Vermont's 2012 migratory bird hunting season dates, including waterfowl and woodcock seasons, are posted on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com
). You can print your own copy of the regulations from a file on the website.
A larger printed version will be available from license agents throughout Vermont in early September.
The hunting season dates, bag limits and related regulations are set annually in August within a framework established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in coordination with New York and New Hampshire.
Waterfowl season dates and bag limits are set in three zones: Lake Champlain, Interior Vermont, and Connecticut River. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department sets the season dates and bag limits for the Connecticut River Zone.
Duck season opens on October 13 in the Lake Champlain and Interior Vermont Zones, and on October 2 in the Connecticut River Zone. The Lake Champlain Zone has a split season (October 13-17; October 27-December 20); the Interior Vermont Zone is a straight season (October 13-December 11); and the Connecticut River Zone is a split season (October 2-November 4; November 21-December 16).
A statewide Vermont open hunting season for Canada geese will occur September 4-25. The daily bag limit is five Canada geese except in that portion of the Lake Champlain Zone within Addison County north of Route 125, where the limit will be two per day. The purpose of the September season is to help control Vermont's resident Canada goose population prior to the arrival of Canada geese migrating south from Canada.
A second Canada goose hunting season, which targets both resident and migrant birds, will be held Oct. 13 - Dec. 1 with a daily bag limit of three Canada geese in the Lake Champlain and Interior Vermont Zones. This represents the first time in 18 years that the duck and Canada goose seasons have opened on the same day in these zones. In the Connecticut River Zone, the Canada goose season will run at the same time as the duck season (October 2-November 4; November 21-December 16) with a daily bag limit of two Canada geese.
Vermont's youth waterfowl hunting weekend will be September 29 and 30. Resident and nonresident hunters 15 years of age or younger may hunt ducks and geese statewide during this season while accompanied by an adult 18 or older. Both must have Vermont hunting licenses. The adult may not hunt or carry a firearm. The youth and the adult are not required to hold state or federal duck stamps on this weekend.
Woodcock hunting season is Oct. 1 - Nov. 14 statewide with a three-bird bag limit.
A waterfowl hunter 16 or older must carry current federal and Vermont duck stamps in order to hunt waterfowl in Vermont. The hunter must sign the federal duck stamp. In addition, all migratory game bird hunters must be registered with the Harvest Information Program (H.I.P.). You can register on Vermont Fish and Wildlife's website (vtfishandwildlife.com) or call toll-free 1-877-306-7091. After providing some basic information, you will receive your annual H.I.P. registration number, which you then need to record in the H.I.P. section of your hunting license.