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Vermont Hunting

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Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

Vermont Hunting

Vermont is one of the states to explore for hunting in the Northeast of the USA. Hunting in the state goes way back, and it is the first state to enact hunting laws into its constitution. Some of the most common games in Vermont include moose, black bears, deer, turkey, and plenty of small games.

Vermont Hunting Regulations

Vermont has hunting laws, regulations, and requirements that everyone looking to make games in the state must abide by. Some of the most important hunting requirements in the state include the following:

Unlawful Hunting Conduct

Unlawful hunting conduct in Vermont is any taking, transportation, or possession of game animals, wildlife, or any part of the body when it is not the animal’s specific season, except permitted by Vermont wildlife and fishing laws.

Unlawful hunting conduct in Vermont also covers the needless possession or taking or destruction of the nest or eggs laid by wild birds.

Selling Games in Vermont

Prohibition for the sales of various game birds and animals in Vermont include the following:

Selling Wild Birds

It is a prohibition to sell or have in your possession a wild illegally sold bird. Exceptions are allowed for the plumage of game birds that were lawfully taken and sold according to the Vermont Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Selling Finished Wildlife Products

It is not unlawful to purchase, trade-off, or sell wildlife products that are legally in your possession. However, there is an exception for wildlife and wild bird products that are under the protection of the Vermont department of inland Fishery and Wildlife.

Selling Deer, Bear, and Moose

In Vermont, you can possess, buy and sell deer or moose antlers that are naturally shed. Also, anyone that legally takes or kills a bear, moose, and deer, even without a valid Vermont Hunting license, can sell off the various body parts:

  • Head, antlers, feet, and hide of the deer.
  • Head, hide, bones, antlers, feet of moose.
  • Head, hide, teeth, claws, and gallbladder of bears.
  • For bears, it is a prohibition to sell raw antlers and gallbladders to a person that is not a Vermont licensed hide dealer.

Vermont Hide License

Before you can commercially purchase, sell, or trade game animals' untanned hides, including that of fur-bearing games, or other body parts of wildlife and birds, it is compulsory that you possess a Vermont Hide License. Also, any part of wildlife or game animals that you buy or sell cannot be attached to wildlife and wild birds that are illegal for sale in Vermont.

Night Hunting in Vermont

Vermont hunting regulation prohibits the taking of wild birds and wild animals within the hours of 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes prior to sunrise the next day.

However, an exception is allowed to raccoon night hunting in Vermont during their open season. The requirements for raccoon night hunting include the following:

  • The hunter must be with a hunting dog.
  • The hunter must use a hunting rifle or handgun that does not have a greater capacity than the .22 caliber rifle.
  • The hunting rifle or handgun will only be loaded when trying to discharge at a treed raccoon or one that has been held by a dog and the hunter can see with the aid of a flashlight.

Placing Bait for Vermont Hunting

According to hunting regulations in Vermont, bait can be described as an animal, plant, or any part of their body that can be used to attract game animals and wildlife for the purpose of hunting them. The regulations required for baiting game animals in Vermont include the following:

You must get the consent or permission of the landowner or anyone representing the landowner. The permission can either be in written form or oral.

The bait must be plainly labeled with a tag size of 2 by 4 inches. The tag must contain details of the person placing the bait such as address and name.

Upon the request of a landowner, the bait must immediately be cleaned up. If the landowner does not request, the bait must be cleaned up within at least 20 days from the last day of hunting on the land.

Some baiting prohibition while hunting in Vermont include the following:

  • It is a prohibition to hunt over on another’s baiter site if you do not have the permission of the baiter to do so.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of poison, chemicals, or any other medicinal substance to lure game animals.
  • It is a prohibition to feed or bait deer in Vermont between the first of June and the 15th of December.
  • It is a prohibition to bait or feed turkeys and moose between the 1st of December to the 15t of December.
  • It is a prohibition to feed and bait turkey in the springtime wild turkey hunting season in Vermont.

