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Vermont's Deer Hunting Rules Could Be Changing. Here's Why

A white-tailed deer photographed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Scott Bauer
/
USDA
A white-tailed deer photographed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We're looking at the proposed changes to deer hunting in Vermont by 2020.

Hunting rules usually change due to shifts in the animal population hunters are harvesting. But in 2020, Vermont’s deer hunting rules are changing for a different reason: a long decline in the number of hunters. That's leading the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department to propose changes from bag limits to antler point restrictions to season structure. We're looking at the proposed changes.

A graph of Vermont hunting licenses since the 1940s shows a peak in 1960s and a steady decline in the following decades.
Credit Meg Malone / VPR via Vermont Fish & Wildlife data
A graph of Vermont hunting licenses since the 1940s shows a peak in 1960s and a steady decline in the following decades.

Nick Fortin, a Fish & Wildlife deer biologist and Deer Project Leader, joins Vermont Edition to explain the proposals under consideration for the 2020 season, which could include reducing the buck limit to one and multiple ways of increasing the harvest of antlerless deer.

And Commissioner Louis Porter joins us to talk about the proposed changes and how they align with the department's broader deer management goals and increased outreach to hunters.

Upcoming public meetings from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. to discuss the proposed deer hunting changes:

Broadcast live on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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