Vermont’s archery deer hunting season opens Thursday, October 1 and continues through November 13. It reopens November 30 and ends December 15.

The archery season is one of my favorites as the weather is usually warm and the smell of foliage wafts through the woods.

There are changes to the regulations this year so hunters need to pay close attention. The 2020 HUNTING & TRAPPING GUIDE is available on line and from license agents.

A hunter may take up to four deer in Vermont’s two-part archery season if they do not shoot any deer in the other deer seasons. The purchase of an archery deer license and tag is required for each deer. No more than one of the deer taken during archery season may be a legal buck if no buck is taken in the other deer seasons. Antlerless deer hunting is allowed during archery season statewide this year.

In WMUs C, D1, D2, E1, E2, G, I, L, M, P, and Q a legal buck is any deer with at least one antler three inches or more in length. In WMUs A, B, F1, F2, H, J1, J2, K, N, and O a legal buck is any deer with at least one antler with two or more antler points one inch in length or longer.

Volunteers Offer Hunters Special Service With Tracking Dogs

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has provided a list of certified leashed tracking dog owners who volunteer during the hunting seasons to help hunters locate deer or bear that have been shot during hunting season but not yet recovered.

The leashed tracking dog owners, who provide their services free of charge, must pass an extensive exam administered by Fish and Wildlife in order to be certified and licensed to provide their services.

This list, which may be updated during hunting seasons, is available on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website, www.vtfishandwildlife.com.

Listed below are those in this area. Go to the website if you need one in another part of the state.

Marvin Ainsworth St Johnsbury, VT 802-748-8627

Kayla Konya East Thetford, VT 802-333-4278

Jacquelyn Magoon Morrisville, VT 802-279-6578

Mandi Harbec Orleans, VT 802-323-3536

Barry J. Tatro* Hardwick, VT 802-535-7259

Chris Maniatty Newport, VT 802-334-5637

Mark Harbec Orleans, VT 802-323-3536

Nick Smith Groton, VT 802-584-3121

Scott Newell Groveton, NH 603-636-2264

Riley Harness Newbury, VT 802-272-8955

Courtney Davis Troy, NH 603-209-6548

Calls will be taken at the handlers discretion and at the availability of the handler.

Vermont Hunters Urged To Report Game To Regional Reporting Stations

Vermont hunters are reminded to use regional big game reporting stations this fall as they have in past years.

Hunters are required to take the deer, bear and wild turkeys they harvest during the hunting seasons to a local big game reporting station within 48 hours. Deer and bear must be field-dressed prior to reporting, and a hunter must take a warden to the kill site of a deer or bear if requested by a warden.

The hunter must also collect and submit a pre-molar tooth from the bear at the time the bear is reported or within 30 days. The tooth provides important data on the age structure and size of the bear population. Envelopes for submitting teeth are available at all big game reporting stations.

Twin States Ask For Hunter’s Cooperation To Keep Deadly CWD Out

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is reminding hunters of a regulation designed to help keep Vermont deer healthy by banning the use of any deer lure containing natural deer urine or other deer bodily fluids.

The infectious agent of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal disease of deer, is a mutant protein or “prion” that can be passed in urine. This mutant protein can bind to soils and remain infectious for many years. Nearly all natural urine-based lures are produced in captive deer facilities, where CWD is most likely to occur. There is no way to test live animals, and infected animals can spread CWD for years before showing any symptoms. No amount of testing or special certification program can eliminate the risk of spreading CWD through natural urine lures.

CWD is 100 percent fatal to deer, elk and moose. It causes irreversible population declines and has been impossible to eliminate once it becomes established in a population. CWD has not yet been detected in Vermont.

“No single buck is worth risking the health of Vermont’s entire deer herd,” said Nick Fortin, Vermont’s deer biologist. “If someone feels they must use a lure, there are legal, synthetic alternatives that are just as effective.”

“If CWD is ever detected in Vermont, local deer numbers would have to be greatly reduced to attempt to control the disease before it becomes well established and spreads,” said Mark Scott, director of wildlife. “This reduction would have to be done for at least five years.”

More information about Chronic Wasting Disease can be found at www.cwd-info.org and by typing CWD in the “Search” section at www.vtfishandwildlife.com.

New Hampshire does not presently have chronic wasting disease and is hoping hunters will help keep it from arriving. Adhering to New Hampshire laws regarding transport of moose, deer, elk, and caribou, as well as any species of captive deer from CWD-positive jurisdictions is the key.

New Hampshire hunters who make trips to CWD positive jurisdictions are required to closely follow the mandatory regulations on bringing home any cervid carcasses. You may legally bring back only deboned meat, antlers, upper canine teeth, hides, or capes with no part of the head attached, and finished taxidermy mounts. Antlers attached to skull caps or canine teeth must have all soft tissue removed.

The most current list of CWD-positive jurisdictions is on the Fish and Game Department’s website at www.huntnh.com/wildlife/cwd/facts.html.

Bits and Pieces

New Hampshire’s archery deer season opened September 15 and continues through December 15 in all WMUs except A where it closes December 8.

