"Hunting" in Vermont means deer hunting. Almost all of the state's 65,000 resident hunters hunt deer at some point during the fall and more bucks are taken per square mile in Vermont than in any other New England state. The November rifle season, which allows a hunter to take one legal buck with at least one antler having two or more points, is Vermont's basic deer season.
Vermont's deer herd is managed to minimize winter mortality and to improve both herd and forest health. For years "bucks-only" hunting resulted in the herd booming or crashing, depending upon winter severity. Now, regulated antlerless deer hunting through either-sex archery hunting, the youth deer weekend and a controlled permit system during the muzzleloading season.
October 1-December 15, 2020
One legal buck may be taken anywhere in the state not to exceed the one buck annual limit
|Youth Deer Weekend||October 24-25, 2020||One deer of either sex, no antler restriction (pending Fish and Wildlife Board approval)|
|Novice Weekend||October 24-25, 2020||
A Novice is a person who purchased their first hunting license within the past 12 months and is 16 years of age or older.
|Muzzleloader Antlerless||October 29-November 1, 2020||TBD by Fish and Wildlife Board
Muzzleloader license and antlerless permit required - check website in June for permit availability
Permit may be used during this season or during the regular muzzleloader deer season
|November Rifle||November 14-November 29, 2020||One legal buck may be taken anywhere in the state not to exceed the one buck annual limit|
|Muzzleloader||December 5-13, 2020||One legal buck may be taken anywhere in the state not to exceed the one buck annual limit. Antlerless deer may be take if you have an antlerless permit|
No more than four deer per year, only one may be a legal buck. Youth and novice hunters can take two legal bucks, provided one is taken during the youth or novice season, not to exceed the annual limit of four deer. No antler restrictions apply for Youth Deer Weekend.
Legal Buck Definition
In Wildlife Management Units C, D1, D2 E1, E2, G, I, L, M, P, and Q a legal buck is any deer with at least one antler three inches or more in length.
In Wildlife Management Units A, B, F1, F2, H, J1, J2, K, N, and O a legal buck is any deer with at least one antler with two or more antler points one inch in length or longer.
Deer regulations change annually, particularly units open to antlerless archery hunting and muzzleloader antlerless permits. Check the Fish and Wildlife Board Rules page in late spring or summer.
Leashed Tracking Dog to Recover Deer
A hunter who believes they have legally killed or wounded a deer during hunting season may engage a person who has a “Leashed Tracking Dog Certificate” issued by the department to track and recover the animal during the season or within 24 hours after the season ends.