Grouse Hunting Season is Sept. 28 – Dec. 31, Woodcock Hunting Season, Oct. 1 – Nov. 14
An experienced upland gamebird hunter may opt for a fast-handling 20-gauge and a well-trained bird dog to find and recover downed ruffed grouse or woodcock, but they aren’t absolutely necessary. Learning to identify suitable habitat is the most important key to hunting success, and Vermont has plenty of productive grouse and woodcock habitat.
Vermont’s hunting season for ruffed grouse is September 28 – December 31 this year. The daily limit is four grouse with a possession limit of eight.
The Vermont woodcock hunting season is October 1 – November 14. The daily limit is three woodcock with a possession limit of nine.
Woodcock are often found in alders along brooks and near beaver ponds as well as in new-growth small timber where old fields are reverting to forest. Ruffed grouse also frequent the same habitat, and they are particularly fond of the apples they find under wild apple trees.
Regulations require woodcock hunters to make sure their shotgun is capable of holding no more than three shells, and they must register for the federal Harvest Information Program on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website or by calling toll-free 1-877-306-7091.
For more information on hunting in Vermont, be sure to get a copy of the 2013 Hunting, Fishing & Trapping LAWS and GUIDE available from license agents statewide and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Tel. 802-828-1000 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also print sections of the Guide from the department’s website. Hunting licenses are available from the website and from agents throughout the state.
Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom offers large expanses of huntable land and plenty of excellent grouse and woodcock habitat. Go to the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce at http://www.nekchamber.com/ or Tel. 800-639-6379 for overnight accommodations and helpful local advice.
Several large state wildlife management areas (WMAs) offer public hunting in the Northeast Kingdom as well as other sections of the state. Descriptions and maps of the WMAs are provided on Fish & Wildlife’s website.
Logo courtesy Vermont Fish and Wildlife