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Vermont considers revamp of deer hunting regulations

April 27, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont officials are considering revamping the state’s deer hunting regulations to better manage the deer population in developed areas, help bucks live longer, and entice more adults to try the sport.

Among the proposed changes, hunters would be restricted to one buck a year, The Burlington Free Press reported.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter said the change will allow bucks to survive longer and grow bigger antlers. The state would also remove the 3-inch antler requirement for taking bucks in the spine of the Green Mountains and in the Northeast Kingdom and add a new antlerless muzzleloader season before the rifle season.

“The idea is to get opportunity to take those deer when weather’s a little better,” said Porter. Archery season would start earlier than Sept. 15 in some developed areas and crossbows could be used by archery season hunters.

To get more adults to try hunting, a novice season would be held at the same time as youth weekend, proposed for late October instead of early November. The department expects to bring in about 200 to 300 new adult hunters a year through that change.

Public hearings on the regulations have been attended by crowds of 200 people and the feedback is mostly positive, Porter said.

Allowing crossbows to be used during archery season and the new novice season are the least popular proposals.

“Too many seasons. No place for the public to hunt,” wrote Louis Mossey of Milton about the regulations on the department’s Facebook page.

The department is taking public feedback on the proposed changes until June 12. It’s also holding public hearings May 21 in Bethel at the White River Valley Middle School and June 4 in Hinesburg at the Champlain Valley Union High School.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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