Vermont – From a Deer Hunter’s POV

Posted: 08/31/2012 in Archery, Hunting, Legal, News, Regulations, Whitetail Deer
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This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.


Is the information easy to find?

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Hunting Digest page is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The Vermont FWD web site has a very nostalgic style, reading the various pages brings back memories of the 4″ x 6″ hunting regulation booklets Ohio and Pennsylvania released each year in the 70’s and 80’s.  The standard information needed to plan a hunt, how much do licenses cost, when is hunting season and where to hunt, are all quickly and easily found. Vermont’s full Fish and Wildlife Regulations guide has also been converted into an eRegulations website.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

Over the counter licenses are the norm in Vermont, while there may be some limited access or limited quota areas that require a drawing, other than moose permits and antlerless permits (such as muzzleloader), no lottery-type general permits were found at this time.

Grade: A

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Vermont resident annual hunting licenses are priced at $22.00, with a $20.00 fee for an archery permit and a separate $20.00 fee for a muzzleloader permit.  Nonresident annual hunting licenses are priced at $100.00 with a $35.00 archery permit and $40.00 muzzleloader permit available. Nonresident hunters have the option to purchase a archery-only deer hunting license for $75.00.   The bag limit in Vermont is three deer, with two being antlered and one being antlerless.

The lack of a short term license is offset by the reasonable price points and the option for an archery-only tag.

Grade: A

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

All of the seasons can be found on the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar page.  Only four seasons exist for deer hunting, Archery Deer, Youth Deer Weekend, Rifle Deer Season and the combination late Archery and Muzzleloader season.  The first link, Archery, leads to an error page, the other three lead back to the Hunting and Trapping Big Game page.

Other than the archery season link leading to an error the seasons are easy to find and read.

Grade: A-

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

Vermont DFW offers maps and short summaries of the Wildlife Management Areas on the Maps page.  While a more interactive web page would have been useful, the summaries include some history, wildlife information and a .4 mile scale topographical map of each WMA in alphabetical order, sorted by region.  The regulations appear to be the same as the general state regulations, however as always, research the areas involved in any hunt during the planning phase.

Grade: A

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Chronic Wasting Disease has not been found in Vermont as of this time.  Other minor issues discovered while researching this information that hunters should be aware of include regulations such as tracking a wounded deer after shooting hours:

RECOVERY OF BOW & ARROW DEER AFTER HOURS: Department policy allows a hunter who has wounded a deer with an arrow to look for the deer after the close of legal shooting time under the following conditions:

  • The hunter must request permission from the State Game Warden. Call the nearest State Police office, giving exact location and circumstances.
  • The hunter may not take a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow on the search, only a knife to dress the deer.
  • The hunter must notify the landowner of his/her intentions before starting out to recover the deer.

To some degree, this is common sense. It’s far better to call the local game warden and let them know that you are tracking a wounded deer (some wardens I’ve known in the past will come HELP) than have one come across a group with hunting gear at night.   As always, carefully read the regulations before setting out to hunt, finding regulations like this one could mean the difference between having an enjoyable hunt and ending up in the local jail overnight.

Grade: A

Summary: Final Grade A

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife presents not only a very user friendly web site, with information exactly where users would expect based on the links and text, but a second eRegulation website that is every bit as good as the first one.  The prices are reasonable, with an archery-only option that would allow hunters to save some money provided their only interest is hunting deer with archery equipment.  The seasons are simple, and event the public hunting presentation maintains the nostalgic feeling by including bits of history with the hunting information.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvania,

Rhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennessee, Utah


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