Hunting In Vermont

Hunting in Vermont can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for those who appreciate the outdoors and the pursuit of games. The state offers a variety of hunting opportunities due to its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife.

Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just starting your journey, Vermont has something for everyone.

Stay tuned as we delve into the many opportunities and adventures that await you in this beautiful state, and learn how you can make the most of your hunting experience in Vermont.

Vermont Hunting Season

Vermont has specific hunting seasons for different game species, which are subject to change annually. Always check the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s (VFWD) website for the most up-to-date information on hunting seasons, bag limits, and regulations for each species.

Here’s the rundown of the general hunting seasons you can enjoy in the state:

Deer Hunting SeasonArchery: Early November to mid-December
Regular Muzzleloader: Early to mid-December
Muzzleloader-Antlerless: Late October for three days
Youth/Novice: Weekend of mid-October
November Regular: Mid- to late November
Black Bear Hunting SeasonEarly Season: Early September to mid-November
Late Season: Late November for a week
Moose Hunting Season
(lottery-based hunting permit)
Archery: Early October for a week
General Season: Weekdays in mid-October
Wild Turkey Hunting SeasonArchery: Early October for a week
General Season: Weekdays in mid-October
Small Game Hunting SeasonCrow: Mid-January to mid-April & Late August to mid-December
(Sun, M, Fri, Sat only)
Hare & Rabbit: Late September to late March
Squirrel: Early September to late December
Furbearer Hunting SeasonBobcat: Mid-January to Early February
Coyote: Year-round
Fox: Late October to mid-February
Marten, Lynx & Wolf: Year-round
Raccoon: Early February to late December
Please note that these general seasons are subject to change, and it’s essential to consult the VFWD’s website for the most up-to-date information on hunting seasons.

The Green Mountain State is teeming with diverse wildlife, making every hunting trip a thrilling experience. Let’s look at some of the most popular hunting species that await you in this beautiful state.

Deer Hunting

Imagine trekking through the picturesque forests, with leaves crunching beneath your feet and the scent of pine in the air, as you pursue the majestic white-tailed deer.

In Vermont, deer hunting is a time-honored tradition, and the state’s healthy deer population offers ample opportunities for both experienced and novice hunters.

White-tailed deer hunting in Vermont is divided into different seasons to cater to hunters’ diverse demographic and preferences.

Each of these seasons has its own set of rules and regulations to ensure the sustainable management of the deer population.

  1. Archery Season: During this time, hunters can harvest one legal buck (having at least one antler with two or more points) and one antlerless deer, subject to antlerless permit availability.
  2. Muzzleloader Season: Hunters can take one legal buck or an antlerless deer with an antlerless muzzleloader permit.
  3. November Regular Season: One buck may be hunted statewide with a limit of one buck yearly.
  4. Youth Deer Hunt: This special weekend, usually held in late October or early November, allows young hunters (15 years old or younger) to harvest one deer of either sex. Unarmed hunters must supervise them with a valid state hunting license.

During rifle and muzzleloader seasons, hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of fluorescent hunter-orange clothing above the waist and a fluorescent orange hat.

Black Bear Hunting

For those seeking a true adrenaline rush, black bear hunting in Vermont promises an unforgettable adventure. These powerful animals roam the state’s forests, allowing experienced hunters to test their skills and patience in pursuing this impressive game.

With a healthy and growing bear population, the state provides exciting opportunities for experienced hunters to test their skills to pursue these majestic animals.

Black bear hunting opportunities in Vermont are divided into two seasons:

  1. Early Season: This time of year, bears are more active and can often be found foraging for food in preparation for the winter months.
  2. Late Season: The late bear hunting season coincides with the deer rifle season. This overlap allows hunters to pursue both deer and bear during this period, maximizing their hunting experience.

The use of dogs to hunt black bears is prohibited during the early season. However, hunters can use dogs during the late season, subject to specific regulations and dog handler licensing requirements.

Wild Turkey Hunting

Vermont offers fantastic opportunities for wild turkey hunting, with a robust turkey population and beautiful landscapes to explore. Vermont has got you covered if you’re eager to experience the thrill of calling and harvesting these elusive birds.

Wild turkey hunting opportunities in Vermont are divided into two seasons:

  1. Spring Season: The spring season focuses on hunting bearded turkeys. This is a popular time for turkey hunting, as the birds are more vocal and responsive to calls during their mating season.
  2. Fall Season: The fall season allowed hunters to harvest any turkey, regardless of sex. This season provides different challenges, as the birds are less vocal and more focused on foraging for food.

Only shotguns (20-gauge or larger), muzzleloading shotguns, and archery equipment are permitted for turkey hunting. Shot size must be no larger than #2 and no smaller than #8.

Hunting hours are typically 30 minutes before sunrise to 12:00 noon for both spring and fall seasons.

Moose Hunting

Moose hunting opportunities in Vermont are highly sought after and provide a unique and challenging experience for hunters. With its controlled and limited hunting, many hunters try their luck to experience the special privilege of hunting the state’s wilderness.

