Vermont’s Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons Are Announced

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board approved the 2015 migratory bird hunting season dates at its August 12 meeting in Montpelier.

A printable copy of the regulations can be downloaded from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department website ( A printed version also will be available from license agents and post offices in early September.

A statewide Vermont open hunting season for 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 10-November 28 with a daily bag limit of three Canada geese in the Lake Champlain and Interior Vermont Zones.

In the Connecticut River Zone, the Canada goose season will be October 6-November 5, and November 15-December 23 with a daily bag limit of three Canada geese.

Duck season this fall opens on Saturday, October 10 in the Lake Champlain and Interior Vermont Zones, and on October 6 in the Connecticut River Zone. The Lake Champlain Zone has a split season (October 10-14 and October 24-December 17). The Interior Vermont Zone is a straight season (October 10-December 8). The Connecticut River Zone is a split season (October 6-November 5 and November 15-December 13).

Vermont’s youth waterfowl hunting weekend will be September 26 and 27. Resident and nonresident hunters 15 years of age or younger may hunt ducks and geese statewide during this season while accompanied by an adult 18 or older. Both must have Vermont hunting licenses. The adult may not hunt or carry a firearm. The youth and the adult are not required to hold state or federal duck stamps on this weekend.

Woodcock hunting season is October 1- November 14 statewide with a three-bird bag limit.

In addition to a hunting license, a waterfowl hunter 16 or older must carry current federal and Vermont duck stamps in order to hunt waterfowl in Vermont. Federal stamps are sold at post offices. State duck stamps are available on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website ( and from license agents. The hunter must sign the federal duck stamp.

All migratory game bird hunters must also be registered with the Harvest Information Program (H.I.P.) in each state they hunt. You can register on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website or call toll-free 1-877-306-7091. After providing some basic information, you will receive your annual H.I.P. registration number, which you then need to record in the H.I.P. section of your hunting license.


Vermont Bear Hunting Starts Sept. 1


An abundance of fall foods for wildlife in most of the state this year means hunters will need to adapt during Vermont’s bear hunting season that starts September 1.


“Bear hunters should concentrate their efforts in areas that have lots of apples, beechnuts, acorns, and berries this fall,” said Vermont’s bear biologist Forrest Hammond. “Bears will be feeding along power lines and in forest openings and old fields where berries and apples can be found as well as in forested beech and oak stands.”


Vermont has two bear hunting seasons. The early bear hunting season, which requires a special bear tag, starts September 1 and continues through November 14. The late bear season begins November 15 and continues through November 23. A hunter may only take one bear during the year.


Hammond says Vermont’s regulated bear hunting seasons help in managing the state’s population of about 6,000 bears. As the department continues to refine its bear management approaches, 17 percent, or 2000, of this year’s early season bear hunters, will participate in a survey about their hunting effort.


“Twenty-five years ago Vermont had less than 3,000 bears, and they were found mostly in the mountains and in the northeastern quarter of the state,” he said. “Although we have successfully increased bear numbers, the human population has also risen, resulting in more encounters between humans and bears. Carefully regulated hunting helps control the growth of the black bear population and allows for their sustainable use, while decreasing interactions with humans.”


To reduce potential conflicts further, Hammond encourages residents to bring inside bird seed and pet food, and to secure garbage containers, bee hives, chicken coops, and other attractants.


Hunters are also reminded to collect a small pre-molar tooth from each harvested bear, Hammond added. “The collection of a premolar tooth is critical to the bear project as it provides important data for evaluating changes to the age structure of the bear population and for making population estimates.”


A video showing how to remove the tooth is on the department website and YouTube channel. ( (


Hunters took 562 bears last year in Vermont with the largest number being taken in the town of Rockingham where 12 were harvested by licensed hunters. A report listing the number of bears taken in each town during the 2014 bear season is available on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website.


Antlerless Deer Permit Application Deadline, Aug. 28


The deadline to apply for a Vermont muzzleloader antlerless deer hunting permit is fast approaching – August 28.


Hunters can apply on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website ( A quick-link to the information and application is provided on the home page. Or, they can apply with a paper application available from license agents.


“The online application is a really swift and easy process that ensures you are immediately entered into the lottery,” said Mark Scott, director of wildlife. “Plus, it saves you postage. We encourage you to use the online application because it is more efficient for you and for us. Be sure to apply before the August 28 deadline.”


As in the past, a person may apply in the lottery category, or as a landowner. However, it is a violation for a landowner to apply for a landowner antlerless permit if they are posting their land against hunting. Fish & Wildlife says it will be closely monitoring landowner applications and listing permit winners in both categories on its website.


