Vermont’s bear hunting season starts in September, has new rules

  • The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says bear hunting season starts in September 2019 and reminds hunters about the bear hunting regulations that went into effect in 2018. (Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department photograph)

Published: 8/5/2019 9:53:48 PM

MONTPELIER — Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials said Vermont’s bear hunting season will kick off next month, and it will include some new hunting regulations that went into effect last year.

The early season, which requires hunters to have a special bear tag, starts on Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 15, with nonresident hunters working with dogs starting in mid-September. The late season starts Nov. 16 and runs through Nov. 24, according to a news release.

Each hunter can only take one bear per year, and officials have asked that hunters not shoot bears with cubs as well as yellow ear tags and GPS collars, as the latter two categories are bears that are being studied.

Hunters must field dress the bear before bringing it to a reporting station, within 48 hours of the kill. The hunter must collect and submit a “pre-molar tooth” from the bear, which “provides important data on the age structure and size of the bear population,” the release states.

Currently, the bear population in Vermont is robust, Vermont’s bear biologist Forrest Hammond said in the news release. Having a bear hunting season helps manage the state’s population, he said.

“With bears being so abundant, this is a great opportunity for hunters who have never hunted bear to do so this year,” Hammond said.

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