Vt. Department of Wildlife to hold deer hearings May 8 & 10

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Board will hold public hearings May 8 in Rutland and May 10 in South Burlington to recap the results of the 2017 deer seasons and review the antlerless deer hunting proposal for this year.
The hearings are scheduled for 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. as follows:
•  Tuesday, May 8, at Rutland High School, 22 Stratton Rd., Rutland.
•  Thursday, May 10, at South Burlington High School, 550 Dorset St., South Burlington.
Previous hearings reviewing the 2017 deer hunting seasons were held in Montpelier, Windsor and Orleans.
“We are recommending an antlerless deer harvest this year that is very similar to what was recommended in 2017,” said Nick Fortin, deer project leader for the Fish & Wildlife Department. “Three consecutive mild to moderate winters have allowed for deer population growth throughout Vermont, and deer populations in some areas now exceed the objectives. The recommendation is intended to reduce deer numbers in those areas while stabilizing populations in other areas.”
The department’s annual recommendation is based on population estimates, biological data, winter severity data, and deer sighting rates reported by hunters, as well as input from game wardens, foresters and the public.
Hunting for antlerless deer is proposed statewide for the Oct. 6-Nov. 2 and Dec. 1-9 archery season. Last year, hunters took 2,649 antlerless deer during the archery season.
One deer of either sex would be allowed for youths during the Nov. 3-4 youth weekend hunt. Youths took 866 antlerless deer during the 2017 youth weekend hunt.
The Dec. 1-9 muzzleloader season would have 27,000 antlerless permits distributed in 18 of Vermont’s 21 Wildlife management Units (WMU), which is estimated to result in 3,914 antlerless deer being taken.
The antlerless deer hunting proposal for 2018 and the Fish & Wildlife Board’s recommended permits by each WMU are on online at vtfishandwildlife.com under “Board Rules.” Public comments on the proposal may be emailed to [email protected] by May 22.

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