Showing posts from July, 2018

Vermont Turkey Brood Survey Starts Aug. 1

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Wild turkeys are found throughout most of Vermont, but their reproductive success is monitored annually by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department with help from “citizen scientists” who report the number and size of turkey families they see during August.  

Fish & Wildlife is again asking the public for help.  If you see a group of young turkeys in Vermont during August, the department asks you to go to the turkey brood survey on its website ( so you can record where and when you observed the number of adult and young turkeys, or poults. 

When combined with annual harvest data, information gathered from this survey helps to establish long-term trends in Vermont’s wild turkey population,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s wild turkey biologist Chris Bernier.  “It also helps us assess the impacts of spring and winter weather on the survival of poults and adult turkeys which is an important consideration in the management of turkeys.”


Vermont Angler Completes First-ever ‘Master Angler Sweep’

COLCHESTER, Vt. – Drew Price of Colchester, VT, has completed the state’s first-ever ‘Master Angler Sweep’ by catching at least one trophy-sized specimen of all 33 eligible fish species that are part of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s Master Angler Program.
Price spent eight years in his quest to be the first to catch and enter all 33 species in the Vermont program. 
“This is a remarkable achievement,” said fisheries biologist Shawn Good, who founded the Master Angler Program with fisheries biologist Jud Kratzer and currently administers it.  “He called me from the lake moments after landing his final species – a 30-inch pike-pickerel hybrid.  He was kind of deliriously happy and I don't blame him.”
Price, who started fly fishing in 1993, said “Once I found fishing, I was like ‘this is it, this is my calling.’” In 2010, he began entering fish in the department’s new Master Angler Program, spending the time he wasn’t working as a full-time school teacher or as a part-tim…

Peregrine Falcon Nesting Season Complete

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Hikers and rock climbers can return to Vermont cliffs starting August 1 now that peregrine falcon nesting season has ended.  The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has confirmed that all the young falcons have learned to fly and will not be disturbed by human presence on the cliffs.

“The young peregrines have fledged, and nesting data suggest Vermont falcons had a very successful year.  A final report will be issued later this year,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s migratory bird biologist John Buck.  “The falcon’s nesting success is due to a combination of good weather and the cooperation from hikers and rock climbers who observe a respectful distance from nesting falcons during this critical period.  Peregrine nesting success would not be possible without more than 50 volunteers who monitor the nest sites statewide from March to the end of July.” 
According to Audubon biologist Margaret Fowle, who coordinates the monitoring effort on behalf of the Fish & …

Fish & Wildlife Biologist to Speak on Threats to Vermont’s Moose Population

WILMINGTON, Vt. – From climate change to parasites to the state’s changing forested landscape, moose face a variety of challenges. Scott Darling, wildlife biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, will give a talk on Vermont’s moose population entitled Moose in Vermont – The Tiny Threats to Our Biggest Mammals on Wednesday, August 15 in Wilmington.
The presentation will be given as part of the Hogback Mountain Conservation Association’s Annual Meeting at Memorial Hall. The event will begin with a meet and greet at 7:00 p.m., and Darling will speak from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. 
With nearly four decades of experience in conservation in Vermont, Darling has worked on many conservation initiatives in the state, from his internationally recognized work conserving Northeast bat populations to his efforts leading the department’s managed large game species program, which conserves moose, deer and other game species in Vermont.  
Darling will e…

Learn about Vermont’s Black Bears in Middlebury on August 1

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Vermonters of all ages are invited to attend a presentation about Vermont’s black bears at the Middlebury Town Offices on Wednesday, August 1 at 6:00 p.m. 
Vermont Fish & Wildlife bear biologist Forrest Hammond will talk about the extraordinary life history of bears, their ecology and behaviors, and what people can do to better co-exist with bears.  Through colorful photos and captivating stories, the audience will come away with a new appreciation for these intelligent animals. 
Vermont State Game Warden Dale Whitlock will be in attendance to meet with the public and answer questions.  Warden Whitlock is stationed in the Middlebury area and has extensive experience providing advice and assistance to residents on bear-human conflicts.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in black bears in Middlebury this summer following several prominent bear sightings around town,” said Hammond.  “We’ll answer people’s questions about bears and talk about what they can do to live safely…

