Vermont rifle deer hunting season starts Saturday

Vermont’s traditionally popular 16-day rifle deer season begins Saturday and runs through Nov. 26.

State Fish & Wildlife officials explain that a hunter may take one buck during this season with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer. A point must be one inch or longer from base to tip. Spike-antlered deer, mostly yearlings, are protected during this season.

“Vermont’s pre-hunt deer population is estimated at approximately 157,000 this year with the greatest numbers of deer found in the southwest, east-central, and northwestern regions of the state,” said Deer Project leader Nick Fortin.

Vermont’s regular hunting licenses, including a November rifle season buck tag and a late season bear tag (for Nov. 11-19), cost $26 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Licenses for hunters under 18 are just $8 for residents, $25 for nonresidents. Licenses are available on Fish & Wildlife’s website and from license agents statewide.

Fish & Wildlife urges hunters to wear a fluorescent orange hat and vest for safety. The 2017 Vermont Deer Hunting Guide can be downloaded from the department’s website at vtfishandwildlife.com. It contains a map of the Wildlife Management Units, season dates, regulations, and other helpful information.

Hunters who get a deer on opening weekend of rifle season can help Vermont’s deer management program by reporting their deer at a biological check stations. The only one in Chittenden County is the Jericho General Store.

Biologists are collecting middle incisor teeth from November season deer to collect important data on the deer population, which will be shared online next spring. Hunters who don’t make it to a reporting station are asked to obtain a tooth envelope from their regular reporting agent to submit it to the agent.

 

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