Authorized and Prohibited Activities on Fish & Wildlife Lands

Gale Meadows

The following rules allows the department to better protect the public's use of and interests in the more than 145,000 acres the department manages throughout Vermont.


  • Commercial activity means any activity or service that produces income for any person, group, business or entity, including any activity or service by any non-profit entity where a fee is required or requested.
  • Emergency situation means an unintended or unforeseen situation that poses a risk to health or life of a person or animal.

Authorized Activities

The following activities are authorized activities on all lands under this rule (10APPENDIX V.S.A. App. § 15):

  1. Hunting, fishing, trapping, target shooting at designated shooting ranges, and associated activities in accordance with all applicable Vermont Fish & Wildlife laws and regulations;
  2. Fish and wildlife viewing and photography;
  3. Boating, including launching and landing, for fish-based and wildlife-based activities where not otherwise prohibited by any other relevant regulations or statutes;
  4. Dispersed, wildlife-based pedestrian activities including walking, snowshoeing, swimming, cross-country skiing, and collection of shed antlers;
  5. Non-commercial picking of berries, nuts, fungi and other wild edibles except ginseng;
  6. Guiding for purposes of fishing, hunting and trapping;
  7. Camping for purposes of hunting, fishing or trapping:
    • Non-primitive camping with a portable shelter equipped with a self-contained, portable, sanitary toilet on sites designated by the department for this purpose, for no more than 16 days during the periods of:
      • May 1-31
      • September 1 through December 15;

      See WMA maps for designated camp site locations.

    • Primitive camping - occupying a site in a natural environment with no developed facilities, leaving the site in its original condition so there is no or minimal evidence of human visitation.
      view WMAs with Primitive Camping

Prohibited Activities

  • The operation of any ATV, UTV, or any wheeled or tracked motorized vehicle not registered for public highway use, except as provided under special permit from the Commissioner to accommodate a person with a qualified disability pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Use of motorized vehicles except on roads specifically designated for such use (see WMA maps);
  • Snowmobiling except as approved by the department and on designated corridors (see WMA maps);
  • Horseback riding, dog sledding, non-motorized cycle riding, or use of motorized vehicles except on designated corridors (see WMA maps);
  • Draft and pack animals, except for retrieval of legally harvested moose, deer and black bear during the respective hunting season(s);
  • Commercial activities, except for guiding for purposes of fishing, hunting and trapping, or wildlife viewing;
  • Artifact or fossil collection;
  • Fires except in emergency situations, or for non-primitive and primitive camping as specified in this rule;
  • Abandoning, or disposing of any animal carcass, or their parts, except that portions of fish or game legally harvested on the property may be deposited on site during routine field processing for preservation and transport, or parts used in conjunction with legal trapping;
  • Construction or placement of temporary or permanent structures, except for tree stands and ground blinds as specified for use on State Wildlife Management Areas under General Hunting Information, and duck blinds as specified under the Game Bird Hunting section of the Vermont Hunting and Trapping Guide;
  • Collection of plants, trees, evergreen brush or limbs, except wild edibles when allowed under of this rule;
  • Use of any fireworks or pyrotechnic devices except signal flares in an emergency situation;
  • Feeding or baiting of wildlife except if otherwise authorized by law;
  • Taking of fish from a fish culture station except during special events established by the department, including but not limited to fishing derbies, clinics and educational events;
  • Entering within 500 feet of any building or other associated infrastructure that is associated with a department fish culture station or conservation camp during times of the day other than those times posted for public use;
  • Parking of vehicles except while engaged in an Authorized Activity;
  • All other activities not specifically authorized by this rule, or authorized in writing by the Commissioner including, but not limited to: para-sailing, hang-gliding, recreational rock climbing, and geocaching.

Contact Us

Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
Commissioner Louis Porter

1 National Life Drive
Fish & Wildlife LogoDavis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3702

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The mission of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is the conservation of all species of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont.