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Gun Owners
Of  Vermont

"Dedicated to a no-compromise position against gun control"


Other unsung environmental stewards are Vermont's Hunters, Anglers, and Trappers

who protect the values and traditions of outdoor sports  in our state. Last year, we started to treat the plague of lamprey  that are marring our fish. In the coming year, we must address the thinning deer herd to maintain the vitality of hunting in Vermont.

---Governor James H. Douglas, Second Inaugural Address "A Common Purpose, January 6, 2005



HAT Chat  Board is Back!!


 

VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE
Press Release
 
For Immediate Release:  October 28, 2014
Media Contacts:  Jane Lazorchak, 802-505-0561; John Austin, 802-476-0197
 
Popular Wildlife Management Area Sees Broad Expansion
 
PITTSFORD, Vt – A central Vermont wildlife management area popular with birders and waterfowl hunters has nearly doubled in size, thanks to a donation of land by the Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO). 
 
The Pomainville Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Pittsford, Vt, has added two sections of land that will increase the total area from 360 acres to 572 acres.  The additions include a small section of floodplain forest along Otter Creek and a large parcel of softwood forest on the east side of Route 7.
 
The WMA was originally purchased by Ducks Unlimited in 2004 and was donated to Vermont Fish & Wildlife a year later.  The lands were purchased in order to create a forested buffer along Otter Creek and to restore 46 acres of formerly drained wetlands, the largest wetland reserve project ever completed in Vermont at that time.
 
“The grasslands at Pomainville WMA are beloved by birders looking to spot grassland birds such as bobolinks,” said Jane Lazorchak, land acquisition coordinator for Vermont Fish & Wildlife.  “The new additions to the WMA include a large area of important deer wintering habitat, which also serves as a travel corridor for wildlife looking to cross Route 7.  There is also seasonally flooded forest along Otter Creek that supports nesting wood ducks and other wetland wildlife such as otters.” 
 
The restoration project along Otter Creek has turned what were at one time seasonally flooded hayfields into productive wetlands and natural fish ponds.  The ponds fill with water when Otter Creek floods in the spring, bringing in fish that use the ponds as spawning grounds before returning to the main flow of the creek.  The young fish remain relatively protected from predators as they grow in the ponds and are able to return to the main flow of Otter Creek during the next flood cycle.

The increase in fish provided by these natural ponds benefits local anglers, and additionally  serves to keep mosquito numbers down as the fish prey on mosquitoes and their larvae.
 
“These ponds are just incredible in terms of the amount of fish they produce for the Otter Creek system,” said Shawn Good, fisheries biologist for Vermont Fish & Wildlife.  “We sampled the ponds again this fall and found that they were once again loaded with northern pike, along with many other fish species.” 
 
The new lands were purchased by VELCO in 2004 as part of a mitigation agreement with the understanding that they would turn the lands over to the Fish & Wildlife Department within ten years.
 
“VELCO has once again been a fantastic partner in helping to conserve wildlife habitat in Vermont,” said Lazorchak. 
 
– 30 –
 
Radio Brief:  The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reporting that a central Vermont wildlife management area popular with birders and waterfowl hunters has nearly doubled in size.  The Vermont Electric Power Company or VELCO has donated two parcels of land to be added to the Pomainville Wildlife Management Area in Pittsford, Vt.  The parcels include a small section of floodplain forest along Otter Creek, along with a large section of softwood forest that is important deer wintering habitat and is a wildlife travel corridor along Route 7.  The Pomainville Wildlife Management Area currently contains a series of restored wetlands that are productive habitat for waterfowl and fish.
 
 
Description: Description: Description: Description: momVT
Tom Rogers
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
Information and Outreach
Davis 2 Building, 1 National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT  05620
[phone]      802-377-2628

9-19-14

Clint Gray, Vermont Bearhound Association; 802-535-7111

 

On Saturday morning, September 13, 2014 in Starksboro a bear hound was shot by a perpetrator(s) using a cross bow.  The Walker type hound was shot (3) three times; once in the head and two downward into the back near the spine.

 

The dog “Bear” was engaged in the activity of hunting black bear when the incident occurred.  The dog “Bear” was being hunted by the owner, Oran Lamphere.

 

“Bear” was brought to the Bristol Animal Hospital in Bristol, Vermont where it underwent treatment and removal of the three cross bow bolts.

 

The Vermont Bearhound Association is offering a $2,000.00 reward along with an additional $500.00 from Operation Game Thief for a total of $2,500.00 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator or perpetrators of this crime.

 

Information can be given directly by contacting a local Game Warden in your area, or calling the Vermont State Police and convey the information to the dispatcher or ask to have a Vermont State Game Warden contact you.

 

In addition, information can be given to Operation Game Thief by calling toll free 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378) or report it on-line at

www.vtfishandwildlife.com

 

 



Here is Ashley's story in her own words
2013 Special Moose Hunt
Ashleys Moose

On October 18 through the 24th I was given the opportunity to go on a moose hunt sponsored by the Hunters Anglers Trappers Association of Vermont (HAT). Each year HAT selects a youth with a disability to go on this potential once in a lifetime hunt.
            It was such an amazing privilege to be able to go out moose hunting, being the first girl selected for the permit and getting to spend time with the super friendly, down to earth guys made it even better. I don’t think I slept at all the night before opening morning; I was too excited. But when that morning finally came, I didn’t know what to expect. I got all my gear on and was ready to go right away.
            On the drive to the wildlife management in area in Walden, Vermont that we would be hunting in, my guide, Ed Gallo, was telling me that if I saw a moose and decided that I didn’t want to shoot it then no one would be upset with me. They put me in front of a moose and that’s what they were supposed to do. I looked at Ed and said, “If I see a legal moose, I’m shooting it. I’m not going to pass one up.”
            We had been hiking through the woods about 4 hours and decided to stop and use the moose call to try to call one in. After using it, we didn’t get a response so we got up and started hiking through the swamp again.
            Following Ed, we had only taken about 30 steps when he suddenly stops dead in his tracks. Him being so tall and myself being only 5’2, I couldn’t see what he was looking at. Then before I had time to think, he turns around grabs my shoulders and moves me in front of him.
            “Ashley, right there.” He tells me while pointing about 50 yards in front of me. And standing right there in front of me was a cow moose. She had seen our movement though and had blocked herself off behind some trees so we could only see her head and hindquarters. I pull my 30.06 up to my shoulder and look through the scope to get a better glimpse. She stood there for what seemed like minutes but in all reality was only seconds. When the moose finally started walking I could hear Ed telling me something about as soon as I get a decent broadside shot, to shoot; before he could even finish his sentence, I shot my rifle.
I got it in the first shot; a perfect heart/lung shot, standing up free hand, which I have never really done before. After my first shot though, she was still standing so my dad and I got two more shots off (one him, one me). Then she only walked about 10 yards and dropped. We saw her fall, but then it was a matter of locating her.
I was so excited. I would have been running if we weren’t in a swamp. I could feel the adrenaline pumping so much that I was jittery. Nothing in the world could top that feeling. The pride of my very first big game animal in the entire six years I have been hunting. I had been expecting to see a moose within the weeklong season but not within the first 4 and half hours of opening day.
I was happy I got one but disappointed it was already over. It was such a memorable and enjoyable experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It wouldn’t have been this way though without all the amazing men that accompanied me in my hunt. They made it so much fun and they did a great job making me feel at home and comfortable the entire time I was there.

2013 Special Moose Hunt






 

Tribute Page for Ian
------------------------------------------

VT Fish and Wildlife weekly Shoot Out

 


Folks would be wise to attend the Octobrer 21st Burlington City Council Meeting.
This is not just a Burlington or gun issue, this is an attack on our Vermont Sportsmen's Bill of Rights law.
If Burlington gets this exemption and towns all over the state will want it, then push for a state wide law.
 
The Burlington City Council will take up a gun control policy this fall, councilors say.
 
The Charter Change Committee, which was asked to draft a gun control resolution earlier this year, will present the council with five gun control measures on Oct. 21, committee members said.
 
Though the Legislature may discuss gun control legislation early next year, Burlington must act on the issue because the city has its own gun-related problems, said Councilor Rachel Siegel, P-Ward 3, chair of the Charter Change Committee.
 
“I think that there are things in Burlington that make it different than the rest of Vermont, and some of these measures will address that,” Siegel said.
 
The measures would ban assault weapons, restrict those with domestic violence convictions from obtaining a firearm, require a permitting process for concealed weapons, ban firearms from establishments that serve alcohol, and require that firearms be kept “under lock and key,” separate from another locked location where ammunition is kept.
 
The resolution will be on the ballot in March before the Legislature votes on a required charter change to allow the city to adopt its own policy on gun control. Legislative approval will not likely occur until 2015, Siegel said.
 
The committee has passed all five recommendations unanimously, Siegel said. The committee is composed of Siegel, Tom Ayres, D-Ward 7, and Norman Blais, D-Ward 6.
 
