February 5, 2023

Vermont Antler Restrictions For 2006

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This year Vermont deer hunters will face antler restrictions that game officials hope will be a good tool in better deer management practices and will help boost the deer population and help to provide older, bigger and healthier deer.

On the home page of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website, comes this statement from Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Wayne LaRoche.
Vermont Buck and Antler Restrictions

The deer seasons of 2006 will provide the first results from antler point restrictions implemented in Vermont last fall. Legal bucks now must have at least one antler with two or more points one inch or longer.

This regulation was put into effect in 2005 as part of an experimental deer regulation that will sunset following the 2008 deer season unless re-authorized by Vermont’s Legislature. This experiment will provide biologists an opportunity to determine and measure changes in the deer herd that result from the new regulation. It will also give hunters an opportunity to see if they like the results.

The department has estimated that if the total deer population level remained the same as it was in 2005 that the number of 2 ½ year old bucks should very nearly equal the number of 1 ½ year-old bucks in this fall’s buck harvest. This should be a notable change given that about two-thirds of Vermont’s buck kill has traditionally been made up of 1 ½ year-old bucks.

However, last winter was the mildest winter in the past 35 years. Winter deer survival was as good as it gets in Vermont. This means deer numbers are expected to be up this fall, especially in areas that were hard hit in recent hard winters. This should result in an increase in the number of legal 1 ½ year-old bucks in the field this fall on top of those 2 ½ year-olds that were saved by the antler restriction last fall. Expect the over-all buck and total deer kill to be up considerably over last year.

We have received many reports of good bucks being seen throughout the state.

The excitement and anticipation surrounding the upcoming deer seasons is infectious. I am looking forward to Vermont deer hunting this fall, and I hope you are too.

By Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche

Tom Remington