Art in Nature Event to be Held at Dead Creek on August 9

ADDISON, Vt. – The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will host an evening of art in nature at the Dead Creek Visitor Center in Addison, Vermont on Thursday, August 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  This free event will consist of a short talk and refreshments at the Visitor Center, after which the group will venture outside to the wildlife management area for some nature exploration through art creation.
The evening will be led by Vermont Fish & Wildlife naturalist and artist Ariel Burgess.  Burgess is an ecological artist who works in art, conservation and education.  She helped develop the new Dead Creek Visitor Center including designing and painting its murals.
Burgess will talk about benefits of artistic observation, ecological art and help guide the group in an evening of plein air art, art created outside, on the beautiful Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area. 
“Naturalists have long used art and the practice of intentional observation to learn about and connect with the natura…

Warm Summer Water Temperatures Can Be Lethal to Trout

MONTPELIER, Vt –The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and the Vermont Council of Trout Unlimited are encouraging anglers to consider their impact on trout when fishing during the current hot, dry weather. 
Many of the trout streams and rivers throughout Vermont are currently at or above stressful temperatures for trout and flows in most rivers are already dangerously low. 
“Trout prefer water temperatures in the upper-50’s to mid-60’s and become increasingly stressed when water temperatures climb above 70°F,” said Clark Amadon, Chair of the Vermont Council of Trout Unlimited.  “The stress of being caught by an angler when water temperatures are this warm makes it much more likely that the trout will die after being released.”
As a result, officials are recommending that anglers do not fish for trout during extended hot spells if they do not also intend to harvest their catch for a healthy meal of fresh fish.  Instead, consider targeting warmwater fish species such as bass, northe…

Controlled Waterfowl Hunt Applications Available

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. -- Applications are available for controlled waterfowl hunting permits to be used at two Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department wildlife management areas.

The applications may be downloaded from Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife), and printed applications are available at Vermont Fish & Wildlife offices in Montpelier, Essex Junction, Addison, Barre, St. Johnsbury, Springfield, and Rutland.

Hunting under controlled conditions for ducks at Mud Creek in Alburgh and geese at Dead Creek in Addison has been popular since the early 1970's.

Applications must be filled out correctly and postmarked no later than August 20. There is no fee to apply.

A public drawing to award hunting permits will be held Friday, August 24 at 12:00 Noon at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area headquarters off Route 17 in Addison. Attendance is not required. Successful applicants will be notified by mail and must pay a $10 permit fee on the day of the hunt.


Governor Scott Appoints Three New Fish & Wildlife Board Members

MONTPELIER, Vt – Governor Phil Scott has appointed three new members to represent Addison, Essex, and Grand Isle counties on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board. The new members are Wendy Butler from Addison County, Mike Kolsun from Essex County, and Bryan McCarthy from Grand Isle County. 
The fourteen-member Fish and Wildlife Board is a group of Vermont citizens that enact fish and wildlife regulations for hunting, fishing, and trapping. Members serve six-year terms.
“The Fish and Wildlife Board members bring a strong level of personal experience to the job of setting Vermont’s hunting, fishing, and trapping regulations,” said Gov. Scott. “Volunteer board members give a great deal of their time and energy to the task, so I’m grateful to them for stepping up to serve the people of Vermont.” 
Wendy Butler lives in New Haven. A certified volunteer hunter education instructor since 2007, Butler enjoys guiding new hunters, many of whom have returned with their first deer, turkey, or duc…

Safe Composting in Bear Country

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Bears in Vermont are thinking ahead to winter and, looking to fatten up, are currently in search of easy calories. Compost can become a bear attractant –
as with trash bins, bird feeders, and pet food – if not properly managed. Fortunately, Vermonters can minimize conflicts over compost by taking a few extra steps, according to Forrest Hammond, bear project leader with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.
“With more Vermonters choosing to compost, we want to help them prevent any potential problems with bears,” said Hammond.  “People can effectively reduce the chances of bears causing damage to their property and protect the bears as well.”

