Vermont Deer Population:  An estimated 128,000 deer in 2022, 133,000 in 2021, and 140,000 in early 2020, 130,000 in early 2019.   About 152,500 prior to the 2018 hunt; 150,000 deer prior to the 2017 hunt, and about 142,500 before the 2016 hunt, up from about 120,000 deer prior to hunting in 2015 a result of the mild 2015-16 winter.  A harsh 2018-19 winter took a toll on deer.  About 135,000 deer in 2014.  Peak population of about 250,000 in the 1990s.

Vermont Deer News

Wildlife activists want animal cruelty charge applied to deer poaching case September 22, 2023 Vermont, VTDigger

...  shot a large buck with a crossbow last fall. The hunter maimed the animal but did not kill it until later that night — and not before taking pictures and videos of himself petting the animal and calling it a “good boy.” The videos, obtained by VTDigger, show the buck panting and bleeding...

Hunters Reminded of Rules on Importing Deer, Elk August 28, 2023 Vermont Fish and Wildlife

... Hunters traveling outside Vermont to hunt deer or elk need to keep in mind that a regulation designed to protect Vermont's wild deer from chronic wasting disease remains in effect ...

Spike in bear population has sightings up in some Vermont communities August 22, 2023 WCAX

...  Experts say the bear population has maintained a steady 4,000 to 6,000 bears in the state over the last 10 years. This year, Fish and Wildlife has also received more calls from places where bears typically aren’t seen..,

Fish & Wildlife is responsible for a healthy, diverse ecosystem June 5, 2023 Vermont, VTDigger

... In 1878, 17 white-tailed deer were brought in from New York and stocked in Bennington and Rutland counties... In 1971, the Fish & Game Department gains support for deer management after the movie “Winter Bottleneck,” showing deer die-off in winter, was produced ...

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, board to hold deer hearings May 9 and 17 April 28, 2023 Vermont, Manchester Journal

...“Recent management efforts have successfully balanced deer numbers with what the habitat can support in many parts of Vermont,” said Nick Fortin, deer and moose project leader for the Fish and Wildlife Department, in a statement. “As a result, the 2023 recommendation aims to maintain current deer numbers in most of the state.” ..,

Vermont 2022 Deer Hunt April, 2023 Fish and Wildlife Department

... Hunters harvested a total of 17,461 deer during the Vermont deer seasons in 2022 ... The total harvest was 2 percent more than the previous 3-year average of 17,133, while the buck harvest of 9,619 was 1 percent more

than the previous 3-year average of 9,482 bucks. The total harvest was 10 percent more than the 15,858 deer harvested in 2021, while the total buck harvest was 5 percent more than the 2021 buck harvest of 9,133 ...

2022's Bountiful Harvest: Vermont Fish & Wildlife Discusses Deer Health and Harvest Counts March 29, 2023 Vermont, Eagle Times

... Fortin [Wildlife Biologist and Deer Project Leader] said the deer population in the state is stable for a variety of reasons.  “The buck portion of our harvest has been very stable for the last seven years,” he said. “It’s the most stable it has been since the 1930s. Just over 1,150 deer [harvested] during youth weekend is a continuation in a long-term decline...

The Future of Vermont Moose Herds March 29, 2023 Eagle Times

... “Because moose don’t groom themselves like most animals do, they wait until there is enough irritation,” Fortin explained.  “Less moose means less winter ticks,” Fortin said. “The only way to control winter ticks is to control the moose population. Our recommendation is to issue 180 permits.” ..,

Video BelowVermont Fish and Wildlife, 2023 Deer March Meetings - March 17, 2023

From video;  " ... the quality of our deer habitat has declined so it simply can't support as many deer as it used to.  Primary reason deer habitat quality has declined in many areas is because our forests are getting older.  So today middle age, mature forest ... dominates most of the Vermont landscape with limited amounts of both young and old forests.  So wildlife in Vermont require a diversity of forest habitat conditions ... "

To counter winter ticks, Vermont allowing more moose hunting March 8, 2023 Vermont, Straight Arrow News

... The winter tick infestation is so severe, researchers found some moose carry more than 50,000 ticks...  The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department said the “moose population reduction is necessary to break the winter tick cycle ...

Public Hearings on Deer and Moose, March 20, 21, 23  Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department March 1, 2023 Vermont

...  Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board will hold public hearings on deer and moose management for 2023 on March 20, 21 and 23... Pre-recorded videos of the moose and deer presentations that will be given at these meetings will be available by going to the “Public Hearings Schedule” on Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s home page.  The Fish and Wildlife Department’s 2023 Moose Season Recommendation also ...

Reporting stations big problem for big game January 19, 2023 Vermont Community Newspaper Group

... Despite the dearth of reporting stations, Fortin said Vermont still does much better with its reporting than other states. He said many other states estimate they only see 60 percent of their deer kills reported, while in Vermont boasts of 95-98 percent reporting...

Hunters took more than 17,000 deer in 2022 January 10, 2023 Vermont, Mountain Times

...  Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says the final tally will be a little over 17,400 deer...The buck harvest will be close to 9,600, which will be up from 2021 (9,133) and near the previous 3-year average of 9,482...  

Vermont deer harvest on par with 3 year average January 4, 2023 Burlington-Plattsburgh WCAX-TV

...  “Hunting conditions were generally good in 2022,” Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s Nick Fortin said in a statement. “Limited fall foods caused deer to move more and spend more time feeding in fields, which made it easier for hunters to locate them. Snow during much of the regular season in November also helped hunters locate and see deer.” ..,

Declining hunting rates in Vermont and across the nation could stir trouble for conservation December 8, 2022 Vermont, St. Albans Messenge

... Saunders said while there are fewer hunters in the field, the hunters that are in the field are more experienced and potentially better hunters. “Hunters have been spending a lot more [money], and hunting a lot more, even if there’s fewer of them nationally,” ...

