Vermont Deer News
Northern New England states can provide good venues for hunting April 23, 2015 Vermont, Worcester Telegram
... Vermont's goal is to keep their herd stable, healthy and in balance with available habitat. The stability of harvest numbers is proportionate to the stability of a deer herd's population... hunters brought in about $260 million into the economy ...

Crossbows continue to dominate hearings April 5, 2015 Vermont, Times-Argus
... a good number of people attending a hearing in Castleton concerning that issue and others related to the coming deer seasons were clearly in favor of a limited proposal, one that favored crossbows for hunters over age 50...

... In a live call-in from the Vermont PBS studio, Fish & Wildlife experts discuss proposed changes to Vermont's deer herd management strategy.... [video]

... The board wants to reduce the number of moose permits from 280 to 225. Archery moose permits would fall from 50 to 40 and in parts of the state hunters could only hunt bulls.  "We're going to protect the females,

Hearings set on deer, moose hunt rules March 22, 2015 Vermont, Rutland Herald
... Deer hearings are set in Barre and Bennington beginning at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, with four more to follow... will also consider a change in season limits for deer in the archery and muzzleloader seasons. Those limits would be reduced from three to two deer...  a proposal to prohibit the possession and use of deer urine-based lures ...

White-tailed Deer Harvest Report for 2014 [PDF] March 20, 2015 Vermont, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
... Hunters harvested a total of 13,590 deer during the four Vermont deer seasons in 2014. The total buck harvest (7,954 deer) was 10 percent less than 2013 buck harvest (8,831 deer, Figure 1) and slightly less than the previous 3-year average (8,119 bucks)... Antlered bucks comprised 58 percent of the total harvest, while adult does made up 35 percent of the total harvest. Buck and doe fawns each added 3 and 4 percent to the 2014 harvest. Of the total deer harvest, 45 percent occurred during the rifle season, 23 percent during archery season, 12 percent during muzzleloader season, and 20 percent during youth season...

... Six hearings have been scheduled across the state during the week of March 23...

Deer meetings to be held without deer biologist March 7, 2015 Vermont, Burlington Free Press A Gannett Compan
... “There’s no question that managing deer is difficult because people are so passionate about it and they often hold such strong and conflicting opinions,”  ... Deer project leader Adam Murkowski has resigned ...

Vermont eyes deer urine ban, expand crossbow use February 25, 2015 Outdoor News
... Vermont is poised to prohibit the use of deer urine-based attractants by the 2016 hunting season, and to allow crossbows within the state’s archery season this fall...

Vt. shuts down ‘canned hunt’ facility February 22, 2015 Vermont, Rutland Herald 
...  photos were of a man ...with a heavy-antlered whitetail deer weighing more than 300 pounds that he shot ... in a fenced-in compound as it approached a feeding trough... The kill, of course, was nothing even close to what one would call “a hunt.” Instead, it was a case of a man posing as a hunter, in total camouflage...  the last “hunting preserve” left in the Green Mountain State will no longer be in operation by the end of this month...

Deer, moose hearings set for March February 19, 2015 Vermont, Bennington Banner
... Hunters, landowners and anyone else interested in Vermont's deer and moose should plan on attending one of the public hearings being held around the state in late March ... Comments also may be submitted on the website ...

Fish And Wildlife Board Considers Adding Crossbows To Archery Season February 17, 2015 Vermont, Vermont Public Radio
... As archery numbers decline, Scott said allowing crossbows could allow those numbers to pick up again... The Bowhunters Association supports the use of crossbows by people who are unable to use bows
 ...
For deer herd data, states count on hunters January 31, 2015 Vermont, Bennington Banner
... In Vermont, deer team leader Adam Murkowski reported 13,590 deer harvested — a drop from 2013 but in line with the three-year average. Antlerless deer made up 41 percent of the total harvest... Prior to this year's hunt, Vermont's deer herd was estimated to be 135,000 deer...

