Vermont Deer Season 2023: VT Deer Hunting Guide [Schedule, Rules, Limit & More!

Are you ready for an exciting hunting excursion in Vermont’s stunning landscapes? Vermont Deer Hunting 2023 is a sanctuary for serious deer hunters. Vermont has plenty of deer, rural landscapes, and public and private hunting properties. Hunting chances span from highly populated northwest and southwest areas to secluded forests near the Connecticut River. Vermont’s deer hunting rules enable archery, rifle, and muzzleloader hunting, giving sportsmen choices. This page will explore the specifics of the Vermont Deer season 2023, including the season’s dates, bag restrictions, hunting rules, and information needed for a productive hunt.

Vermont Deer Season 2023

Vermont’s rural setting, extensive public and private hunting properties, and various hunting rules that enable archery, rifle, and muzzleloader shooting make for excellent deer hunting. The northwest, southwest, and Connecticut River areas have large deer concentrations. The northeastern section and high-elevation mountains have fewer deer but provide isolated hunting in vast forests. Vermont allows one lawful buck and four deer per year. Crossbows, extended seasons, and numerous permits have increased archery hunting. Youth and rookie hunts precede the November deer season, while the muzzleloader season is in December. A permit-only four-day muzzleloader season for antlerless deer may be planned 16 days before the November season.

VT Deer Hunt

VT Deer HuntSeason Start DateSeason End Date
Archery (except closed during regular November season)1-Oct15-Dec
Muzzleloader Antlerless 26-Oct29-Oct
November Regular11-Nov26-Nov

VT Youth Deer Weekend

Youth Deer HuntSeason Start DateSeason End Date
Youth Deer Weekend21-Oct-2322-Oct-23

VT Novice Weekend

Novice Deer HuntSeason Start DateSeason End Date
Novice Weekend21-Oct-2322-Oct-23

Bag Limit

VT Deer SeasonBag Limit
ArcheryOne legal buck
Youth Deer WeekendOne deer of either sex
Muzzleloader AntlerlessTBD by Fish and Wildlife Board
November RegularOne legal buck
MuzzleloaderOne legal buck

VT Deer Hunting Licenses

VT Turkey LicensesResidentNonresident
Hunting$28.00 $102.00
Youth Hunting$8.00 $25.00
Combination Hunting/Fishing$47.00 $143.00
Youth Combination $12.00 $30.00
Archery-Deer (hunting license needed)$23.00 $38.00
Archery Only-Deer (hunting license NOT needed)$75.00
Muzzleloader-Deer (hunting license needed)$23.00 $40.00