Moose hunting opportunities in Vermont are primarily available through a lottery system. Hunters can apply for a permit through the VFWD’s website, typically between January and early June. The moose hunting season usually occurs in October and is designed to manage the moose population in the state.

Best Vermont Hunting Location

Ready to discover hunting opportunities in famous hunting locations in the state? Vermont is home to diverse landscapes where game species roam and wander day and night. And that makes the state an exciting destination for hunters of all skill levels.

Note: To ensure a legal hunt, familiarize yourself with the VFWD‘s regulations and any additional rules specific to each area.

Green Mountain National Forest

With over 400,000 acres of pristine forest, the Green Mountain National Forest is a true paradise for hunters.

From white-tailed deer and black bears to wild turkey and small game, this vast expanse of wilderness offers endless hunting opportunities. Just remember, when hunting on public land like the National Forest, be sure to follow all state regulations and any specific rules posted by the U.S. Forest Service.

Northeast Kingdom

The Northeast Kingdom, covering the counties of Essex, Orleans, and Caledonia, is known for its vast wilderness and healthy game populations. This area offers exceptional deer, bear, and moose hunting opportunities, with an abundance of both public and private land available for hunting.

As always, be sure to acquire permission before hunting on private property and adhere to all Vermont hunting regulations.

Champlain Valley

The Champlain Valley, nestled between the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks, provides excellent waterfowl hunting opportunities along the shores of Lake Champlain.

From ducks to geese, this region offers prime habitats for migratory birds. Be aware that waterfowl hunting is subject to specific regulations, including federal migratory bird regulations, so familiarize yourself with the rules before setting out on your adventure.

Southern Vermont

The rolling hills and picturesque landscapes of Southern Vermont provide great habitats for deer, turkey, and small game. The various state forests and wildlife management areas in this region offer plenty of public lands for hunting and privately-owned land enrolled in the state’s public access program.

As always, be mindful of posted signs and follow all state hunting regulations.

Coolidge State Forest

Located in central Vermont, the Coolidge State Forest is home to diverse wildlife, including deer, bear, turkey, and small game. With thousands of acres of public land open to hunting, this forest is a must-visit destination for the adventurous hunter.

Remember to abide by Vermont hunting regulations and specific state forest hunting rules.

Vermont Hunting License

To hunt in Vermont, you must have a valid hunting license. The state offers different hunting licenses to cater to hunters’ residency status and demography. Note that the state requires hunters to purchase a game-specific hunting license on top of the state hunting license.

Here’s the rundown of the hunting license offered by VFWD:


Adult Hunters1-year hunting: $28.00
5-year hunting: $134.00
1-year Hunting & Fishing: $47.00
5-year Hunting & Fishing: $229.00
Youth Hunters
(age 17 and under)
Hunting: $8.00
Hunting & Fishing: $12.00
Senior Hunters1-year Hunting: $28.00
5-year hunting: $134.00
1-year Hunting & Fishing: $47.00
5-year Hunting & Fishing: $229.00
Deer HuntersArchery Hunting: $23.00
Muzzleloader Hunting: $23.00
Black Bear Hunters$5.00
Turkey Hunters$23.00


Adult Hunters1-year hunting: $102.00
5-year hunting: $504.00
1-year Hunting & Fishing: $143.00
5-year Hunting & Fishing: $709.00
Youth Hunters
(age 17 and under)
Hunting: $25.00
Hunting & Fishing: $30.00
Small Game Hunters$50.00
Deer HuntersArchery Hunting: $38.00
Muzzleloader Hunting: $40.00
Black Bear Hunters$15.00
Turkey Hunters$38.00

First-time hunters and those without a Vermont hunting license within the past three years must complete a hunter education course.

Youth hunting Weekend

Vermont encourages young hunters by designating a special Youth Hunting Weekend for deer, typically held a week before the regular rifle season.

This event is open to hunters aged 15 and under who have completed a hunter education course and are accompanied by an unarmed adult mentor.

Landowner Appreciation Program

Vermont’s Landowner Appreciation Program encourages private landowners to allow hunting on their property.

In return, participating landowners can receive a free hunting license and are eligible for a special antlerless deer permit drawing.

Hunter Access Program

Vermont’s Hunter Access Program encourages private landowners to enroll their land, providing hunters access to thousands of acres of private land for hunting. In exchange, landowners receive liability protection under Vermont law.

Always respect the land and follow any posted rules when hunting on enrolled properties.

Earn-A-Buck Program

To help manage deer populations, Vermont has implemented an “Earn-a-Buck” program in some WMUs. Under this program, hunters must harvest an antlerless deer before taking a buck with at least one antler having two or more points.


Hunting in Vermont offers a diverse range of opportunities for both novice and experienced hunters. From its lush forests and picturesque landscapes to its abundant game species, the Green Mountain State is a true haven for hunting enthusiasts.

To make the most of your hunting experience, always stay up-to-date with the latest regulations, respect private landowners, and practice ethical hunting.