Harvest numbers up significantly in Vermont deer hunts
MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says preliminary numbers show 16,160 deer were taken during Vermont’s 2016 deer hunting seasons.
Reports from big-game check stations indicate hunters had successful deer seasons in 2016, taking 3,447 deer in archery season, 1,438 in youth season, 7,725 in rifle season, and 3,550 in muzzleloader season, the agency said, adding that the 16,160 deer brought home by hunters yielded more than 3 million meals of local venison.
“The legal buck harvest of 9,968 was 19 percent more than the previous three-year average of 8,372, and the highest buck harvest since 2002,” said deer project leader Nick Fortin. “Harvest numbers increased during all four seasons, and the total harvest of 16,160 is the second-highest since 2002.
“The increased harvest was primarily due to the exceptionally mild winter of 2016, which allowed more deer to survive. Additionally, the department issued nearly twice as many muzzleloader antlerless deer permits this year to provide more harvest opportunity and to limit population growth in some parts of the state.”
The 2016 report with final numbers will be on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website in early February.