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Hunting Opportunities: White-Tailed Deer

Hunters harvest more bucks per square mile in Vermont than any other New England state. Blessed with an abundance of abandoned apple orchards and fields, Vermont also continues to be one of the best whitetail bow hunting states in the region. Archers harvest more deer in Vermont than in any other northern New England state.

Vermont's deer hunting can't be beat here in the north-eastern corner of the country, especially when you consider that you may take a deer by bow and arrow in October plus a buck in the November firearm season. And, you can hunt on Sunday too. The November rifle season, which allows a hunter to take one legal buck with at least one antler having two or more points, is Vermont's basic deer season. For most whitetail enthusiasts this is the time of ultimate challenge- a time to pit your hunting skills against some of the wiliest bucks on the continent.

Vermont's deer herd is now managed to minimize winter mortality and to improve its health. For years "bucks-only" hunting resulted in the herd booming or crashing, depending upon winter severity. Now, regulated antlerless deer hunting by a controlled permit system is helping improve the body and antler size of Vermont bucks and the reproductive rate of does.

Generally, the biggest bucks with the best racks are found at high elevations on the Green Mountain Range right up the center of the state from Massachusetts to Canada and in the northern one-third of the state. However, the greatest numbers of deer are found in the central, eastern and southern portions of the state at lower elevations.

Finding a place to hunt is relatively easy. Keep in mind that hunters tend to congregate where deer are most numerous, and this happens to coincide with lowland farming country. Naturally, what posting there is is most common in these areas. But even here, the hunter who shows respect for the landowner and asks for permission to hunt, often finds he or she is accepted as long as the landowner's concerns are addressed. A compass and topographic map of the area you are hunting can be extremely helpful. Having them with you and knowing how to use them will give you the confidence to get back into some country where there are fewer hunters and more deer. Topo maps are available at some sporting good stores.

White-tail Deer Management FAQs »

For current hunting seasons and dates, click here.


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