that the only way I would be for the AR's, is if the deer kill would go back to what it was 10 years ago, so that all the hunters that got their deer before were getting them again.  And that would be done while still protecting the spikehorns.

Well, the deer kill has recovered, and for the last couple of years, has equalled what it was 10 years ago.  Plus, there are lots of younger bucks running arond now.

So, I still won't agree witht he reasoning for implementing the AR's in the first place, but I will not complain as much now, as long as the deer kill stays where it is, or increases.

I plan on putting this all to the test, because I am already making my plans to be there for the opener.  I will be waiting anxiously for that 12 pointer to walk by my stand, 10 minutes into the season... lol

jaybe's picture

Well, I am very glad that the

Well, I am very glad that the 2010 season went so well there for you guys who hunt Vermont. And it also looks like maybe they were right about the antler point restrictions - at least that is how it appears at the present time. One or two years isn't a good indicator, but it might be a start.

One of the things I'd like to know about the numbers they publish: are hunters in Vermont required to check deer or to at least call it in? I know that here in Michigan, they set up several check stations on key highways, but they are only manned at peak times during the season. And - perhaps the biggest issue in my mind - hunters are not required to stop at a check station, even if they are driving right past it. In my 45 years of deer hunting, I have only checked one of my deer at a check station. None of my friends do, and I don't know anyone who does, or who ever has except perhaps on a rare occasion. How in the world do they think that their estimate of how many deer were killed is anywhere near close to reality?

I have heard that the DNR actually sets up on the expressway overpasses and counts deer that they see on cars going by. But the majority of deer are inside pickups or SUV's, so they still don't even see a fraction of the deer that go past.

OK - I guess I have digressed on this post - sorry about that. I'm glad the folks in Vermont did well, and here's hoping that it happens again and again.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Yes Jaybe, there are 20 or so

Yes Jaybe, there are 20 or so check stations set up all over Vermont, and you are required to have your deer "checked" at one of those stations. 

Vermont isn't all that big, so everyone is pretty much within driving distance from one check station or another.

The opening weekend of rifle season is always the busiest, so the DFG actually mans some of these stations, and will check over the deer for their health, age, etc.  They will look at teeth, check for ticks, and a few other things.

Cool thing is, if you are successful in getting a deer that first weekend and have it checked by a DFG guy/gal, they usually have a patch with a picture of a deer, that has "Vermont 2010 Successful Hunter" on it.  It's kinda cool, especially if you don't get too many.  You can sew it onto your hunting coat if you so desire.

I just added mine onto my plaque with the rack from my first deer.