Here are a few of Hammond’s tips for safe composting in bear country:
·Most importantly, keep scent to a minimum by covering all food scraps or ‘green’ materials with carbon-rich ‘brown’ materials like dry leaves, straw, or ripped up paper.
·Turn your compost often to aid decomposition.
·Use an enclosed bin lined with wire, or an open pile pro…

Hunter Ed Courses are Being Held Now

Vermont Fish & Wildlife says anyone interested in taking a hunter education course should consider doing so this summer, because fewer courses will be available later in the year.
“Invariably many people are disappointed when they can’t find a hunter education course being given in the fall,” said Nicole Meier with Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program.  “We actually have more courses available now because many of our certified volunteer instructors have more time to give the courses before hunting seasons begin.”
“While more classes will be added through September, if a course opens up now, this is the time to sign up for it!  Don’t wait until the last minute”
Completion of a free course is required prior to purchasing a person’s first Vermont hunting, bow hunting or trapping license. 
Upcoming courses and information are listed on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website (  For more information about hunter education in Vermont call 802-828-1…

Public Meeting July 24 on Fishing Regulations for Hatchery Cove in Grand Isle

GRAND ISLE, Vt -- The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is hosting a public discussion on landlocked salmon runs and possible fishing regulations at Hatchery Cove on Tuesday, July 24, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lake Champlain Basin Program conference room, 54 West Shore Road in Grand Isle, next to the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station. 
Brian Chipman, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife, will present information on Lake Champlain salmon management and fishing at Hatchery Cove.  The cove is located off the outlet of Hatchery Brook, the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station’s discharge stream.  Chipman and other department staff will discuss potential future fishing regulations to protect spawning salmon at Hatchery Cove, answer questions and collect public comments on potential regulation options.
By using feral salmon (hatchery stocked fish that that have grown to maturity in Lake Champlain) for broodstock, the department has found a much greater return in spawning runs tha…

Vermont’s Moose Hunt Auction is Open

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont’s auction for five moose hunting permits is open until 4:30 p.m. August 14.  Bids will be opened and winners notified on August 15.  
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board authorized a total of 13 permits in two wildlife management units to be made available for the 2018 moose season.  Auction winners will hunt in Wildlife Management Units E1 or E2 in the northeast corner of the state during the October 1-7 archery season, or in the October 20-25 regular season.  Permits are for bulls-only. 
Bids must be entered with a sealed bid form available from Vermont Fish & Wildlife. 
A minimum bid of $1,500 is required, and winning bids have typically been at least $4,000 when the number of permits available were higher.  Bids do not include the cost of a hunting license (residents $26, nonresidents $100) or moose hunting permit fee ($100 for residents and $350 for nonresidents). 
Moose permit bid packets can be obtained by calling Fish & Wildlife at 802-828-119…

Vermont Moose Hunting Permit Application Deadline is July 6

MONTPELIER, Vt. –The deadline for Vermont military veterans to apply for a small number of Vermont moose hunting permits is this Friday, July 6.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board authorized only thirteen moose hunting permits this year. By law, five permits will be available to Vermont resident military veterans and up to three permits will be available for “Special Opportunity” recipients with life-threatening illnesses. The remaining five permits will be auctioned as required by law.
The hunt will be restricted to bull moose in Wildlife Management Units E1 and E2 in the northeastern corner of the state where the Fish & Wildlife Department recommends the moose population be maintained at its current level to reduce the effects of winter ticks.The department expects only nine to ten moose to be taken. The small number of bulls-only permits is not expected to have any impact on Vermont’s moose population.
No regular public lottery will be held. People who have moose hunting bo…

Vermont’s Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons Are Announced

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has announced the 2018-2019 migratory bird hunting season dates and bag limits. 
A printable copy of the Migratory Bird Syllabus can be downloaded from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website ( under “Hunt” – “Hunting Regulations and Seasons.”  A printed version also will be available from license agents and post offices by late August.  
A statewide Vermont open hunting season for resident Canada geese will occur September 1-25.  The daily bag limit is five Canada geese in the Connecticut River Zone and eight in the rest of the state during this September season.  The purpose of the September season is to help control Vermont’s resident Canada goose population prior to the arrival of Canada geese migrating south from Canada.
A second Canada goose hunting season, for resident and migrant birds, will be held October 13-December 1 with a daily bag limit of three Canada geese in the Lake Champlain and I…