Wintering habitat critical to whitetail survival December 6, 2022 Vermont, WCAX

... “These conifer trees, these evergreen trees will intercept a lot of the falling snow ... which allows deer to move around a lot more easily. It also helps hold in some of the heat ... when it’s cold and the wind is blowing, it’s much, much colder, so these areas block a lot of wind, too,” said Nick Fortin, Fish and Wildlife’s deer project leader ...

Several days of archery and muzzleloader deer hunting remain November 22, 2022 Vermont, Bennington Banner

... Vermont has an annual limit of four deer during its deer hunting seasons, including only one legal buck annually during those seasons...

Video Below:  Nick Fortin, Vermont’s head deer biologist, estimates about 130,000 deer in the state, fewer deer in the 60s and 70s but about constant over the past 20 years.

Bucking tradition: First day of Vermont's deer rifle season about more than bagging game November 12, 2022 Valley News

... Of the estimated 128,000 white-tailed deer in Vermont, last year’s hunting season saw hunters shoot under 16,000 total. Since Vermont’s herd size and age structure are generally stable, Nick Fortin, Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s head deer biologist, expects this year’s haul to mirror that of recent years..,

Deer hunting season starts Saturday November 10, 2022 Vermont, Williston Observer

... “The greatest numbers of deer continue to be in western regions of the state and other valley areas,” said Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s deer biologist Nick Fortin. “The Green Mountains and Northeast Kingdom offer more of a big woods experience with fewer but often larger deer.” ..,

Vermont Fish and Wildlife asks deer hunters to report wildlife sightings November 8, 2022 Things To Do

... The survey asks hunters to record how many hours they hunted and how many deer, moose, bears, or other wildlife they saw each day they hunted. This information helps the department evaluate how hunting pressure and the number of these animals varies around the state...

Fall Foods Less Abundant for Wildlife November 8, 2022 Vermont,  EIN Presswire

... Last year both acorns and beechnuts were plentiful across much of Vermont.  Results for this year found both acorns and beechnuts are less abundant.  Surveyed beech stands had complete crop failures and acorn surveys showed the lowest counts in 10 years..,

Vermont's Regular Deer Season Starts Saturday, Nov. 12 -   October 26, 2022 EIN Presswire

... “The greatest numbers of deer continue to be in western regions of the state and other valley areas,” said Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s deer biologist Nick Fortin.  “The Green Mountains and Northeast Kingdom offer more of a big woods experience with fewer, but often larger, deer.”  ...

Fawns are arriving; leave them alone May 15, 2022 Vermont, Bennington Banner

... Fawns do not attempt to evade predators during their first few weeks, instead relying on camouflage and stillness to remain undetected. During these times, fawns learn critical survival skills from their mothers...

Five Vermont Deer Hunters Are Facing Serious Poaching Fines April 29, 2022 Vermont, Green Matters

... A group of five hunters in Vermont are facing almost poaching 80 charges ... "It will take three to four years for the deer population in Windsor County to recruit additional mature bucks and replace those that were illegally taken this fall," Fish and Wildlife Director, Mark Scott ...

As New England winters warm, moose are getting overwhelmed by winter ticks. Some scientists say hunting could help March 29, 2022 Vermont Public Radio

... in Vermont and elsewhere in Northern New England, shorter winters with less snow mean the ticks now pose a bigger threat to moose than they did in the past... Unlike white-tailed deer, moose are poor groomers. As a result, a single animal can carry as many as 90,000 ticks through the season..,

F&W plays the numbers game March 5, 2022 Vermont, Rutland Herald

... the figures for the 2021 firearms buck season were a disaster. In a number of Wildlife Management Areas, places where high numbers of bucks are usually taken, it was worse than a disaster...,

Fall moose hunt proposed in Vermont February 21, 2022 TheHill

... Lower moose numbers, the department said, will help decrease the negative effect winter ticks are having on the animals...  the population from 2019 to 2021 is estimated at 2123

Vermont firefighters use airboat to help several deer stuck on ice January 18, 2022 NBC 5

... "The larger doe had succumbed to injuries during the night," ... The two smaller doe condition had declined as well ...

Preliminary Vermont deer hunting data released December 29, 2021 WCAX3

... Vermont Fish & Wildlife experts say the final tally will be around 15,600 deer...  they’ve been working to reduce deer numbers in certain areas ...

Stay alert: Risk of hitting deer on Vermont highways is high with breeding season November 18, 2021 Vermont, YAHOO!News

... [Deer Killed Each Year from Vehicle Collisions]:  2016, 2,313; 483 adult males; 1,126 adult females; 310 juvenile males and 394 juvenile females.

   2017: 2,246;  508 adults males; 1,067 adult females; 287 juvenile males and 384 juvenile females.

   2018: 2,524; 534 adults males; 1,252 adults females; 319 juvenile males and 419 juvenile females.

   2019:  2,219; 487 adults males; 1,132 adult females; 239 juvenile males and 361 juvenile females.

   2020:  1,948 deer were hit and killed, including 410 adult males; 1,021 adult females; 219 juvenile males and 298 juvenile females.

Fish & Wildlife Asks Deer Hunters to Report Wildlife Sightings November 8, 2021 Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

...The survey asks hunters to record how many hours they hunted and how many deer, moose, bears, or other wildlife they saw on each day of the regular November deer season.  This information helps the department evaluate how hunting pressure and the number of these animals varies throughout the season and around the state... 

