Vermont's rifle deer season begins Nov. 15

MONTPELIER — Hunters are gearing up for the start of Vermont’s statewide traditionally popular 16-day rifle deer season that begins Saturday, Nov. 15, and ends Sunday, Nov. 30. 

A hunter may take one buck during this season with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer. A point must be one inch or longer from base to tip. The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length. Spike-antlered deer, mostly yearlings, are protected during this season.

“Vermont’s pre-hunt deer population is estimated at approximately 135,000 this year with the greatest numbers of deer found in the southwest, east-central, and northwestern regions of the state,” said Deer Project Leader Adam Murkowski.

The 2013 Vermont Deer Harvest Report, available on the Fish & Wildlife Department’s website ( has a wealth of information to help plan a hunt, including the number of deer taken in each town. Click on “Hunting and Trapping” and then “Big Game” to download a copy of the report.

Vermont’s regular hunting licenses, including a November rifle season buck tag and a late season bear tag (for Nov. 15-23), cost only $25 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Hunters under 18 years of age get a break at $8 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Licenses are available on Fish & Wildlife’s web site and from license agents statewide.

Hunters are reminded of a new law prohibiting shooting a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow while on or within 25 feet of the traveled portion of a public highway. An exception is a Class 4 public highway where it is illegal to shoot within the travelled portion. Class 4 roads are designated on town highway maps.  

The new law also prohibits shooting a firearm, muzzleloader, bow and arrow, or crossbow over or across the travelled portion of a public highway.

Fish & Wildlife urges hunters to wear a fluorescent orange hat and vest to help maintain Vermont’s very good hunting season safety record.

A 2014 Vermont Deer Hunting Guide can be downloaded from the department’s website at The guide includes a map of the revised Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), season dates, regulations, and other helpful information.

Contact the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department for more information. Telephone 802-828-1000 or email

Hunters who get a deer on opening weekend of rifle season can help Vermont’s deer management program by reporting their deer at one of the following biological check stations,which will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 15 and 16:Marty’s Sports & Gunsmithing, Inc., Bennington; Jericho General Store, Jericho; St. Marie’s, Inc., Swanton; Wright’s Enterprises, Newport; Keith’s Country Store, Inc., Pittsford; R&L Archery, Barre; and Guilford Country Store, Guilford.

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100