Vermont Deer News
Fortin to head state's deer hunting program August 17, 2015 Vermont, Addison County Independent 
... Fortin is currently conducting disease research for both the Washington and Idaho Departments of Fish and Wildlife...

Derby native Fortin tabbed as deer project leader August 8, 2015 Vermont, BurlingtonFreePress.com
... Nick Fortin confirmed Thursday that he has accepted the position of deer project leader with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department ... We have 58 native mammals, but there's no question that white-tailed deer are the driving force both socially and economically," he said...

Vermont ranked third worst state for deer hunting August 1, 2015 Burlington Free Press A Gannett Company
... The ranking [for white-tails] was based on high hunter densities; low overall harvest numbers; a high percentage of yearling bucks in the harvest, with a correspondingly low number of bucks age 3 and older; and what the editors at Wide Open Spaces deemed “consistently adverse weather.” ...

New rule changes raise eyebrows for Vermont hunters July 16,2015 Worcester Telegram & Gazette 
...  ban the use of deer urine as an attractant ... a response to the potential spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which currently plagues nearly two-dozen states. Not yet in New England, CWD would be a disaster for our whitetails...

New Deer Hunting Regulations Effective in 2016 July 9, 2015 Vermont, Vermont Fish and Wildlife
     In 2016, archery deer hunting season will be extended five days.  It will begin the first Saturday in October, run for 28 days, and then continue for nine days beginning the first Saturday after completion of the November rifle deer season. The archery season limit on deer will be reduced from three to two in 2016.  No more than two deer may be taken during the archery season only one of which may be a legal buck, not to exceed the annual limit of three for all deer seasons. 
     Also effective in 2016, no person may possess while hunting or use for the purposes of taking or attempting to take, attracting, surveillance or scouting deer—any product that contains any urine, blood, gland oil, feces, or other bodily fluids from a deer, elk or moose.
     
Herd grows at veterans home’s deer park June 25, 2015 Vermont, Rutland Herald
...   Five fawns born to a small herd of fallow deer are now living in a deer park on the grounds of the Vermont Veterans Home... For about 60 years, the home, the only state-run nursing facility for veterans in Vermont, has kept deer in a park, primarily for the residents to watch and visit...

Opinion: Wildlife, fish need good places June 9, 2015 Vermont, BurlingtonFreePress.com
... The Habitat Stamp is a voluntary donation of $10 or more that goes towards acquiring and improving habitat on state-owned Wildlife Management Areas. It is available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department website on our donations page ... A single parcel can simultaneously provide deer the cover they need to survive the winter, a shrub for a hermit thrush ...

Protecting Vermont's wildlife habitat June 1, 2015 Rutland Herald
... The Habitat Stamp is a voluntary donation of $10 or more that goes toward acquiring and improving habitat on state-owned wildlife management areas. It is available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department website on our donations page ... provide deer the cover they need to survive the winter ...

     Vermont's muzzleloader season antlerless deer hunting permit applications are now available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's website ..."The number of muzzleloader season antlerless deer permits was reduced from the 17,050 issued last year due to a decline in deer numbers caused by two severe winters in 2014 and 2015,"  ... "We expect the statewide deer population to be 115,000 to 120,000 prior to the start of the 2015 deer seasons," said Scott...

Fawns can be hiding in plain sight May 29, 2015 Vermont, Burlington Free Press
... A fawn spends most of its first weeks of life bedded down alone. The doe stays away from her newborn except to nurse it periodically, and to lead it to new bed sites. That way her scent does not attract predators to the area where the fawn is hiding...

... The ban, which would take effect in 2016 if it passes state legislation, takes aim on reducing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). A disease that has the potential to devastate the state’s deer herd.  Vermont currently has no confirmed cases of CWD ...

Can Bennington be an outdoor mecca? May 13, 2015 Vermont, Bennington Banner 
...  It proved to be a banner year for deer hunting in Bennington and Bennington County, with 4.34 deer per square mile, along with the recognition of the most deer harvested statewide...

... Hunters killed more than 13,000 deer in Vermont last year and a long, harsh winter may have taken even more of the state's herd.  "We suspect there's been some reduction and we've responded as we plan on doing by reducing the number of those antlerless permits out there," ...

F&W Board Votes on Proposed Deer Hunting Changes April 29, 2015 Vermont, F&W Newsd
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board held a second vote on proposed changes to Vermont deer hunting regulations at their April 22 meeting in Montpelier. The board continued to expand hunting opportunities in Vermont, while taking a more conservative approach than initially proposed following the state's second severe winter in a row.  The board voted to add five days to the end of the October portion of archery season. It voted to allow crossbows for hunters aged 50 and older whenever a regular bow and arrow can be used for big game hunting. And the board voted to reduce the archery and muzzleloader season limits from three to two deer...

...  ban the possession and use by hunters of natural lures based on deer urine or other fluids beginning in 2016. By doing so the board hopes to reduce the threat of chronic wasting disease entering the state, which has the potential to devastate Vermont’s deer herd... Dr. Cottrell outlined how quickly the disease can spread among deer populations ...

Vermont cutting in half antlerless deer hunting permits April 26, 2015 Brattleboro Reformer
... Fish and Wildlife Board voted to reduce the number of antlerless permits from 17,050 last year to 9,650 because of reductions in deer numbers caused by two severe winters in 2014 and 2015...

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 ...

Vermont data: An estimate of 115,000 to 120,000 deer prior to the 2015 hunting season. The severe winter of 2014-15 significantly reduced the deer population so Fish and Wildlife cut anterless tags dramatically for 2015 from 17,050 to 9,650. They estimated the deer population at about 135,000 pre-hunt in 2014 after 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.  Average reported hunter success is about 19 percent.  There were about 66,000 deer hunters in 2012.
     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.  [Management History]  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.[Management History]
     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 although many states have successful rehabilitation programs.
     Vermont has no captive deer farms. The last captive white-tailed deer herd in Vermont was destroyed in October, 2014.
     Slightly more than 6,000 black bears in 2012 and 2013.

Other useful links:
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

Tweets about Vermont Fish and Wildlife


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.