Intro to Archery: Updates to Vermont’s archery deer season

I wasn’t the only bowhunter in Vermont last season interested in seeing some changes. In fact, beyond the proposed extension to the season, other topics like legalizing crossbows, bag limits and using deer urine-based scents and lures were heavily debated over the winter. And after multiple meetings and discussions, it looks like there will be some changes to Vermont’s archery deer season.

  • Bow season will be extended, but only by five days. The original proposed extension was for 10 additional days, but that has been cut in half. The extra five days will be tacked onto the end of the season, which will begin the first Saturday in October and run for 28 days.
  • Hunters age 50 and older can now use crossbows. Prior to this change, crossbows were only legal for those with a physical impairment and a doctor’s note.
  • Bag limits for archery and muzzleloader have been decreased from three to two deer per season. Only one can be a buck.
  • Deer urine-based scents and lures have been banned due to the link between these products and CWD.

But the changes aren’t in effect this fall – these new regulations will be in place for the 2016 season.

First day of 2014 bow season!

First morning of 2014 bow season!

Officials are also currently figuring out how many tags to make available for the upcoming 2015 deer season. According to the Burlington Free Press, the past two winters have been the most severe Vermont has seen since 2003 (and ironically are some of my first winters in this state, heating my house with wood!). Obviously these are harsh conditions and greatly impact deer mortality rates, which means officials are proposing cutting the number of antlerless deer tags — at least for the December muzzleloader season —nearly in half.

The approved number of tags will be announced later this summer…for now, I’ll concentrate on preparing for bow season the best I can: plenty of practice and lots of food plot maintenance!

Food plots growing near my tree stand.

Food plots growing near my tree stand.

The complete deer hunting regulations for Vermont can be found here.


New to bowhunting? Check out my “Beginner’s Guide to Archery: For Women” DVD

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