Vermont’s rifle deer season starts Saturday, Nov. 11

deer
It’s rifle hunting season. Safety first! Wear your orange vests. Photo provided.

REGION – Hunters are gearing up for the start of Vermont’s traditionally popular 16-day rifle deer season that begins Saturday, Nov. 11 and ends Sunday, Nov. 26.

A hunter may take one buck during this season with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer. A point must be one inch or longer from base to tip. The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length. Spike-antlered deer, mostly yearlings, are protected during this season.

“Vermont’s pre-hunt deer population is estimated at approximately 157,000 this year with the greatest numbers of deer found in the southwest, east-central, and northwestern regions of the state,” said Deer Project Leader Nick Fortin.

Vermont’s regular hunting licenses, including a November rifle season buck tag and a late season bear tag cost are available on Fish & Wildlife’s website and from license agents statewide. A 2017 Vermont Deer Hunting Guide can be downloaded from the department’s website at www.vtfishandwildlife.com. The guide includes a map of the Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), season dates, regulations, and other helpful information. Fish & Wildlife urges hunters to wear a fluorescent orange hat and vest to help maintain Vermont’s very good hunting season safety record.

Hunters who get a deer on opening weekend of rifle season can help Vermont’s deer management program by reporting their deer at one of the biological check stations listed below that will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., unless the store closes earlier, on Nov. 11 and 12:

  • Marty’s Sports & Gunsmithing – Bennington
  • Jericho General Store – Jericho
  • St. Marie’s – Swanton
  • Wright’s Enterprises – Newport
  • Keith’s Country Store – Pittsford
  • R&L Archery – Barre
  • Guilford Country Store – Guilford
  • Barnie’s Market — Concord

Biologists are collecting middle incisor teeth from November season deer in order to evaluate regional differences in ages and antler characteristics of bucks as well as to help estimate population size, growth rate, health, and mortality rates. Each tooth will be cross-sectioned to accurately determine the deer’s age, and the results will be posted on the Fish & Wildlife website next spring.

Hunters who don’t make it to a biological reporting station are asked to obtain a tooth envelope from their regular reporting agent. Write your name, Conservation ID number and date of kill on it. Remove one of the middle incisor teeth, being careful to include the root. Place the tooth in the envelope and give it to the reporting agent.

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