News Releases

April 29, 2015

F&W Board Votes on Proposed Deer Hunting Changes

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board held a second vote on proposed changes to Vermont deer hunting regulations at their April 22 meeting in Montpelier. The board continued to expand hunting opportunities in Vermont, while taking a more conservative approach than initially proposed following the state's second severe winter in a row.

The board voted to add five days to the end of the October portion of archery season. It voted to allow crossbows for hunters aged 50 and older whenever a regular bow and arrow can be used for big game hunting. And the board voted to reduce the archery and muzzleloader season limits from three to two deer.

"After hearing from the public during the March deer hearings, as well as via emails and phone calls, the board responded by making a few changes to their previous proposal," said Louis Porter, commissioner of the Fish & Wildlife Department. "Rather than allowing all ages to hunt with a crossbow, the board voted to allow hunters aged 50 and older this opportunity."

"The board members also voted to add five rather than ten days to the archery season. These days were added at the end of the October portion of the season based on input from hunters who were looking for more hunting opportunities closer to the buck rut."

The Fish & Wildlife Board continued to take a strong stance to protect Vermont's deer herd against the potentially devastating effects of chronic wasting disease (CWD) by voting to ban the possession and use of natural deer fluids, including urine lures.

One more board vote will follow in the coming months. The proposed changes would take place beginning in 2016.

The first part of archery season would begin the first Saturday in October and run 28 consecutive days. The second part of archery season would remain the same to coincide with the December muzzzloader season -- nine days beginning the Saturday after the end of the November deer season.

The lengths of youth deer season, November rifle season and muzzleloader season would remain the same.

"According to our most recent surveys, 68 percent of Vermont hunters are generally satisfied with Vermont deer hunting," said Commissioner Porter. "Based on that input, the department and the board are not looking for a major overhaul of deer hunting regulations at this time."

"We are continuing to work with the board to expand deer hunting opportunities in Vermont based on hunter input, while working to protect the health of Vermont's deer herd," said Porter.

The department will also conduct a three-year evaluation of the effects of the proposed regulation changes, including gathering more data on the current antler point restriction and examining the possibility of an early muzzleloader season.

Media Contacts: Commissioner Louis Porter, 802-828-1454; Scott Darling, 802-786-3862; Mark Scott, 802-777-4217

Source: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Last Updated at: April 29, 2015 11:42:28