Shooting Distances for Hunting in Vermont

It is a prohibition to shoot a hunting firearm, muzzleloader, or archery device within a distance of 100 yards from a residential building, without obtaining the permission of the owner. In cases that the owner is not around, then you must obtain permission from an adult occupant that lives in the building.

Building according to this regulation does not only refer to residential structures. It covers retail, educational, religious, farm, and commercial structures built to occupy humans or domestic animals, or used as storage for machines and harvested crops.

Open Carry While Hunting.

In Vermont, it is lawful to openly carry firearms while hunting.

However, if you only have a permit for archery hunting, you can only make use of a handgun while hunting, and it is illegal to take down any animal with a firearm.

Vermont has hunter harassment laws in the state, and this includes the following:

  • Nobody shall deliberately tamper with any firearm, trap, net, or equipment meant for hunting or related activities such as fishing or trapping.
  • Put himself or herself in a position such that he or she interferes or prevents hunting or related activities like fishing and trapping.
  • Engage in activities that interfere with the habitation of wildlife, such as harassing or pursuing them, thereby making hunting difficult.
  • No landowner shall interpret any part of this law to limit or prohibit lawful activities such as farming or recreational activities.

Vermont Hunting Licenses, Permits, and Tags.

Hunting licenses issued in Vermont are based on the age and residency of hunters, while permits and tags are issued based on game animals. Before you can take some games in Vermont, you will need a combination of a valid state hunting license and a game permit.

Some of the most important hunting licenses, permits, and tags in Vermont include the following:

Apprentice Hunting License

This license is available for residents or non-resident hunters in Vermont that are 16 years old or more and have never possessed an adult hunting license.

Vermont apprentice hunting license include the following:

  • Resident Apprentice Hunting License

This hunting license is only available for residents of Vermont. It includes permits to hunt bears and turkeys in the state. It costs $26.

  • Resident Apprentice CrossBow Permit

This permit allows resident apprentice hunters to carry crossbows while hunting. It costs $26.

  • Non-residents Apprentice Hunting License

This hunting license is only available for non-residents. It includes permits to hunt bears and turkeys in the state. It costs $115.

  • Non-residents Apprentice Small Game License

This hunting license will allow non-resident hunters to take small game animals in Vermont. It includes turkey permits and costs $75.

  • Non-resident Apprentice CrossBow Permit

This permit allows non-resident apprentice hunters to carry crossbows while hunting. It costs $56.

  • Non-residents Apprentice Archery Permit

Non-residents with this permit can make use of archery devices to hunt games in Vermont. It costs $75.

Other Residents Hunting Licenses

Vermont hunting licenses valid for residents of the state include the following:

  • Big Game Hunting License

This license is available for resident hunters in Vermont that are at least 16 years old. It allows them to hunt big game animals. It costs $26.

  • Junior Hunting License

This license is available for junior resident hunters in Vermont. The age requirement to apply is at most 15 years old. It costs $8.

Small Game Hunting License

This license is available for resident hunters in Vermont that are at least 16 years old. It allows them to hunt small game animals. It costs $15.

Hunting and Fishing License

This is a combination license for hunting and fishing in Vermont. The age requirement to apply for this license is at least 16 years old, and it costs $43.

Fishing and Archery License

This is a combination license for archery hunting and fishing in Vermont. The age requirement to apply for this license is at least 16 years old, and it costs $43.

Disabled War Veteran License

This hunting license is available for veterans in the state with disabilities. It is free of charge.

Vermont Nonresident Hunting License

This is a Vermont out-of-state license issued to non-resident hunters. Some of them include the following:

  • Big Game Hunting License

This license is available for non-resident hunters in Vermont that are at least 16 years old. It allows them to hunt big game animals. It costs $115.

  • Hunting and Fishing License

This is a combination license for hunting and fishing for non-residents. The age requirement to apply for this license is at least 16 years old, and it costs $150.

  • Hunting License

This is a basic hunting license available for non-residents that are 16 years or older. It costs $75.

