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smokepole
11-08-2007, 11:02 AM
More Deer, Bigger Bucks Expected for Vermont

WATERBURY, VT - Vermont hunters are optimistic about the upcoming November rifle and December muzzleloader deer seasons -- and with good reason, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Deer numbers are up and bucks with impressive antlers are being seen after new regulations were enacted in 2005 protecting yearling bucks and cutting back on antlerless deer hunting in archery season.

The new regulations were designed to keep more older bucks in the population and to stimulate an increase in deer numbers in selected Wildlife Management Units (WMUs).

Archery deer hunters had taken more than 19 percent more deer than last year during Vermont's October 6-28 archery season, according to reports received by the Fish & Wildlife Department on November 7. The department had received reports at their Rutland office of 2,146 deer being taken, compared to 1,794 on the same reporting day last year. Archery season reports will continue to come in for several weeks before results are finalized.* *

"Hunters are reporting seeing more mature bucks with good antlers and more deer than they have in years," said Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche. "The two recent easy winters helped, but the new regulations are beginning to pay off."

The excitement can be seen and heard at deer reporting stations.

"People have been seeing really nice bucks with decent antlers since late summer," said Cedric Sanborn, owner of R and L Archery in Barre. "The number of deer, especially racked bucks, being seen by hunters is up significantly over past years, due in part to two recent mild winters and the new spike horn regulation. It's great to see hunters excited about getting out during the November rifle season."

Vermont's traditionally popular 16-day November rifle season begins on Saturday, the 10th and ends on the Sunday, the 25th. Hunters may take one buck with at least one antler having two or more points one inch or longer anywhere in the state. A point must be one inch or longer from base to tip. The main beam counts as a point, regardless of length.

Wildlife biologists are asking hunters for help in aging deer by use postage-paid envelopes to send in the two front teeth from any deer they take. The teeth will be cross-sectioned and annual rings will be counted. It is important that the root of a tooth be unbroken. The envelopes are available at deer reporting stations.

Vermont's deer population is estimated at 110,000 to 150,000 this year with the greatest numbers found in the southwest, southeast, east-central, and northwestern regions of the state.

The 2006 Vermont Deer Harvest Report, available from the Fish & Wildlife Department's web site (http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com) 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 hunting licenses, including a buck tag and a bear tag, still cost only $16 for residents and $90 for nonresidents. Hunters under 18 years of age get a break at $8 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Licenses are available on Fish & Wildlife's web site if you have purchased one before, and from license agents statewide.

Contact the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department for more information at 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05671-0501. Telephone 802-241-3700 or Email fwinformation@state.vt.us.