EHD, Disease usually seen in western, southern US found in deer in New England October 12, 2021 Vermont, WMUR Manchester 

... A first-of-its-kind outbreak in Castleton and West Haven, Vermont, has killed dozens of deer ... The viral disease, known as Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD,..

EHD, Vermont monitors spread of disease that often kills deer September 23, 2021 New Canaan Advertiser

... in the Castleton area where several dead deer have recently been reported ... New York has documented cases of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in several counties in the Hudson Valley, including some that border Vermont ... 

Vermont Deer Tooth Aging Study Finds Two 17-Year-Old Does June 3, 2021 Field & Stream

... hunters who submitted 3,637 teeth to the Whitetail Tooth Aging Program ... two does were found to be the oldest at 17 years old...  the oldest harvested buck ... was 10...

Vt. Fish and Wildlife Dept. uses teeth to track health of deer population May 14, 2021 Vermont, Brattleboro Reformer

...  the department was able to get accurate ages for 2,631 deer...  “This age information helps us estimate deer population size and assess the health of deer...

Video Below:  Nick Fortin, VT Fish & Wildlife Biologist and Deer Project leader presents the results of the 2020 white-tailed deer hunting seasons and the department's recommendations for the 2021 antlerless deer and youth hunting seasons.

VTF&W to Hold Electronic Deer Hearings May 11 and 13 April 29, 2021 Vermont, EIN News

... “The winter of 2021 was relatively easy for deer throughout Vermont,” ...Deer populations in 7 WMUs are above their respective population objectives, and the recommended antlerless harvest is intended to reduce deer populations in these WMUs..,

Ailing moose euthanized March 29, 2021 Vermont, Brattleboro Reformer

... “When a moose begins to stay in one part of a small area, does not move, seems a little disoriented and has no fear of people, that’s a pretty good indication the moose has a brain worm infection,” ...

Online Public Hearings on Deer and Moose, March 23, 25, 26 March 3, 2021 Vermont, EIN News

... Public comments and questions will be taken at the electronic meetings and by phone ...  For more information and to join the online hearings, go to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website and click on the “Public Hearings Schedule” on the home page...

Vermont 2020 to 2030 Deer Management and Elk Deer Management Plans February 2020 Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

   The Deer Management Plan ...  The Elk Management Plan ..,

Perry Hill winter recreation management pilot program announced February 12, 2021 Vermont, Vermont Biz

... “The decision to manage a portion of the Perry Hill trail system for winter recreational access is a rare decision on ANR lands representing a compromise to proactively manage for winter recreational access in a deer wintering area,” said Snyder...

The cold in the light of day February 12, 2021 Vermont, Rutland Herald

... Back in the winter of 1979-80, if memory serves me, Vermont saw about half of its deer population starve because of prolonged, below-freezing temperatures and deep snow... The estimates at the time were some 60,000 deer perished during that winter..,

Vermont deer hunters had record year in 2020 January 6, 2021 Vermont, Mountaintimes

... the final tally will be around 18,000 deer, the second highest total since 2000... changes to archery hunting regulations took effect in 2020, including a longer season ... some of the increase was likely due to a spike in participation related to the Covid-19 pandemic ..,

Deer final breaks record in 2020 December 23, 2020 Vermont, Addison County Independent

... “Our objective was to harvest more deer with all the regulations changes and the number of antlerless permits we gave out,” ... 

Vt. teen charged with hitting deer decoy with car November 24, 2020 Vermont, WCAX3

... A vehicle turned into the field where the decoys were set up and ran over one of the decoys ...

Hunters asked to help collect deer biological data November 15, 2020 Vermont, BenningtonBanner

... Biologists are collecting middle incisor teeth from all regular season bucks in order to evaluate regional differences in ages and antler characteristics as well as to help estimate population size, growth rate, health, and mortality rates... 

Fall wildlife foods are less abundant October 26, 2020 Vermont, VTDigger

... beechnut counts are very low, following 2019 when the numbers were some of the highest recorded since 1998 ... wild apples and berries are also less abundant than last year, but that in most areas of the state biologists report that acorns are more abundant than most other fall wildlife foods ...

'Deer jacking' ruling could change Vermont game warden searches October 21, 2020 Berkshire Eagle

... "The Fourth Amendment hardly tolerates the sort of meandering search that took place here," said the Monday statement written by Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was joined by justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. "The wardens violated the Constitution, and the warrant they received premised on the fruits of their unlawful search was thus tainted."...

     Supreme Court justices chastise Vermont on the limits of police power in 'deer jacking' case October 19, 2020 Vermont, NBC News

... The game wardens suspected Clyde Bovat of unlawfully hunting a deer at night, an offense Vermonters call "deer jacking." Without a search warrant, they entered his private land  ... The Vermont Supreme Court said the officers acted properly ... [three U.S. Supreme Court said the search was unlawful, but the full court did not take the case to overturn the state's verdict] ...

100th wildlife management area established in Vermont August 9, 2020 Vermont, San Francisco Chronicle

... The 526-acre property in Shrewsbury is “a key parcel in a strategic, state-significant wildlife corridor, connecting state land to the north with federal and privately conserved land to the south,” ...

Vermont seeking input on big game management plan July 20, 2020 WCAX3

... The department is planning a virtual meeting Aug. 5 to answer questions and record public comment on the draft 2020-2030 plan ...