Hunting Regulations

  • Vermont hunting hours are one-half hour before dawn to one-half hour after dusk. Hunters may hunt this time. To comply with rules and increase field safety, follow these hours. Hunters should consider natural illumination and longer hunting hours for a successful and ethical hunt.
  • Vermont requires tagging deer immediately after capture. A visible and accessible tag must be applied to a deer’s corpse after harvesting. The tag should stay on until the deer is processed and eaten. This tagging technique is essential for identification, documentation, hunting restrictions, and wildlife management. Hunters promote ethical hunting and tradition by following these tagging requirements.
  • Hunters in Vermont must report and bring deer carcasses within 48 hours to the closest game warden, Fish & Wildlife Department Reporting Station, or commissioner-authorized person. Hunters should check the official website for online reporting guidelines during certain seasons. Field-dress the deer before reporting. The hunter must also accompany game wardens to kill sites. No deer carcass shall leave the state without first being reported. These reporting metrics help Vermont game management and hunting restrictions.
  • Vermont has deer transport rules. Tagged deer may only be carried during the open season and for 20 days afterwards. A guided hunter or the person who shot the deer may transfer it. If the deer is carried by a common carrier like a shipping firm, it must be marked with the sender, recipient, station, and destination. Permanently fasten the deer tag. Transporting deer parts must include the harvester’s name and address. The deer need not be seen during travel. For further information, see Big Game Hunting’s transportation and Importing section and the General Regulations’ transportation part.
  • Data collected by Vermont deer hunters may help control the state’s deer population: They may complete the annual November hunter effort surveys, which give significant hunting activity data. Hunters are invited to report their killed deer at designated biological check stations throughout the youth and regular November season weekends to help biologists track deer age, antler features, and health. Hunters may collect a deer’s tooth during the November season to learn more about the herd’s age structure.
  • Hunters contribute to Vermont deer management by participating in these activities.
  • Except for furbearers, baiting wild animals in Vermont is illegal. Animal, vegetable, fruit, or mineral bait attracts animals. As long as they are neither edible nor lickable, artificial fragrances and lures are allowed. Vermont bans deer lures using cervid urine, blood, gland oil, excrement, or other body fluids. Incidental feeding of wildlife within active livestock operations, standing crops left as wildlife food plots, grain or feed scattered during typical agricultural, gardening, soil stabilization, logging practices, and naturally deposited vegetation or food/seed are exceptions to the baiting ban.
  • Vermont bans feeding wild deer, with few exceptions. It is only permitted with a Fish & Wildlife license or permit for scientific study, wildlife damage mitigation, nuisance control, or animal population reduction. Recreational or unauthorized deer feeding is prohibited. Vermont law prohibits selling bait or deer feed. Planting, developing, and harvesting crops, including wildlife feeding plots, is allowed.
  • Taking a deer from a lake, pond, or river is illegal. Water deer hunting is immoral and unlawful.
  • A lawful buck in Vermont’s Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) C, D1, D2, E1, E2, G, I, L, M, P, and Q is any deer with at least one three-inch antler. In WMUs A, B, F1, F2, H, J1, J2, K, N, and O, a lawful buck is a deer with at least one antler with two or more one-inch antler points. Antler points extend at least one inch from the main beam to their tips. Broken main beams are points regardless of length. However, antlerless deer have no antlers or antlers under three inches. These criteria assist hunters in identifying deer during hunting season.
  • Vermont has two archery deer seasons: October 1–November 10 and November 27–December 15. Unless they have a nonresident archery-only deer license, hunters must have an archery license/tag and a hunting or combined hunting and fishing license. Archery season allows one legal buck, as defined above. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife website lists WMUs that allow archery antlerless deer hunting. Four-licensed archers may kill four deer in certain WMUs. A bow, arrow, or crossbow with a 7/8-inch-wide arrowhead and two or more cutting edges is required. Archery hunters may carry a handgun or revolver but not a rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader. Crossbows are allowed for bow-and-arrow games. Unless uncocked, transporting a cocked crossbow in a motor vehicle is unlawful. Hunters may call a licensed leashed dog tracker or the state game warden to follow and rescue a deer injured by an arrow after legal shooting hours, guaranteeing appropriate tagging, reporting, and display to the closest game warden.
  • Vermont’s Youth Deer Weekend occurs in October, three weeks before November’s deer season. This weekend, 15-year-olds taking a hunter safety course must get a free youth deer hunting tag and a Vermont youth hunting license. A maximum of two young hunters per adult must be accompanied by an unarmed adult over 18 with a Vermont hunting license. Except for medical gadgets, the adult must supervise without artificial devices. Youth deer tags need landowner permission and follow all game restrictions, including the ban on baiting and road hunting. Landowners must buy youngsters weekend tags to hunt on their land. During the Vermont juvenile deer hunting weekend, licensed adults responsible for child hunters might be fined twice for harvesting one deer.
  • The Youth Deer Weekend and Vermont Novice Weekend are in October. This hunt is open to 16-year-old novice hunters who have obtained their first hunting license within 12 months. A Vermont hunting license, juvenile deer season compliance, and a free beginner deer tag are required to participate. An unarmed adult with a Vermont hunting license and at least 18 years old must accompany a rookie deer hunter. The adult may supervise up to two rookie hunters without artificial equipment, save for medical assistance. Novice hunters need permission to hunt on private property. The season limit enables the harvest of one legal buck or any deer if the Fish & Wildlife Board authorizes antlerless deer during the youth hunting weekend.
  • If antlerless licenses are awarded, Vermont will have a four-day muzzleloader antlerless deer season. This season requires a muzzleloader license and antlerless permit. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife website will announce antlerless permit availability and season dates in June. Antlerless permit holders may use them during the muzzleloader deer or antlerless seasons.
  • Hunting one lawful buck in November is allowed. As noted, lawful bucks meet antler standards. Hunters may only take four white-tailed deer in all deer hunting seasons, with only one being a lawful buck. This season allows rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, pistols, bows & arrows, and crossbows.
  • Hunting and muzzleloader licenses are necessary during Muzzleloader Deer Season. One lawful buck may be taken anywhere in the state throughout the season. Department-issued antlerless permits allow hunters to capture antlerless deer in the WMU. This lets muzzleloader hunters target bucks and antlerless deer.
  • Muzzleloading firearms are shoulder-fired rifles or pistols with preset barrel lengths. These rifles have a minimum bore diameter, need equipment to load, and employ conventional or contemporary ignition systems. Muzzleloaders use black powder or other non-smokeless propellants and one ball or bullet. Loaded muzzleloaders have powder, projectile, and primer or cap. Muzzleloader deer hunters may only carry one muzzleloading weapon and no additional guns, archery equipment, or crossbows.

Note: For the entire deer hunting rule, you may review it on the VT Fish and Wildlife Department portal.

FAQs related to Vermont Deer Season

How many legal bucks may hunters kill in a year in Vermont?

With limits, hunters may kill four deer each year. Only one of these four deer is a legitimate buck. Every deer harvested needs a new tag. Youth and beginner hunters may take two legal bucks if one is taken during their season. The four-deer-per-year restriction must be observed. This rule manages deer populations sustainably and allows young or unskilled hunters.

What are the regulations regarding deer harvest during the archery season?

Archery season allows one legal buck. Some Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) may allow antlerless deer hunting depending on the June judgment. Archery season may take up to four deer if no deer are taken in past seasons. This provides chances to hunt bucks and antlerless deer, which helps regulate deer populations.

Are there any limits on hunting on private property without a license?

Landowners, their spouses, and minor children may hunt, fish, and trap on their property without a license, except for youth deer and turkey weekends when young hunters need a license. However, they must follow all restrictions, hunt inside seasons, and make their own weigh station tag. Unless indicated, nonresident landowners have the same rights. However, hunters with suspended permits cannot hunt, fish, or trap on their land. This supports legal hunting and compliance.

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Landowners, their spouses, and minor children may hunt, fish, and trap on their property without a license, except for youth deer and turkey weekends when young hunters need a license. However, they must follow all restrictions, hunt inside seasons, and make their own weigh station tag. Unless indicated, nonresident landowners have the same rights. However, hunters with suspended permits cannot hunt, fish, or trap on their land. This supports legal hunting and compliance.

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James Ellis

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