News Releases

May 20, 2010

Vermont’s 2010 Deer Management Proposal and Hearing

WATERBURY, VT – Vermont’s deer herd is currently healthy according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. The department’s annual proposal for a regulated deer harvest, based on scientific information and public input, was presented to the Fish and Wildlife Board on April 21. The Board amended the proposal to include antlerless permits for WMU I and WMU L and then approved the amended proposal on the first of three votes necessary to make it law.

The Fish and Wildlife Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulation Tuesday, June 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pavilion Auditorium, 109 State Street in Montpelier.

The proposal calls for a harvest of about 8,200 antlerless deer through a combination of either-sex hunting during the split archery season, an either-sex youth weekend hunt, and by issuing 25,600 muzzleloader season antlerless permits.

According to the proposal, 23 of Vermont’s 24 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) would be open to the taking of antlerless deer during the archery season. WMU-E in northeastern Vermont would remain closed to antlerless deer hunting during archery season. Two deer would be allowed during archery season with two archery licenses. One legal buck would be allowed anywhere in the state during archery season. In WMUs open to antlerless deer hunting, both deer taken during the archery season could be antlerless deer.

Youth deer weekend on November 6-7 is proposed to be an either-sex season statewide. Any buck could be taken during this season, regardless of antler length or points.

Muzzleloader season antlerless permits are proposed for 21 of the 24 WMUs. Higher numbers of permits are proposed for WMUs with the highest deer densities with consideration for the size of the Unit as well.

The department’s deer biologist, Dr. Shawn Haskell, points out that Vermont’s deer population is healthy with heavy fawns and yearling bucks, and good reproductive potential. After a mild winter statewide, more antlerless deer permits are needed to keep the population from growing and becoming overabundant.

Haskell says Vermont’s deer have not only increased in number since 2005 but also in size. Fawns taken in the 2009 hunting season weighed an average five pounds heavier than they did ten years ago. He also reports that the antler regulation change that began in 2005 is contributing to more older bucks being in the population and increased hunter satisfaction.

The definition of a “legal buck” will remain any white-tailed deer with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer.

The proposed regulation governing the taking of antlerless deer in 2010 is posted on the Fish and Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). Under “Law Enforcement,” click on Rules and Proposed Rules. A link at the end of the regulation will take you to the department’s Antlerless and Youth Deer Recommendation.

Antlerless permit applications should be available in late June or early July on Fish & Wildlife’s website and at license agents. The deadline to apply will be August 26. In WMUs that have permits unallocated after the initial lottery, there will be opportunity for hunters to purchase a permit if they do not have one, or they may purchase a permit after having filled one. The annual 3-deer bag limit still applies.

Source: Agency of Natural Resources
Last Updated at: May 20, 2010 10:21:31