The number of December muzzleloader season antlerless permits is 9,650 distributed in 10 of Vermont’s 21 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs).


“The number of muzzleloader season antlerless deer permits was reduced from the 17,050 issued last year due to a decline in deer numbers caused by two severe winters in 2014 and 2015,” said Scott. “The department’s recommendation for antlerless deer hunting is based on population growth estimates, biological data, deer sighting rates reported by hunters, and winter severity data, as well as input from game wardens, foresters and the public.”


Scott also noted that the antlerless hunt is one way Vermont keeps the deer herd in balance with the available habitat. “The department continually works to conserve winter deer areas and young forested areas that provide excellent habitat both for deer and grassland birds. This annual hunt ensures the deer population does not overwhelm the landscape or impact other animal populations. It also provides food for many local families.”


Smith Named Assistant Athletic Director and Head Men's Basketball Coach


The Johnson State College athletic department has hired Miles Smith Jr. '09 as the assistant athletic director and head men's basketball coach effective August 10th. Smith replaces Tommy Verdell who served as head coach for two years before leaving to be the assistant director of athletics and compliance officer at Bates College.


Athletic Director, Jamey Ventura is looking forward to welcoming Smith to the department. Ventura said, "Miles will be a strong addition to our staff. As a dedicated alumni and proven head coach, Miles will serve as an important touch point for student-athletes, alumni and community members alike."


Prior to taking the helm at Johnson, Smith was the first ever head men's basketball coach and admissions recruiter at the newly co-ed Wilson College in Pennsylvania. Prior to that, Smith spent one year at The College of New Jersey. As an assistant coach, he was responsible for player development, scouting, game day preparation and management, and recruiting of potential athletes for the Lions.


Smith also spent three seasons as an assistant basketball coach at Mercer County Community College, where he was involved in all aspects of the program, including player development and recruitment, and providing academic support for student-athletes. In 2010, he helped coach the Vikings to the Region 19 Championship and an appearance in the NJACC National Tournament.


Coach Smith is a 2009 graduate of Johnson State College, earning a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology/ Sociology. Smith was a starter throughout his collegiate career, and was named team captain and President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) during his senior year at Johnson State. Prior to Johnson State, Smith also attended Mercer County Community College where he graduated with an associated degree in Liberal Arts in 2005.


"I am grateful to be a part of the bright future that Johnson State College Athletics is building. Johnson State is certainly a place that that no other institution in the world can match. It is an honor to come back to Johnson State and lead the men's basketball program. I truly am excited about the opportunity to work with the student-athletes in helping them grow as individuals and achieve their goals."


Smith played in all 51 games during his two seasons with Johnson State and started in all 26 games as a senior point guard and lead the Badgers to the North Atlantic Conference playoffs. A tenacious and suffocating defender, Smith averaged 3.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game while blocking 30 shots and collecting 29 steals in his career. Smith poured in a career-best 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting in a 74-71 loss at home to Massachusetts College on December 8, 2007.


Lake Monsters release promo schedule


Appearances by former Vermont Expos/Major League shortstop Orlando Cabrera and former Boston Red Sox great Bernie Carbo, a Ted Williams Bobblehead giveaway, three "Hot Dog Heavens", and three post-game fireworks shows highlight the Vermont Lake Monsters 2015 promotional schedule, the team announced today. Opening day is June 19.


A member of the 1995 Vermont Expos and the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox, Cabrera will be at Centennial Field on Saturday, August 29th to sign autographs pre-game and throw out the first pitch.


A few of the other great giveaways at the ballpark this season include: children's BMX bike helmets on July 12th, Burton Backpacks to the the first 500 kids (5-18 years old) on on August 8th, a Ted Williams bobblehead to the first 750 fans on August 13th and Lake Monsters caps will be handed out on August 20th.


"Hot Dog Heaven" will make its ever popular return to Centennial Field as the three 25-cent hot dog nights will June 29th, July 21st and August 19th. Additionally, there will be three post-game firework shows on June 20th, July 25th and August 29th. CHAMP's Birthday Party will take place on Thursday, August 6th.


The annual "Summer of Love" will take place August 7th, while other theme nights include Princess Night August 12th and Halloween night August 28th. The Lake Monsters also excited to announce they will hold their first-ever Star Wars Night on July 25th.


Click here to view the complete Lake Monsters promotional schedule here on the team website(link is external)

Vermont Lake Monsters release their 2015 schedule

Lake Monsters 2015 Schedule


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