Hunters Anglers Trappers Association of Vermont
Other unsung environmental
stewards are Vermont's Hunters, Anglers, and Trappers
Proposed Changes to the Deer Rule
Dear Members of F&W Board,
I wanted to provide my personal opinion on the new deer rule you are considering.
First, I agree 100% with the FWB’s decision that the new rule take affect this 2015 deer season. I know the FWD will disagree and try to delay but there is no good reason as there are multiple avenues to disseminate the information and the FWD’s only real reason is to continue to delay change – any change. There is plenty of time to get the word out, in fact, much more time then the waterfowl hunters get each year.
Issue 1: Antler Restrictions – I believe the AR’s should be ended as Adam’s data (and common sense at this point) reveal we are quite possibly inflicting genetic damage to our beloved deer herd. This is NOT a “Social Issue” – this is a “Biological Issue” and I am bitterly disappointed in the Commissioner’s failure to step up and lead but rather take the politically easy path. The FWB can correct this and should return us to the old definition of a legal buck.
The FWD claims it needs three more years of data gathering to determine the impact of AR’s – well, they have had close to ten years’ time already and cannot say. In three years, you will have an entirely new cast of characters sitting in front of you and wringing their hands over this issue and asking for more time. If the Board decides to allow three more years of study...you should demand the FWD reveal EXACTLY what data/parameters they need to study and EXACTLY what they need to know to make a decision – I will guarantee you they do not know...
Issue 2: Crossbows – I believe it is time to include crossbows as a legal archery implement. I know the FWB voted to permit crossbows for all age groups and I agree with this position. However, if the FWB should reconsider and decide to allow crossbows for hunters age 50 and over to “ease” into this change, I would be supportive of that as well, with the thought being expansion to others down the road when it is proven that the world did not end. I truly believe the use of crossbows will result in much better recovery rates of arrowed deer.
Issue 3: Bag Limits – I believe, as long as the current AR’s are in place, that we should have a one buck annual bag limit. I believe this rule change would force hunters to be much more discerning on what buck they are willing to fill their only tag with and this is not easily measured but it will have a significant impact. I support allowing doe permits and the total bag limit of three deer but it should only allow one buck.
Issue 4: Extension of archery season – I support this proposed change. However, I believe a three day early Muzzleloader Season for filling doe permits ONLY should be established, This early ML season should end on the last Sunday in October and begin two days earlier on that Friday. Then, I believe the archery season should be extended through the end of October rather than earlier as proposed. I believe the EXISTING ML season should NOT be changed other than the proposed bag limit change.
Issue 5: Banning of urine based attractants – I can’t wait to see how the Warden force will be expected to enforce this. I do not want wardens sniffing my pant legs and boots at the check in stations but we shall see.
Thank you for your service on the Board. I believe it is time for the FWB to take the lead as the Department has showed itself unable or unwilling to do so. I wish you the best of luck.
VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE
For Immediate Release: February 11, 2015
Media Contact: Adam Miller, (802) 777-2852
Vermont fish hatcheries in high gear during winter months
BENNINGTON, Vt. – While the bitter cold of winter grips Vermont and ice covers many of its world-class fisheries, work at the state’s fish hatcheries is heating up to produce the next batch of fish for spring stocking efforts - an annual initiative that has a major impact on both area angling opportunities and Vermont’s economy.
“A lot of people might not know this, but winter is a very busy and important time for our various hatcheries and the work they do to raise fish,” said Adam Miller, fish culture operations manager with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.
The fish-rearing process first begins two years prior to fish stocking when highly trained fisheries biologists from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department develop annual plans outlining how many fish will be needed for stocking Vermont’s public waters. They then team up with fish culturists to collect eggs from large “brood” fish in the wild, or at various hatchery sites in the fall months, to meet the stocking needs of the State.
The eggs are then moved into incubators at the hatcheries to develop before eventually hatching into small “sac fry,” also known as alevin.
“The newly hatched fish are called sac fry because the young fish are still living off a yolk sac attached to their bodies, providing the fish with nourishment,” said Miller. “During the incubation stage, hatchery staff spend a large amount of time caring for the eggs and ensuring that they have the optimal environment to grow, develop and hatch.”
Once the eggs hatch into sac fry, hatchery staff begin to introduce the fish to food.