Vermont mulls pulling back crossbow restrictions for deer January 31, 2015 Vermont, Bennington Banner 
... The state may allow the use of crossbows to hunt deer whenever a normal bow and arrow would be permitted.  Right now one needs a special disability permit to use a crossbow in place of a bow, but at its Jan. 21 meeting the Fish and Wildlife Board voted to legalize the use of crossbows ...

Vermont Deer Hunters Had a Good Year January 19, 2015 The Caledonian Record
...  hunters took a total of 13,590 deer in the state: 3,143 during archery season, 1,652 during youth weekend, 6,140 in rifle season, and 2,655 in muzzleloader season...

An okay season for deer hunters January 18, 2015 Vermont, Burlington Free Press
... Hunters bagged 13,590 deer ...  a statewide deer herd that biologists believe has grown steadily since 2011 — to an estimated 135,000 last year — the harvest during the bucks-only rifle season was nonetheless down 9 percent from 2013, at 6,140...

Hunts show deer herd is healthy January 15, 2015 Vermont, Rutland Herald
... hunters took a total of 13,590 deer — an increase over the last three years’ averages...

Couple Pleads Not Guilty to Deer Poaching January 14, 2015 Vermont, NECN
... a search of their Irasburg home last year showed chest freezers and several plastic totes containing corn and apples, which they believed was used to bait deer. They also found a dead deer inside the house ...

Barton man fined, loses licenses after shooting at deer from vehicle January 10, 2015 Vermont, Newport Dispatch News
...  Bacon is said to have shot from a vehicle on a Craftsbury public road, and then fled as Vermont Fish & Wildlife wardens attempted to apprehend him, putting one warden in danger of serious injury...

... One would allow all hunters to use crossbows during the archery season regardless of age or disability. Another would do away with spikehorn restrictions for archery and muzzleloader seasons ...

... The book is a comprehensive guide to wildlife habitat management on private lands. It is filled with colorful photos and helpful tips...  available at www.vtfishandwildlife.com for $12 ...

The Vermont Veterans Home property includes a public picnic area and an enclosed area known as the Deer Park. The picnic area has long been a stopping point for residents and visitors alike. This area includes spacious lawns, shade trees, a pond, and picnic tables as well as a close view of the deer yard. The deer yard enclosure is home to approximately 10 white tail deer. The Veterans Home staff cares for the deer herd year round. It has been a source of great interest for thousands of visitors annually - December 24, 2014



Burlington Man Accused of Importing Deer From a Chronic Wasting Disease Endemic Area December 8, 2014 Vermont, My Champlain Valley FOX44 & ABC22
... Baker is charged with three counts of importing deer from a Chronic Wasting Disease endemic area and captive hunt facility. If convicted, Baker faces a maximum fine of $1,000 for each count ...

Burlington Man Charged With Importing Deer from CWD Area December 8, 2014 Vermont, Press release
      The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says a multi-year investigation has led to the arrest by game wardens of a Burlington man for importing deer from a chronic wasting disease (CWD) endemic area. Wardens executed a search warrant on December 2, 2014 at the residence of Alan Baker in Burlington for evidence of the importation of deer from a New York captive hunt facility. Wardens obtained evidence of four deer being imported from the Lowlands Whitetails Hunting Ranch in Lowville, NY. 
     Evidence obtained through the search warrant as well as information provided by Environmental Police Officers of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Police proved that Baker has imported deer from this facility in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Baker also allegedly attempted to report the deer as being killed in Vermont. Baker has been charged with three counts of importing deer from a Chronic Wasting Disease endemic area and captive hunt facility. 

Irasburg couple arrested for deer poaching November 28, 2014 Vermont, VTDigger 
... accused of deer baiting and illegal night hunting.  Game wardens obtained a search warrant and found 91 deer antler plaques and 15 shoulder mounts in the Dions’ home...

Muzzleloader Season November 25, 2014 Vermont, vermont.gov
... Vermont’s hunters will get one final chance for a deer this year during the muzzleloader deer season and the second part of the archery deer season. The two seasons run at the same time -- December 6-14. A muzzleloader hunter may take one legal buck anywhere in the state. In addition, a hunter who received a muzzleloader antlerless deer permit may take one antlerless deer in the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) designated on the permit...

