Vermont's Archery Season Attracts More Hunters

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Hunters are enthusiastic about Vermont's upcoming October 3-25 and December 5-13 archery deer hunting season, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

The increased hunter interest is because recent changes in regulations coupled with favorable winter conditions in some parts of the state are resulting in many hunters seeing more deer and bigger, older bucks in the deer population.

"The number of hunters enjoying Vermont's archery deer season has increased 34 percent in the last three years," said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche. "In 2005 we had 16,865 hunters buying archery licenses. That number increased last year to 22,582, and we expect to see at least as many this year."

Vermont brought back the three-deer annual limit in 2008. A hunter may take up to three deer in a calendar year in any combination of seasons (Archery, Youth Weekend, November Rifle Season, December Muzzleloader). Of these, only two may be legal bucks, and only one buck may be taken in each season. All three deer in the annual bag limit may be antlerless deer.

A hunter may take up to two deer in Vermont's archery season with two archery licenses. Only one may be a legal buck, but both can be antlerless deer if hunting in any Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) except WMU-E, where antlerless deer hunting is prohibited in 2009.

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.

Vermont's license fees are less than fees in many other states. Hunters must have a standard hunting license in order to purchase an add-on archery deer hunting license, except that nonresidents may purchase an "archery only license" costing just $60.

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

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, it is illegal to use nails, bolts or screws, including screw-in climbing steps, or wire, chain or other material that penetrates through the bark.

Because additional restrictions apply, hunters are urged to read the entire law governing the use of stands and blinds on page 17 of the "2009 Vermont Guide to Hunting, Fishing & Trapping," which is available online and 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 two publications, both available on Fish & Wildlife's website under Hunting & Trapping and then "Big Game." The 2008 White-tailed Deer Harvest Report, gives the number of deer taken in each town in archery, rifle and muzzleloader deer hunting seasons. "Vermont's Archery Deer Regulations 2009," provides the archery season regulations.

A Hunter Information Kit containing both reports and other information is available from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501. Telephone (802) 241-3700. Email them at

Vermont hunting and archery licenses may be purchased on Fish & Wildlife's website