“Fish must learn to feed before they’ve used up all of their yolk sac or else they’ll die,” Miller said.
Once fish are “on feed,” fish culture staff continue feeding them and cleaning holding tanks - a critical process for providing a healthy, disease-free environment while the fish are developing an immune system.
“Staff work extremely hard, around-the-clock at times, to ensure that these conditions are conducive to proper development,” Miller said.
As winter winds down and spring approaches, hatchery staff prepare for a busy stocking season that will see them not only stocking Vermont waterways with adult fish raised during the previous year, but also moving this year’s young fish into larger rearing environments so they can continue to grow.
“Vermont fish hatcheries produce fish for two main reasons - to restore fisheries and to increase angling opportunities,” said Louis Porter, commissioner of Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “In addition to biologically meeting fisheries management goals, hatchery-raised fish also serve as a great outreach tool to get people involved in fishing and the outdoors.”
In recent years, approximately 6,500 individuals have participated annually in the Children’s Fishing program - a collaborative effort with local sporting clubs across Vermont to provide fish for local fishing events. The program provides senior citizens, kids, and disabled individuals an increased opportunity of catching fish in an environment favorable to fishing.
More than 600 people have also participated in the Grand Isle Family Fishing Festival, an annual event where kids learn about fishing and try to catch hatchery-raised fish.
Additionally, an average of 15,000 people visit Vermont hatcheries each year to see the fish and learn about the fish culture process.
“Stocked fish are also an important economic driver for the State of Vermont,” added Porter. “The 2011 U.S. Fish & Wildlife survey on hunting, fishing and wildlife-associated recreation, coupled with our 2010 Vermont angler survey, estimated that stocked fish contribute roughly $31.6 million annually in angler expenditures to Vermont’s economy.”
In total, Vermont’s hatchery system - which includes facilities in Newark, Bennington, Grand Isle, Roxbury and Salisbury - produces approximately 1.5 million fish for stocking each year. That number includes a range of species including brook, brown, rainbow, lake and steelhead trout, as well as walleye and landlocked Atlantic salmon.
“By design our hatcheries enable us to properly manage the state’s fisheries, and that’s priority number one,” said Miller. “But it goes beyond that - they’re a symbol of Vermont’s commitment to our natural resources, a wonderful tool for public education and an important component of the state’s history. Three of the five hatcheries are on the National Register of Historic Sites. They’re really a long-standing part of the environmental fabric of the state and that’s certainly evident during the winter when staff are working tirelessly to raise yet another generation of healthy Vermont fish.”
As the election returns came in on November 4 one thing was evident—the Second Amendment crushed gun control candidates in Senate and gubernatorial races around the country.
In so doing, the Second Amendment annihilated the left's relentless claim that 90 percent of Americans support more gun control.
On the gubernatorial level, in Arizona, pro-Second Amendment candidate Doug Ducey (R) beat gun control candidate Fred DuVaul (D). And in Florida, pro-Second Amendment incumbent Rick Scott (R) beat gun control candidate Charlie Crist. These victories were enhanced by the fact that Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly endorsed DuVal and Giffords' gun control PAC gave $100,000 to Crist's campaign.
The Second Amendment trumped their endorsement and their money.
In Texas, NRA-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (R) won. In Maryland, NRA-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (R) won. In Alabama, NRA-endorsed Governor Robert J. Bentley (R) won. In Wisconsin, NRA-endorsed Governor Scott Walker (R) won. In Michigan, NRA-endorsed Governor Rick Snyder (R) won. In Nevada, NRA-endorsed Governor Brian Sandoval (R) won. In Ohio, NRA-endorsed Governor John R. Kasich (R) won. In Oklahoma, NRA-endorsed Governor Mary Fallin (R) won. In Wyoming, NRA-endorsed Governor Matt Mead (R) won. In Idaho, NRA-endorsed Governor Bruce Otter (R) won. In Kansas, NRA-endorsed Governor Sam Brownback (R) won. And in Maine, NRA-endorsed Governor Paul R. LePage (R) won against gun control candidate Michael Michaud (D). (On August 8, Breitbart News reported that Michaud was supported by Gabby Giffords.)
