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Deer season is here

RUTLAND Vermont hunters may once again take up to three deer in a calendar year with appropriate licenses and permits, which will allow them more hunting opportunity. The annual limit may be achieved in any combination of seasons (Archery, Youth Weekend, November Rifle Season, December Muzzleloader), but only two may be legal bucks, and only one buck is allowed per season. All three deer in the annual bag limit may be antlerless deer. A legal buck is defined as having one antler with two or more points one inch or longer. Spike-antlered bucks are allowed during Youth Weekend for management purposes. The opportunities to take up to three deer are: ARCHERY SEASON (Oct. 4-26 and Dec. 6-14) A hunter may take up to two deer in Vermont's archery season with two archery licenses. Only one may be a legal buck, but both may be antlerless deer if hunting in any Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) except D2 and E, where antlerless deer hunting by archery is prohibited in 2008. YOUTH WEEKEND (Nov. 8-9) A qualifying youth, with a youth tag, may take any one deer anywhere in the state. NOVEMBER DEER SEASON (Nov. 15-30) One legal buck may be taken anywhere in the state. MUZZLELOADER SEASON (Dec. 6-14) One legal buck may be taken anywhere in the state. If the hunter has an antlerless deer permit, an antlerless deer may be taken by muzzleloader in the WMU specified on the permit. "The annual limit was reduced to two deer beginning in 2005, but it was changed to three again this year to allow more hunting opportunities without jeopardizing the resource," said Shawn Haskell, Vermont's deer project leader. "In the past, only two percent of successful hunters took three deer before, so we expect the results to be the same. Rule changes this year were designed to take more antlerless deer when and where it is needed."

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