November 16, 2020

Online Reporting of Deer Authorized and Deer Camp Discouraged in Vermont

Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States, and States Program Administrator

On November 11, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department announced that hunters in the state would now be able to check in their deer using an online tool, rather than bringing their harvests to a physical check station.

As previously reported by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board voted unanimously in support of this rule change on October 7, following several lengthy, and at times contentious discussions within the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules which delayed the implementation timeline. CSF submitted formal comments in support of these changes, noting the success that other states have had with similar systems, and highlighting the support of the Vermont Game Wardens for having a more efficient tool at their disposal to quickly access harvest data.

This change, though delayed, comes as welcome news in a state that is now facing another round of restrictions due to COVID-19 that even has some government officials discouraging the annual tradition of deer camp which predominantly coincides with the deer firearms season opening on Saturday, November 14.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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