The 2023-2024 Vermont Hunting Seasons ensure exhilarating experiences and great memories for hunters of all levels. Vermont has over 800,000 acres of federal and state-owned public hunting land. State parks allow hunting off-season. Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) Vermont’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) network is a fantastic hunting resource. Except in some areas marked off, all WMAs are accessible for wildlife-related outdoor activities including as hunting, trapping, fishing, and more.
Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or someone who’s thinking about giving it a try, there are a few things you need to know about Vermont’s hunting season. In this page, we’ll discuss the dates, regulations, and permits you’ll need in order to hunt in Vermont.
Vermont Hunting Season
Vermont Deer Season
Vermont’s deer season begins on October 1 and concludes on December 1. There are 21 WMUs in the state (WMU). Archery, Antlerless, Regular, and Muzzleloader seasons all begin and end on the same days. The weekend will be dedicated to young hunters. WMUs disagree on what constitutes a “Legal Buck.”
Vermont residents are only allowed to take four deer each year, with only one being a buck. Please continue reading for information on when and how many deer you may hunt, as well as any restrictions.
|Vermont DeerSeason||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Archery (except closed during regular November season)||1-Oct||15-Dec|
|Youth Deer Weekend||21-Oct||22-Oct-23|
|Vermont Moose Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
Bear Season Bobcat Season
|Vermont Bear Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Black Bear (Early Season)||1-Sep||10-Nov|
|Black Bear (Resident Black Bear Hunters with use of dogs by permit)||1-Sep||19-Nov|
|Black Bear (Nonresident Black Bear Hunters with use of dogs by permit )||15-Sep||19-Nov|
|Vermont Coyote Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date||Note|
|Coyote||1-Jan||31-Dec||Open year round. There is no limit.|
|Vermont Fox Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Fox – Red & Gray||22-Oct-22||12-Feb-23|
|Vermont Duck Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Duck (Lake Champlain)||15-Oct||23-Oct|
|Duck (Interior Vermont Zone)||15-Oct||13-Dec|
|Duck (Late Connecticut River)||4-Oct||6-Nov|
|Vermont Geese Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Lake Champlain Zone||1-Sep||25-Sep|
|Interior Vermont Zone||1-Sep||25-Sep|
|Connecticut River Zone||1-Sep||25-Sep|
|Applies to land, not CT River waters||19-Dec||21-Jan|
|Snow Geese (includes blue geese)|
|Lake Champlain Zone||1-Oct||31-Dec|
|Interior Vermont Zone||1-Oct||31-Dec|
|Connecticut River Zone||4-Oct||18-Dec|
|Applies to land, not CT River waters||11-Mar||23-Apr|
|Conservation Order (CO)|
|Lake Champlain Zone||11-Mar||23-Apr|
|Interior Vermont Zone||11-Mar||23-Apr|
|Vermont Grouse Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Ruffed Grouse||Saturday, September 24, 2022||Saturday, December 31, 2022|
|Vermont Rabbit Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date||Note|
|Rabbit (Hare)||Saturday, September 24, 2022||Sunday, March 12, 2023||WMUs D&E remain open through March 31.|
Vermont Furbearer Hunting Season
|Vermont Furbearer Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season Start Date|
|Red & Gray Fox||22-Oct||12-Feb|
|Coyote||There is No Open Season|
|Fisher, Otter, Beaver||There is No Open Season|
|Marten, Lynx, Wolf||There is No Open Season|
Vermont Furbearer Trapping Season
|Vermont Furbearer Trapping Season||Season Start Date||Season End Date|
|Mink, Skunk, Red and Gray Fox,Raccoon, Coyote, Opossum, Weasel||22-Oct||31-Dec-23|
|Marten, Lynx, Wolf||There is No Open Season|
Vermont Small Game Season
|Vermont Small Game Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season Start Date||Note|
|Crow||20-Jan-23||11-Apr-23||Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only|
