Vermont Deer Hunters Look Forward to November, December Deer Seasons

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Vermont hunters are looking forward to deer seasons coming in November and December -- and with good reason, according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Vermont has more older, bigger bucks after a regulation was enacted in 2005, protecting many yearling bucks.

The antler regulation for a “legal buck” is designed to recruit more older bucks into the population. Hunters may take one buck with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer. Spike-antlered deer are protected except during the youth deer weekend. A point must be one inch or longer from base to tip. The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length.

“Vermont’s pre-hunt deer population is estimated at 123,000 this year with the greatest numbers of deer found in the southwest, east-central, and northwestern regions of the state,” said Wildlife Director Mark Scott. “This is about 10 percent fewer deer than last year, but it is comfortably within the limits of the deer population goal set in Vermont’s 2010-2020 Big Game Management Plan. Analysis of fawn and buck body weights and reproductive capacity indicates the deer population is in very good condition.”

Youth Deer Hunting Weekend
Vermont’s Youth Deer Weekend is November 5-6, this year, the weekend before the rifle season. A young hunter who has obtained a Vermont hunting license and youth deer tag may take one deer of either sex during youth deer hunting weekend. Anyone 15 years of age or younger who has successfully completed a hunter safety course and purchased the required license may obtain a free youth deer hunting tag to participate in Vermont’s special youth hunt. The tags are available from license agents.

The young hunter must be accompanied by an unarmed adult over 18 years of age who holds a Vermont hunting license. The adult may accompany up to two young hunters. Landowner permission is required in order to hunt on private land during the youth deer and turkey hunt weekends.

The antler restriction does not apply during Youth Deer Weekend, and biologists hope to measure, weigh, and age deer at 24 check stations across the state. These and other check station locations are available on a map from the department’s website (    

Rifle Season
Vermont’s traditionally popular 16-day November rifle season begins on Saturday, November 12, and ends Sunday, November 27. One legal buck with at least one antler having two or more points may be taken anywhere in the state.

Muzzleloader Season
The muzzleloader season is December 3-11 this year. One legal buck may be taken with at least one antler having two or more points with the muzzleloader license tag. A regular hunting license must be purchased to get the muzzleloader license. The muzzleloader license is $20 for residents and $40 for nonresidents.

In addition to a legal buck, a muzzleloader hunter who received an antlerless permit may take an antlerless deer in the Wildlife Management Unit indicated on the permit.

Planning Your Hunt
The 2010 Vermont Deer Harvest Report, available from the Fish and Wildlife Department’s web site ( has a wealth of information to help plan a hunt, including the number of deer taken in each town. Click on “Hunting and Trapping” and “Big Game” to download a copy of the report.

Vermont’s regular hunting licenses, including a November rifle season buck tag and a bear tag, still cost only $22 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Hunters under 18 years of age get a break at $8 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Licenses are available on Fish and Wildlife’s web site and from license agents statewide.

Contact the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department for more information. Telephone 802-241-3700 or Email


Retired2hunt's picture

  Maybe then they need to


Maybe then they need to revisit that 2010 to 2020 Big Game Management Plan!!!

Good Luck Vermonster!  Hope you and your Dad both bag 14 pointers!!  C'mon 10 points is nothing!



Ca_Vermonster's picture

Heck, I just uploaded a

Heck, I just uploaded a little guy to my trail camera gallery.  As long as he has at least one visible fork, he's going down!  I ain't gonna be picky!!! lol

Ca_Vermonster's picture

No Numb, I am not happy about

No Numb, I am not happy about it, and no, it really has not worked for Vermont.  At least for the 90% of us that hunt for the meat and the fun of it, and not the 10% minority that want the biger antlered deer.  I could care less how big the rack is.  Sure, I would not mind shooting a big 10 point, but if the AR's mean that I miss on a chance at a deer because I cannot shoot a spike, I am not for it at all.

There are going to be hunters out there who have never shot a deer, are going to see a buck walk up, only to have to let it walk because it's only a spike. It's pure cr*p, and is taking away from the enjoyment of hunting.  Vermont is, and never will be Texas, or any of those other southern states where you could sit on stand and see 20 bucks a day.  Some small group of people watched too many hunting videos and thought it could be some hunting mecca.  Habitat, and more importantly weather (winter kill), have way more of an effect ont he deer herd.

Anyway, can you tell I am not a fan??? :lol:  I am looking forward to hunting with my Dad, and I hunt the northwest part, which is mentioned in the article.  My Dad has started seeing more deer movement the last week or so, so maybe it will turn out okay.  All I know is that since AR's have started, I have not shot a deer, and have had to pass on a couple of spikes. 

Oh well, I fly out 3 weeks from today. Maybe I'll get a HUGE 10 point.... Wink

numbnutz's picture


I guess I can tell your not liking this at all. I have never been a fan or a supporter of antler restictions. We have a few hunts that have point restrictions and I stay away from them. I just don't think that it works to help grow better deer. I like you prefer shooting a smaller 2x2 or spike just for the meat, It tasted a heck of alot better than an old mature deer any day. And with how hard it is to get a doe tag around here smaller bucks is all we have as far as good eats.

I hope you have fun on your trip. 3 weeks isn't long at all. I still have a month till the late season starts up and I'm going crazy. I've been out bear hunting a couple times and fishing and also helping my dad get ready for his elk hunt coming up,but I cant wait to get out hunting again. So when you gonna come up and hunt late season with me?

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Thanks.  I will surely have

Thanks.  I will surely have fun, no question.  Just hope I don't get frustrated by having spikes walking arouns.  My dad has already seen 2 mixed in with the does. 

I have a doe permit for our local rifle season, which starts in the morning.  I can't go tomorrow, but will be out Sunday.

numbnutz's picture

Hey Sean. I bet your liking

Hey Sean. I bet your liking this article. Sounds like you may have a great hunting season this year when you go to Vermont. You'll have to keep us posted on if this article is true or not. I'm not a huge fan of antler restirctions but it sounds like it has worked for the deer herd in Vermont. Good luck to everyone hunting in Vermont this year (you too Sean).