The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board voted to accept the Fish & Wildlife Department’s recommendation for 2014 antlerless deer hunting, which was presented at the Board’s monthly meeting on April 23 in Montpelier.
The annual recommendation is based on population growth estimates, biological data, deer sighting rates reported by hunters, and winter severity data, as well as input from game wardens, foresters and the public.
“The consecutive mild winters of 2012 and 2013 and a moderate winter in 2014 combined with past antlerless harvests should result in continued herd growth in 2014,” said deer biologist Adam Murkowski. “We expect the statewide deer population to be at about 135,000 prior to the start of the 2014 deer seasons.”
Hunting for antlerless deer is proposed for the October 4-26 and December 6-14 archery season, except that Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) D2 and E would be closed to antlerless deer hunting.
During the November 8-9 youth weekend hunt, hunting is proposed for one deer of either sex statewide.
The December 6-14 muzzleloader season would have 17,350 antlerless permits distributed in 13 of Vermont’s 20 WMUs.
The 2014 Antlerless Permitting and Youth Season Recommendation is available on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). The public can comment on the proposal by sending an email to ANR.FWPublicComment@state.vt.us by May 26.
The department will also hold two public hearings to review the antlerless proposal and take comments starting at 7 p.m. at:
May 7 Castleton – Camp Kehoe, 636 Point of Pines Road, Castleton
May 8 Montpelier – Pavilion Auditorium, 109 State Street, Montpelier
The Fish & Wildlife Board will vote again on the proposal in late May after the public comment period.
“Biological information such as fawn and buck body weights, antler development, and reproductive data indicate the Vermont’s deer herd continues to remain healthy,” said Murkowski, “but it is still important to harvest an appropriate number of antlerless deer to maintain herd health. A healthy deer herd is a benefit to Vermont’s deer, the habitats that support them and to Vermont hunters.”
Media Contacts: Adam Murkowski, 802-786-3860; Scott Darling, 802-786-3862; Mark Scott, 802-777-4217