After the committee was scheduled to introduce the measures in November, hunters accused Siegel of strategically excluding sportsmen from participating in the discussion because they would be deer hunting when the council meets in November. Siegel said she was previously unaware of hunting season dates and agreed to move the hearing to October.
 
Mike Kanarick, the mayor’s chief of staff, said Weinberger is reviewing the recommendations and does not have a position on any of them at this time.
 
According to Title 24 of Vermont statute, municipalities do not have the authority to regulate firearms, which is why the committee must seek a charter change.
 
In January, following a mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, the council voted 10-3 to ask the committee to draft a weapons ban resolution.
- See more at: http://vtdigger.org/2013/09/10/committee-to-present-gun-control-measures-to-burlington-city-council-in-october/#sthash.6LZLkjaH.dpuf
 
 


Poll: Gun Rights Supporters Donate Far More on The Issue Than Gun Control Advocates

Pew pollsters find people who want more gun restrictions don't vote with their wallets

July 29, 2013   
Poll also found that gun rights activists are more politically involved than gun control supporters.
 
Poll also found that gun rights activists are more politically involved than gun control supporters.
 
Gun rights supporters donate four times more and are more politically involved than gun control advocates, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center published this weekend.
 
In May 2013, six months after the Newtown school shooting that sparked a national conversation on guns – and a month after the Senate failed to pass a major gun bill – Pew found that 25 percent of people who support gun rights had contributed money to a second amendment group, while just 6 percent of people who support gun control had donated on the issue.
 
 
Those numbers were roughly the same as what Pew found in January 2013, just a month after the shooting.
 
Danielle Thompson, a spokeswoman for the National Association for Gun Rights – a pro-gun group – says the findings don't surprise her.
 
"We've seen the majority of our donations come in when Congress is trying to pass legislation restricting gun rights," she said. "And any time you see the government encroaching on second amendment rights we see people going out and buying guns, buying ammo, showing the government that their liberties are not going anywhere."
 
 
The poll also found that gun rights activists are more politically involved, with 16 percent having contacted a public official to express their views, compared to 11 percent of gun control supporters.
 
Those who prioritize gun rights were also more likely not to vote for a candidate who has different gun views – 41 percent of gun rights supporters said they wouldn't – while fewer gun control supporters, or 31 percent, said a lawmaker's policy would change the way they voted.
 
 
Gun control advocates were close to gun rights activists on one metric: signing petitions. Pew found that in the last six months, 10 percent of gun rights supporters signed a petition on gun policy, compared to 8 percent of supporters of gun control.
 
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, one of the biggest gun control groups in the U.S., has encouraged supporters to sign a number of online petitions, including a petition to fix the background check system that garnered more than 1.5 million signatures.
More News:

VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE

Op-Ed

For Immediate Release:  August 5, 2013

Media Contacts: Adam Murkowski, 802-786-3860; Mark Scott, 802-828-1478

A Deer Management Strategy Based on Sound Science and Public Inpu 

By Adam Murkowski, Deer Project Leader for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

White-tailed deer hunting is an integral part of Vermont's heritage. The Vermont Constitution has guaranteed the right to hunt and fish since 1777, nearly 200 years before other states adopted similar provisions.  There’s even a white-tailed deer on the state flag.

Many Vermonters spend a tremendous amount of time in the woods hunting each fall, not only because they love the tradition, but because they rely on the venison to help feed their families.  These hunters are knowledgeable about deer, have a vested interest in sound deer management practices, and are important partners with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department for both management and regulation.

The department recently began a two-year Comprehensive Deer Management Review Process to examine seasons, regulations, methods of harvest, and the science and biology of Vermont's deer herd.  Vermont hunters are a critical part of this process, providing guidance on deer management through an unprecedented and widely publicized effort that has included online surveys, eight public hearings, and the opportunity to serve on one of three regional working groups.  The working groups are currently working to analyze public input and scientific data in order to provide feedback and suggestions.  And that’s all before normal regulations proceedings even get underway.

This process has been guided by the Fish & Wildlife Board, an independent group of sportsmen and women appointed by the Governor who make regulations on hunting and fishing. The board regularly relies on the department’s research and recommendations in their decisions, but they also listen closely to hunters. The board will weigh the working groups’ feedback in making future regulations, particularly the public input they have gathered and the management recommendations they will provide based on the biological data they review.

In addition to the survey of 2,100 Vermonters completed earlier this past year, the department will also conduct a phone survey to complement other forms of public input. And we have maintained a page on our website outlining the steps of the review process with contact information for Vermonters who wish to submit written comments. Our website also provides access to information on Vermont’s deer herd we collect every year from biological check stations and hunter self-reports.

