Vermont Hunting Seasons 2023-2024 New Regulations & Dates!

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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 offers a number of different hunting opportunities, from big game hunts to small game hunts. Check out the hunting season dates and conditions below to make your hunting season enjoyable.

Vermont Hunting Seasons
Vermont Hunting Seasons

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 DeerSeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Archery (except closed during regular November season)1-Oct15-Dec
Youth Deer Weekend21-Oct22-Oct-23
Novice Weekend21-Oct22-Oct-23
Muzzleloader Antlerless 26-Oct29-Oct-23
November Regular11-Nov26-Nov-23

Moose Season

Vermont Moose SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Moose (Archery)1-Oct7-Oct
Moose (Regular)15-Oct20-Oct

Bear Season Bobcat Season

Vermont Bear SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Black Bear (Early Season)1-Sep10-Nov
Black Bear (Resident Black Bear Hunters with use of dogs by permit)1-Sep19-Nov
Black Bear (Nonresident Black Bear Hunters with use of dogs by permit )15-Sep19-Nov

Coyote Season

Vermont Coyote SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateNote
Coyote1-Jan31-DecOpen year round. There is no limit.

Fox Season

Vermont Fox SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Fox – Red & Gray22-Oct-2212-Feb-23

Duck Season

Vermont Duck SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Duck (Lake Champlain)15-Oct23-Oct
Duck (Interior Vermont Zone)15-Oct13-Dec
Duck (Late Connecticut River)4-Oct6-Nov

Geese Season

Vermont Geese SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Canada Geese
Lake Champlain Zone1-Sep25-Sep
Interior Vermont Zone1-Sep25-Sep
Connecticut River Zone1-Sep25-Sep
Applies to land, not CT River waters19-Dec21-Jan
Snow Geese (includes blue geese)
Lake Champlain Zone1-Oct31-Dec
Interior Vermont Zone1-Oct31-Dec
Connecticut River Zone4-Oct18-Dec
Applies to land, not CT River waters11-Mar23-Apr
Conservation Order (CO)
Lake Champlain Zone11-Mar23-Apr
Interior Vermont Zone11-Mar23-Apr

Grouse Season

Vermont Grouse SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Ruffed GrouseSaturday, September 24, 2022Saturday, December 31, 2022

Rabbit Season

Vermont Rabbit SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateNote
Rabbit (Hare)Saturday, September 24, 2022Sunday, March 12, 2023WMUs D&E remain open through March 31.

Vermont Furbearer Hunting Season

Vermont Furbearer SeasonHunting Season Start DateHunting Season Start Date
Red & Gray Fox22-Oct12-Feb
CoyoteThere is No Open Season
Fisher, Otter, BeaverThere is No Open Season
Marten, Lynx, WolfThere is No Open Season

Vermont Furbearer Trapping Season

Vermont Furbearer Trapping SeasonSeason Start DateSeason End Date
Mink, Skunk, Red and Gray Fox,Raccoon, Coyote, Opossum, Weasel22-Oct31-Dec-23
Marten, Lynx, WolfThere is No Open Season

Vermont Small Game Season

Vermont Small Game SeasonHunting Season Start DateHunting Season Start DateNote
Crow20-Jan-2311-Apr-23Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only
25-Aug-2318-Dec-23Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only
Gray Squirrel1-Sep31-Dec-23
Hare & Rabbit30-Sep-2310-Mar-24All WMUs till March 31st, except D and E.
Hare & Rabbit30-Sep-2331-Mar-24WMUs D, E

Vermont Upland Birds Season

Vermont Upland Birds SeasonHunting Season Start DateHunting Season Start Date
Ruffed Grouse (Partridge)24-Sep31-Dec
Woodcock (Statewide )24-Sep7-Nov

Vermont Waterfowl & Migratory Season

Vermont Waterfowl SeasonHunting Season Start DateHunting Season Start DateNote
Snow Goose11-Mar22-Aprpermit required
WaterfowlRefer to Migratory Game Bird Seasons BelowYouth Weekend
Ducks, Coots, Mergansers, Canada Geese & BrantRefer to Migratory Game Bird Seasons Below
GamesConnecticut River ZoneInterior Vermont ZoneLake Champlain Zone
Ducks, Coots and MergansersOct 4 - Nov 6Oct 15 - Dec 13Oct 15 - Oct 23
Nov 23 - Dec 18Oct 29 - Dec 18
ScaupOct 4 - Nov 6Oct 15 - Nov 3Oct 15 - Oct 23 &
Nov 23 - Dec 18Nov 4 - Dec 13Oct 29 - Nov 8
Nov 9 - Dec 18
Sept 1 - Sept 25
Canada GeeseOct 4 - Nov 6Sept 1 - Sept 25Sept 1 - Sept 25
Nov 23 - Dec 18Oct 15 - Nov 13Oct 15 - Nov 13
Dec 19 - Jan 21 (applies to land, not CT River waters)Dec 1 - Jan 21Dec 1 - Jan 21
Snow Geese (includes blue geese)Oct 4 - Dec 18Oct 1 – Dec 31, 2022Oct 1 - Dec 31, 2022
Mar 11 – Apr 23, 2023 (applies to land, not CT River waters)Feb 26 – Mar 10, 2023Feb 26 – Mar 10, 2023
Conservation Order (CO)Mar 11 – Apr 23, 2023Mar 11 – Apr 23, 2023
BrantOct 4 - Nov 6Oct 15 - Dec 3Oct 15 - Dec 3
Nov 23 - Dec 8
Woodcock and Wilson’s SnipeStatewide Sept 24 - Nov 7

Vermont Turkey Season

Vermont Turkey SeasonHunting End DateHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Youth Weekend (statewide)1 bearded turkeyThe weekend before the start of spring turkey
Novice Weekend (statewide)1 bearded turkeyThe weekend before the start of spring turkey
Spring 2 bearded turkeys1-May31-May
Fall - Archery only (statewide)1of either sex7-Oct20-Oct
Fall Archery or Shotgun (WMUs B, D, G, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, and Q)1 of either sexOctober 2129-Oct
Fall Archery or Shotgun (WMUs F, K and N)1 of either sex21-Oct5-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.
  • 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 RegulationDetails
Purpose of RegulationTo protect Vermont's wild deer from chronic wasting disease (CWD).
What is CWDA fatal disease affecting the brain and nervous system in deer and elk, caused by abnormal prion proteins.
Risk of TransmissionCWD 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 ViolationsUp 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 AttractantsThe 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

You may find maps of WMAs on the Fish & Wildlife website ( and in the handbook “Guide to Wildlife Management Areas of Vermont, easily obtainable by way of an online store.

Visit the website, contact (802) 828-1000, or Facebook page to find out more about hunting in Vermont.

Please visit 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

John Lewis

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