Free

Mentored Turkey Hunting Event for Hunters with Disabilities Registration Deadline

The Vermont State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is partnering with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department to host a mentored turkey hunting event on May 18 and 19 for hunters with disabilities, called ‘Wheelin’ Sportsmen.’

Pre-registration is required by March 9, 2019.  To sign up for the Wheelin’ Sportsmen Hunt contact Kaylee Campagna at 802-363-8071, at Vermontwheelinsportsmenhunt@gmail.com, or on Facebook at Vermont NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsmen Hunt.

This events matches hunters with experienced mentors that can share their knowledge in the field result in safe and often successful hunting experiences. Participants are responsible for obtaining their hunting license.  Vermont residents may be eligible to obtain a free permanent hunting license with proof of a qualifying disability at www.vtfishandwildlife.com.

 

 

 

Saturday, March 9, 2019 (All day)

Free Fishing Day

All are welcome to fish on Free Ice Fishing Day. Anyone, resident or non-resident, may go fishing in Vermont without a fishing license. 

Not sure how? Join our Ice Fishing Festival at Knight Point State Park in North Hero, a free event with tips, equipment, and cocoa provided. 

Enjoy! 

Saturday, January 26, 2019 (All day)

Halloween Wildlife Festival and Jack-O’-Lantern Hike at Kehoe Education Center

Looking for a “wild” family-based adventure for Halloween this year? The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is inviting families to attend the sixth annual Halloween Wildlife Festival and Jack-o’Lantern Hike at the Kehoe Education Center on Point of Pines Road in Castleton.  The event takes place on Friday, October 26, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. 

 

Click here to find out more...

Friday, October 26, 2018 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Volunteer Afternoon at Windsor Grasslands WMA

Volunteers will partner with Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps to plant trees, water new plantings, and remove invasive species on one of the Department’s newest wildlife management areas. Join Department and VYCC staff for lunch and a conversation about the Windsor Grasslands WMA at 12:00pm. We’ll start working on projects at 1pm. Bring your own lunch and come for as long as you would like.

Equipment will be provided but we encourage you to bring your own tools including shovels, hand saws and lopping shears.  Suitable work clothes and gloves are required. 

Windsor Grassland WMA
1192 Marton Road
Windsor, Vermont

Schedule
12:00 - 12:10pm – Opening remarks from Commissioner Porter
12:10 - 1:00pm – Lunch with Vermont Fish and Wildlife and VYCC staff
1:00 - 3:30pm – Project work: planting trees, watering new plantings, and invasive species removal

Background
In 2015, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department started a voluntary habitat stamp program to protect, restore, and improve Vermont’s wild places. These are places that Vermont’s fish, wildlife, and plants depend on, places that birdwatchers, hunters, anglers, and others go to enjoy the outdoors. While the Department already manages 145,000 acres for these purposes through funding from hunting and fishing licenses and federal grants, the habitat stamp provides a new funding source to get projects over the finish line.

The first few years of the program have been successful and contributed to the protection of 3,200 acres through acquisition, the restoration of riparian areas, dam removal assessments, working with private landowners to enhance habitat, and the improvement of 8 acres of early successional habitat that provide food and shelter for wildlife.

The Windsor Grasslands Wildlife Management Area (WMA) restoration project is over five years in the making. Like much of Vermont, many features of the property were shaped by its long legacy of agricultural uses. Although the 100s of acres of fields on the property undoubtedly served many generations of Vermonters well, little previous attention had been given to the various water courses that crisscrossed it including several headwater streams that pass through an open field, unbuffered, before joining to form Hubbard Brook. While assessing the property prior to its acquisition by the Department, now retired fisheries biologist, Ken Cox, noted how beneficial it would be to the long-term health of the watershed to restore functioning riparian areas to each of the headwater streams that, in the absence of any natural buffer, were subject to impacts from excessive sun exposure and erosion. Now, five years later, the Department owns and manages the property as a WMA and the opportunity to put his vision to work is coming to fruition. Using funds from the habitat stamp program, the Department has partnered with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) to battle the many invasive plants that have taken hold of the site and to establish a mix of native, wildlife friendly trees and shrubs in their place along 2.5 acres of land adjacent to the streams. Beyond the many benefits that will certainly be realized from protecting water quality and engaging youths and in this manner, it is hoped that the results of this effort will serve as a demonstration of the positive impact we can have on our environment when the will and funding come together to make it possible.