The Fish & Wildlife Department gathers a tremendous amount of information on Vermont’s deer herd.  Biologists at check stations each fall examine the age, sex, and health of each deer checked in.  We make all of these data available to the public through big game reports published annually, and maintain a 10-year management plan, all of which can be found at vtfishandwildlife.com.  These data are also presented to the board and to the public at annual deer hearings in order to inform the public and maintain transparency. 

The public hearings will continue through 2014 and all are open to local news media. One meeting was televised and streamed live on the internet and we plan to continue to do so for future hearings. 

This level of public input is rare among state wildlife agencies, where deer management decisions are typically made internally, and even more extensive than our normal protocol for soliciting public input to review and make changes to deer management.

During this ongoing review process, all management options are on the table that will allow the deer population to remain in balance with its habitat. Management decisions will be based on the best available science for meeting management objectives balanced with the wishes of Vermont’s deer hunters.

Importantly, the department has not yet drawn any conclusions nor made any recommendations on deer management. We have simply provided scientific data to the working groups, the Fish & Wildlife Board, and to members of the public during hearings and informational meetings.   

There is still a series of public meetings, a public comment period, and at least three additional Board meetings before this process is complete. Conclusions and recommendations won't happen until after every Vermonter has a chance to weigh in on deer management. Stay tuned to help the department manage Vermont’s deer herd for Vermont families to enjoy, now, and in seasons to come.

Tom Rogers

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

Information and Outreach

Davis 2 Building, 1 National Life Drive

Montpelier, VT  05620

[phone]      802-377-2628

[website]    www.vtfishandwildlife.com

 


For Immediate Release:  July 23, 2013
Media Contacts:  Mary Childs 802-241-3720, Charlee Drury 802-241-3700
 
Intro to Waterfowl Hunting Seminar to be Held at Missisquoi NWR
 
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will host a free seminar entitled “Introduction to Waterfowl Hunting” at the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge on August 24,, 2013.  The seminar follows the curriculum of the popular Junior Waterfowl Hunter Training Program and will provide hunters of all ages with the opportunity to learn about waterfowl hunting.
 
Fish & Wildlife Warden Dan Swainbank and retired waterfowl biologist Bill Crenshaw will present on waterfowl hunting regulations, waterfowl identification, safety and ethics, and where to waterfowl hunt.  They will demonstrate the use of decoys and blinds, and will give advice on guns and ammunition used for waterfowl hunting. Additionally, the Lake Champlain Retriever Club will demonstrate the advantages of using a retriever on waterfowl hunts.
 
The seminar will take place from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and lunch will be provided.  Registration is required by calling Mary Childs at (802) 241-3720 or by emailing mary.childs@state.vt.us.  Please provide your full name, address, and phone number.  You will receive a confirmation letter, including directions, following registration. 
 
VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE
Press Release
 
For Immediate Release:  July 24, 2013
Media Contacts:  David Sausville, 802-878-1564; Mark Scott, 802-241-3700
 
Migratory Game Bird Hunters Must Register
for Harvest Information Program
 
Montpelier, Vt – All Vermont migratory game bird hunters, including youth, permanent and lifetime license holders, must register with the Federal Harvest Information Program (H..I.P.) each year in each state that you hunt. 
 
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department provides migratory game bird hunters with a H.I.P. registration process online and by phone.  Vermont, like other states, is required to annually provide a list of hunter names to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The list is used for their national migratory game bird harvest surveys..
 
H.I.P. enables the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S.F.W.S.) and state fish and wildlife agencies to develop reliable estimates of the number of migratory game birds harvested throughout the country.  These estimates are important in making sound decisions about setting hunting season dates, bag limits and population management for ducks, geese, coots, snipe, and woodcock.           
 
Hunters of migratory game birds are required to register on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website (vtfishandwildlife.com) or by calling toll- free 1-877-306-7091.  After providing basic information, you will receive your annual H.I.P. registration number which you need to record on the H.I.P. section of your hunting license. 
 
Hunters who have a permanent or lifetime Vermont hunting license should print out the website response form showing the H.I.P. number and carry this with them while hunting.  Permanent and lifetime license holders who register by telephone between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday will receive a number over the phone for their license. 
 
Hunters who have registered for H.I.P. and have lost their license or H.I.P. number can look up their number on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website. 
 
