Deer Hunting in Vermont

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  • B
  • 133,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 75,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $28-$74

    Archery permit is $23, muzzleloader permit is also $23, and a $28 hunting license is required for either of these permits. The $28 hunting license is good for firearms season.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $102-$180

    The $102 nonresident hunting license is good for firearms season.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 181"

    Picked up in Rutland County in 1971.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 19

    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. Image by Ray Hennessy

 

Season Dates (2021):

Archery season is October 1 to November 12 and November 29 to December 15. Youth deer weekend is October 23-24. Regular season is November 13-28. Muzzleloader runs December 4-12. Please check the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website to confirm deer season dates.

The Grade: B

Vermont gets a solid B this year. The culture of the big-woods deer camp is legendary here, but more and more in recent years, urban deer populations are coming on strong.

The forked antler restriction put in place in 2013 is starting to show results with increased numbers of older-age-class bucks. Also, warm weather and bumper crops of both apples and acorns made things tough for Vermont deer hunters in recent years. As a result, a lot of older bucks made it through the season. 

“Recent buck harvests are as high as they’ve been since the 1990s,” said Nick Fortin, deer and moose project leader for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. “With recently expanded hunting opportunities, now is a good time to hunt Vermont. But deer activity changes with weather and food availability. Have a few different hunting spots, because deer may not be where they were earlier in the year, or where they were in previous years.”

Antler Nation Knowledge:

While Vermont doesn’t have many big deer, the best hunting is mostly located in the southern half of the state. That area generally has the lowest percentage of yearlings in the buck harvest of any state in the Northeast, and in the country. Also, Champlain Valley is pretty good.

For public land, look to the Green Mountain National Forest, which offers nearly 400,000 acres of contiguous hardwood forest. Pack a tent and camping supplies and head into the backcountry for an old-style, big-woods deer hunt. There are also state lands open to hunting. Use available resources to drill down on a piece of land that works for your goals.

Hunters should note that expanded archery zones will be implemented this year.