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(Click here for a Printer Friendly Version of Hunting FAQ's)

Frequently Asked Questions for 2005 Vermont Deer Seasons

  • Definitions
    1. Q: What is a LEGAL BUCK this year?
      A: A LEGAL BUCK is now defined by regulation as a deer with at least one antler having two or more points.
    2. Q: How is an ANTLER POINT defined?
      A: A “ANTLER POINT” is defined by regulation as an antler projection of at least one inch measured from base to tip. The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length.
    3. Q: What is an ANTLERLESS DEER according to the new regulation?
      A: An ANTLERLESS DEER is a deer tihout antlers or with antlers less than three inches long.
  • Feeding/Baiting of deer:
    1. Q: I have always brought in cider mash, apples, carrots, and hay to feed the deer, particularly in winter. Can I still do this?
      A: No. The feeding of deer is illegal year round. If you wish to help the deer and their nutritional needs, plan ahead and plant food plots for them. Food plots are legal and encouraged for the health of the deer herd. You can also cut trees and shrubs to leave the tops for forage.
    2. Q: Baiting deer is illegal, but can I take wild apples from a tree that produces and place them under a tree where I am hunting?
      A: No. Baiting is defined as the placing of any animal, vegetable or mineral matter that has the effect of enticing an animal to a certain location. If the apples occur naturally, you haven’t placed them there, and they are legal to hunt over.
    3. Q: Can I put out food for other wildlife and then shoot deer that come to it?
      A: No. It is illegal to take any wild animal by using bait during any deer hunting season.
    4. Q: What about scents and lures? Can I use these products?
      A: A scent or lure is legal, provided it is not placed or used in such a way that deer can eat or lick it.
    5. Q: Is it legal to plant a wildlife food plot for deer?
      A: Yes. Cultivating and planting of wildlife food plots for deer is legal.
    6. Q: Can I shoot deer that come in to a wildlife food plot?
      A: Yes. It is legal to shoot deer at a wildlife food plot.
  • Yearly Limit and Limit in Each Season:
    1. Q: How many deer may I take in all the deer hunting seasons combined?
      A: The annual limit is two deer. How you take them is your choice as long as you follow the rules for each of the hunting seasons.
    2. Q: How many deer and what kind of deer may I take in ARCHERY season?
      A: During ARCHERY SEASON, you may take ONE legal buck anywhere in the state and ONE antlerless deer in authorized WMUs only. Note, archery licenses, not antlerless permits, must be used. Remember that an “antlerless deer” is any deer with without antlers or with antlers less than three inches long. A spike buck with three-inch or longer antlers that does not have two or more points one inch or longer may not be shot during archery season.
    3. Q: How many deer and what kind may be taken on YOUTH DEER WEEKEND?
      A: If the hunter has not already taken two deer in 2005, a qualified young hunter with a YOUTH TAG may take ONE deer of either sex anywhere in the state.
    4. Q: How many deer and what kind may be taken in the NOVEMBER RIFLE SEASON?
      A: If the hunter has not already taken two deer in 2005, the hunter may take ONE legal buck anywhere in the state.
    5. Q: How many deer and what kind may be taken in the MUZZLELOADER DEER SEASON?
      A: If the hunter has not already taken two deer, the hunter may take ONE legal buck. If the hunter has not already taken two deer in 2005, and if the hunter has an antlerless deer permit, one antlerless deer may also be taken in the Wildlife Management Unit designated on the permit.
  • Archery Season
    1. Q: Are two tags available in archery season?
      A: Yes. You can take an antlerless deer using your archery license tag in Wildlife Management Units that are open for antlerless hunting, and with another archery license tag, you may take one legal buck. The tags are not required to be used in any order. If you fill both archery tags, you will have your limit of two deer and may not hunt rifle or muzzleloader seasons.
      Note: you may not take two legal buck during archery season.
    2. Q: How can I find out if a Wildlife Management Unit is open for antlerless deer hunting?
      A: Check the WMU map in “VERMONT DEER HUNTING 2005,” a printed sheet available where licenses are sold and on Fish & Wildlife’s website (
    3. Q: Can I carry any kind of firearm such as a pistol or revolver while bow and arrow deer hunting?
      A: No. Vermont law prohibits carrying any firearm by a person who is bow hunting deer during the archery deer season.
    4. Q: Can I use a crossbow during the archery deer hunting season?
      A: It is illegal to use a crossbow for hunting in Vermont, except that a hunter who has a crossbow hunting permit may use a crossbow. Permit applications require a doctor’s certificate stating the hunter is physically impaired to the extent that he or she is incapable of using a standard bow.
  • Youth Season:
    1. Q: Can a Youth Hunter still shoot a spike horn buck in Youth Deer Season?
      A: Yes. Youth Season hunters may take one deer of any sex or antler size.
    2. Q: If my Youth Season Hunter takes a deer on Youth Weekend, can he/she still take two deer during the other three (rifle, archery, muzzleloader)seasons?
      A: No. The yearly limit is two deer per hunter. If a youth hunter shoots a deer in youth season, they may only take one other deer in the other seasons. If, by chance, the youth has taken two archery deer prior to Youth Season, they would not be eligible to hunt the Youth Weekend for deer because they have already limited out.
    3. Q: Is it true that landowner permission is required to hunt on private land with a Youth Deer Hunting tag during the special Youth Deer Hunting Weekend?
      A: Yes. Landowner permission is required to hunt on private land with a Youth Deer Hunting tag.
  • Rifle Season:
    1. Q: What is a legal deer in rifle season?
      A: A legal buck is a deer with at least one antler having two or more points. The point must measure one inch from base to tip. Spikehorn bucks are not legal to shoot during this season.
  • Muzzleloader Season:
    1. Q: What deer are legal to shoot in muzzleloader season?
      A: Your muzzleloader tag is good for one legal buck. Remember that a legal buck is defined as a deer with at least one antler having two or more points. The point must measure one inch from base to tip. Antlerless permits have been issued for use in selected Wildlife Management Units for Muzzleloader season.
  • General Questions
    1. Q: How can I find out more about this year’s Vermont deer hunting regulations?
      A: Get a copy of “VERMONT DEER HUNTING 2005,” Printed versions are available from license agents, and a downloadable version is on Fish & Wildlife’s website (
    2. Q: What is the purpose of the new antler restriction?
      A: The goal of changing Vermont’s antler restriction is to protect many of the yearling bucks to enable them to become 2 ½ years old before they are taken during hunting seasons. This is an experimental program that will be evaluated during the next few years.
    3. Q: Does Vermont, like most states and Canadian provinces, require that hunters wear FLOURESCENT ORANGE clothing while hunting?
      A: No. Vermont law does not require FLOURESCENT ORANGE clothing be worn, but Vermont State Game Wardens highly recommend that you wear at least a FLOURESCENT ORANGE hat and vest while hunting.
    4. Q: After I shoot a deer, how long do I have to report it to a deer checking station?
      A: Vermont law requires that you bring the deer to a reporting station within 48 hours of when it was shot.