Locavore movement takes to deer hunting across U.S. November 23, 2014 Vermont, SavannahNow 
... The number of people holding hunting licenses nationally had dropped over the last 30 years starting in 1983 ... But hunting participation increased by 9 percent from 2006 to 2011, the latest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s national five-year survey found, and wildlife officials around the country suspect that it’s local food connoisseurs — or locavores — partly helping to level it off...

Kick Off Rifle Deer Hunting Season Safely November 14, 2014 Vermont, mychamplainvalley.com
...  this year there is a change to “road hunting.” A hunter cannot take any animal while within a 25 mile radius of a highway that is traveled by using firearms, muzzleholder, bow and arrow, or crossbow.  Safety should always be taken seriously while hunting...

Vermont Offers New White-Tailed Deer Conservation License Plate November 14, 2014 AmmoLand.com
... show your support for Vermont’s wildlife and watersheds with a newly designed white-tailed deer conservation license plate. White-tailed deer are one of the most talked about species in the state, and the new plate celebrates this magnificent species with a beautiful buck. Applications are available online ...

Man Pleads Guilty to Taking Deer Illegally in VT November 14, 2014 Vermont, My Champlain Valley FOX44 & ABC22
...  set heavy gauge wire snares along a well-worn deer trail in the woods behind his residence. In Vermont, it is illegal to use snares to take or attempt to take a deer... 

... he moose was hunted and extirpated on our landscape by the late 1800s, not to reappear until the 1970s by moose wandering south from Maine after that state decided to ban moose hunting in 1950 to preserve it... “There are people that are concerned that the climate is changing so that the moose is not going to find suitable habitat or living environment here,” ...

Wild deer mean safer herds for Vermont November 9, 2014 Vermont, Burlington Free Press A Gannett Company
...  the last captive white-tailed deer herd in Vermont was destroyed in late October, but deer farms and bogus high-fence "hunting preserves" are widespread across the Midwest. So too are a host of maladies associated with captive deer, most notably chronic wasting disease ... In Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania alone there are more than 2,000 deer farms and hunting preserves ...

Moose in Vermont Recovering from Tick Infestation November 3, 2014 Nature World News
... Moose populations have been suffering over the past decade due to blood-thirsty ticks ... The state's Department of Fish and Wildlife believes a "normal" winter and late spring could explain the fewer ticks found on moose ...

Santa's Land deer transferred to Bennington deer park November 1, 2014 Vermont, Brattleboro Reformer
...  The Vermont Veterans' Home accepted the donation of 24 fallow deer to reside in its North Street deer park on Thursday... "As of today all animals have been removed from Santa's Land," ... discovery in February of dead and starving animals at Santa's Land...

Vermont's rifle deer season starts Saturday, Nov. 15 October 30, 2014 Bennington Banner
... 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. The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length. Spike-antlered deer, mostly yearlings, are protected during this season...

Crossbows and spikehorns may be in store for deer hunters October 25, 2014 Vermong, Burlington Free Press A Gannett Company 
... would allow all hunters to use crossbows during the archery season regardless of age or disability. The other would drop the current antler-point restriction, or so-called spikehorn ban, during the archery and muzzleloader seasons.  That would mean a legal buck during the two primitive weapons seasons would again be a deer with at least one antler three inches or longer...

People discuss possible drone hunting ban October 22, 2014 Vermont, WPTZ The Champlain Valley
... People in attendance told the board they want there to be a ban on drones for hunting purposes. Some hunters say it's unfair to use drones to scout and hunt animals....

Baiting Debate Heats Up With Fall Deer Seasons October 7, 2014 Vermont, The Caledonian Record 
... "fair chase" means different things to different people... Vermont bans baiting deer or bear... New Hampshire does allow baiting for deer and bear ...  Down in Texas almost all deer are taken over bait. Big enclosed stands on stilts are erected where hunters sit in great comfort watching automatic feeders that dispense grain at set times...