Growing deer population leads to more muzzleloader permits May 23, 2020 Vermont, Houston Chronicle

... Deer project leader Nick Fortin says deer populations in 10 of Vermont’s wildlife management units will be above their population objectives..,

Fawns are arriving; Leave them alone, urges F&W May 11, 2020 Vermont, VTDigger

... best to keep your distance because the fawn’s mother is almost always nearby... Fawns do not attempt to evade predators during their first few weeks, instead relying on camouflage and stillness to remain undetected... Deer nurse their young at different times during the day ...

Vermont holds online public meetings on deer May 3, 2020 Washington Times

... “The winter of 2020 was relatively easy for deer throughout Vermont ... lingering effects of the more severe winter of 2019 will result in minimal population growth in most areas... deer populations in several wildlife management units (WMUs) will continue to be above established population objectives and we are increasingly concerned about declining physical condition of deer in many areas.” ..,

Electronic hearings this month on deer, moose April 4, 2020 Vermont, SFGate

... The conference call hearings are accessible by smart phone and computer by downloading the Zoom Cloud Meeting App and entering the numbers for the particular meeting. They will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 13, 15 and 16...

Big survey of winter deer yards completed March 28, 2020 Vermont, Times Union

... “Knowing where deer overwinter, the quality of the habitat, and how deer are using it will help us keep the local deer herd stable, healthy, and in balance with available habitat.” ...

Vermont DRAFT Big Game Management Plan 2020-2030  March, 2020, Vermont Fish and Wildlife

... As a result of historical land use practices, many of Vermont’s forests are of similar age. Currently, these forests are in the second growth (pole-timber) stage, which provides little forage for deer. Similarly, the amount of young forest habitat (less than 20 years old), which provides substantial forage for deer, has declined substantially in recent decades. The lack of young forest habitat combined with the proliferation of invasive plants and impacts of historically overabundant deer in some areas means Vermont’s forest habitat can support fewer deer today than it could in the past...  [Comments can be submitted electronically to:] ..,

State seeks to save moose from ticks by increasing hunting February 23, 2020 Vermont,

... officials say that increasing the hunting of moose in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom could help save the animals from the damaging spread of winter ticks... “Moose densities greater than one per square mile support high numbers of winter ticks, which negatively impact moose health and survival,” ..,

Keeping track of Vermont's deer population February 17, 2020 MSN

... Vermont Fish and Wildlife estimates there are 140,000 deer in the state based on hunter survey numbers and other research..,

Vermont deer hunters had another good year in 2019 January 8, 2020 CT Post

... preliminary fall deer hunt numbers...  16,479 deer taken during the fall deer hunting seasons ...

Vermont targets ways to reverse hunting decline December 29, 2019 Valley News

... Hunting license sales between 2016 and 2018 were down in every county ... Hunting licenses fund the majority of the department’s conservation efforts for both game and non-game species... “It’s a financial burden on the department, it’s a threat to conservation in the state, and it’s also a threat to management in the state,” ...

Vermont Fish and Wildlife are collecting deer teeth November 16, 2019 WCAX

... teeth can estimate population size, growth rate and overall health of the deer in Vermont...

  Vermont police officer rescues deer trapped in soccer net  October 29, 2019 NBC 5 on

... finding the deer screaming from within a bright blue pile of netting ... Mason's body camera captured him calmly approaching the deer ... The deer can be seen scampering into a wooded area at the end of the video ... 

UVM Entomologists find naturally occurring fungi could help curb moose tick plague October 10, 2019 Vermont, Vermont Biz

... more than 30,000 moose tick larvae have taken up residence at the lab, and Sullivan and her advisors, entomologists Bruce Parker and Margaret Skinner, have demonstrated that natural bio-pesticide formulations containing fungi like Metarhizium anisopliae have the potential to derail the moose tick epidemic...

Hunters can take more deer ... August 8, 2019 Vermont, VTDigger12h

... Louis Porter, commissioner of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, told committee members that the size of the state’s deer herd has been on the rise in recent years, despite a downtick last year due to the harsh winter... the total number of deer a hunter can take per season will increase from three to four under the new rule ..,

Fawns are Arriving; Leave them Alone Urges F&W May 14, 2019 Vermont Fish and Wildlife

... Fawns do not attempt to evade predators during their first few weeks, instead relying on camouflage and stillness to remain undetected... Deer nurse their young at different times during the day and often leave their young alone for long periods of time...

Deer Hearings May 21 and June 4 April 26, 2019 Vermont, Bennington Banner

...  "The winter of 2019 was severe in central and northeastern Vermont, and substantial population reductions are expected in those regions. The winter was more moderate or even mild in other parts of the state, and little change is expected in the deer populations in those areas..,

New hunting regulations draw support and concern April 25, 2019 Vermont,

... The regulations are designed to better manage the state’s deer population, by limiting hunters from two bucks per year to one, and removing the three-inch requirement for antlers, so as to diversify the kinds of deer that are hunted, and keep the population healthier...

Oldest deer shot in 2018 was a 20-year-old doe April 16, 2019 Vermont, Rutland Herald

... The oldest deer shot by a hunter last year was a 20-year-old doe. The oldest buck taken by a hunter was 12 ... Hunters are asked to send to the state a tooth ...

Deer hearing draws large crowd March 30, 2019 Vermont, Rutland Herald 

... to make an impact on decreasing the number of antlerless deer in the state...  the one-buck rule (two bucks were legal in 2018), the extended archery season, and allowing hunters to shoot spiked bucks in the Northeast Kingdom and along the Green Mountains...

