Vermont offers some of the best turkey hunting in New England
according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. In
2012, Hunters took 4,714 turkeys in both the youth weekend and
regular May 1-31 seasons, and 1,365 turkeys in the fall season.
What makes Vermont's spring gobbler season special?
• Vermont's turkey hunting is statewide during
the spring season.
• Vermont's turkey population is one of the
highest in New England.
• You can buy a turkey hunting license without
having to go through a lottery.
• The turkey license comes with two spring tags
for two bearded birds and one tag for a turkey of either sex in the
• Plus, you get to hunt the entire weekend,
because hunting is allowed on Sundays.
Landowner permission is required to hunt on private land,
whether or not the land is posted.
Youth turkey hunting weekend is April 27-28 this year. To
be eligible, a youth must be age 15 or under. The youth must have
successfully completed a hunter education course and possess a
hunting license, a turkey hunting license and a free youth turkey
hunting tag. The youth also must be accompanied by an unarmed
adult who holds a hunting license and is over 18 years of
age. Shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to
12-noon. The youth may take one bearded turkey during youth
weekend and two bearded turkeys in the regular May hunting
The regular spring turkey hunting season is May
1-31. Shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to
12-noon. Two bearded turkeys may be taken, and all of Vermont
is open to turkey hunting during the youth weekend and regular
A shotgun or bow and arrow may be used in the youth turkey or
regular spring turkey hunting seasons. Shot size must be no
larger than #2 and no smaller than #8.
Vermont was the first New England state to re-establish wild
turkeys when it stocked 31 birds in 1969 and 1970. Today, the
Green Mountain State has an estimated 50,000 turkeys. Last year,
turkeys were taken in 241 of Vermont's 253 towns.
Vermont's wild turkey restoration program is a tremendous
wildlife management success story funded entirely by hunters
through the sale of hunting licenses and a federal tax on hunting
equipment. Now, hunters are reaping the benefits by seeing
excellent turkey hunting in Vermont. And, all Vermonters are
enjoying watching the big birds as they roam hillsides they had
been absent from for almost a century.
To find out more about wild turkey hunting in Vermont, contact
the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department by telephone at
802-241-3700 or check in at their website
www.vtfishandwildlife.com. While on their website, be sure to
look at a printable copy of the guide to "2013 Spring and Fall
Licenses are available on their website and at agents
Not even a turkey would mistake a hunter for a turkey
Vermont's youth turkey hunting weekend is April 27-28, and the
regular spring season is May 1-31. While spring turkey
hunting-related shootings are rare (last year's season was
incident-free) precautions are needed.
Camouflage or drab colored clothing is almost mandatory to
outwit a keen sighted gobbler. Unfortunately, camouflage has
the same affect on other hunters as it has on the turkeys.
"With a handful of exceptions, all of our incidents have been
caused by hunters who don't positively identify the target before
they pull the trigger," said Chris Saunders, Hunter Education
Coordinator. "And the victim is usually another hunter, often
a friend, trying to stalk a turkey call."
VTF&W recommends these Turkey Hunting Safety Tips:
• Never stalk a gobbling turkey. Your
chances of getting close are poor, and you may be sneaking up on
• Don't be patriotic. Avoid red, white and
blue… and black too. A tom turkey's head has similar colors.
• Stick with hen calls. A gobbler call might
draw in other hunters.
• Avoid unnecessary movement. This alerts
turkeys and attracts hunters.
• Don't hide so well that you impair your field
• Wrap your turkey in blaze orange for the hike
back to the car.
• Always sit with your back against a tree trunk,
big log or a boulder that is wider than your body. This protects
you from being accidentally struck by pellets fired from behind
• Place decoys on the far side of a tree trunk or
a rock. This prevents you from being directly in the line of fire
should another hunter mistakenly shoot at your decoy.
• Never shoot unless you're absolutely sure of
your target. Since only turkeys with beards are legal during
the spring season, lack of positive identification could result in
shooting an illegal bird, or worse, another hunter.
• Consider wearing hunter orange while moving
from set-up to set-up. Take it off when you are in position.
Remember, only turkeys stalk turkeys! Hunt smart. Hunt safe. Wear
Photo by John Hall