Vermont, nestled among stunning landscapes and brimming with waterfowl, is a refuge for passionate hunters seeking the thrill of the pursuit. Duck hunting in Vermont is a beloved activity that attracts outdoor enthusiasts worldwide because of the generous bag limits and the range of species that may be pursued. The hunting dates, bag restrictions, and possession limitations for numerous duck species will be covered on this page, enabling you to make the most of your hunting experience and confidently navigate the hunting season.
Vermont Duck Hunting Season 2023
Outdoor lovers may have an exciting experience during Vermont’s duck hunting season. Vermont is favored for ardent hunters because of its varied hunting zones, substantial bag and possession restrictions, and range of duck species. The dates of the hunting seasons, Vermont’s hunting zones, bag and possession limitations, a description of the many kinds of ducks found there, and some helpful duck hunting advice are all included in this thorough reference. So gather your hunting supplies and prepare for an incredible hunting experience in the stunning state of Vermont.
Game Season dates
To properly organize your hunting expeditions, you must know the dates for the official hunting season. Duck season in Vermont officially begins on October 14 and lasts 60 days.
|Species||Hunting Dates||Bag Limit||Possession Limit|
|Ducks||Oct 14 – Oct 18||6||18|
|Ducks||Oct 28 – Dec 21||6||18|
|Scaup||Oct 14 – Oct 18||2||6|
|Scaup||Oct 28 – Nov 11||2||6|
|Scaup||Nov 12 – Dec 21||1||3|
|Mergansers||Oct 14 – Oct 18||6||18|
|Mergansers||Oct 28 – Dec 21||6||18|
|Coots||Oct 14 – Oct 18||15||45|
|Coots||Oct 28 – Dec 21||8||45|
|Canadian Geese||Sept 1 – Sept 25||3||24|
|Canadian Geese||Oct 14 – Nov 27||3||9|
|Canadian Geese||Dec 1 – Jan 6||5||15|
|Snow Geese||Oct 1 – Dec 31, 2023||25||No Possession Limit|
|Snow Geese||Feb 24 – Mar 10, 2024||25||No Possession Limit|
|Snow Geese||Mar 11 – Apr 26, 2024||15||No Possession Limit|
|Brant||Oct 14 – Nov 12||1||3|
Duck Hunting Zones in Vermont
Vermont is divided into three primary waterfowl hunting zones, each offering unique hunting opportunities:
|Duck Location||Description||Primary Waterfowl Species||Notable Features|
|Connecticut River Zone||Encompasses portions of Vermont and New Hampshire, including the Connecticut River||Mallards, Black Ducks||• Scenic river landscapes
• Diverse habitats
• Opportunities for riverine hunting
|Lake Champlain Zone||Covers the Champlain Valley lowlands of New York and Vermont, including Lake Champlain||Canada Geese, Pintails||• Abundant waterfowl population
• Picturesque hunting locations
|Interior Vermont Zone||Includes the remaining parts of Vermont, offering diverse landscapes for hunting||Wood Ducks, Teals||• Varied landscapes
• Wetlands, marshes, and ponds
Type of Ducks
|Mallard Ducks||Freshwater: marshes, ponds, lakes, rivers||Swimming, dabbling, feeding on plant material and aquatic invertebrates|
|American Black Duck||Freshwater: lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands||Swimming, feeding on plant material, seeds, and invertebrates|
|Wood Duck||Wooded wetlands, swamps, streams, lakes||Perching, nesting in tree cavities, feeding on plant matter, seeds, fruits, and insects|
|American Wigeon||Freshwater: lakes, ponds, marshes, rivers||Swimming, ground-nesting, feeding on plant matter, seeds, and invertebrates|
|Eurasian Wigeon||Freshwater: lakes, ponds, marshes, rivers||Swimming, ground-nesting, feeding on plant matter, seeds, and invertebrates|
