Vermont Deer Hunters Had Successful 2010 Season
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 (vtfishandwildlife.com).
"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.