State News

Rifle season begins

Photo by Vt. Fish & Wildlife

Hunters are asked to provide an incisor tooth from their deer at reporting stations.

Hunters are gearing up for the start of Vermont’s 16-day rifle deer season that begins Saturday, Nov. 11 and ends Sunday, Nov. 26.

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.

“Vermont’s pre-hunt deer population is estimated at approximately 157,000 this year with the greatest numbers of deer found in the southwest, east-central, and northwestern regions of the state,” said deer project leader Nick Fortin.

Licenses are available on Fish & Wildlife’s web site and from license agents statewide.

Fish & Wildlife urges hunters to wear a fluorescent orange hat and vest to help maintain Vermont’s very good hunting season safety record.

A 2017 Vermont Deer Hunting Guide can be downloaded from the department’s website at The guide includes a map of the Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), season dates, regulations, and other helpful information.

Hunters asked to collect deer biological data

Biologists are collecting middle incisor teeth from all rifle season deer in order to evaluate regional differences in ages and antler characteristics of bucks as well as to help estimate population size, growth rate, health, and mortality rates. The results will be posted on the Fish & Wildlife website next spring.

Hunters are asked to obtain a tooth envelope from the reporting agent. Write your name, Conservation ID number and date of kill on it. Remove one of the middle incisor teeth, being careful to include the root. Place the tooth in the envelope and give it to the reporting agent.

Instructions on removing the tooth will be posted at reporting stations, and a video showing how will be available on Fish & Wildlife’s website,

“Information about the ages of deer in the population is critically important, and more information allows us to make better management decisions,” said Nick Fortin, Fish & Wildlife’s deer project leader. “We really need to get teeth from as many deer as possible.”

Hunters can help Vermont’s deer management program by reporting their deer at one of the biological check stations listed below that will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., unless the store closes earlier:

Marty’s Sports & Gunsmithing, Bennington; Jericho General Store; St. Marie’s, Swanton; Wright’s Enterprises, Newport; Keith’s Country Store, Pittsford; R&L Archery, Barre; Guilford Country Store; Barnie’s Market, Concord.

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