Showing posts from March, 2018

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Shooting Range Grant Application Deadline Extended to April 15

Vermont Fish & Wildlife has extended its deadline to apply for shooting range improvement grants to April 15. 
Developed to encourage upgrades of shooting ranges to enhance their safety and operation, the Shooting Range Improvement Grant Program seeks grant applications from clubs and government agencies involved in the operation of shooting ranges, including archery ranges until 4:30 p.m.  The grant period begins July 1, 2018.
Eligible projects include shooting range re-development, noise abatement structures, safety berms, shooting benches, overhead shelters, and the construction or improvement of access roads and parking lots.  Grant money may also be used for lead mitigation, such as recycling, reducing range floor surface drainage or liming range property.
An estimated $80,000 in grant funds will be available this year.  These funds are derived through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Restoration Program which is based on federal excise taxes on hunting and shooting …

F&W Suggests Removing Bird Feeders April 1st

F&W Suggests Removing Bird Feeders April 1
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says warm spring weather and melting snows will cause bears to come out of their winter dens in search of food.  The department recommends taking down bird feeders on April 1 to avoid attracting them.
Bears are very fond of suet and bird seed, especially black oil sunflower seed.  Bringing feeders in at night doesn’t work, because bears will still feed on seed that is spilled on the ground.
Bird feeders are just one of the things that can attract hungry bears.  Other sources of food that bears find appealing are: pet food, barbecue grills, garbage, household trash containers, open dumpsters, and campsites with accessible food and food wastes.

Purposely feeding a bear is not just bad for the bear, it’s also illegal.

Fish & Wildlife also offers the following tips to avoid bear problems:
Keep chickens and honeybees secure within an electric fence or other bear-proof enclosure.Never feed bears…

Vermont Trout Season Opens April 14

Vermont Trout Season Opens April 14 Officials recommend fishing low and slow

Vermont’s traditional trout fishing season is set to open on Saturday, April 14, and despite recent cold weather and lingering snow cover across the state, officials from Vermont Fish & Wildlife say anglers can be successful early in the season by following a few basic tips.
“Just like any other time of year, anglers fishing early in the spring should adjust their tactics based on the conditions,” said State Fisheries Biologist Bret Ladago.  “Given the cold weather and runoff from recent storms and snow melt, water levels will be high, flows will be faster than normal and water temperatures will be cold. 
“As a result, anglers may want to target small to medium low-elevation rivers and streams where flows are slow and waters will warm more quickly,” added Ladago.  “Finding water that isn’t too muddy can be key, and slowing your lure or bait retrieval will help tempt sluggish trout into biting.”
Trout will o…

Hammond Cove Shooting Range Opening April 5, 2018

The opening of the Hammond Cove Shooting Range in Hartland, Vermont has been postponed until Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. because of poor access road conditions caused by snow and ice.   The range operates under rules set forth by The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.  Range users will sign in with an onsite range officer and have a valid Vermont hunting or fishing license or be the guest of someone who does.  The hours of operation and range rules are listed below.
Range rules include: A Vermont hunting or fishing license is required for users 15 years and older.License holders can bring one guest, but after three visits that guest must purchase a license.Shooting more than one round per second is prohibited.Shooting long rifles or shotguns from the pistol bench is prohibited, as is shooting pistols from the rifle benchesUnless otherwise posted, the range will be open March 31 to December 14, Thursday through Monday.On Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, the ran…

VT Fish & Wildlife to Host Turkey Hunting Seminar in Brattleboro Area on April 15

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is holding a free Turkey Hunting Seminar in Guildford, Vermont on April 15, 2018.  This seminar is in addition to the two turkey hunting seminars being held on April 7 at Barre Fish and Game Club and April 8 at the Hartland Fire Department.
The seminar will be held at Sportsman’s Inc. Fish and Game Club, 2081 Creamery Road in Guilford from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
“Both experienced and first-time turkey hunters stand to benefit from these seminars,” said Hunter Education Training Coordinator John Pellegrini. “We will provide information on all aspects of turkey hunting, including safe hunting practices, specialized equipment, calls, site setup, and other strategies for harvesting turkeys.”
The morning portion of the seminar will be classroom time, with the afternoon session focusing on how to pattern a shotgun for turkeys. Participants can bring their own firearms and ammunition, or they will be provided to those who do not have them.  

Vermont Holds Public Hearings on Moose and Deer

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is holding three public hearings about Vermont’s moose and deer in March, with two focused on deer later in May.

The March 19, 21, and 22 hearings will include results of Vermont’s 2017 deer and moose seasons as well as prospects for the fall.  Included will be a review of the proposed 2018 moose hunting season with opportunity for public comment.  The March meetings will occur before the board’s vote on the proposed 2018 moose season on April 25, 2018.  Those who cannot attend can email comments to

On February 21, the Fish & Wildlife Board preliminarily approved issuing moose permits for the 2018 season.  The Fish & Wildlife Department’s big game team recommended that only 14 permits for bull moose be issued for the October hunting seasons.  The permits would be for WMUs E1 and E2 in the Northeast Kingdom, where moose numbers are close to biologists’ density goals.   The number of moose hunting permit…

F&W to Host Turkey Hunting Seminars April 7 & 8

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is hosting two free turkey hunting seminars this spring – one on Saturday, April 7 at the Barre Fish and Game Club and the other on Sunday, April 8 at the Hartland Fire Department.  Both seminars will be held 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

A shotgun patterning clinic will be held at the Barre seminar.  Participants should bring their own shotgun and ammunition and keep them in their vehicles until instructed to bring them to the range.  If you do not have your own firearm, shotguns and ammunition will be provided.  Eye and ear protection will be available.

“Both experienced and first-time turkey hunters stand to benefit from these seminars,” said Hunter Education Training Coordinator John Pellegrini.  “We will provide hunting information, including safe hunting practices, specialized equipment, calls, site setup, and other strategies for harvesting turkeys.”

Certified Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors Jeff Blanchard and Brett Ladeau will be lea…

Three Record-Setting Fish Caught in Vermont in 2017

Vermont Fish & Wildlife today announced that three fish caught in 2017 have been certified as new state records. New records were set for cisco, carp and redhorse sucker

Chase Stokes, 11, of Ferrisburgh caught a new record carp in April while fishing with a nightcrawler on Otter Creek in Panton.  The fish weighed an incredible 33.25 pounds, measured 40 inches long and had a girth of 26.5 inches.  Chase’s carp beat out the previous record, which was caught in Lake Champlain in 2006, by just 4 ounces.

In May, Burlington angler Mike Elwood landed a new Vermont record redhorse sucker while fishing on the Winooski River in Colchester.  The sucker, landed on a live worm, weighed 9.9 pounds and measured 29 inches long with an 18-inch girth, and it exceeded the previous record caught in 2015 by nearly a pound.

Finally, in September, Alan Franchot of Richmond caught a record cisco, also known as a lake herring, while trolling on Lake Champlain.  Weighing 2 pounds, 4 ounces, the cisco was …

Vermont Wildlife Course for Educators, July 15-20

Vermont’s popular fish and wildlife summer course for teachers and other educators will be held July 15-20, 2018. 

The hands-on field course that gets educators out into Vermont’s streams, forests and wetlands with some of the state’s leading natural resource experts takes place at the Buck Lake Conservation Camp in Woodbury. 

Now in its 33rd year, “Wildlife Management and Outdoor Education Techniques for Educators,” is a one-week, three-credit graduate course taught by Vermont Fish & Wildlife and other Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) staff through Castleton University. 

“Wildlife resources are important to all Vermonters in one way or another,” says Fish & Wildlife’s Education Manager Alison Thomas.  “If educators can get connected with the outdoors and in turn expose their students, then many of these students will be able to make informed decisions about Vermont wildlife and their habitat needs.”

“This course is unique in that it helps non-formal and pre-kindergarten thr…

VT Fish & Wildlife Seeks Volunteers for New Dead Creek Visitor Center

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is seeking interested volunteers to serve as department ambassadors and greet visitors at the new Dead Creek Visitor Center in Addison, Vermont.  The department will be hosting a new volunteer training workshop on two consecutive Saturdays, April 21 and 28, in the Dead Creek WMA conference room.

The Dead Creek Visitor Center opened in September 2017 and has been operating under limited hours this winter. By fully staffing the center this spring, the Fish & Wildlife Department is hoping to broaden hours of operation and opportunities for the public to visit the center.

The training will focus on customer service, the Fish & Wildlife Department’s mission, and tools to assist visitors about the region, the exhibits and the wildlife management area. Volunteers will receive the resources and information to effectively answer questions and be a knowledgeable guide to visitors.

“We’re looking for volunteers who enjoy talking to people and h…

‘Let’s Go Fishing’ program seeks instructors - Training workshop set for April 22

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is seeking volunteers who would like to become ‘Let’s Go Fishing’ instructors so they can pass on the fishing tradition to Vermonters both young and old. The department will be hosting a one-day training workshop for new instructors on Sunday, April 22 at the Essex Regional Office, 111 West St. Essex, VT.

Instructors in the ‘Let’s Go Fishing’ program organize and instruct clinics in their communities for young people and their families. Participants in the training workshop will learn how to teach a basic fishing clinic, in addition to learning about fishing ethics, aquatic ecology, fisheries management, habitat conservation and tackle craft. They will also be introduced to conducting specialized fishing clinics, including clinics on ice fishing and species-specific fishing. The class is informal, and it is not necessary to have a high level of fishing expertise to become an instructor.

“Becoming an instructor will give you the opportunity t…