Vermont's Archery Deer Season is Underway October 4, 2014  mychamplainvalley.com 
... Reminder from Fish and Wildlife that deer without antlers can't be shot in certain areas. Also, a hunter can only take one buck during the season...

... “This year is very different because, unlike last year, there are very few apples in the woods and a lot of deer are feeding out in fields,” ...

Deer management review grinds on September 21, 2014 Vermont, Burlington Free Press  
...  More than two years after the review began, the state Fish and Wildlife Department is still months away from recommending any changes to Vermont's deer hunting regulation ... Evaluating the impacts of the antler point restriction alone has been especially challenging ... one year's worth of buck-age distribution data before 2005 and there are no "control units" where the previous 3-inch antler rule remained in effect...

Deer season is here September 13, 2014 Vermont, The Citizen of Laconia
... in Vermont there is optimism that the herd has benefited from the last three winters, that have not been severe in nature, and the numbers have grown. The herd is estimated at 135,000 and last year’s harvest was 14,116.

Vermont's big game reporting stations September 3, 2014 The Mountain Times
... Hunters who take a bear, deer, turkey, or moose during the Vermont hunting seasons must bring the animal within 48 hours to the nearest game warden or to a Vermont Fish & Wildlife reporting station...

State Considers Key Changes To Deer Season June 28, 2014 Vermont, Vermont Public Radio
... The department is considering a change in the rifle season to reduce the number of bucks a hunter can shoot from two to one...  the department is still accepting comments about the future of the deer herd at its website...

Vermont data:  Vermont Fish and Wildlife estimated the deer population at about 135,000 pre-hunt in 2014 after a three below average winters.  About 130,000 in 2013 (115,000 to 145,000), up about 4 percent from 2012.  According to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife department there were about 125,000 to 135,000 in 2012, higher than 2011 although the estimate that year was about 123,000 +/- 15,000 deer. The 2011 population was about 10 percent less than 2010. The goal of the department is 13 to 18 deer per square mile, or 102,000 - 141,000 deer. This is less than the population of the mid 1990's since "Many forest habitats were younger in the mid-1900's and could support more deer ..." Coyote predation has increased.
     A two-point antler restriction was enacted in 2005, having support of about  75% of hunters.  The rule limits legal bucks to those having at least one antler with two or more points, protecting yearlings.  About half have only single spiked antlers.  This rule was dropped for the archery and muzzle-loader season in 2014.  The Wildlife board decided to focus more on hunting opportunities than balanced age distribution.  About 40 percent of the deer taken in 2013 were antlerless, mostly does.  Hunting contributes about $260 million to the state economy. 
     Deer populations fell to very low levels by the late 1800s.  To promote herd growth, a buck only harvest was begun in 1897 and continue until 1963 when the herd reached a population peak of about 250,000.  The era of modern deer management began with a focus on balanced herd demographics, including doe harvest.  [Source]  Moose were hunted to extinction in the late 1800's, returned to the state in 1950 from Maine where hunting was banned to save the species.
     Slightly more than 6,000 black bears in 2012 and 2013.
     Vermont does not allow for rehabilitation of orphan fawns.  Although successful rehabilitation occurs in many states, Vermont's deer project leader has asserted that fawns need their mothers guidance to survive. 

Other useful links:
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
From Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department:" Vermonters care about wildlife. In fact, a new national survey found that our state ranks number two in terms of the percentage of a state's population participating in wildlife-based recreation. That is why, from its earliest foundation, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has provided a broad range of services and programs to protect and conserve the state's diverse fish and wildlife resources."

Antler Point Restrictions: The antler restriction has worked. With the exception of the higher percentage of yearlings harvested in 2010 due to the previous mild winter, the age structure of the buck population has improved. It has worked because hunters have been counting antler points before they shoot. It was designed to increase age structure of the buck population, not increase overall deer numbers. We now have as many legal bucks in the state as we did before the antler restriction, but there are an additional 7,000–8,000 yearling and 2-year-old “spike-horns” out there that are pretty much guaranteed to survive the hunt.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife - 2012 Deer Herd Policy


Vermont Fish and Wildlife Pressroom, direct link to page below.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Press Room