Vermont Deer Hunters Look Forward to November, December Deer Seasons
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 (www.vtfishandwildlife.com).
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.
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 (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.