    5. Q: How can I find out where Vermont deer reporting stations are located?
      A: A list of this year’s deer reporting stations is available on Fish & Wildlife’s website (
    6. Q: Is there any way I can collect information that will help in Vermont’s deer management program?
      A: Yes. Any hunter who takes a deer can help wildlife biologists get better information on the ages of Vermont’s deer by sending in the two front incisor teeth on the deer’s lower jaw. A postage-paid, pre-addressed envelope is available at Vermont deer reporting stations.
    7. Q: Are there any restrictions on the purchase and sale of deer meat or venison in Vermont?
      A: Yes. The only time it is legal to buy or sell deer meat or venison in Vermont is during the open season and for 20 days after the season ends.
    8. Q: Is it true that the hunter who shot the deer must drag the deer out of the woods?
      A: Vermont law requires that the hunter who shot the deer must at least accompany the deer being transported out of the woods.
    9. Q: Does a hunter need landowner permission to put up a ground blind or tree stand on private land?
      A: Yes. Vermont law does require that you obtain permission from the landowner before putting up any ground blind or tree stand.
    10. Q: What is the current rule on the distance from a road that a hunter must be before shooting at game?
      A: Road hunting is prohibited in Vermont. You must be at least 10 feet from the edge of a public road before shooting at any Vermont game. The fine for violation is up to $1,000.
    11. Q: What are legal shooting hours for deer hunting in Vermont?
      A: Vermont’s legal shooting hours for all deer hunting seasons are ONE HALF HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE to ONE HALF HOUR AFTER SUNSET.
    12. Q: When does bear hunting season end this year?
      A: Vermont’s bear hunting season ends November 16 in 2005.


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