-30-
 
 
John Hall, Outreach Division
[phone]      802-241-3700      [fax]      802-828-1250
[email]    john.hall@state.vt.us
 
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
1 National Life Drive, Davis 2
Montpelier VT 0562      
 

For Immediate Release: July 15, 2013
Media Contacts: Vermont - David Sausville -- (802) 878-1564
New York – David Winchell – (518) 897-1248
 
Waterfowl Meetings -- Aug. 6, Whitehall, NY -- Aug. 7, Burlington, VT
 
Public meetings on the status of waterfowl populations and waterfowl hunting seasons for the State of Vermont and Lake Champlain zone in New York will be held Tuesday, August 6, in Whitehall, New York, and Wednesday, August 7, in Burlington, Vermont.  The annual meetings are being held by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.  
 
The August 6 meeting will be held at the Skenesborough Rescue Squad building in Whitehall, New York.  The August 7 meeting will be held at the University of Vermont’s Billings Lecture Hall.  Both meetings will run from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.  Those attending the Burlington, Vermont meeting should park off Colchester Avenue.
 
Vermont and New York waterfowl hunters are encouraged to attend one of these meetings and share their preferences and opinions with other waterfowl hunters and Vermont and New York wildlife personnel. 
 
Under Federal regulations, waterfowl seasons, bag limits, and shooting hours in the Lake Champlain Zone must be uniform throughout the entire zone.  Therefore, waterfowl seasons in New York’s portion of the Lake Champlain Zone must be identical to the waterfowl season in Vermont’s portion of the Zone.
 
Comments received at the August meetings, as well as input and recommendations from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, will be reviewed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board.  

VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE  Press Release

For Immediate Release: June 26, 2013

Media Contacts: Scott Darling, 802-786-3862; Mark Scott, 802-241-3700

Public Hearings July 23 and 25 on Wildlife Unit Changes


MONTPELIER, Vt – State wildlife biologists with the Vermont Fish &
Wildlife Department are recommending changes to the boundaries of some
of Vermont’s 24 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs).


The Fish & Wildlife Board is holding two public hearings on the
proposal beginning at 7:00 p.m. on July 23 at the Town Hall, 49 Mill
Street, Island Pond, and on July 25 at Hartford High School, 37
Highland Avenue, White River Junction.


The biologists often recommend hunting regulations tailored to specific
WMUs. The WMUs were created in in the 1970s based on their habitat
conditions, climate, size, and species densities to help manage deer
populations on a regional basis. In recent years, hunting regulations
for wild turkey, moose, furbearers, and snowshoe hare also have been
added that are specific to certain WMUs.

Biologists have noticed that some WMUs now have habitat conditions that
are more similar to those in adjoining units. They also have found
that the sample sizes of biological data from the smaller subunits have
not been adequate. In addition, the implementation of the 9-1-1
program created changes in town highway names and numbers.

In response, the Fish & Wildlife Department recently presented a
recommendation to the Fish & Wildlife Board to update some WMU
boundaries as follows:

1) Combining K1 and K2 into a single WMU K,

2) Adjust the eastern boundary of WMU Q to avoid the Connecticut River
Valley,

3) Combine M2 and O2 into a single WMU O that extends along the
Connecticut River Valley to the Massachusetts border,

4) Combine M1 and O1 into a single WMU M,

5) Extend J2 north along the Connecticut River to include that valley
habitat currently within H2 and E,

6) Combine H1 and the mountainous portion of H2 into a single WMU H,

7) Expand the western border of E to include similar habitat currently
within WMU D2, and

8) Expand the northeastern boundary of D1 easterly to include farmland
currently in WMU D2.

The department’s recommendation is on its website
(www.vtfishandwildlife.com<http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com>). Under
Law Enforcement, click on Rules and Proposed Rules.

-30-



John Hall, Outreach Division
[phone] 802-241-3700 [fax] 802-828-1250
[email] john.hall@state.vt.us
[website] www.vtfishandwildlife.com<http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
1 National Life Drive, Davis 2
Montpelier VT 05620-3702
 


Press Release

For Immediate Release: February 6, 2013
Media Contact: Col. David LeCours, 802-583-7161

Anyone contemplating violating Vermont’s fish and wildlife laws now needs to keep in mind that they can no longer just hunt, fish or trap in another state if their licenses are revoked here. Vermont is now the 39th member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC), which recognizes license suspensions of member states.

Any person whose license privileges are suspended in one compact member state will have his or her licenses suspended in all other compact member states. The IWVC assures that in participating states, nonresident violators will receive the same treatment as resident violators.

A violator who fails to comply with the terms of a citation issued in a participating state also faces the possibility of suspension of their wildlife license