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Vermont Offers Several Deer Hunting Opportunities

In Vermont a hunter may take up to three deer in a calendar year in any combination of seasons (Archery, Youth Weekend, November Rifle Season, and December Muzzleloader). Of these, only two may be legal bucks, and only one buck may be taken in each season. A “legal buck” is a deer with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer. All three deer in the annual bag limit may be antlerless deer taken in archery, youth or muzzleloader seasons.

The current antler point regulation (APR), that began in 2005, is designed to protect yearling bucks from high levels of harvest. The department believes the current APR has been successful in increasing the number of older bucks in the deer population. Spike-antlered deer are protected except during the youth deer weekend. A point must be one inch or longer from base to tip. The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length.

Archery Season Oct. 5-27 and December 7-15
Vermont’s archery deer hunting season offers hunters the chance to take up to three deer with three archery licenses. No more than one of the deer taken during archery season may be a legal buck. No antlerless deer may be taken in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) E, where antlerless deer hunting is prohibited in 2013.

Youth Deer Weekend Nov. 9-10
Youth deer hunting weekend, open to residents and nonresidents, is open the Saturday and Sunday before the regular rifle season. Anyone, resident or nonresident, who is 15 years old or younger on the weekend of the hunt and who has successfully completed a hunter safety course may purchase a hunting license and obtain a free youth deer hunting tag.

The young hunter must be accompanied by an unarmed adult over 18 years of age who holds a Vermont hunting license. Landowner permission is required in order to hunt on private land during the youth deer hunt weekend. A young hunter who has obtained a Vermont hunting license and youth deer tag may take one deer of either sex during youth deer hunting weekend. The antler restriction that applies for other Vermont deer seasons does not apply for youth deer hunting weekend.

Rifle Season Nov. 16-Dec. 1
Vermont’s November rifle season begins on the Saturday 12 days before Thanksgiving and runs for 16 consecutive days. The rifle season offers the opportunity to enjoy north country deer hunting at its best. One legal buck with at least one antler having two or more points may be taken anywhere in the state during this season.

Muzzleloader Season Dec. 7-15
During the muzzleloader season one legal buck may be taken with at least one antler having two or more points with the muzzleloader license tag. A regular hunting license must be purchased to get the muzzleloader license.

Click to view the WMU map