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Novice Deer Hunting Weekend

novice hunter on stand in the woodsNovice Deer Hunting Weekend occurs on the same weekend as Youth Deer Hunting Weekend – the Saturday and Sunday three weeks before the opening day of the regular rifle deer hunting season.

To participate, you must:

  • Be 16 years of age or older and have successfully completed a Hunter Education Course. Hunter Education Courses from other states are accepted.

  • You also must purchase your first hunting or combination license within one year of the first day of the Novice Deer Hunting Weekend.

The “one-year” requirement must be met for both days of the Novice Deer Hunting Season.  Depending on the date of purchase, a person may qualify for just one day of the two-day Novice Season.  Please plan ahead and keep these dates in mind when purchasing your first hunting or combination license.

License Requirement

As novice hunter, you are required to hold a valid Vermont resident hunting or combination license or a Vermont non-resident hunting or combination license and must be accompanied by an unarmed adult (18 years of age or older) who also holds a valid Vermont resident hunting or combination license or Vermont non-resident hunting or combination license. Landowner license exception does NOT apply to novice deer hunting weekend. 

You must also obtain a Novice Deer Hunting Weekend tag, which is available wherever licenses are sold, or from the department’s on-line licensing system. The hunting or combination license will have a tag attached for you to immediately attach to the deer carcass.

Get Your Tag Online


One deer of either-sex in all WMUs.

Need to Know

  • The Novice Deer Hunting Weekend tag is only valid for the Novice Deer Hunting Weekend.
  • If your are going to hunt on private land, prior permission from the landowner is required.

  • A hunter accompanying a novice shall accompany no more than two novice hunters at one time.

  • You report the deer within 48 hours. There will be approximately 20 special reporting stations where biologists would like to age, weigh and measure the deer. See Biological Reporting Station below for more information. 


See Vermont Fish & Wildlife Regulations for specific rules about deer hunting.

Biological Reporting Stations

Several of the Big Game Reporting Stations will have department personnel collecting biological information about the deer harvest for youth  and novice weekend. This is a great opportunity to get your deer weighed, aged and examined by a state wildlife biologist. Plus, you will be directly contributing to deer management in Vermont.

Nice to Know

  • If you need information on Novice Deer Hunting Weekend or if you need to find another hunter to take you hunting you may contact a Vermont Hunter Education Instructor, local Fish & Game Club, or State Game Warden in their area.

  • Deer concentrate near food sources. Target apples, corn and green fields, as well as oaks and beech in good mast years.

See also: