Contributors to this thread:
This site is as dead as Vermont bow hunting. I have been bow hunting Vermont since 1969 and have seen the good and bad. One thing I know for sure is that a lot of bow hunters I knew and some I hunted with are now going else where. Bow hunter numbers have to be down, especially among out of state hunters. I believe some of the newer regulations, for example, having to have permission to use a tree stand of any kind or even a ground blind on non posted property has turned a lot of people off, me included. This is the first year me and my few friends that faithfully hunted Vt have stayed home this year. Deer numbers in some areas that were plentiful are now dismal. Just venting, what are your thoughts.
I always get very excited for the season and then I am quickly disappointed. Lets not beat around the bush here. Deer hunting in vt is just awful. Eventually the f&g are going to have to admit it because there wont be any hunters left.
I know im not the best hunter out there but I feel I am pretty good. I go to ohio every year and when I hunt different areas i am usually able to read the sign and the land and put myself on deer. Those same tactics in vt dont work. I have no idea how to hunt vt deer.
Just to add, i had 16 hunts this season and only saw 4 deer. I moved around trying to find new patterns but they just arent there. Trail cams running since january showed me that there are 4 doe and 2 buck on 800 acres. One thing I have learned is that few deer can make alot of tracks.
Give you an idea how bad it really is. On the last day of bow season, a check station, sporting goods store in Bethel had 12 deer checked in. I remember when they used to check in 50 t0 70 deer plus during bow season. Vermonster, 4 doe and 2 buck ( six deer) on 800 acres. I remember reading somewhere that F&G would like to see 6 to 8 deer per sq mile. Sounds just about right. In that same article they said something to the effect that deer are managed to be in balance with habitat not to keep hunters satisfied. Don't expect to see much improvement in Vermont. I remember when someone in camp took a spike, everyone was happy, can't even do that anymore.
Have not hunted in Vt this year and do not see me out there the rest of the season. Hunt Pa and atleast see Deer.
I hunt in Chittenden county. We have the best habitat in the state I think. Alot of oaks, apples and browse. I have hunted all over the state but this area reminds me the most of out west. I know vt could never be like ohio, but I am so sick of hearing that we dont have the habitat for alot of deer. I witness deer in ohio eating the leaves off from the green briars! That is desperation. There is no more browse out there then there is in my area. I know that certain parts of the state are really hurting and that is due to habitat.
We have one of the worst deer herds in the country and one of the highest buck bag limits. It is so backwards here. I do honestly believe that we are going to witness one day soon where f&g is going to step back and say oh boy what did we do. It is already to late but the number of hunters will keep dwindling.
I could go on and on but i cant organize all my thoughts right now!
I know what your saying. We used to hunt in Rupert and it was a ball to see the Deer. I would like to see a 1 buck limit here.
All good points !! there are changes coming but weather they will be good for the herd is yet to determined ,Vermonster Vermonts deer herd was once much better then Ohio,Vermont was a destination state,but due to poor management then this what we have now!!Double D I like your point about tree stands,I hunt big country and its almost impossible to find land ownership because not always sure where you are,I would like to see them amend the rule to say if you hunt within say 200 yds of a dwelling need landowner permission, since that law has been in effect I have hunted very little from a treestand ,consequently success has gone way down
Ive hunted Vt 15 straight years Tagged one doe The very first day out 15 years ago . Since then I have not seen a deer during archery season . Why was there so many deer here in the 70s and 80s compared to now ?Is it habitat is it food or just mismanagement?
Largely management. But of course it was not just by the F&W. There was a time when everyone was killing everything they saw. It was also legal. The state should have stepped in then but they didn't. Habitat in alot of areas is fine. Like bigbuck said at one point vt had more deer than ohio. I am 31 years old now and I started hunting when i was about 10 with my dad. I witnessed maybe 2 or 3 years of Good hunting in vt back then but it has been awful ever since. Over the years I have shot 4 buck and 3 doe. In 8 years of going west I have shot 7 deer.
Im afraid that the deer pop is far gone now to ever get it back.
How about ALL OF THE ABOVE. It's not so much the lack of deer that bothers me. I know that where I hunt in zone M there are ample deer to hunt in some areas and not too far away it is not worth going out. What gets to me now is that the fun has been taken out of it. I have a grandson that I took for a hunter safety course and may not even take him up to hunt. Youth hunters need permission. I wrote four letters to land owners (un posted land) asking for permission. First of all I had to make several trips to town halls and look up landowners, a lot of gas money and miles. Of the four letters we got one yes, one no (I would prefer you did not hunt) was the reply, and two did not have the courtesy to answer our letters. How do you think my 12 year old grandson felt ? It is just a combination of things that have turned a lot of us away. I still own a small log home I built in the early 70's and we go up quite often. Turkey hunting is great and we enjoy summer weekends in Vt. But as far as bow hunting I will take a pass and bow hunt the rut here at home. I don't know if it is the F&G, the F&G board, legislature or whatever, but I do know that they are biting the hand that feeds them and doing an awful job on a once great state to see and hunt deer.
Until they go back to the one deer per year limit, nothing will change. However, F&W cannot live without extra $$$ that come from all the extra tags. Also, with all the posted land owned by 2nd homeowners, it's tough to find any decent public land to hunt on. I'll keep on hunting because I love to be outdoors, it's just tough to get really excited about it.
I don't have the slightest idea how to properly manage Vermont's deer herd and I know that 99.8% of hunters are too greed based to agree with what I would like to see. I wouldn't mind seeing a couple year ban on deer hunting to get deer numbers up and then have a one deer per year limit. Buck only in rifle season and buck or doe during archery and muzzle loader. I would be willing to pay tag costs to F&G during the ban years or a small addition to taxes that would go to F&G during those years. As with many people, having not even seen anything many years, I'd be just as satisfied going out in the woods in the fall armed with just binoculars for a couple years.