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Vermont Hunting Laws

Vermont Hunting Laws

Vermont is one of the most rural states in the country; hunting is so popular in the Green Mountain State that hunting is permitted on Sundays! Hunting is a very cultural/traditional thing in this state, Vermont hunting acknowledges this and therefore offers many discounts on family hunting. There are more than 800,00 acres of federal and state public land open to hunting as well as ample opportunities on private land as well.

With Vermont’s antler restrictions into effect protecting yearling bucks, there has been a significant increase in the number of older, larger bucks in the deer harvest.

According to statistics of a New York study, 94% of hunters who are involved in accidents being mistaken for game, were not wearing orange. That is a shocking statistic, especially when 81% of New York hunters wear orange. Hunter orange is not mandatory when hunting in Vermont, but it is highly suggested. According to the statistics above, it might just be in your own benefit, after all, most states do require it.

There are four basic rules in order to ensure safety in Vermont hunting: (1) Treat every gun as if it is loaded, (2) Always point your gun in safe directions, (3) Do not put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot, (4) Be sure of your target and beyond. The hunting laws in Vermont which touch on the guns clearly states there are no machine guns or auto-loading rifles with a magazine capacity of over 6 cartridges, except a .22 caliber rifle using rim fire cartridges. Handguns are permitted on the hunting grounds wherever rifles are permitted. Whenever firearms are permitted in Vermont hunting, shotguns, pistols and muzzle loading rifles are usable. Lights and laser beams are prohibited not only near public areas but also on the hunting grounds.

Hunting from a vehicle is illegal, whether in an automobile, an ATV, or any other. You need to be 50 yards away from the vehicle before firing at an animal. ATV’s are permitted only in areas of private land when given permission. Dogs are not allowed to take deers or moose at any point of the season. Authoritative figures with jurisdiction, such as law officers or a property employee have the right to shoot a dog if it harasses or attempts to take down an animal.

Vermont hunting is very exciting, at the same time, the Vermont law maintains a level of respect between fellow hunters as well as for the deer. One thing that is highly stressed is to not waste the game, and to not torture it by having it die slowly. You must make every reasonable effort to retrieve all game killed or crippled. Until such effort is made, such game shall be included in the daily bag. This rule does not allow you to trespass without permission of the landowner nor shoot game beyond established shooting hours. Whether on a deer hunt, or hitting a deer with your vehicle by accident, you must request a tag for the carcass through the Sheriff’s Department.

Always remember, hunting is a privilege, not a right. The only person who can create a cause of action to have their privilege revoked is you. Always keep that in mind, be friendly with your fellow hunters and do not try to torture or make the game feel lasting pain that is not part of the sport.