Vermont wildlife officials hold meeting, might see deer hunting changes  March 28, 2019 WCAX

... The state says the ultimate goal is to keep existing hunters happy, attract new hunters and provide more hunting opportunities...

State proposes overhaul of deer hunting rules March 11, 2019 Vermont, 


...  There are currently around 130,000 white-tailed deer in Vermont, according to the department ... Starting in 2005, hunters could not take bucks without at least two points on one antler... proposed the annual per hunter buck limit be reduced from two to one, while the antler point restriction be eliminated in parts of the state with “big tracts of forest,” ..,

Sweeping changes in deer hunting proposed by F&W Board March 1, 2019 Vermont, Rutland Herald

... Fortin was reluctant to estimate the current deer population in Vermont, primarily because the current winter has been particularly hard for deer and is still not over... Back in the early 1980s, the cost of one severe winter cut the deer herd by about one half, with more than 60,000 deer dead and wasted in deer yards..,

Public Meetings on Chronic Wasting Disease January 8, 2019 Vermont, Vermont Fish and Wildlife

... “Chronic Wasting Disease is the most serious threat to Vermont’s wild deer herd and our state’s tradition of deer hunting,” said Nick Fortin, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s deer biologist...

Officials credit banner deer harvest in Vermont to snow, warming climate January 8, 2018 VTDigger

... “The deer population in Vermont is largely set by the severity of our winters,” ... in an era of climate change, white-tailed deer are a species that does well ..,

Hunters took 18845 deer during 2018 January 3, 2019 Vermont, Addison County Independent

...  preliminary numbers show 18,845 deer were taken during Vermont’s 2018 deer hunting seasons, the highest total since 2000... recent mild winters have allowed the deer population to grow throughout Vermont. Additionally, lack of fall foods caused deer to be more concentrated and snow helped hunters locate them ..,

Rifle Season Deer Hunter Effort Survey November 11, 2018 Vermont, VFW News

...   hunters record how many hours they hunted and how many deer, moose, bears, or other wildlife they saw on each day of the November rifle season... 

Vermont grapples with too many deer in some suburban areas November 10, 2018 CT Post

... an estimated deer population of 155,000, likely the highest amount in a couple of decades as a result of several mild winters, fewer hunters and fewer areas to hunt... hopes to control the suburban deer by expanding archery hunting..,

Vermont’s rifle deer season starts tomorrow November 9, 2018 Newport Dispatch

... Vermont’s regular hunting licenses, including a November rifle season buck tag and a late season bear tag (for Nov. 10-18), cost $26 for residents and $100 for nonresidents...

Vermont hunters asked to submit deer teeth November 5, 2018  WCAX 

... [help] evaluate regional differences in ages  ... as well as to help estimate population ...

Chance of hitting deer doubles during fall months October 11, 2018 Vermont, WCAX

...A study by State Farm insurance says late October through December is when we see a sudden rise in deer getting hit by cars... Vermont Fish and Wildlife says there are about 150,000 deer in the state ..,

Too many deer in Vermont, Fish and Wildlife need your assistance October 8, 2018 FOX44 & ABC22

... an estimated 150,000 deer ... the overall health of the herd is just fine.... Vermont Fish & Wildlife have issued 26,000 permits...  Mark Scott...   director of wildlife with Vermont Fish and Wildlife ..,

Vermont's herd is not the biggest it's ever been September 25, 2018 Seven Days

... Vermont's herd is not the biggest it's ever been; it spiked to a quarter million in the 1960s ... The number of seasonal hunting licenses declined by 40 percent statewide since 1990, from 105,333 to 62,813 in 2017, according to state data..,

Vermont officials warn hunters of Chronic Wasting Disease in Quebec September 19, 2018 FOX44 & ABC22

...  CWD was detected by Canadian officials in a captive red deer herd within 100 miles of the border with Vermont...

Moose that drowned in Vermont's Lake Champlain likely had brainworms September 4, 2018

... Brainworm parasites, and not onlookers, probably caused the widely documented drowning death of a moose Saturday in Lake Champlain ...

Montpelier’s Deer Debate August 19, 2018 Vermont, The Bridge

... according to Nick Fortin, Deer Project Leader for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, the statewide deer population is expected to be about 155,000 before the 2018 deer seasons. This is 10,000 more than last year’s estimate of 145,000..,

Tips and tricks on where to find the biggest, coolest animals in Vermont August 3, 2018 Vermont,

... A few dozen years ago or so, moose were extinct from Vermont. Now, Alexander estimates there are roughly 1,650 moose in the the state. He saw his first in 1979..,

Moose hunting permits cut, herd health concerning March 21, 2018 Vermont, My Champlain Valley FOX44 & ABC22

... Vermont's moose population has been plagued with its fair share of issues. Including impacts of climate change, and now ticks... the biggest threat comes from ... ticks ...

Vermont Fish and Wildlife says deer harvest up 13 percent March 19, 2018 Washington Times

... Experts attribute the increase to mild weather the preceding two winters, which allowed more deer to survive... hunters took a total of 15,984 deer ..,  [read the full report]

New plan for forest land promotes diversity in trees February 18, 2018 Vermont,

... The Nulhegan Basin was acquired in 1999 as part of Vermont’s largest-ever conservation effort ... The idea is to manage the forestland for a mix of purposes including income, recreation, and for the conservation and protection of wildlife ... “Wildlife conservation is our highest priority,” ...

Draft habitat management plan for Nulhegan Basin Division available for public review and comment February 13, 2018 Vermont,

... The draft Plan and EA are available online ...  the Plan would benefit numerous Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department species of conservation concern such as wintering deer, snowshoe hare, spruce grouse, American marten, and rare plants...