|25-Aug-23||18-Dec-23||Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only|
|Hare & Rabbit||30-Sep-23||10-Mar-24||All WMUs till March 31st, except D and E.|
|Hare & Rabbit||30-Sep-23||31-Mar-24||WMUs D, E|
Vermont Upland Birds Season
|Vermont Upland Birds Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season Start Date|
|Ruffed Grouse (Partridge)||24-Sep||31-Dec|
|Woodcock (Statewide )||24-Sep||7-Nov|
Vermont Waterfowl & Migratory Season
|Vermont Waterfowl Season||Hunting Season Start Date||Hunting Season Start Date||Note|
|Snow Goose||11-Mar||22-Apr||permit required|
|Waterfowl||Refer to Migratory Game Bird Seasons Below||Youth Weekend|
|Ducks, Coots, Mergansers, Canada Geese & Brant||Refer to Migratory Game Bird Seasons Below|
|Games||Connecticut River Zone||Interior Vermont Zone||Lake Champlain Zone|
|Ducks, Coots and Mergansers||Oct 4 - Nov 6||Oct 15 - Dec 13||Oct 15 - Oct 23|
|Nov 23 - Dec 18||Oct 29 - Dec 18|
|Scaup||Oct 4 - Nov 6||Oct 15 - Nov 3||Oct 15 - Oct 23 &|
|Nov 23 - Dec 18||Nov 4 - Dec 13||Oct 29 - Nov 8|
|Nov 9 - Dec 18|
|Sept 1 - Sept 25|
|Canada Geese||Oct 4 - Nov 6||Sept 1 - Sept 25||Sept 1 - Sept 25|
|Nov 23 - Dec 18||Oct 15 - Nov 13||Oct 15 - Nov 13|
|Dec 19 - Jan 21 (applies to land, not CT River waters)||Dec 1 - Jan 21||Dec 1 - Jan 21|
|Snow Geese (includes blue geese)||Oct 4 - Dec 18||Oct 1 – Dec 31, 2022||Oct 1 - Dec 31, 2022|
|Mar 11 – Apr 23, 2023 (applies to land, not CT River waters)||Feb 26 – Mar 10, 2023||Feb 26 – Mar 10, 2023|
|Conservation Order (CO)||Mar 11 – Apr 23, 2023||Mar 11 – Apr 23, 2023|
|Brant||Oct 4 - Nov 6||Oct 15 - Dec 3||Oct 15 - Dec 3|
|Nov 23 - Dec 8|
|Woodcock and Wilson’s Snipe||Statewide Sept 24 - Nov 7|
Vermont Turkey Season
|Vermont Turkey Season||Hunting End Date||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Youth Weekend (statewide)||1 bearded turkey||The weekend before the start of spring turkey|
|Novice Weekend (statewide)||1 bearded turkey||The weekend before the start of spring turkey|
|Spring||2 bearded turkeys||1-May||31-May|
|Fall - Archery only (statewide)||1of either sex||7-Oct||20-Oct|
|Fall Archery or Shotgun (WMUs B, D, G, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, and Q)||1 of either sex||October 21||29-Oct|
|Fall Archery or Shotgun (WMUs F, K and N)||1 of either sex||21-Oct||5-Nov|
Vermont Hunting Regulations
Vermonters are proud of their subsistence farming roots. Hunting is significant in local culture. However, the privilege of hunting is protected by the Vermont Constitution.
“The residents of this state shall be allowed to hunt and fowl on their own land and on unenclosed grounds,” Article 67 declares. And these means, unless otherwise specified, hunters may hunt anywhere in Vermont. Except on weekends, young, inexperienced hunters may shoot turkeys and deer without parental supervision.
On private property, hunters may hunt without the landowner’s permission, but they must inquire beforehand. Respectful hunters are more likely to get admission.
Hunting Permit & License
Vermont issues deer hunting licenses. You may acquire a hunting license at a district office, an agent, or online. Town clerks and sports businesses are common.
Vermont invites out-of-state hunters. However, a state hunting license is necessary. Your home state’s hunting license will not be accepted.
Available licenses include yearly and five-year. They offer lifetime licenses in addition to one-year licenses. One-year-olds and seniors receive discounts.
Young hunters pay less. Vermont allows “combination” hunting and fishing licenses.
In Vermont, deer must be tagged. Licenses include tagging. During open hunting season, a hunting or combination license includes one deer tag. Remember that “legal” differs by Wildlife Management Unit.
Deer Hunting Regulations
Here are some deer hunting advice for Vermont. This is not an exhaustive list; read the Vermont hunting handbook and follow all rules before your first trip.