To register as a volunteer, go to: https://www.register-ed.com/events/view/130994-30-

Friday, October 26, 2018 - 12:00pm to 3:30pm

Bird Lecture & Hike

Join us at Kehoe Conservation Camp for a mid-morning bird talk followed by a forest foray.

Vermont wildlife photographer Brian Machanic will present ‘The Art in Birding’ at the Kehoe Education Center in Castleton, Vermont on Sunday, September 30 at 10:00 a.m. The presentation will be followed by a one-hour bird walk at the brand new Bonsawino Wildlife Management Area adjacent to the education center. 

Machanic is a native Vermonter who has had a passion for wildlife since childhood and has been an avid naturalist and photographer his whole life.  He began selling scenic and wildlife images 30 years ago at his Nature’s Eye Studio in Charlotte and has published photos and stories in regional and national magazines. Machanic recently published his first book, entitled This Book Is for The Birds

“During my presentation, viewers will get an up-close look at the beauty and unique attributes of various species through an exploration of a large portfolio of avian images – no binoculars or spotting scopes required!” said Machanic. 

Following Machanic’s presentation, participants will have an opportunity to take a one-hour field walk on Bonsawino Wildlife Management Area. Ali Thomas of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will lead the field walk and help participants identify some of the amazing birds that can be found there.  

Bring your binoculars, water, and your birding list to this free event. To participate, please register by emailing Alison Thomas or calling 802-371-9975. 

Edward F. Kehoe Conservation Camp
636 Point of Pines Road, Castleton

GET DIRECTIONS

Sunday, September 30, 2018 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Owl Banding

RESCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20th

Come join us for an evening of Owl Banding on Snake Mountain, learn why we band owls and some of the techniques that are used. This is a popular evening and participants are encouraged to come through out the night. A brief presentation will be given every 30 minutes starting at 8pm until 10pm. Come for the evening or just half an hour.

MEETING SPOT: Approximately 1.5 miles east on Route 17 from the intersection of  Route 17 and 22A in Addison. There will be signage as you near the area.

Saturday, October 20, 2018 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm

Spiny Softshell Turtle Nesting Beach Work Day

Annual Autumn Spiny Softshell Turtle Nesting Beach Work Day

Date: Saturday, 27 October 2018

Location: Start at North Hero State Park (NHSP)

Time: 10:00 AM start.  Be sure not to get to North Hero State Park (NHSP) no later than 11:00 AM as we may move to other sites when we complete work at NHSP; how soon depends on how many people show up, and how quickly we finish work at North Hero.  We may be working until 3:00 or 4:00 PM, but feel free to leave at any time.

Leader: Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, Steve Parren.

Join Steve and others for an enjoyable and satisfying workday, as we pull up plant growth on some rare stretches of Spiny Softshell nesting beach at NHSP and Swanton preparing for the turtle egg-laying season next June.  Map, Painted, and Snapping Turtles also nest on these beaches.  The Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle is a threatened species in Vermont, and Steve has worked for the preservation of this species for many years.  While most hatchlings will have crawled up out of their nest and into the lake by the end of September, some late emerging young of other turtle species may still be underground.  We sometimes find these hatchlings as we pull up the current season’s growth from the shale pebble beaches.  By then the lake will be too cold for them, so they are usually brought indoors for the winter.  ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center cares for some young Spiny Softshells each year to give them a head start on life.  They will overwinter at the aquarium, and in the process become part of the regular educational programming at ECHO.

What to bring: Bring warm clothes in layers, work gloves, and rain gear if needed. Bring only short handled tools, a trowel and/or a hand cultivator. Some hatchling Painted and Map turtles overwinter in their nests inches below ground. Bring lunch.  Bring friends.

Families always welcome: Steve will bring some baby Spiny Softshells and other turtle species for you to see and will discuss their biology and conservation need.

Directions: Route 2 north past Carry Bay in N. Hero.  Right on Lakeview Drive, just before Rt 2 swings west toward Alburg.  Follow Lakeview almost to the end.  North Hero State Park entrance and sign on left.  Drive to end always bearing right.  Please arrive between 10 and 11 AM.

Contact: Eric Lazarus, 288-9570 or lazarericus@gmail.com

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
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Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
Commissioner Louis Porter

1 National Life Drive
Fish & Wildlife LogoDewey Building
Montpelier, VT 05620-3208
802-828-1000
fwinformation@vermont.gov

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