Vermont sees strong deer harvest numbers in 2017 hunts January 3, 2018 Outdoor News

...  preliminary numbers show 15,949 deer were taken during Vermont’s 2017 deer hunting seasons ... The legal buck harvest of 9,477 was 8 percent more than the previous three-year average of 8,760 ... The relatively high harvest was primarily due to the mild winters of 2016 and 2017 which allowed more deer to survive ..,

Despite Hunting Cutback, Vermont's Moose Population Is Not Bouncing Back December 15, 2017 Vermont Public Radio

... Despite a significant reduction in moose hunting permits issued by the state, the population continues to decline, or stay stagnant at best. Mortality rates are high and birth rates are low. Scientists are pointing to climate change as the cause...

Area hunters bag a record number of deer in 2017 December 14, 2017 Vermont, Addison County Independent

... Another mild winter contributed to good numbers of deer and plentiful feed, according to state wildlife officials. Warmer than typical weather during most of this fall and early winter also probably encouraged more hunters to take to the woods and field ..,

Decline in logging reduces deer population November 23, 2017 Vermont,

... there are areas that are “not reaching deer capacity,” including parts of the Northeast Kingdom, where he said a decline in logging had reduced the deer population. Scott agreed, noting that only 2 or 3 percent of Vermont could be classified as “young forest,” where growth provides deer with “a real dinner table.” ...

VT deer hunters benefit from last year's warm winter November 18, 2017 Vermont,

... state officials say mild winters and abundant food, such as beech nuts, acorns and apples, have helped to strengthen this year's deer population. "The biggest factor for white tail deer in Vermont is we’re in the northern band of their range, which means that their population and their health is largely dependent on the winter," ...

Deer History November 11, 2017 Vermont,

... Vermont experienced a massive population boom in the second half of the 18th century ...  went from more than 80 percent forested to 35 percent in less than half a century ... Caribou and elk, both native mammals that were once common in Vermont, disappeared...  followed shortly by deer, moose ... 17 white-tailed deer were brought from New York state in 1878 and stocked in southwestern Vermont..,

3 Arrested After High-Speed Chase in Deer Poaching Incident October 30, 2017 Vermont, NECN

... allegedly shot at a deer decoy — with a bow and arrow — that had been placed by Vermont State Game Wardens in that area because of its strong history of poaching activity...

Mountain lion debate just won't go away October 15, 2017 Vermont, The Union Leader

... Despite years of reported sightings, state officials said there is still no evidence mountain lions exist in New Hampshire.. Fish and Game closely tracks deer and moose populations, and has seen no sign of such predation ..,

Out-of-state hunters reminded of deer, elk import rules September 30, 2017 Vermont, Seattle Times

... it’s illegal to import or possess most deer or elk from states and Canadian provinces that have had chronic wasting disease ...

Feeding Bear and Deer is Prohibited in the State of Vermont September 18, 2017 Vermont, My Champlain Valley FOX44 & ABC22

...The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department wants to remind you that feeding or baiting bear and deer is prohibited in the state of Vermont...

2017 New England Deer Forecast September 15, 2017 Vermont,

... Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department estimated a 15 to 20 percent increase in the deer population due to the exceptionally mild winter of 2016... Statewide surveys conducted in 2016 indicated that apple, beechnut, and oak mast production were all less than normal..,

Elk on the loose: F&W fearful of CWD July 1, 2017 Vermont, Rutland Herald

... Captive deer or elk that have escaped from any fenced-in enclave can pose a deadly threat to Vermont’s wild deer and moose ... seven elk have returned to the farm on their own, one was tranquilized and returned, and one was shot by an employee of the Nelson farm...

What the Elk? Cervids Escape From Derby Enclosure June 28, 2017 Vermont, Seven Days

... there are only 100 to 120 [elk] in all of Vermont [all captive] ... About 16 rogue elk escaped their Northeast Kingdom pen more than a week ago, and they appear to be roaming near the Canadian border ..,

     Vermont officials still hope escaped farm elk can be caught June 23, 2017 Clay Center Dispatch

... About 16 farm elk that have been on the run since they escaped from their enclosure in Derby last weekend ... One photograph showed the elk swimming across Salem Lake in Derby ...

Deer hearing sees small, quiet turnout May 20, 2017 Vermont, Rutland Herald

... only 10 people attending... . Based on all of the data, Fortin estimated the statewide deer population to be about 157,000...  the state’s deer population is on the increase, thanks in part to yet another mild winter... parts of the Northeast Kingdom endured a much harder winter..,

Court reverses man's conviction in deer poaching case May 17, 2017 Vermont, Bennington Banner

... The court "must find that all of the statements that a juror could have found to be false were made with the purpose of deflecting the investigation," the decision stated. The court "cannot conclude that all of the statements met that element of the offense...

Antlerless Deer Proposal Voted on by F&W Board April 27, 2017 Vermont, Vermont Fish and Wildlife

... “We are recommending an increase in muzzleloader season antlerless deer permits this year to account for the increase in the deer population following another mild winter in 2017,”  ... “We expect the statewide deer population to be about 157,000 prior to the start of the 2017 deer seasons,” ... 

Finder of big game, UVM student honored by NEOWA April 14, 2017 Vermont, Rutland Herald

... with his dogs, often in darkness, to locate deer and bear that hunters had shot but could not find ...  “I do it because I love working with dogs and tracking deer,”  ...

Vermont's largest solar project wins state approval March 30, 2017 Brattleboro Reformer

... regulators have approved a massive Windsor County solar array  ... Coolidge Solar also has taken steps, in consultation with the state Agency of Natural Resources, to mitigate harm to deer wintering areas and breeding birds...

