Vermont’s archery deer season begins Oct. 3

Hunters are enthusiastic about Vermont’s upcoming Oct. 3-25 and Dec. 5-13 split archery deer hunting season, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

A hunter may take up to three deer in Vermont’s two-part archery season with three archery licenses. No more than one of the deer taken during archery season may be a legal buck. No antlerless deer may be taken in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) E1 or E2, where antlerless deer hunting is prohibited in 2015.

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. All three deer in the annual bag limit may be antlerless deer.

In order to purchase an archery license, the hunter must show a certificate of satisfactorily completing a bow hunter education course, or show a previous or current bow hunting license from any state or Canadian province, or sign an affidavit that they have previously held an archery license. Hunters are reminded that affidavits will be cross-referenced by wardens against existing databases for accuracy.

Hunters must have a standard hunting license in order to purchase an add-on archery deer hunting license, except that nonresidents may purchase an “archery only deer license” costing just $75. Licenses may be on Fish & Wildlife’s website,

Hunters planning their first Vermont archery deer hunting trip or looking for new hunting areas should get a copy of the 2014 White-tailed Deer Harvest Report, which gives the number of deer taken in each town in last year’s deer hunting seasons. It’s also available on Fish & Wildlife’s website.

Archery season regulation changes

Several regulation changes are effective beginning in 2016, including lengthening the October portion of the archery season five days, lowering the number of deer that may be taken in archery season to two (only one of those may be a buck), allowing crossbow use by hunters age 50 and older, and prohibiting the use of urine lures.

Hunting is one way Vermont keeps the deer herd in balance with available habitat. “We continually work to conserve deer wintering areas and young forested areas that provide excellent habitat for deer and grassland birds,” said Mark Scott, Fish & Wildlife’s director of wildlife. “Deer hunting ensures the deer population does not overwhelm the landscape or impact other animal populations. It also provides healthy food for many local families.”

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