I live in NY but hunted in VT for years. I'm 41, my dad is 66. My dad had friends who skied at Killington every year. They were hunters too. They used to take family trips up there in the summers and while driving around site-seeing would see tons of deer in the fields at all hours of the day. They hunted up there every year as a ritual for bow and gun in the areas where they had all these sightings in summer, Barnard mostly. Now, I'm talking 60's to early 70s. I remember being a kid and my dad and his friends talking about how they say they saw 20, 30, 40, 50 deer in a single field in summer and how every year they got shots at 8s and 10s in both bow and gun season. I'm not sure what happened...I know they had a few doe seasons. I remember the locals talking about that killed off the heard. In my opinion, it has never recovered.
I started hunting up their with these guys when I was 16...1984. I saw deer, but nowhere near like the stories they told. It seemed to decline year after year. We stayed at a lodge in Pittsfield. We had guys from all over...Mass., NJ, Maine...one by one, including my dad's friends, they slowly stopped coming. I havent gone up there in 6 years. Lack of getting, and more importantly, seeing deer. Alot of the land was starting to become posted and permission not being granted for access...that contributed as well.
I really enjoyed the comraderie, stories, I loved stopping in at the deer check stations just to BS whether I got a deer or not. Needless to say, I bought my own land in NYS just north of the Catskils and hunt there. Nothing like having your own land to hunt on and permission from neighbors, especially in your home state. My dad always talks about wanting to make one last trip up there, I guess he knows his hunting years are winding down. Maybe, who knows.
Anyway, it seemed to be a great place to hunt back in the day. I'm sure the state lost a lot of revenue on licenses, hotels, food, booze, etc from lack of out of state participation. As an out of state hunter and non-tax payer of VT, I feel like a guest and really shouldnt have a say in how they manage their deer herd. Something needs to be done.