News Releases

September 23, 2014

Hunters Looking Forward to Start of Vermont’s Archery Deer Season

Hunters are enthusiastic about Vermont’s upcoming October 4-26 and December 6-14 split archery deer hunting season, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

“Deer are moving about and being seen more now with cooler weather to stimulate activity,” said Cedric Sanborn at R&L Archery in Barre. “Several hunters who have put out trail cameras are patterning deer activity and getting photos of nice bucks.”

“This year is very different because, unlike last year, there are very few apples in the woods and a lot of deer are feeding out in fields,” he added. “Hunters will do well to set up stands along deer trails leading into those fields.”

A hunter may take up to three deer in Vermont’s two-part archery season with three archery licenses. No more than one of the deer taken during archery season may be a legal buck. No antlerless deer may be taken in Wildlife Management Unit (WMUs) D2, E1 or E2, where antlerless deer hunting is prohibited in 2014.

In Vermont a hunter may take up to three deer in a calendar year in any combination of seasons (Archery, Youth Weekend, November Rifle Season, December Muzzleloader). Of these, only two may be legal bucks, and only one buck may be taken in each season. A “legal buck” is a deer with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer. All three deer in the annual bag limit may be antlerless deer.

In order to purchase an archery license, the hunter must show a certificate of satisfactorily completing a bow hunter education course, or show a previous or current bow hunting license from any state or Canadian province, or sign an affidavit that they have previously held an archery license.

Hunters must have a standard hunting license in order to purchase an add-on archery deer hunting license, except that nonresidents may purchase an "archery only deer license" costing just $75. Licenses may be quickly and easily purchased on Fish & Wildlife’s website (

It is now legal to carry a pistol or revolver while bow hunting deer in the bow and arrow season. The pistol or revolver MAY NOT be used to take game or dispatch the deer. It is illegal to carry a rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader while bow hunting deer in the bow and arrow deer season.

A person shall not take any wild animal by shooting a firearm, muzzleloader, bow and arrow or crossbow while on or within 25 feet of the traveled portion of a public highway, except a public highway designated Class 4 on a town highway map. A person while on or within the traveled portion of a Class 4 public highway shall not take any wild animal by shooting a firearm, muzzleloader, bow and arrow, or crossbow.

Tree stands and ground blinds may only be built or used if the hunter has landowner permission. This includes portable as well as permanent stands and blinds. A hunter constructing or using a stand or blind must permanently mark his or her name and address on it so that it may be conveniently and easily read. Landowners are exempted from this requirement. On Vermont State Wildlife Management Areas, it is illegal to use nails, bolts or screws, including screw-in climbing steps, or wire, chain or other material that penetrates through the bark.

Because additional restrictions apply, hunters are urged to read the entire law governing the use of stands and blinds on page 21 of the "2014 Vermont Guide to Hunting, Fishing & Trapping," available online and where licenses are sold.

Hunters planning their first Vermont archery deer hunting trip or looking for new hunting areas should get a copy of the 2013 White-tailed Deer Harvest Report, which gives the number of deer taken in each town in last year’s deer hunting seasons. It’s available on Fish & Wildlife’s website ( under Hunting & Trapping and then “Big Game.”

For more information, download the 2014 Deer Season Guide under “Items of Special Interest” on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website. You also can call 802-828-1000 or Email (

Media Contact: Adam Murkowski, 802-786-3860; Mark Scott, 802-777-4217; Scott Darling, 802-786-3

Source: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Last Updated at: September 23, 2014 14:47:21