Young hunters get training, assist in state deer herd management
With Youth Deer Hunt Weekend just around the corner, young hunters are encouraged to take to the field to hone their skills and to also help Fish & Wildlife biologists by reporting their deer at one of 23 biological reporting stations around the state.
Youth weekend helps ensure that young hunters get the quality training they need for lifelong participation, and it also provides biological information needed to manage the herd into the future.
“Examining deer during the youth deer hunting weekend is our best opportunity to assess the deer herd, because youth hunters are allowed to harvest any deer, including spike bucks,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s deer project leader Nick Fortin. “The information collected will help biologists assess the physical condition of Vermont’s deer, and data about age, weight and antler development will help guide future deer management decisions.”
“Vermont hunters are very interested in the health of the deer herd,” Fortin added. “We encourage hunters to bring their deer to one of these biological reporting stations. It’s a great opportunity to get your deer weighed, aged and examined by a state wildlife biologist, and you will be directly contributing to deer management in Vermont.”
Along with having their deer examined and aged by a biologist, youth hunters visiting a biological reporting station will receive a Youth Hunter Participation patch. Successful youth hunters will also receive a 2015 Vermont Hunter Cooperator patch.
Anyone, resident or nonresident, who is 15 years old or younger on the weekend of the hunt and who has successfully completed a hunter education course must purchase a hunting license and obtain a free youth deer hunting tag. The requirements apply to all interested young hunters, including the children of landowners.
Additionally, the young hunter must be accompanied by an unarmed adult over 18 years of age who holds a Vermont hunting license. The adult may accompany up to two young hunters. The law requires the adult to have direct control and supervision of the young hunters, including the ability to see and communicate without the aid of artificial devices such as radios or binoculars. Violation of the youth deer hunting law can result in a doubled fine that is assessed against the adult who accompanies the youth.
Landowner permission is required in order to hunt on private land during the Youth Deer Hunt Weekend and youth are encouraged to secure permission well in advance.
The youth hunter may take one deer of either sex on youth deer weekend, and the antler restriction that applies in other deer seasons does not apply during youth weekend.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will have personnel at the 23 biological reporting stations between 9 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. The stations in Rutland and Windsor Counties are listed below for youth weekend, Nov. 7-8:
Keith’s Country Store, Pittsford
Grant’s Village Store, Middletown Springs
Steve’s Bait Shop, North Hartland
Joes’ Taxidermy, Reading