Showing posts from August, 2018

Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area Expands by 54 Acres

Addition provides important forested habitat connection
Mt. TABOR, Vt. Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area, well known for its waterfowl and songbird habitat, has grown to nearly 1,200 permanently conserved acres through the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s purchase of 54 acres of land in Mt. Tabor. The Vermont Land Trust facilitated the transaction.

The new addition, known as Hallagan Woodlot, is a land-locked, forested parcel nestled between Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Green Mountain National Forest. The Vermont Land Trust bought the land at auction and transferred it to Fish & Wildlife when federal Pittman-Robertson funds (raised through an excise tax on shooting and sporting equipment) became available.
“We were excited to partner with Vermont Land Trust to conserve a critical piece that was privately held in our Otter Creek WMA,” said Jane Lazorchak, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s land acquisition coordinator. “Partnerships like this are key to…

Vermont Youth Waterfowl Hunting, Sept. 29-30

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- A youngster’s first hunt can mark the beginning of a lifelong passion for the outdoors and a commitment to wildlife conservation.  There is no finer time to begin this journey than during Vermont’s upcoming youth waterfowl hunting weekend on September 29 and 30.
“Vermont’s youth waterfowl hunting weekend helps ensure that young hunters get the quality training and experiences they need for lifelong participation,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter.  “By design, the youth weekend hunt reinforces the route of initiation that is critical in recruitment -- learning from an experienced adult role model.”
On September 29 and 30, hunters 17 years of age or younger may hunt ducks and geese in the Lake Champlain and Interior Vermont waterfowl hunting zones.  The age requirement is 15 and under in the Connecticut River zone according to the following conditions. 
The youth hunter must have a Vermont hunting license and must be accompanied by an unarmed adult, 1…

‘Let’s Go Fishing’ Program Seeks Instructors

Training workshop set for September 22 BERLIN, Vt. - The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is seeking volunteers to become ‘Let’s Go Fishing’ instructors to pass on Vermont’s fishing tradition to the next generation of Vermonters. The department will be hosting a one-day training workshop for new instructors on Saturday, September 22 at the ANR Annex Building, 190 Junction Rd., Berlin, Vermont. 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, as well as learn 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…

Moose Hunt Auction Nets $43,072 for Wildlife Conservation Education

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Vermont’s annual auction of five moose hunting permits was held today when sealed bids were opened and the permit winners were notified.  The bids totaled $43,702.83 which will help fund Fish & Wildlife Department educational programs, such as the Green Mountain Conservation Camps for youths. 
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. 
No regular public moose permit lottery was held because only thirteen moose hunting permits were authorized this year.  If any public lottery permits had been offered, all those with bonus points from past seasons would have had to apply or lose those points, as required by statute.  By law, in addition to the five permits in the auction, five permits were awarded to Vermont resident military veterans in a lottery and up to three permits are available for “Special O…

Deadline for Antlerless Deer Applications is Aug. 29

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The deadline to apply for an antlerless deer permit to be used during Vermont’s December 1-9 muzzleloader deer season is Thursday, August 29.  Antlerless deer hunting permit applications are on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website (, and printed applications are available from license agents statewide.  Hunters applying online for an antlerless permit will do so through the online license sales system as if they were purchasing a license or a tag using their conservation ID number, or CID#.  Landowners who do not have a Conservation ID number will need to create a profile through the online license sales system to apply for a landowner application even if they do not intend to purchase a hunting license.
The December 1-9 muzzleloader season has 27,000 antlerless permits distributed in 18 of Vermont’s 21 WMUs, which is estimated to result in 3,914 antlerless deer being taken. 
Landowners who post their land may not apply for a muzzleloader…

Vt Fish & Wildlife Installing Water Control Devices on Beaver Dams

‘Beaver Baffles’ Prevent Flooding and Resolve Beaver-Human Conflicts
MONTPELIER, Vt. – To prevent flooding on nearby roads, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department recently completed construction of 19 water control devices on beaver dams in locations throughout Vermont. Known as ‘beaver baffles’ these devices allow some water to pass through the dam without breaching the dam and destroying the wetland. 

