Vermont hunters are looking forward to opening day of rifle deer season on Saturday, November 10. Vermont has more bucks and older bucks in the deer population due to an antler restriction regulation put in place a few years ago.

Vermont’s traditionally popular 16-day November rifle season begins November 10 and ends Sunday, November 25. One legal buck with at least one antler having two or more points may be taken anywhere in the state.

The antler regulation for a “legal buck” is designed to recruit more bucks and older bucks into the population. Hunters may take one buck with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer. Spike-antlered deer are protected except during the youth deer weekend. A point must be one inch or longer from base to tip. The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length.

“Vermont’s pre-hunt deer population is estimated at approximately 125,000 animals this year with the greatest numbers of deer found in the southwest, east-central, and northwestern regions of the state,” said Deer Project Leader Adam Murkowski. “Deer populations have benefited from excellent survival during the mildest winter recorded over the last four decades and good fawning conditions during the spring and summer.”

Planning Your Hunt

The 2011 Vermont Deer Harvest Report, available from the Fish & Wildlife Department’s web site ( has a wealth of information to help plan a hunt, including the number of deer taken in each town. Click on “Hunting and Trapping” and “Big Game” to download a copy of the report.

Vermont’s regular hunting licenses, including a November rifle season buck tag and a bear tag, still cost only $22 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Hunters under 18 years of age get a break at $8 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Licenses are available on Fish and Wildlife’s web site and from license agents statewide.

Contact the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department for more information. Telephone 802-241-3700 or Email

Logo courtesy Vermont Fish and Wildlife

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