  • 3 Days Small Game Hunting License

This license is available for non-residents small game hunting and it is valid for 3 consecutive days. It costs $50.

  • Junior Hunting License

This license is available for junior non-resident hunters in Vermont. The age requirement to apply is at most 15 years old. It costs $35.

  • Archery Hunting License

Non-residents that want to take games with only Archery devices in Vermont must first obtain this license. The age requirement to purchase the license is 16 years and older. It costs $75

  • 6 Days Archery License

This archery license is available for non-resident hunters and is valid for only 6 days. The age requirement to apply is 16 years or older, and it costs $26.

  • Vermont Lifetime Hunting Licenses

Vermont issues lifetime licenses based on age. Some of them include the following:

Vermont Fishing Licenses, Permits, and Tags.

Fishing licenses, permits, and tags available in Vermont include the following;

Season Fishing License

This license will allow a holder to harvest fishes in specific seasons. It is available for both residents of Vermont and non-residents at costs of $25 and $64 respectively.

Hunting and Fishing Combination License

Holders of this license can take part in Vermont hunting and fishing seasons. It is available for residents and non-residents at costs of $43 and $150 respectively.

Archery and Fishing Combination License

Holders of this license can take part in Vermont archery hunting seasons and fishing seasons. It is available for only residents at a cost of $43

15 Days Fishing License

This license is only valid for 15 days. It is available for non-residents at a cost of $47.

One Day Fishing License

This fishing license is only valid for one day. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $11.

7 Days Fishing License

This fishing license is only valid for 7 days. It is available for non-residents at a cost of $43.

Serviceman Dependent Combination License

Members of the US Armed Forces or National Guard can apply for this combination license to hunt and fish in Vermont. It costs $20.

Serviceman Dependent Fishing License

Members of the US Armed Forces or National Guard can apply for this license and fish in Vermont. It costs $10

Vermont Hunting Seasons

Hunting seasons in Vermont vary for game animals and the type of hunting firearms needed to take them.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Vermont includes the following:

Vermont Deer Hunting Seasons

  • Resident Only Hunting Season (31st of October)
  • Youth Hunting Season (24th of October)
  • Firearms Hunting Season (2nd of November to 28th of November)
  • Archery Hunting Season (3rd of October to 30th of October)
  • Muzzleloader Hunting Season (Statewide: 30th of November to 5th of December and Selected Regions: 7th of December to 12th of December)
  • Expanded Archery Season (12th of September to 12th of December)

Deer hunting season may vary according to Vermont hunting zones and Wildlife Management Areas. To take part in a deer hunting season, hunters must purchase deer permits. Also, hunters are advised to check the Vermont Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife websites for more information about deer hunting in certain areas of the state.

Vermont Bear Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (31st of August to 28th of November
  • Dogs Hunting Season (14th of September to 30th of October)
  • Bears Bait Hunting Season (31st of August to 26th of September)
  • Youth Hunting Day/Season (29th of August)
  • Vermont Moose Hunting Season
  • General Hunting Season (28th of September to 28th of November)
  • Resident Only Day/ Season (31st of October)

Moose hunting dates vary according to Vermont hunting zones. Only hunters that hold a state valid permit will be allowed to take Moose, and there is usually a bag limit of one Moose per year in most cases. Hunting season for moose may also vary for different locations in the state.

Vermont Wild Turkey Season

  • Fall Hunting Season (14th of September to 7th of November)
  • Spring Hunting Season (3rd of March to 6th of June)
  • Spring Youth Hunting Season/Day (1st of May)

Turkey hunting in Vermont may vary according to the state’s hunting regions. This implies that some parts of the state may still be restricted for turkey hunting during the game open season. Hunters are advised to visit the Vermont Department for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Website for more information.