|Gadwall Duck||Freshwater: marshes, lakes, ponds||Stocky build, swimming, feeding on seeds, aquatic plants, and invertebrates|
|Northern Pintail||Freshwater: marshes, lakes, ponds, rivers||Slender body, swimming, feeding on plant matter, seeds, and invertebrates|
|Northern Shoveler||Freshwater: marshes, lakes, ponds, rivers||Long spoon-shaped bill, swimming, feeding on invertebrates and plant matter|
|Blue-Winged Teal||Freshwater: marshes, ponds, lakes, rivers||Fast flying, distinctive blue face, feeding on aquatic invertebrates and plant matter|
|Green-Winged Teal||Freshwater: marshes, ponds, lakes, rivers||Small size, short neck, fast flying, feeding on aquatic invertebrates and plant matter|
|Long-Tailed Duck||Offshore islands (summer), coastal waters (winter)||Compact body, long tail, mostly brown or black with white markings, fast flyers|
|Harlequin Duck||Coastal waters, offshore islands||Compact body, small bill, blue body with white spots and stripes (males), brown with white spots (females)|
|Black Scoter||Winter months, coastal waters||Black body (males) with orange bills, darker body with white patches around cheeks (females)|
|White-Winged Scoter||Coastal waters, offshore islands||White wing patches, black top (males), darker top with white patches near cheeks (females)|
|Surf Scoter||Coastal waters near breaking waves||Black body with white patch on forehead (males), two patches on faces (females)|
|Hooded Merganser||Freshwater: lakes, ponds, rivers||Long and slender bill, cinnamon body (males), gray body (females)|
|Common Merganser||Freshwater: lakes, rivers, ponds||Slender orange bill, white body (males), gray body with cinnamon-colored head (females)|
|Red-Breasted Merganser||Freshwater: lakes, rivers, coastal waters||Slim serrated bill, red bill (males), orange bill (females), diving, feed on fish|
|Ruddy Duck||Freshwater, saltwater: lakes, ponds, bays||Diving, cocked-up tail, feeding on aquatic invertebrates and plant matter|
|Ring-Neck Duck||Freshwater: marshes, ponds, lakes, rivers||Woody-edged marshes, feeding on aquatic invertebrates and plant matter|
|Lesser Scaup||Freshwater: ponds, lakes||Square-top head, diving, feeding on invertebrates and plant matter|
|Greater Scaup||Saltwater, freshwater: lakes, bays||Rounded head, diving, feeding on invertebrates and plant matter|
|Canvasback||Freshwater: lakes, marshes, bays||Sloping head, diving, feeding on plant matter, seeds, and invertebrates|
|Redhead Duck||Freshwater: lakes, ponds||Vibrant red head (males), diving, feeding on plant matter, seeds, and invertebrates|
|Common Goldeneye||Freshwater: lakes, rivers, bays||Golden eyes, diving, feeding on aquatic invertebrates and small fish|
|Barrow’s Goldeneye||Saltwater, freshwater: lakes, bays||Golden eye, black and white "windowpane" designs, diving, feeding on aquatic invertebrates and fish|
Hunting tips and techniques for each species
|Duck Species||Hunting Tips and Techniques|
|Mallard Ducks||• To simulate natural social behavior, place decoys in small groups.
• Create realistic vocalizations by using a variety of calls.
• For more success, choose hunting spots close to flyways or feeding sites.
|Wood Ducks||• Position yourself close to wood duck habitat, such as flooded woodland or wooded marshes.
• To draw in males, make wood duck sounds or mimic their high-pitched squeals.
• Decoys should be placed carefully amongst natural cover.
|Black Ducks||• Set up in wetland or marshy locations that are popular with black ducks.
• Use deceptive calling methods to imitate their noises.