Public Hearings Set for Deer, Moose February 28, 2017 Vermont,

... The hearings will include results of Vermont's 2016 deer and moose seasons and prospects for hunting next fall as well as an opportunity for people to provide their observations and opinions regarding deer and moose... read the moose proposal

Vermont moose hunting permits could be cut down February 18, 2017

... Wildlife officials in Vermont and New Hampshire are proposing sharp reductions in the number of moose hunting permits ... response to continued population declines thought to be caused largely by milder winters and infestations of small but deadly parasites...

Vermont coyote hunt triggers debate February 8, 2017 WCAX

...  Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says there are 6,000-9,000 coyotes in Vermont ... "... They sometimes take fawns in the spring, but as long we take that into account in our deer management, we don't think that coyotes have a long-term effect on deer numbers," [Fish and Wildlife biologist Kim Royar]

VT Fish and Wildlife begins moose study January 29, 2017 Vermont,

... As seasons in recent years have warmed up, the winter ticks have been more able to survive and reproduce in the winter... The ticks cause collapse due to blood loss, but they can also cause the moose to rub off their protective layer of fur in the winter in irritation, which can lead to death by hypothermia...

Bow season had little impact on deer numbers January 15, 2017 Vermont,

... After the exceptionally mild winter of 2016, it’s no surprise that Vermont hunters bagged a lot more deer last fall than in recent years ... Despite a longer bow season and the legalization of crossbows for all hunters age 50 and older, the bow harvest was almost unchanged from 2015...

Harvest numbers up significantly in Vermont deer hunts January 4, 2017 Outdoor News

... The legal buck harvest of 9,968 was 19 percent more than the previous three-year average ... the total harvest of 16,160 ...  increased harvest was primarily due to the exceptionally mild winter of 2016, which allowed more deer to survive ...

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department Hunting Small Bucks December 10, 2016 Valley News

 ... As recently as 2000, the state sold 98,500 hunting licenses. Last year, it was down to about 67,000...

Robotic Deer Decoy Nabs Man Shooting From Truck November 30, 2016 Vermont, NECN

... The department occasionally uses deer decoys with animated heads to catch people firing from public roads, which is illegal in Vermont...

Williamstown man suspected of stealing deer November 28, 2016 Vermont,

... bringing charges against a Williamstown man after they say the man stole a buck that had been killed and registered at a big game reporting station by another hunter ...

Vermont Bans Natural Deer Lures To Prevent Spread Of Chronic Wasting Disease November 11, 2016 VPR Digital

... “They all come from captive deer facilities, so deer farms. There are only a handful that produce the vast majority of these urine lures. Captive facilities like that are a hotbed for chronic wasting disease,” ...

Hunters being asked to help biologists with deer hunt November 7, 2016 Vermont, Washington Times

... Biologists are collecting middle incisor teeth from November season deer in order to evaluate regional differences in ages and antler characteristics of bucks...

Vermont Youth deer hunting weekend announced October 23, 2016 Plattsburgh Press Republican

... “Examining deer during the youth deer hunting weekend is our best opportunity to assess the deer herd because youth hunters are allowed to harvest any deer, including spike bucks,” ...

Mild winter leads to big herd for deer hunters October 2, 2016 Vermont,

... Thanks to the mildest winter since state wildlife officials began tracking daily snow depths and temperatures in 1970, biologists believe the deer herd going into the hunting seasons numbers about 145,000, which is 20,000 more than last year...

Winter ticks plague Vermont's moose herd September 29, 2016 Vermont, Addison County Independent

... This year the Department of Fish and Wildlife issued 40 percent fewer moose permits (160 in total) and again restricted hunting in all but two management areas to adult males, in an effort to bolster a herd hit hard by ... ticks...

Winners of muzzleloader doe permits announced September 21, 2016 Vermont, WCAX

... growing deer population that was helped by the mild winter... about 145,000 deer in the state by the time the season starts...

With deer season looming, crossbow sales booming September 17, 2016 Vermont,

... Effective this fall, about one half of Vermont’s deer hunters may for the first time use a crossbow during bow season without having to obtain a special permit. And according to several leading archery shops, many hunters are intent on doing just that. Crossbow sales are booming ...

News from Vt. Fish & Wildlife Department September 10, 2016 Vermont, Bennington Banner 

... In Vermont a hunter may take up to three deer in a calendar year in any combination of seasons (Archery, Youth Weekend, November Rifle Season, December Muzzleloader). Of these, only two may be legal bucks, and only one buck may be taken in each season. A "legal buck" is a deer with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer...

Public Meeting to be Held on Southern Vermont Wildlife Area August 10, 2016

... to discuss future management and use of a Bennington-area wildlife management area... acquired as mitigation for deer wintering areas that were impacted by the Bennington Bypass project... August 23, 2016 ...

Antlerless Deer Permit Application Deadline August 9, 2016 - News Releases

... "The number of muzzleloader season antlerless deer permits was increased to account for the expected increase in the deer population following the exceptionally mild winter of 2016," said Nick Fortin, deer project leader for the Fish & Wildlife Department. "The permit allocation is intended to allow moderate population growth in most of the state while stabilizing or reducing deer densities in a few areas."  "We expect the statewide deer population to be about 145,000 prior to the start of the 2016 deer seasons," said Fortin.

