Deer Hunting in Vermont

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  • B
  • 135,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 70,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • 1:1

    Deer to Hunter Ratio

  • $26-49

    Archery permit is $23, muzzleloader permit is also $23, and a $26 hunting license is required for either of these permits. The $26 hunting license is good for firearms season.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $75-140

    Archery permit is $38, muzzleloader permit is $40, and a $100 hunting license is required for these permits. However, there is also a $75 archery-only license available for non-residents. The $100 nonresident hunting license is good for firearms season.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 181"

    Picked up in Rutland County in 1971. The biggest typical taken by a hunter is 170 1/8 inches, taken in 1986 by Kevin Brockney in Essex County.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 16

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 190 6/8"

    Taken by George Tice in Essex County in 1938.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 2

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Vermont is a good deer hunting destination. (Ray Hennessy photo)

 

Season Dates (2019):

Archery season is October 5 to November 1 and December 7 to 15. Youth deer weekend is November 9 to 10. Rifle season is November 16 to December 1. Muzzleloader runs December 7 to 15. These are the dates set when published, please check the state DNR's website to confirm.

The Grade: B

Even more for the experience than the actual deer numbers, Vermont holds a storied place among deer hunting legend and lore. Big-woods hunting rules in the state, but more and more in recent years, urban deer populations are coming on strong. For urban bowhunters, look for small woodlots and undeveloped lots that might hold high numbers of deer and offer enough room to work the wind for a favorable archery shot.

Another mild winter coupled with last fall’s heavy mast crop has the herd on the upswing. Hopefully, the forked antler restriction put in place in 2013 is starting to show results with increased numbers of older-age-class bucks.

For public land, look no farther than the Green Mountain National Forest, nearly 400,000 acres of contiguous hardwood forest. Pack a tent and camping supplies and head into the back country for an old-style, big-woods deer hunt.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

Look to the legendary Benoit family and their exploits in tracking and killing big, mature bucks to see that Vermont can turn out some real trophies for those who put in the work.

Warm weather and bumper crops of both apples and acorns made things tough for Vermont deer hunters last year. As a result, a lot of older-age-class bucks made it through the season. With another decent winter, these bucks should be in great shape this fall. If weather patterns trend cooler this fall and food sources are a bit scarcer than last year, look for those big bucks to be on the move this deer season.