• Blend into your surroundings with natural-looking camouflage
Hunting Prerequisites for VT Duck Hunting
|Importance of safety during duck hunting||• Treat firearms as if they are loaded
• Properly identify targets
• Practice water safety
• Maintain clear communication
• Inspect and maintain equipment
|Regulations||• Stay updated on hunting seasons and bag limits
• Follow shooting hour regulations
• Use non-toxic shot
|Licensing requirements and other legal considerations in Vermont||• Obtain a valid Vermont hunting license
• Possess a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp
• Complete HIP certification
• Obtain landowner permission
• Comply with reporting requirements
With its diversified hunting zones, substantial bag and possession restrictions, and range of duck species, Vermont duck hunting are exceptional. You may enjoy duck hunting in Vermont by learning about hunting season dates, zones, bag and possession limitations, duck species, and successful hunting strategies. Be cautious, follow conservation rules, and enjoy the hunt while enjoying nature. Happy hunting!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the dates for the Vermont Duck Hunting Season in 2023?
2023 Vermont Duck Hunting Seasons are divided by species. Ducks, Scaup, mergansers, and coots have two seasons: October 14–18 and October 28–December 21. Canadian geese have three seasons: September 1–25, October 14–November 27, and December 1–January 6. Snow geese have three seasons: October 1–December 31, 2023; February 24–March 10; and March 11–April 26. Finally, brant hunting season is October 14–November 12, 2023.
Are there any specific bag limits for duck hunting in Vermont during the 2023 season?
Yes, there are bag limitations during the 2023 Vermont Duck Hunting Season. During October 14–18 and October 28–December 21, ducks, Scaup, mergansers, and coots may be bagged 6 per day. For Scaup, the daily bag limit is 2 birds from October 14 to October 18, October 28 to November 11, then 1 bird from November 12 to December 21. The same split season coot bag restriction is 15 birds per day. Canadian geese have a daily bag restriction of 8 from September 1 to September 25th, 3 from October 14 to November 27th, and 5 from December 1 to January 6. Snow geese have a daily bag restriction of 25 birds from October 1 to December 31, 2023, February 24 to March 10, 2024, and 15 birds from March 11 to April 26, 2024. Finally, from October 14 to November 12, 2023, the brant bag restriction is one bird per day.
Are there possession limits for ducks during the Vermont Duck Hunting Season in 2023?
Ducks have possession limitations during the 2023 Vermont Duck Hunting Season. The possession limit is the most birds a hunter may have. Ducks are limited to 18 from October 14–18 and October 28–December 21. Mergansers have an 18-bird split-season possession restriction. Scaup has a 6-bird possession restriction from October 14 to 18th, October 28 to November 11, then 3 birds from November 12 to December 21. Split-season coot possession is 45 birds. From September 1 to September 25th, 24 Canadian geese are allowed, 9 from October 14 to November 27th, and 15 from December 1 to January 6. Hunters may have any number of snow geese. Finally, brant owners may have three birds from October 14 to November 12, 2023.
Which ducks are available for hunting during the Vermont Duck Hunting Season?
Vermont duck hunters may target a variety of ducks. Mallards, American black ducks, wood ducks, American wigeons, Eurasian wigeons, gadwall ducks, northern pintails, northern shovelers, blue-winged teals, and green-winged teals are freshwater dabbling ducks. Ruddy ducks, ring-neck ducks, lesser scaups, greater scaups, canvasbacks, redhead ducks, common goldeneyes, Barrow’s goldeneyes, hooded mergansers, common mergansers, red-breasted mergansers, long-tailed ducks, harlequin ducks, black scoters, white-winged scoters, and surf scoters are diving ducks. The Vermont Duck Hunting Season offers various options since each species has its own traits and ecological preferences.
Are there any licensing requirements for participating in the Vermont Duck Hunting Season?
Vermont Duck Hunting Season requires a license. Hunters need a Vermont hunting or waterfowl license. Waterfowl hunters 16 or older must have a federal duck stamp and a hunting license. Vermont Migratory Waterfowl tags and federal duck stamps are necessary for 16–17-year-old hunters. Adults accompanying child waterfowl hunters cannot hunt or carry firearms.