Vermont’s rifle deer season begins, Nov. 15

Hunters gear up for the start of Vermont’s traditionally popular statewide 16-day rifle deer season that begins Saturday, Nov. 15 and ends Sunday, Nov. 30. 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.

Hunters who get a deer on opening weekend of rifle season can help Vermont’s deer management program by reporting their deer at one of the biological check stations, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 15-16. The station in Central Vermont is in Pittsford at Keith’s Country Store, Inc.

“Vermont’s pre-hunt deer population is estimated at approximately 135,000 this year with the greatest numbers of deer found in the southwest, east-central, and northwestern regions of the state,” said Deer Project Leader Adam Murkowski.

The “2013 Vermont Deer Harvest Report,” available on the Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com), has a wealth of information to help plan a hunt, including the number of deer taken in each town. Click on “Hunting and Trapping” and then “Big Game” to download a copy of the report.

Vermont’s regular hunting licenses, including a November rifle season buck tag and a late season bear tag (for Nov. 15-23), cost only $25 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Hunters under 18 years of age get a break at $8 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Licenses are available on the Fish & Wildlife’s web site and from license agents statewide. 

Hunters are reminded of a new law: “A person shall not take or attempt to take any wild animal by shooting a firearm, bow and arrow or crossbow while on or within 25 feet of the traveled portion of a public highway. It is illegal to shoot a firearm, a bow and arrow, or a crossbow over or across the travelled portion of a public highway. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $1,000.” An exception is a Class 4 public highway, where it is illegal to shoot within the travelled portion. Class 4 roads are designated on town highway maps.

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

For more information visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com or call 802-828-1000.

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