News Releases

August 07, 2017

Vermont Bear Hunting Starts Sept. 1

Vermont's bear hunting season starts September 1, and hunters can improve their chances if they scout ahead of time to find fall foods such as wild apples, beechnuts, acorns, and berries -- where bears will be feeding.

"Fall foods for bears are more abundant than they were last year," said Vermont's bear biologist Forrest Hammond. "Bears will be feeding along power lines and in forest openings and old fields where berries and apples can be found as well as in forested beech and oak stands. They also are likely to be feeding on standing corn."

Vermont has two bear hunting seasons. The early bear hunting season, which requires a special bear tag, starts September 1 and continues through November 10. The late bear season begins November 11 and continues through November 19. A hunter may only take one bear during the year.

Hammond says Vermont's regulated bear hunting seasons help in managing the state's population of about 5,400 bears.

"Twenty-five years ago Vermont had less than 3,000 bears, and they were found mostly in the mountains and northeastern quarter of the state," he said. "Although we have successfully increased bear numbers, the human population has also risen, resulting in more encounters between humans and bears. Carefully regulated hunting helps control the growth of the black bear population and allows for their sustainable use, while decreasing interactions with humans."

"A regulation now requires hunters to collect and turn in a small pre-molar tooth from each harvested bear," Hammond added. "The collection of a premolar tooth is critical to the bear project as it provides important data on the age structure of the bear population and for making population estimates."

A video showing how to remove the tooth is on the Fish & Wildlife website and YouTube channel. (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v0n3i91OAXGc&featureyoutu.be)

Hunters took 697 bears last year in 193 Vermont towns.

Hammond asks hunters in southern Vermont to avoid shooting bears with yellow ear tags and GPS collars because they are valuable animals in the Deerfield Wind bear study.

A Guide to Bear Hunting in 2017 -- http://tinyurl.com/y7bun75c is available on the Fish & Wildlife website.

Media Contacts: Forrest Hammond, 802-289-0626; Mark Scott, 802-777-4217; Scott Darling, 802-786-3862

Source: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Last Updated at: August 07, 2017 16:23:41