New Hunter Info Line

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Vermont hunters now can have quicker access to information on deer hunting conditions, harvest updates and season news by calling a new hunter information line. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is providing 1-800-718-HUNT as a service to in-state hunters. Hunters may call the line starting October 7.

"We know that hunters enjoy learning about the success of other hunters and rely on the department's harvest numbers for that information," said Lisa Helme, fish and wildlife director of outreach and marketing. "The hunter information line is meant to provide hunters with harvest numbers and other season updates in an easy, convenient way."

When hunters call the 800 number they may choose between several pre-recorded options that will be updated on a weekly basis. Option one gives details on deer hunting conditions and harvest numbers. Option two shares news updates. Option three lists all hunter education classes, and option four lists this season's deer biological check stations.

"The system gives us the flexibility of changing the options once they are no longer needed. For example, the biological check stations are only open for two days during the rifle season. When that time expires we can eliminate option four or introduce a new choice for listeners," explained Helme.

The hunter information line is also meant as a way of giving callers biological information on specific game species.

"Our annual deer meetings have shown me that hunters are very interested in a wide range of biological issues such as the health of the deer herd, CWD impacts and habitat conservation," said Fish and Wildlife Deer Biologist John Buck. "I hope to provide hunters with this type of information throughout the fall season."

While the hunter information line will mainly feature news this fall on the very popular deer seasons, the department plans to monitor hunter interest in the line and emphasize other seasons, as needed, such as turkey or bear. For now, the 800 line is only available to in-state callers. If the line proves popular, the department will look into making the line accessible to out-of-state callers. Out-of-state callers can access the line by calling (802) 241-4349, but the call is not toll free.

The hunter information line is financially made possible in part to hunting license dollars and excise taxes on hunting equipment through the federal aid and wildlife restoration program.