Vermont’s youth deer hunting weekend is November 3 and 4 this year, the Saturday and Sunday before the rifle deer season opens.
“Vermont’s special youth deer hunting weekend helps ensure that young hunters get the quality training and experiences they need for lifelong participation,” said Fish & Wildlife Hunter Education Coordinator Chris Saunders. “By design, the youth weekend hunt reinforces the route of initiation that is critical in recruitment — learning through the family.”
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 may purchase a hunting license and obtain a free youth deer hunting tag.
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 now requires the adult to have direct control and supervision, including the ability to see and communicate with the youth hunter without the aid of artificial devices such as radios or binoculars. Landowner permission is required in order to hunt on private land during the youth deer hunt weekend.
The young hunter may take one deer of either sex. The antler restriction that applies for other Vermont deer seasons does not apply for youth deer hunting weekend.
A violation of the youth deer hunting law can result in a fine that is doubled and assessed against the adult who accompanies the youth.
A 2007 survey proved that Vermont’s youth hunting seasons work. Current youth hunters, past youth hunters and their mentors were highly satisfied with their experiences, and this translated into an increased desire to hunt in the future. Perhaps most telling of all, the youth hunting weekend was the first time hunting for 69 percent of youth hunters.
For more information, go to Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s website Youth Hunting page:
Image courtesy Elissa Denton/Vermont Fish and Wildlife