“Kids are getting ready, and parents are getting ready,” Jon Sanborn of R & L Archery tells us.
Just a few days before deer hunting season opens for youth in Vermont, Sanborn has a steady flow of customers in his Barre City store. The kids that come into the store bring in a welcoming new energy, motivating the most seasoned hunter.
Youth hunters are required to take several lengthy courses on safety before the in-depth hands on training using their rifle.
“Most of the courses are set up as ‘home study’. You do it online,” said Mark Scott, a biologist with Vermont Fish and Wildlife.
“To complete your work book, which is extensive, takes a long time. You have to read your lessons, and do the work book. Then you have a field day practicum,” said Scott.
Scott explains youth deer hunting weekend in Vermont is relatively new, only in its fifteenth year. It provides children with an opportunity to hunt without adult competition.
“It’s all set up, that the youth are having an experience that is heavily supervised by an adult (that is at least 18 years or older), whom also carries a hunting license,” said Scott.
With an estimated population of 140,000 deer in the Green Mountain State, hunters will be selecting from a large pool of healthy deer. Hunters are asked to visit their nearest weigh station if they get any deer.
“We have a state game biologist here all weekend, pulling teeth, taking pictures, and giving kids patches,” said Sanborn.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife biologists will be collecting data on the deer’s health and age, along with monitoring the overall population.
Between youth and adult hunting permits sold, the number total close to 77,000 permits. It brings in $300 million in revenue to Vermont each year.
“The small towns, the small mom and pop stores, we find benefit the most. When hunters come whether they are looking for lodging to stay in these small towns. It’s an economy that benefits rural Vermont,” said Scott.
Scott also adds a new regulation for this coming year, hunters are not allowed to use natural deer lures to prevent chronic wasting disease.
For more information on the upcoming deer hunting season, please visit Vermont Fish and Wildlife.
As for the adults, rifle season opens November 12th.