A youngster’s first hunt can mark the beginning of a lifelong passion for the outdoors and a commitment to wildlife conservation. There is no finer time to begin this journey than during Vermont’s upcoming youth deer hunting weekend on November 9 and 10, 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 requirements apply to all interested young hunters, including the children of landowners.
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 requires the adult to have direct control and supervision of the young hunters, including the ability to see and communicate 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.
Violation of the youth deer hunting law can result in a doubled fine that is assessed against the adult who accompanies the youth.
A 2007 survey showed that Vermont’s youth hunting seasons for deer, turkey and waterfowl 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 hunting experience for 69 percent of all surveyed youth hunters.
For more information about youth deer weekend, go to Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s website Youth Hunting page: http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/hunttrap_youth.cfm
Youth deer hunters who get a deer on youth deer hunting weekend can help Vermont’s deer management program by reporting their deer at one of the biological check stations listed below that will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on November 9 and 10:
Barre, R & L Archery; Eden Mills, Ingall’s Market & Deli; Bakersfield, Bakersfield Village Market; Irasburg, Bob’s Quick Stop; Jericho, General Store; Pittsford, Keith’s Country Store; Pawlet, Mach’s General Store; Bennington, Marty’s Sports & Gunsmithing; North Hartland, Steve’s Bait Shop; Island Pond, Northern Wildlife; Danby, Otter Creek Campground; Hardwick, Riteway Sports; Swanton, St. Marie’s; Springfield, Fire Department; East Randolph, Middle Branch Market and Deli; Middlebury, Vermont Field Sports; Bradford, Bradford Bottle Shoppe; Newport, Wright’s Sports; McIndoes Falls, Paul’s Whistle Stop; Concord, Barnie’s Market; Stowe, Fly Rod Shop; Orwell, Buxton’s Country Store; West Brattleboro, Paradise Farm Surgarhouse.
Logo courtesy Vermont Fish and Wildlife