Hunting Safety for Off-Season Park Use

It may be getting chillier outside, but Vermont State Parks are still open during the off-season. However, before you head into the woods during this time of year, keep in mind that hunting season may be in progress. Hunting is an annual tradition for Vermonters and an important part of the state’s cultural heritage. Vermont was the first state to adopt constitutional language that protects your right to hunt, and many people view hunting as a way to source their meat locally as well as build a relationship with the land. Hunting is allowed on all state lands, including State Parks, during the off-season.

Please come and visit the parks, but remember to be cautious in the woods. Dress in blaze orange (dogs, too) and make yourself heard!

You may be less likely to run into hunters at parks that keep their gates closed, such as Mt. Philo State Park in Ferrisburgh, Molly Stark State Park in Wilmington, Townshend State Park in Townshend, and Thetford Hill State Park in Springfield. Niquette Bay, Underhill, and Knight Point are also good choices. When planning your hike, please note that hunters are required to stay back at least 500 feet of park facilities and structures on state lands, so walking on park roads (no matter what park you're at) is a good option.

For more information on hunting in Vermont, view Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s Hunting and Trapping Calendar. For more information on trails, view the Vermont State Parks Hiking page.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife's Hunting & Trapping Calendar:

September 01 -November 13             Black Bear Early Season
October 03 -October 25                     Archery Deer
October 03 -October 23                     Turkey Fall Season - Bow & Arrow only in all WMU's
October 17 -October 22                     Moose Regular
October 24 -November 08                 Turkey Fall- Shotgun or Bow & Arrow in WMU's F, K, AND N
October 24 -November 01                 Turkey Fall - Shotgun or Bow & Arrow in WMU's B, D, G, H,                                                                  I, J, L, M, O, P, and Q
November 07 -November 08              Youth Deer Weekend
November 14 - November 22             Late Black Bear Hunting Season
November 14 - November 29             Rifle Deer Hunting Season        
December 5 - December 13               Bow & Arrow Deer Hunting        
December 5 - December 13               Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Season

Click here for Upland Birds and Waterfowl, Small Game, Furbearer Hunting, and Furbearer Trapping schedules.

The parks listed below currently have their gates open for hunting season:

Allis State Park
Coolidge State Park
Mt. Ascutney State Park
Bomoseen Forest Block (not the campground/park proper)
Alburg State Park
Burton Island State Park
Grand Isle State Park
Kamp Kill Kare State Park
Knight Island State Park
Knight Point State Park
Lake Carmi State Park
Niquette Bay State Park
North Hero State Park
Sand Bar State Park
Underhill State Park
Woods Island State Park
Brighton State Park
Elmore State Park
Little River State Park
New Discovery State Park

Enjoy the season and remember to stay safe!


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