Hunting Safety and Off-Season Park Use: 2016 Edition

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, MollyStark State Park in Wilmington, and Townshend State Park in Townshend. 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.

Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife’s Hunting Calendar

September 01 -November 11: Early Bear Season 
September 24- December 31: Ruffed Grouse 
October 1- November 14: Woodcock and Common Snipe 
October 4- December 27Snow Goose Season
October 5- December: Brant 
October 12- November 30: Canada Geese Season 
October 12- December 10: Ducks, Coots and Mergansers
November 12 -November 20: Late Black Bear Season
November 12 -November 27: Rifle Deer Season
December 03 -December 11: Muzzleloader Deer Season 
December 03 -December 11: Archery Deer Season (split) 


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.

Enjoy the season and remember to stay safe!

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