In Senate races, gun control Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) was defeated by NRA-endorsed Cory Gardner (R) and gun control Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) was defeated by NRA-endorsed Thom Tillis (R). In Kansas, NRA-endorsed Senator Pat Roberts (R) won. In Georgia, NRA-endorsed Senatorial candidate David Perdue (R) won. In Arkansas, NRA-endorsed Tom Cotton (R) won. And in West Virginia, NRA-endorsed Shelley Moore Capito (R) won, marking the first time that state has sent a Republican Senator to Washington DC in over five decades.
The spotlight was also on the race between NRA-endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and pro-gun control challenger Alison Grimes (D). McConnell won handily.
NRA-endorsed Senatorial candidate Joni Ernst (R-IA) also won.
On November 3—the day before the elections took place—Breitbart News reminded red state and pro-Second Amendment voters to vote like their guns depended on it. They did. And as result, the Second Amendment won the day, Republicans won the Senate, and gun control took a beating.
Here is Ashley's story in her own words
2013 Special Moose Hunt
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
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.
Committee to present gun control measures to Burlington City Council in October
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.
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 walletsJuly 29, 2013
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.
VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE
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.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
Information and Outreach
Davis 2 Building, 1 National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05620
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 email@example.com. Please provide your full name, address, and phone number. You will receive a confirmation letter, including directions, following registration.
VERMONT FISH & WILDLIFE
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.
John Hall, Outreach Division
[phone] 802-241-3700 [fax] 802-828-1250
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
Release: February 6, 2013
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 privileges in the other member states until the terms of the citation are met. The goal of the IWVC is to improve enforcement of hunting, fishing and trapping laws through the cooperation of law enforcement units in member states.
“Joining the IWVC provides an added deterrent to Vermonters who might be tempted to violate fish and wildlife laws at home and then expect to hunt, fish or trap in other states or vice versa,” said Col. David LeCours. “Also, we didn’t want Vermont to be one of the last states where bad actors from other states can come to violate our fish and wildlife laws.”
VERMONT FISH and WILDLIFE
For Immediate Release: January 30, 2013
Media Contact: David Sausville 802-878-1564; Scott Darling 802-786-3862
Special Snow Goose Harvest Opportunity
Since 2009 hunters have had the opportunity to pursue snow geese during the spring as a result of a special management action referred to as a “Conservation Order” allowed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and adopted by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board.
The measure was adopted at the recommendation of federal and state wildlife scientists in response to concerns about a growing number of snow geese across North America. Eight states in the Atlantic Flyway (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Vermont) will hold a Spring Snow Goose Conservation Order in 2013.
The Vermont 2013 Spring Snow Goose Conservation Order will occur statewide from March 11 through April 26. The daily bag limit is 15 snow geese, and there is no possession limit. Waterfowl hunting regulations in effect last fall will apply during the 2013 Spring Snow Goose Conservation Order with the exception that unplugged shotguns and electronic calls may be used, and shooting hours will be extended until ½ hour after sunset.
A 2013 Spring Snow Goose Harvest Permit is required and is available at no charge on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (vtfishandwildlife.com).. Hunters may also call the Essex Junction Office (802-878-1564) to request a permit.
In addition to this permit, hunters will need a 2013 Vermont hunting license (residents $22, nonresidents $50), 2013 Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification, a 2012 federal migratory hunting stamp ($15), and a 2013 Vermont migratory waterfowl stamp ($7.50). Hunters can register with the Harvest Information Program by going to the department website or calling toll free 1-877-306-7091 during normal business hours.
The populations of snow geese, blue geese and Ross’s geese in North America, collectively referred to as “light geese,” have grown to record levels over the past three decades.
According to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the overabundance of light geese, which nest in far northern regions of North America, is harming their fragile arctic breeding habitat. The damage to the habitat is, in turn, harming the health of the light geese and other bird species that depend on the tundra habitat. Returning the light goose population to sustainable levels is necessary to protect this delicate habitat and every species dependent on it.
Greater snow geese make up a large share of the light goose population in the Atlantic Flyway.
“The population of greater snow geese has grown from approximately 50,000 birds in the mid-1960s to 1 million today,” said David Sausville, Vermont’s waterfowl project biologist. “This increase has resulted in damage to agricultural crops and marsh vegetation in staging and wintering areas from Quebec to North Carolina. The Atlantic Flyway has established a goal of 500,000 greater snow geese to bring populations in balance with their habitat and reduce crop depredation.”
