Public Events Announced for New Comprehensive Deer Management Plan

Hunters interested in Vermont’s deer herd should plan on attending one of three public events scheduled for January 19th, 30th and 31st.

Close to a decade ago many hunters felt the number of older bucks in Vermont’s deer population should be increased through a regulation change. To help achieve that goal, an experimental antler point regulation (APR) was established in 2005 defining a legal antlered deer as a deer with two or more points on one side greater than one inch in length. The objective was to move more 1 ½ year old antlered deer into the 2 ½ year old age class and slightly increasing the total number of bucks.

The Fish & Wildlife Department is holding these meetings to evaluate the impact all current deer hunting regulations and the APR have on hunter satisfaction while promoting deer herd health. The evaluation process also will include deer hunter surveys, three regional working groups and five public meetings occurring statewide from March through May.

An introductory seminar on whitetailed deer will be held at the Yankee Classic sportsman show at noon on Saturday, January 19, which will give Vermont’s hunters a chance to meet deer biologist Adam Murkoski and to hear a brief overview on Vermont’s deer herd. State biologists also will be hosting a booth at the Classic where sportsmen and women can discuss fish and wildlife management and ask questions.

Two public input meetings will be held from 7-9 p.m. at the Kehoe Conservation Camp, 636 Point of Pines Road in Castleton on January 30, and at Spaulding High School Cafeteria, 155 Ayers Street in Barre on January 31.

At each public input meeting Fish & Wildlife deer biologist Adam Murkowski will give a presentation on the department’s new comprehensive deer management planning process. Hunters will be asked to fill out a deer management survey to gather opinions on deer management alternatives, and they will learn about three regional deer working groups being created to gain deer hunter thoughts and opinions on current and potential regulatory changes. A question and answer forum will be held as each meeting closes.

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