Vermont Offers Improved Deer Hunting

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Vermont's antler regulations put in place in 2005 are now the talk of deer hunters throughout the Northeast. Vermont's antler law, designed to allow more bucks to live longer, is accomplishing its goal with big, mature bucks sporting impressive antlers being seen throughout the Green Mountain State. With those sightings, comes much optimism for the 2007 deer hunting seasons.

"A deer population with a healthy number of older bucks is better for the deer herd, and it means exciting hunting opportunities for Vermont hunters," said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche. "People throughout the state are commenting on the big bucks they are seeing."

A legal buck in Vermont must have at least one antler with two or more points one inch or longer.

Vermont hunters saw a dramatic improvement in the quality of bucks taken last year. About 42 percent of the bucks shot were 2 ½ years old. This fall hunters will be seeing more 3 ½ year old bucks, a prospect that has hunters planning with great excitment for Vermont's upcoming hunting seasons.

You can see recent photos of Vermont bucks on the Fish & Wildlife website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). F&W is urging people to submit their digital photos taken this fall.

Vermont has an annual limit of two deer per year, but several different hunting opportunities.

Vermont's 2007 archery deer season is split: Oct. 6-28 and Dec. 1-9. One legal buck may be taken anywhere in the state during this season. In addition, one antlerless deer may be taken in 19 of the state's designated 24 wildlife management units during archery season. A second archery license is allowed for the second deer.

November brings Vermont's youth deer hunting weekend for residents on the 3rd and 4th . The rifle deer hunting season starts Nov. 10th and continues through the 25th. One legal buck may be taken anywhere in the state during the rifle season if a hunter's two-deer limit has not already been reached.

If you like a later hunting season, plan on Vermont's Dec. 1-9 muzzleloader season, which is open for one legal buck statewide if a hunter's two-deer limit has not already been reached.

Last year hunters took 12,682 deer in Vermont's deer hunting seasons.

To learn more about Vermont deer hunting, check in at the Fish & Wildlife Department's website http://www.anr.state.vt.us/fw/fwhome/index.cfm or call them at (802) 241-3700. Copies of helpful publications available on the website can be found under 'Hunting & Trapping.' The "2006 Vermont Deer Season Report," gives the number of deer taken in each town in archery, rifle and muzzleloader deer hunting seasons. 'Vermont's Archery Deer Season' provides updated regulation information. The "2007 Vermont Digest of Hunting, Fishing & Trapping Laws" is available online and where licenses are sold.

You can hunt on Sundays in Vermont. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.