Vermont's Archery Deer Season Starts October 7

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

Hunters can expect to see plenty of deer in Vermont's two-part archery deer hunting season according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Vermont's archery deer season dates are October 7 - 29 and December 2 - 10.

Expectations are up for Vermont's deer hunting this fall after an easy winter and after Vermont's new antler restriction protecting many yearling bucks went into effect last year.    
Two archery licenses are allowed. During the archery season, a hunter may take one buck with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer anywhere in the state. In addition, one antlerless deer may be taken by bow and arrow during the archery season in the following Wildlife Management Units (WMUs): A-B-C-F1-F2-G-H1-J1-J2-K1-K2-M2-N-O2-P-Q. The hunter must use archery licenses to tag these deer.
"Antlerless deer" is defined by Vermont law as a deer without antlers or with antlers less than three inches long.

The following eight WMUs are closed to the taking of antlerless deer during archery season: D1-D2-E-H2-I-L-M1-O1.

In order to purchase an archery license, the hunter must show a certificate of satisfactorily completing a bow hunter education course, or show a previous or current bow hunting license from any state or Canadian province, or sign an affidavit that they have previously held an archery license.

Hunters must have an archery deer hunting license in addition to their standard hunting license, except that nonresidents may purchase a "limited archery license" costing $60. Regular archery licenses are $17 for residents and $25 for nonresidents.

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

It is illegal to take any wild animal by using bait during Vermont deer seasons.

Hunters are urged to do some pre-season scouting in the areas they may hunt in order to check on fall foods such as apples, beechnuts and acorns. It is legal to hunt over naturally occurring or planted foods.

Tree stands and ground blinds may only be built or used if the hunter has landowner permission. This includes portable as well as permanent stands and blinds. A hunter constructing or using a stand or blind must permanently mark his or her name and address on it so that it may be conveniently and easily read. Landowners are exempted from this requirement.

On Vermont State Wildlife Management Areas, no nails, bolts or screws, including screw-in climbing steps, or wire, chain or other material that penetrates through the bark may be used.

Because additional restrictions apply, hunters are urged to read the entire law governing the use of stands and blinds on page 13 of the "2006 Vermont Digest of Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Laws," available where licenses are sold.

Hunters who are planning their first Vermont archery deer hunting trip or who are looking for new hunting areas should get a copy of the "2005 Vermont Deer Hunting Seasons Report," which gives the number of deer taken in each town in archery, rifle and muzzleloader deer hunting seasons. The report is available on Fish & Wildlife's website ( and from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501. Telephone (802) 241-3700. On the website, click on "Hunting & Trapping" and then "Big Game."