- Hunting on private property with a “No Hunting” sign is prohibited unless the proprietor has given written authorization.
- While it is not obligatory, Vermonters are encouraged to wear hunter orange outside. In the woods, wear a hunter orange cap so that people can see you.
- For deer hunting, fully automatic rifles and suppressed firearms are prohibited.
- Artificial lights cannot be used to hunt or find deer.
- Shooting a deer from a vehicle, truck, snowmobile, ATV, speedboat, aircraft, or towed trailer is forbidden. Permanently handicapped hunters who have a valid hunting license may hunt from a vehicle.
- Pedestrians are not authorized on the right-of-way or interstates. Rest stops and pullouts aren’t ideal for parking in remote deer hunting locations.
- Deer hunting is prohibited on public roadways. Street shooting is also forbidden. Infringers may be fined $1,000.
- It is illegal to use airplanes or remote-controlled drones to hunt deer.
- Dogs are not permitted to be used by deer hunters. To protect deer, dog owners must restrict their dogs from pursuing or disturbing wildlife. Dogs that irritate deer may be killed by game wardens or other law enforcement, and their owners’ licenses may be punished or revoked. Even though the deer is not yours, you should not take it if it is being hunted by hounds.
- On state land, it is illegal to use nails, bolts, screws, wire, or chain to penetrate the bark of a tree.
- Deer may be shot 30 minutes before and after dawn and sunset.
- Apples, bananas, and other natural foods are not permitted to be utilized to lure deer into hunting or trapping zones.
- It is forbidden to hunt deer in a river, lake, or pond.
- The WMU may have a different definition of “Legal buck.” Bucks lacking two-pointed antlers are not allowed in the eastern or western WMUs. Antlers with points are at least one inch long. Legal bucks in the Central and Northeast WMUs have one 3-inch antler.
Rules for Importing Deer, Elk
|Importing Deer, Elk Regulation||Details|
|Purpose of Regulation||To protect Vermont's wild deer from chronic wasting disease (CWD).|
|What is CWD||A fatal disease affecting the brain and nervous system in deer and elk, caused by abnormal prion proteins.|
|Risk of Transmission||CWD prion proteins can be introduced to the environment through bodily fluids and persist for extended periods.|
|Import and Possession Rules||• It's illegal to import or possess deer or elk, or parts of them, from states/provinces with CWD, except for specific exceptions.
• Regulations apply to both captive and wild animals.
|Allowed Exceptions for Import/Posession||• Meat properly processed and labeled with hunting license information, not mixed with other deer or elk.
• Boneless meat.
• Hides or capes with no head attached.
• Clean skull-cap with antlers attached.
• Antlers with no other meat or tissue attached.
• Finished taxidermy heads.
• Upper canine teeth with no tissue attached.
|States and Provinces Affected by the Regulations (CWD)||Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Alberta, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan.|
|Penalties for Violations||Up to $1,000 fine and loss of hunting/fishing licenses for one year per illegally imported deer or elk.|
|Prohibition on Deer Urine-based or Body Fluid Attractants||The use of natural deer urine-based or deer body fluid attractant scents is prohibited in Vermont due to the CWD threat.|
Contacts for Vermont Hunting Season
Visit the website, contact (802) 828-1000, or Facebook page to find out more about hunting in Vermont.
Please visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com for information about hunting on non-state owned property.
FAQ on Vermont Hunting Seasons
Where can I hunt a Deer in Vermont?
Northern and southern west parts of the state and the Connecticut River valley are home to the greatest concentrations of deer. There are fewer deer in the eastern part of the state, namely in the higher altitudes that run north and south. However, these regions provide access to more inaccessible locations for those who want a lengthy hunting journey.
What to Do After Hunting a Deer in Vermont?
When you bring one home, apply for a license tag immediately. Use a paper or durable tag. Fill complete the tag with your name or conservation ID. After tagging a deer, the tag should be visible.
Once marked, you may process or taxidermize the deer. Labels must remain on carcasses throughout processing. You must inform and give over the deer’s corpse to Vermont Fish and Wildlife within 48 hours. Visit the nearest big game reporting station and complete the papers. Possible online report submission. Check Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website before the season to see whether electronic reporting is available.
Dates & Regulations Source: VT Fish and wildlife
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