Vermont Hunters Had Successful 2014 Deer Seasons
Posted on 01/14/2015
Respect Protect Enjoy Logo

Media Contacts:  Adam Murkowski, 802-786-3860; Scott Darling, 802-786-3862;
Mark Scott, 802-777-4217

Vermont Hunters Had Successful 2014 Deer Seasons

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says preliminary numbers show hunters took slightly more deer in 2014 hunting seasons compared to an average of the previous three years, reflecting a stable and healthy deer population in the state.  

Deer biologist Adam Murkowski says reports from big game check stations indicate hunters had successful deer seasons in 2014.  Hunters took a total of 13,590 deer in the state: 3,143 during archery season, 1,652 during youth weekend, 6,140 in rifle season, and 2,655 in muzzleloader season. 

“Compared to the previous three-year average, harvest levels rose slightly during the archery season, were roughly the same for muzzleloader season and slightly decreased during the youth and rifle seasons,” said Murkowski.

Each year the department operates biological check stations during deer hunting seasons to gather information on the age, sex, field dressed weight, antler characteristics, and overall health of Vermont’s deer herd.  Murkowski says biological data from 1,097 deer examined during the two-day youth hunt and November rifle season will be important in further assessing the status of local deer herds throughout the state.   

According to Murkowski, the primary goal of Vermont’s deer management strategy is to keep Vermont’s deer herd stable, healthy and in balance with available habitat.  “Maintaining an appropriate number of deer on the landscape ensures Vermont’s deer and the habitats that support them remain healthy and productive,” he said.  “Healthy habitats and stable deer herds are beneficial to the deer themselves, important to Vermont’s deer hunters, and they are beneficial to the health of the land and other wildlife.” 

“Under our current goal of maintaining a healthy deer herd, a stable harvest is a good indicator that we are meeting our management objectives set out in Vermont’s 10-year Big Game Plan,” said Murkowski.  “Season totals in any given year may be up or down from the previous year.  But the fact that fluctuations are small, rather than major boom and bust cycles, is an indicator that management strategies are working.”

The 2014 report on deer hunting seasons with final numbers will be on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) by early February.

-30-

 Previous three-year average
(2011-2013) 2014
Youth 1,721 1,652
Archery 3,084 3,143
Rifle 6,237 6,140
Muzzleloader 2,360 2,655
Unknown  
TOTAL 13,402 13,590