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To learn more about Tree Stand Safety go to https://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/TreeStandSafety.pdf

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Nonresident archery hunters coming to Vermont to hunt are cautioned that COVID-19 travel restrictions can change prior to and during the fall archery deer hunting season. Nonresident archery deer hunters are encouraged to consider this before purchasing an archery deer license for 2020 as refunds for hunting license purchases will not be granted due to changing travel restrictions because of COVID-19. Additional information on COVID-19 travel restrictions can be found by going to https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/restart/cross-state-travel.

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Vermont State Game Wardens are asking Vermonters with information about fish and wildlife crimes to submit them through the Operation Game Thief program.

Operation Game Thief is a joint nonprofit program sponsored by the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and administered by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The program provides a way for people to help protect the state’s fish and wildlife by reporting law violators at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378). The toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to report violations. Rewards are paid for information leading to arrests.

Vermont is lucky to have dedicated wardens patrolling our fields, forests and waterways, but their numbers are limited,” said Col. Jason Batchelder. “Operation Game Thief is a great way for Vermonters to assist in reducing fish and wildlife violations by providing tips and information. We’re asking people to call with details such as names and descriptions of perpetrators, and descriptions and plate numbers of vehicles whenever possible.”

“Poachers steal the opportunity for others to legally hunt and fish and may create an unfairly negative impression of hunting and fishing with the general public,” said Col. Batchelder. “They may also target threatened, endangered, or nongame species. We appreciate this partnership with the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs to help us catch and prosecute poachers through Operation Game Thief.”

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New Hampshire’s hunting season for pheasant starts Thursday, October 1 and continues through December 31. Fish and Game will stock 11,495 adult ring-necked pheasants distributed through all ten counties. An average of 140 pheasants will be released per site.

Due to safety concerns for Fish and Game staff, hunters, and the integrity of the pheasant program, the pheasant season will be closed statewide until noon on in-season stocking days. In-season stocking will be done on the first three Thursdays and Fridays in October: October 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23, 2020.

Fish and Game wants hunters to have success and helps them by providing a list of towns to be stocked, including road names, on the department website and printed lists are also available at Fish and Game headquarters and regional offices.

Pheasant hunters must purchase a $31 pheasant license, in addition to the regular New Hampshire hunting license or non-resident New Hampshire small game license.

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The Northeast Kingdom Skeet & Sporting Clays Club will hold its NEK .410 Challenge Saturday, October 3. For information or to register go to nekclays.com or call 802-473-6141 or 802-535-9213.

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The Newbury Conservation Commission is holding its fall Paddle the Border on Sunday, October 4. The event is open to all to paddle canoes or kayaks from the Fish and Wildlife boat launch at the Newbury/Haverhill bridge to the Fish and Wildlife boat launch at the Bugbee Landing in Bradford.

For more information contact Mike Thomas at 802-757-3960 or mikethom1@charter.net.

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Mark Breen reports in the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium’s Skywatch Almanac that on September 23, 1885: “The earliest general snowfall on modern record; 12 inches on Mt. Mansfield with drifts to 3 feet. Similar amounts were reported in higher elevations near Stafford, VT.”

On September 28, 1836: “Snow was noted on the tops of the mountains of extreme southern Vermont. The temperature in the valley at Bennington was 34.”

September 29, 1844 saw: “An early start to the winter; 6 inches of snow in Wheelock, VT, 9 inches Stewartstown, NH.”

Mark also supplied the September Records and Averages

Warmest: 67.9°F in 1961 Coldest: 54.2°F in 1950

Wettest: 8.59 inches in 1999 Driest: 0.68 inches in 1908

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I didn’t believe it the I was told but see for yourself at https://www.amazon.com/Four-Seasons-Vermont-Gary-Moore/dp/1614227683. You can purchase my book on Amazon for $199.99.

Four Seasons in Vermont, can be purchased at local stores such as Caplan’s, Green Mountain Books, Copies and More, Littleton Bookstore, Galaxy Bookshop, Bear Pond Books, Norwich Bookstore, Chapman’s and LL Cote for $14.95. A signed copy can be ordered by sending $17.95 to cover postage and handling to: Gary W Moore, Box 454, Bradford, VT 05033.

Parting Shots

My mind is at circuit overload as I struggle to juggle all the things that need doing, with multiple Zoom or Microsoft Team meetings, fire and hazmat calls and an all day training in Burlington on Saturday.

Adding to my frustrations is the fact that my email has been down since Wednesday morning and was not fixed until Sunday. Consolidated Communications tells me it is down far beyond Vermont and New Hampshire. Each time I call they tell me that they are working on it. Their service is terrible.

I have heard from several people who tell me they have tried to email me without success. Should you need to contact me use gwmoore1946@icloud.com as that works.

The saving grace for my sanity was the glorious fall weekend. The colors were spectacular and the weather delightful. The leaves were falling and several maples were nearly bare. No doubt if we get the much needed rain predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday a lot more will be bare.

A cookout at the pond Sunday night was enjoyable. Oak played in the water and the trout rose. It was a nice way to end a good weekend.

Syndicated columnist Gary W. Moore may be reached by email at gwmoore1946@icloud.com or at Box 454, Bradford, VT 05033.

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