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Antlerless deer permit deadline coming up quickly

MONTPELIER — The deadline to apply for a Vermont muzzleloader antlerless deer hunting permit is fast approaching — Aug. 28.
Hunters can apply on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). A quick-link to the information and application is provided on the home page. Or, they can apply with a paper application available from license agents.
“The online application is a really swift and easy process that ensures you are immediately entered into the lottery,” said Mark Scott, director of wildlife. “Plus, it saves you postage. We encourage you to use the online application because it is more efficient for you and for us.”
As in the past, a person may apply in the lottery category, or as a landowner. However, it is a violation for a landowner to apply for a landowner antlerless permit if they are posting their land against hunting. Fish & Wildlife says it will be closely monitoring landowner applications and listing permit winners in both categories on its website.
The number of December muzzleloader season antlerless permits is 9,650 distributed in 10 of Vermont’s 21 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs).
“The number of muzzleloader season antlerless deer permits was reduced from the 17,050 issued last year due to a decline in deer numbers caused by two severe winters in 2014 and 2015,” said Scott. “The department’s recommendation for antlerless deer hunting is based on population growth estimates, biological data, deer sighting rates reported by hunters, and winter severity data, as well as input from game wardens, foresters and the public.”
Scott also noted that the antlerless hunt is one way Vermont keeps the deer herd in balance with the available habitat:
“The department continually works to conserve winter deer areas and young forested areas that provide excellent habitat both for deer and grassland birds. This annual hunt ensures the deer population does not overwhelm the landscape or impact other animal populations. It also provides food for many local families.”

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