Muzzleloader application results can be found online

MONTPELIER — Deer hunters who applied for a Vermont muzzleloader season antlerless deer permit by the Aug. 28 deadline can now go to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) to see if they will be receiving a permit in the mail. 
The department announced the winners on Sept. 23, after conducting a randomized computer drawing.
“Hunters may check our website to find out if they will be receiving a muzzleloader season antlerless permit,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. “Knowing the answer will help them plan their hunting this fall.”
Permit winners are listed in two categories: regular lottery winners and landowners.
It is a violation for a landowner to apply for a landowner antlerless permit if they are posting their land against hunting.
A total of 9,650 December muzzleloader season antlerless permits are authorized for use in 10 of Vermont’s 21 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). The permits will be in postcard format and will be mailed to recipients in November.
“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 Porter. “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.”
Due to the reduction in permit numbers, there are a small number of unallocated permits in WMU N. On Oct. 1, those permits will be for sale on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website to hunters who did not win a permit in the Sept. 23 drawing.
Hunter success with muzzleloader antlerless permits typically ranges from 10 to 35 percent depending on WMU. WMU-specific success rates are taken into consideration each year when issuing antlerless permits in order to better manage the harvest of antlerless deer.
“Harvesting antlerless deer affords Vermont hunters the chance to secure locally sourced food for their families,” Porter noted. “It also helps the department balance the deer population with the available habitat.”

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