The Fish & Wildlife Department expects to continue to install additional beaver baffles throughout the state this year.  The baffles are one of many techniques that department staff employ or recommend to landowners to minimize beaver damage to property or trees.  Other techniques include using fences to protect culverts, or placing wire mesh or special paint around the base of trees to prevent gnawing.
"The wetlands that beavers create provide critical habitat for a variety of wildlife such as waterfowl, songbirds, frogs, turtles, and otters.  These areas can also absorb ex…

Instructor Training Course Offered for Hunter, Bow Hunter, Trapper Ed.

WHITINGHAM Vt. -- The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is offering a New Instructor Training Course for people interested in volunteering to teach Hunter Education, Trapper Education or Bowhunter Education courses in Vermont. The training will take place Saturday, September 15, at 8:00 a.m. at the Deerfield Valley Fish & Game Club in Whitingham, Vermont.

Policies and procedures, field techniques and teaching methods will be covered to give instructors the tools to teach future hunters how to have a safe and enjoyable experience. “The skills and ethics that our instructors impart to their students will serve them for a lifetime,” said Training Coordinator, John Pellegrini.  “There is no better way for a hunter to give back to the outdoors than by instructing the next generation of hunters.”

All applicants are required to pass a background check with a warden and apprentice-teach with a Chief Instructor before they can teach on their own.  Upon course completion, they will receive…

Recent Bear Incidents Highlight Need for Residents to Stay ‘Bear Smart’

One careless resident can cause problems for the entire community
MONTPELIER, Vt – As incidents of bears breaking into homes, garages, sheds and vehicles in Vermont increases, so too should efforts by residents to bear-proof their homes and secure potential outdoor food sources that can attract bears.
While searching for food in early July, one bear broke into a Killington home through an open window, and another Killington bear entered the Northstar Lodge through an open door. A Pownal woman awoke to the sound of a bear breaking through a kitchen window to access a honey comb that had been left within reach, while a similar incident occurred in Townsend where a bear broke into a kitchen freezer.
According to Vermont State Game Warden Sergeant Chad Barrett, bears don’t naturally break into homes. They must first have had experience receiving food from humans. The process of habituation begins with attractants that residents leave out such as birdseed, pet food, or unsecured garbage.

Free Hunting Seminars Starting Aug. 22

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will be hosting seven free hunting seminars that will be helpful for hunters who have some experience as well as for beginners. The seminars will be taught by Vermont Fish & Wildlife staff and hunter education volunteers.

“Both experienced and first-time hunters stand to benefit from these seminars,” said John Pellegrini, Hunter Education Training Coordinator with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.  “We will provide useful information including practical hunting tips, ecology and behavior of these animals, and how to have a fun, safe experience in the woods.” Participants are urged to bring a lunch for the day-long seminars and dress for the weather, as these seminars have an outdoor portion to them and will be held rain or shine. 

Space is limited, and they fill up quickly, so signup as early as possible at and clicking on the seminar portion of the Hunter Education page.  For more information, call J…

Vermont Moose Hunting Permits for Veterans Are Drawn

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- The five winners of Vermont 2018 moose hunting permits for resident military veterans were determined in a randomized computer lottery drawing August 1 at the Fish & Wildlife office in Montpelier.  The five permit winners were among 100 military veteran applicants who applied at no cost by a July 6 deadline.  The winners’ names are posted on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website (
No regular public lottery was held because only thirteen moose hunting permits were authorized this year.  If any public lottery permits had been offered, all those with bonus points from past seasons would have had to apply or lose those points, as required by statute.  By law, five permits were available to Vermont resident military veterans and up to three permits are available for “Special Opportunity” recipients with life-threatening illnesses.  Also required by law, the remaining five permits will be auctioned with proceeds going to Fish & Wildlife c…