The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding hunters that handguns may not be used to take game while archery deer hunting.  Following the Sportsman Act of 2013, archery deer hunters in Vermont are permitted to carry a pistol or revolver.

“This provision was passed to create more consistency with rights currently afforded to hikers, wildlife watchers, and others,” said Col. David LeCours, head of law enforcement for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.  “However, it was not intended to supplement a bow and arrow for legally taking other game during the archery season.  Handguns may not be used for taking deer, bear or any other game animal while archery deer hunting, including downed deer.”

Bowhunters are also reminded to practice treestand safety.  “We see several hunters every year who seriously injure themselves while using treestands,” said Col. LeCours.  “These injuries can usually be avoided by following a few simple precautions.”

Hunters should use a safety harness in a treestand, even while climbing.  They should also not go too high.  Staying lower in a tree not only improves safety, but also increases the size of the vital zone exposed on a deer.  And hunters should choose large, stable trees and use stands certified by the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association.

Logo courtesy Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

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