Vermont deer harvest up 13 percent over previous three-year average

(VTF&W photo by John Hall)

MONTPELIER, Vt. – According to the final report from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, hunters took a total of 15,984 deer during Vermont’s archery, youth, November rifle, and December muzzleloader deer seasons. This was 13 percent higher than the previous three-year average (14,186).

Hunters took 3,578 deer in archery season, 1,462 in youth season, 7,272 in rifle season, and 3,672 in muzzleloader season. The 15,984 deer brought home by hunters yielded more than 3 million meals of local venison, Fish and Wildlife said in a news release Monday, March 19 announcing the report numbers.

“The legal buck harvest of 9,477 was 8 percent more than the previous three-year average of 8,760, and the third-highest buck harvest since 2002,” said deer project leader Nick Fortin. “Harvest numbers increased during the archery, youth and muzzleloader seasons, and the total harvest of 15,984 is also the third-highest since 2002.

“The relatively high harvest was primarily due to the mild winters of 2016 and 2017, which allowed more deer to survive. Additionally, the department issued more muzzleloader antlerless deer permits this year to provide more harvest opportunity and to limit population growth in some parts of the state.”

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