Vermont Small Games Hunting Season

  • Gray Squirrel Hunting Season (26th of September to 31st of December)
  • Snowshoe Hare Hunting Season (26th of September to 31st of March)
  • Bobcat Hunting Season (1st of December to 29th of February)
  • Woodchuck Hunting Season (Open Season)
  • Coyote Hunting Season (Open Season)
  • Porcupine Hunting Season (Open Season)
  • Red Squirrel Hunting Season (Open Season)
  • Coyote Night Hunting Season (16th of December to 31st of August)
  • Ruffed Grouse and Bobwhite Quail Hunting Season (26th of September to 31st of December)

It is important to know that bag limits, hunting requirements, and regulations, and special seasons for hunting will be dependent on the game animals and their season. Hunters should make sure that they know the specific date for the game they want to take in their hunting zone. They should also visit the Department’s website for more information about regulations for the hunting season.

Vermont Wildlife, Games, and Fishes

Some of the most common games for hunting in Vermont include the following:

Vermont Deer Hunting

Aside from the WMAs in the state, Deer hunting in Vermont is common in wetland habitats, forest land areas, active farmlands, and deteriorating agricultural fields. The most common type of deer in Vermont is the white-tailed deer and they are common in forest stands that have no canopy features, and farmlands that contain forages for the animals.

Vermont Black Bear Hunting

Black bear hunting in Vermont is common because of its even distribution across all parts of the state. However, black bears are more concentrated in the eastern and northern part of Vermont, and you will rarely find them in the south of central Vermont with a human population.

Vermont Moose Hunting

Moose Hunting in Vermont takes place in almost all WMA. They are widely dispersed throughout the state, but they have the most population in mountainous areas and lakes in the western part of Vermont. Moose are best spotted during dusk and dawn especially between the months of May to July.

Vermont Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting in Vermont is common in most of the state public hunting lands and WMA. They are evenly distributed in the state.

Vermont Grouse Hunting

Grouse hunting in Vermont takes place in all parts of the state. The species common is the ruffed grouse. They mostly dominate woodland areas of the state like upland hardwoods, softwood areas, orchards, etc.

Vermont Duck Hunting

Ducks are waterfowls, and they are mostly found in wetland areas that are far from human settlements. Most Vermont public hunting lands will have ducks in their ponds and lakes, especially the shallow parts of these water bodies.

Vermont Shooting Ranges

Shooting ranges in the state that are open to the general public to practice include the following:

  • Alburg Rod & Gun Club.
  • Underhill Rod & Gun Club.
  • Black River Valley Rod & Gun Club.
  • Chester Rod & Gun Club.
  • Lamoille Valley Fish & Game Club.
  • Hale Mountain Fish & Game Club.
  • Chester Rod & Gun Club.

Vermont Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale and lease in Vermont include the following:

  • Chelsea, Vermont (Orange County) 30 acres.
  • Pittsford, Vermont (Rutland County) 22.6 acres.
  • Middlesex, Vermont (Washington County) 83 acres.
  • Bristol, Vermont (Addison County) 605.93 acres.
  • Burke, Vermont (Caledonia County) 110.5 acres.
  • Hubbardton, Vermont (Rutland County) 31 acres.
  • Newfane, Vermont (Windham County) 67.1 acres.
  • Hyde Park, Vermont (Lamoille County) 65.6 acres.

Hunting lands for lease in Vermont are not available at the moment.

Vermont Public Hunting Lands

Some public hunting lands to explore in Vermont include the following:

  • 624 Acres in Windsor County for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Predator, Exotics.
  • 80 Acres in Windsor County for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Predator, Exotics.
  • 7788 Acres in Windsor County for hunting Whitetail Deer, Predator, Exotics.
  • 707 Acres in Bennington County for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Duck, Predator, Exotics.
  • 656 Acres in Windsor County for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Exotics.
  • 799 Acres in Windham County for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Predator, Exotics
  • 252 Acres in Windsor County for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Duck, Predator, Exotics
  • 1272 Acres in Windsor County for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Predator, Exotics
  • 216 Acres in Windsor County for hunting Whitetail Deer, Predator, Exotics
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