Preparations for Rifle Hunting Season

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hunting season previewEAST BURKE — Rifle hunting season is set to begin in Vermont starting on Saturday, November 11th. And many in the area are gearing up for the two-week season. According to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Harvest Report from 2016, Vermonters killed 16,220 deer which resulted in over 3.2 million meals for hunters. Vermont saw an uptick in deer kills over 2015 by 27%.

"We try to take care of any of the hunting needs that they have," said Rick Gorham, owner of Rick's Guns in East Burke.

"There is a lot of deer out there this year," said Gorham.

This year's youth hunting season might be a good indicator for how the rifle hunting season might go.

"It was a really good youth season," said Gorham. "We had 32 deer brought in this last weekend."

Weather conditions will also play a role in how successful the season turns out.

"If we get snow, and it sounds like we might, that will make a big difference in recovery. If it's too hot, they're not in the rut. If it's way too hot, they're not moving," said Gorham about the bucks.

In 2016, Vermont Fish and Wildlife attributed the increase in deer population was a result of the exceptionally mild winter. But they also believe that "cool weather and snow during the rifle and muzzleloader seasons likely improved hunter success."

Rick's Guns is one of 251 Big Game Reporting Stations in Vermont. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife website says that hunters who take deer, bear or turkeys must bring them to a reporting stations within 48-hours.

In Caledonia County, 1030 deer were documented through reporting stations. Bow and rifle seasons were the most successful for hunters, while youth and muzzleloader seasons were not far behind. The largest buck reported in Caledonia County in 2016 was logged as a 7 point, 234 pound animal in Wheelock. The second largest was reported in Lyndon and was an 8 point, 225 pound buck.

"Most of my hunting is now stand hunting from an elevated hunting stand or climbing stand, or I hunt from the ground out of a blind. I've got a couple places where I've got a lot of side where the buck have been and I'm gonna get set and hope something comes through," explained local hunter, Theron Wright.

Riffle Season will go until November 26th, after that Muzzleloader season will begin on December 2nd.


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