Vermont Deer News
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...

Leave new fawns alone June 2, 2014 Vermont, Press Republican 
... During the first few weeks of life, fawns do not try to evade predators ... Instead, they rely on remaining undetected through camouflage and stillness... Deer and moose nurse their young at different times during the day and frequently leave their young alone for long periods of time...

Survey says: Deer Hunters support status quo May 31, 2014 Vermont, Burlington Free Press A Gannett Company 
... More than two-thirds of the hunters surveyed said they were satisfied with their hunting experience ... Support for the antler point restriction enacted in 2005 was even higher, with 75 percent being either very satisfied (53 percent) or somewhat satisfied .. 

Record deer case ends in $400 fine May 16, 2014 Vermont, Times-Argus
... accused of taking [out of season] one of the largest trophy-antlered whitetail bucks harvested in Vermont in more than 20 years was resolved this week when the man agreed to plead guilty and pay a fine of $400...

Deer hearing draws sparse crowd May 10, 2014 Vermont, Times-Argus
... in Castleton, but only a dozen people showed up... The board was looking for more input on the antlerless opportunities it will offer for this coming fall deer season. ... [see April 25 article below] ... Public input can still be offered by emailing comments to anr.fwpubliccomment@state.vt.us by May 26...

Milton men cited for deer poaching April 30, 2014 Vermont, SFGate
... Three Vermont men have been cited for deer poaching accusing them of taking at least 12 deer illegally...

Antlerless Deer Proposal Voted by F&W Board April 25, 2014 Vermont, Fish and Wildlive News
    The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board voted to accept the Fish & Wildlife Department’s recommendation for 2014 antlerless deer hunting, which was presented at the Board’s monthly meeting on April 23 in Montpelier. The annual recommendation is based on population growth estimates, biological data, deer sighting rates reported by hunters, and winter severity data, as well as input from game wardens, foresters and the public.
     “The consecutive mild winters of 2012 and 2013 and a moderate winter in 2014 combined with past antlerless harvests should result in continued herd growth in 2014,” said deer biologist Adam Murkowski. “We expect the statewide deer population to be at about 135,000 prior to the start of the 2014 deer seasons.”
     The 2014 Antlerless Permitting and Youth Season Recommendation is available on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). The public can comment on the proposal by sending an email to ANR.FWPublicComment@state.vt.us by May 26.   The department will also hold two public hearings to review the antlerless proposal and take comments starting at 7 p.m. at: 
May 7 Castleton – Camp Kehoe, 636 Point of Pines Road, Castleton
May 8 Montpelier – Pavilion Auditorium, 109 State Street, Montpelier
     The Fish & Wildlife Board will vote again on the proposal in late May after the public comment period.

VT Fish & Wildlife Board Approves Antlerless Deer Hunting Proposals April 26, 2014 Vermont, My Champlain Valley FOX44 & ABC22
...   “We expect the statewide deer population to be at about 135,000 prior to the start of the 2014 deer seasons.” ... 

... hunters will be able to take antlerless deer again next season ... based on growth in the deer population thanks to relatively mild winters ... 

Vermont holds last 2 annual deer hearings April 12, 2014 Associated Press 
... The Castleton meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 7, at the Kehoe Conservation Camp and the Montpelier meeting will take place on Thursday, May 8, at the Pavilion Auditorium...

Bennington, White tails dwindle at Vermont deer park April 6, 2014 Brattleboro Reformer
... While the home owns the park, the deer there are wild and thus considered property of the state... which will not allow new white-tailed deer to be introduced to the roughly 1.58-acre fenced enclosure. Since the herd has been without a buck ... once the white tails are gone there will be conversations about what kind of deer to bring in ...

... The hearings will include results of Vermont's 2013 deer seasons and an overview of the department's recommendations to the Fish & Wildlife Board for antlerless deer hunting opportunities in the youth, archery and muzzleloader seasons next fall...

... The lingering winter weather is also affecting moose and deer, according to Scott. “Late March through April is a critical time for deer,” ...  If the snow cover doesn’t decrease in the next four to six weeks, we could see some impact on the deer herd.”  ...

Hunters in Vermont Took More than 14,000 Deer March 21, 2014 Vermont,  mychamplainvalley.com
... "We estimated there would be an increase in the deer population in 2013 due to two consecutive mild winters," said state deer biologist Adam Murkowski...

18 dead animals found at Santa's Land March 3, 2014 Vermont,  Berkshire Eagle
...  deputies found 16 dead deer, as well as a dead pheasant and a pot-bellied pig when they arrived at the theme park on Route 5 Saturday.  There were also four deer unaccounted for ... cited for animal cruelty...

CCCA talks on health of deer herds in Vermont February 20, 2014 Vermont, mountaintimes.info 
... The presentation of "Big Game - Health of the Deer Herd" will occur at the Gethsemane Church meeting hall on Depot Street in Proctorsville...

Vt. officials to hold hearings on deer, moose herd February 10, 2014 Vermont, Seattle Post Intelligencer
... The department will also give an update on the deer management review... The March 27 meeting will be live streamed at VPT.org ...

Man accused of taking deer illegally, lying to wardens February 3, 2014 Vermont,  Bennington Banner 
... of a complaint that a "spike horn" deer had been shot in Dorset. A spike horn is an antlered deer that does not meet the state's antler requirements that allow it to be shot during certain hunting seasons... changed his story a number of times, adding details each time ...

Vt. deer hunting results reflect stable, healthy population January 26, 2014 Vermont, PressRepublican.com
... Biological data from the check stations show that Vermont’s deer are healthier than in the past, with the average yearling buck weighing 10 pounds more than in the 1960s and four pounds more than the 1990s....

Deer hunters did well in 2013 January 18, 2014 Vermont, Burlington Free Press
... A total of 14,116 deer were bagged during all four hunting seasons, which is also up slightly from 2012. Bow season accounted for 3,291 deer ... About 40 percent of the total harvest annually consists of antlerless deer, which are mostly adult does. Antlerless hunting is the primary means of managing deer numbers in Vermont...

Valley News 
... , hunters took more than 14,100 deer in Vermont, 320 more than the average of the previous three autumns, and New Hampshire saw its biggest take since 2007... “The last three winters have been three of the mildest on record in New Hampshire since Fish and Game started recording winter severity data during the winter of 1964-65,” deer-project leader Dan Bergeron said recently. “This has helped increase deer survival and reproduction.” ...

Vermont data:  Vermont Fish and Wildlife estimate the deer population will reach about 135,000  pre-hunt  in 2014 and about 130,000 in 2013 (115,000 to 145,000), up about 4 percent from 2012 after three consecutive mild winters. An April, 2014, estimate for the herd at 120,000 reflects the harsh 2013-14 winter conditions.  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-1900s and could support more deer ..."   Coyote predation has increased.  
     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] In 2015 Vermont implemented the two-point antler restriction that has improved the age balance of the bucks. 
     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