Landowner permission is not required for hunting on private land in Vermont, except on land legally posted with signs prohibiting hunting, and also on all private land during the Youth Hunting Weekends for deer and turkey. A hunter or angler shall show their license and must leave the land immediately on demand if requested by a landowner, whether the land is posted or not.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department encourages hunters to seek permission. The privilege of using private land is extended by generous landowners, and most landowners allow hunting when asked.
Landowners who permit you to hunt on their land are doing you a favor and placing their trust in you. Here are some recommendations to prove their trust was not misplaced, help with your relationship with the landowner, and portray a positive image of hunting:
- Respect the landowner's property--hunting, fishing, trapping, or otherwise using it only when and where the landowner approves.
- Understand clearly where you can and cannot drive or park your vehicle and abide by those restrictions.
- Leave your name, address, phone number and also make, model, and license number of your vehicle with the landowner or use the Courtesy Permission Cards.
- If you have permission to return, find out if there are certain times or places that you should avoid. Always attempt to let the landowner know where you will be and when.
- Know the property boundaries and do not trespass on adjacent property.
- Try to keep the size of your hunting party small and always let the landowner know exactly who else will be hunting with you.
- Don't walk through unharvested crops or hunt near livestock or buildings.
- Leave gates as you find them. Cross fences in a manner that will not break or loosen wires or posts.
- Don't litter. Carry away litter left by others.
- Think before you shoot. Know your target and what is beyond it.
- Do not build or start fires at any time, unless you have specific permission from the owner.
- It is illegal to place tree stands or build ground blinds without the landowner's permission. Do not cut, injure or permanently mark trees with an axe, nails, or spikes.
- Observe all hunting and trapping rules and regulations.
- Respect fellow outdoorsmen, observing all safety precautions and the traditions of good sportsmanship.
- Hunt Safe! Accept full liability for your actions and persons while on the property.
After the hunt
Remember that you are a guest on another person's property. Be sure to express your appreciation for the opportunity to hunt the land. The thoughtful hunter might also:
- Let landowners know when you have completed your hunt. Then they will know that you have left their property and will not worry about you being lost or stuck.
- Offer landowners a portion of your harvest off the land, such as a portion of venison, once your game is cleaned or butchered.
- Follow up with a token of appreciation such as a gift certificate to a restaurant or perhaps a card with a hand-written note.
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