Deer archery season kicks off in Vermont on Thursday, and state wildlife officials say hunters should be aware of a number of changes in regulations.  

One change is the season itself. It’s been extended and crossbows are now legal for all hunters. This year, hunters will be limited to one buck for the year, and the “spikehorn” law — which meant harvested deer had to have two or more points — has been lifted in some hunting areas. The annual limit for deer has also been changed from 3 to 4 per season.

A new novice hunting season, for adult hunters that have purchased their first license, will be held on the same dates as youth hunting season, which will start earlier. And muzzleloaders will have a four-day antlerless season.

Miller says changes are needed periodically when it comes to deer hunting regulations in order for ong term deer population goals. “Deer aren’t where they use to be,” he said. “Deer populations have changed, and Vermont’s hunters have changed.”

For information, including videos and other resources, visit the state Fish and Wildlife Department’s website.