The Vermont constitution has protected the right to hunt, fish and trap on open, private land since its drafting in 1793. Posting laws and regulations honor this commitment while also ensuring landowners have the protections they need to control their property.
Options for Posting:
The Easy Way: Safety Zone
A Safety Zone establishes a 500-foot buffer around the buildings on your property.
- Signs must be 12 inches wide and 18 inches tall and placed at all corners of the buffer and no more than 200 feet apart.
- Hunting and shooting is prohibited within the buffer, unless you have given permission to do so.
- Enforcement of a Safety Zone is backed by statute.
- It's free. No registration requirements. Signs are available at Fish & Wildlife Offices and from your local warden.
- Safety zones leave the remainder of your property open to public use.
- Eligibility for Landowner Antlerless Muzzleloader permit is maintained.
Landowners always retain the right to ask anyone on their property to leave. No exceptions.
Registering Posted Property
Putting up posted signs conveys a message to ask first or keep out. For extra assurance, you can choose to register your posted land. Often referred to 'legally posted,' it means hunting, fishing and/or trapping is prohibited without written permission.
The landowner may maintain signs that:
- Prohibit hunting, fishing or trapping;
- Prohibit any combination of the three; or
- State all or any combination of the three are allowed by Permission Only.
To meet the full requirements of the law (10 V.S.A, § 5201 to 5206), the posting must be recorded annually with the town clerk for a fee of $5.
- Be placed at all corners of your property (or the portion you wish to post) and spaced 400 feet or less apart along or near boundaries,
- Be at least 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall,
- Have lettering and background on contrasting colors,
- Be legible, including any additional information or wording,
- Be maintained and dated each year, and
- Permission Only signs must include a way to contact the owner.
Once registered, Permission Only signs and standard Posted signs are essentially identical in meaning and enforcement. However, if you've decided to post, consider Permission Only signs when:
- Your primary goal is to know who is using your property;
- You welcome hunters, but have had issues with other users;
- You've made the decision to post, but want to show you support hunting and use hunting as a tool on your property; and
- You want to continue to allow other public access without written permission, such as hiking and cross country skiing.
Landowner Courtesy Cards
These cards can be used to grant written permission to hunters who seek it, regardless of whether or not the land is "posted" against hunting. The "land owner copy" creates a record of those hunters for your file. These cards give different options regarding seasons, timing, and/or locations. For example; "Permission granted only on north side of the brook, Keep gate closed at all times."
- Hunting By Permission Only Sign Template
- Landowner Courtesy Card
- Tips for Hunters – Being a Good Land User
Except for Safety Zones, landowners that post their property, registered or otherwise, are not eligible for the Landowner Antlerless Muzzleloader permit lottery. This includes Permission Only signs.