Observing white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) behavior in Northwestern Vermont Using Trail Cameras [PDF] B Cole - 2016 

... Non-invasive techniques significantly reduce induced stress levels and the risk of injury and/or death. They also require limited human-to-animal interaction... Average life span 4.5 years in the wild ... Resource preference: herbaceous plants, fruits, and fungi (summer) nuts, twigs and stems, leaves, and grasses (winter) ...

Former park operator ordered to pay $30K for care of deer July 6, 2016 Vermont, WCAX

... former operator of a holiday-themed park that has been the subject of an animal cruelty investigation ...

White-tailed Deer Age Reportbfrom the 2015 Deer Harvest June 28, 2016 Vermont,  Vermont Fish and Wildlife

... Statewide, 26% of the rifle season harvest consisted of yearlings, 52% were 2 years old, 16% were 3 years old, and 6% were 4 years old or older (Figure 3). The oldest buck was 11 years old and was harvested in the town of Calais. This was the oldest buck ever documented in Vermont...

Milton police help save fawn after mother hit by car June 1, 2016 Vermont, WCAX

... Quick-thinking officers from Milton police helped save a fawn after its mother was hit by a car...  but the baby deer had to be put down... there aren't any licensed deer or moose rehabilitators in the state. Scott says studies have shown those animals don't fare as well...

Rescued fawn euthanized May 31, 2016 Vermont, Milton Independent

...  car had hit a deer  .. birthed two fawns, which were deceased... delivered the third fawn ...

Watch for deer and moose on roads May 29, 2016 Vermont,

... We are getting reports concerning deer and moose on paved roads around the state; they often come out to lick the salt off the pavement...

Deer version of 'mad cow disease' still isn't here - but stay away from urine-based lures May 18, 2016 Vermont, Granite Geek - Concord Monitor

... New Hampshire’s deer population is still free of a form of mad cow disease that once seemed likely to arrive here, having moved as close as New York state, but to keep us safe the state is asking hunters to give up something useful: Urine-based lures..

Fawns are Arriving; Leave them Alone Urges Fish & Wildlife May 18, 2016 Vermont,

... Fawns do not attempt to evade predators during their first few weeks, instead relying on camouflage and stillness to remain undetected ... Dogs often will kill fawns and other baby animals....

Vermont Deer News and Information Archive by TopicPopulation and Management, Deer in the News, Disease

Vermont Deer:     A state estimate of 128,000 deer in 2022.  The 2022 mast crops was poor after a good 2021 crop, a negative for deer population survival over winter, but good for hunters as deer were searching for food.   The deer kill from the 2022-23 season was 1 percent above the previous 3-year average.  As explained In the 2023 deer meetings, the quality of deer habitat has declined over the last several decades.  The state reports that the deer are generally balanced with the habitat and plans to maintain current populations in 2023.

The state estimated a 5% drop in the deer population for 2021 putting the population at 133,000.  The state noted that 2021 hunting conditions were poor with warm temperatures and the good mast crop that reduced deer movement. The 2020-21 winter was mild allowing populations to rise, but hunting data indicate a big decline.   The state estimated 140,000 deer in early 2020 after a mild 2019-20 winter.    Regulations were changed in 2020 to increase the deer kill and more hunters participated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 About 130,000 deer in early 2019.  An estimated 150,000 to 155,000, or about 152,500 deer before the 2018 hunt and 150,000 before the 2017 hunt.  The harsh 2018-19 winter reduced the population.  Deer numbers are highest in the western regions and other valley areas.

The deer population was estimated at 140,000 to 145,000 deer prior to the 2016 hunting season.  The exceptionally mild winter in 2015-16, 2016-17  and 2017-18 allowed the deer population to grow, more antlerless permits were issued in 2016 in anticipation of the higher population although oak mast production was low. About 120,000 deer prior to hunting in 2015. The severe winter of 2014-15 significantly reduced the deer population so Fish and Wildlife cut antlerless tags dramatically for 2015 from 17,050 to 9,650. No antlerless taken in two northeast units.  In 2015, 78 percent of the bucks taken were two years old or yearlings.  

The estimated the deer population was 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. Hunting contributed about $260 million to the state economy. 

The goal of the department at this time was 13 to 18 deer per square mile, or 102,000 - 141,000 deer. This was 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 was about 19 percent.  There were about 66,000 deer hunters in 2012.  Hunter numbers had been on a decline for several decades.  

A population estimate of 130,000 in 2009 and 125,000 in 1990.

Graph below from Vermont Fish and Wildlife

1900 to 2017.

 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.  

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."  From Vermont Fish and Wildlife.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) was detected for the first time in 2021 in several counties in the Hudson Valley.

History  By 1779 deer populations had been decimated by over hunting and habitat change, the state passed the first deer welfare law to regulate hunting.  Deer were nearly extirpated from the state by the 1870s.  In 1878 a restocking effort brought 17 whitetail deer from New York into the state.  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]   A harsh winter in the early 1979-80 killed about half the herd, more than 60,000 deer.  The population was about 120,000 in the 1970s.

Fawn Rescue  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.

Elk:  About 100 to 120 [captive elk] in Vermont in 2017, no wild elk.

Slightly more than 6,000 black bears in 2012 and 2013.

Moose:  The population in 2019 to 2021 is estimated at 2,123.  The state recommends reducing the population to reduce the tick population that are currently harming Vermont's moose.  An estimated 1,650 in 2018.  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]  In 2020 the state proposed hunting more moose to reduce their population density thereby reducing the tick population that has been devastating to their population.

Coyotes, 6,000 to 9,000 in 2017.

Mountain lions, no confirmed sightings in recent years, but many reports that may be bobcats.

Bear  In 2023 an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 bears, about stable over 10 years.