Hunters who obtain a permit will be required to complete an online survey after April 26 and prior to May 16, 2013, whether they hunted or not. Hunters without access to the internet may obtain a copy of the survey by calling 802-878-1564.
The Spring Snow Goose hunt occurs annually from March 11 until the Friday before Youth Turkey Weekend.
During spring migration, snow geese typically move through the Champlain Valley in late March and early April. They usually pass through Vermont fairly quickly in route to their spring staging areas along the St. Lawrence River Valley. Here they remain for about a month before moving on to their nesting areas in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. About 100 snow geese are taken by Vermont hunters during the spring seasons.
Date: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 - 09:37 PM ET
Website Address: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/16/gun-range-bans-police/1840937/
Gun range prohibits police after city considers ban
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- A rural Vermont firing range has told the police department in Burlington that its officers are unwelcome to train at the facility because the City Council has advanced a measure to ban semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines in the state's largest city.
The City Council's action earlier this month threatens constitutional freedoms, Robert Boivin II, board chairman of the Lamoille Valley Fish and Game Club Inc., wrote in a letter to police department, city and state leaders terminating use of the gun range by Burlington police.
The firing range is in Morrisville, about 50 miles northeast of Burlington. The city of 42,000 residents has a police force of just less than 100 officers.
The club's executive board "can no longer support the City of Burlington with such a prejudice against our club and its members, and has voted to suspend the City's use of our range for its law enforcement. This action is effective immediately," Boivin wrote in the letter, dated Tuesday. It was provided Wednesday to The Burlington Free Press.
"We hope that the council reconsiders its actions and redirects its efforts towards perpetrators of violent crimes and security issues," Boivin wrote
DEC's official press release on spiny water fleas 8.1.12
The change will not affect hunters who purchase a lifetime or permanent license in year 2012 or earlier. Starting when the new early season tag goes into effect, it will be treated as an add-on tag, such as we do with turkey. Their regular bear tag will be valid for the extra five days in November deer season.
Here’s a complete list on how we intend to handle the bear tags:
1) RE: All previous term licenses for hunting that cover multiple years, that have been issued a black bear tag. These tags are valid for both the “Early” and “Late” black bear season. No additional tags need to be issued to these license holders. If these license holders harvest a black bear, they will continue to be reissued a bear tag that is valid in both “Early” and “Late” seasons for the duration of these licenses. These license types include lifetimes (kids as you refer), permanents and 5 year hunting.
2) Department in calendar year 2013 will issue two black bear tags for new license sold. Traditional hunting license or combination hunting\fishing licenses will be issued with a tag designated “Late Season” to cover the bear season as it overlaps with the rifle deer season in November. A second tag designated “Early Season” will be issued if requested for the open black bear season that does not overlap the November rifle deer season. The Department will charge $5.00 for this “early season” tag.
3) In 2013, in order to purchase a new hunting license of any type the license buyer will be asked “Did you hunt black bears last year” or some variation of this question. This question will be used as a screening tool for future surveys to determine hunters who may have hunted black bears in an systematic attempt to subsequently survey hunters regarding hunting pressure, effort or other questions. This question will be in effect for electronic and book agent license sales.
4) Big Game Reporting stations in 2013 will be instructed to take the remaining black bear tag when a successful hunter presents a harvested bear to be checked. This will hopefully ensure they do not accidentally get confused and go shoot another bear with the remaining tag.
Tables turned on Humane Society
Jim Matthews, Outdoors
Posted: 07/26/2012 08:32:04 PM PDT
The Humane Society of the United States, an organization that does next to nothing for animal shelters but sues, badgers and lobbies politicians and businesses into adopting its radical animals rights agenda, is getting a taste of its own medicine.
In a little-reported ruling by a judge in the District of Columbia earlier this month, the HSUS is facing allegations under RICO statues on racketeering, obstruction of justice, malicious prosecution and other claims for a lawsuit it brought and lost against Ringling Brothers Circus' parent company Feld Entertainment, Inc.
After winning the case alleging mistreatment of elephants in its circuses brought by Friends of Animals (later merged into HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), lawyers at Feld filed a countersuit with a litany of claims ranging from bribery to money laundering to racketeering. The attorneys for the animal rights groups asked the judge to dismiss all of the claims, but most survived. So in early August, HSUS will be facing the music in a case that should attract the attention of hunters, ranchers, farmers and anyone impacted by HSUS' radical animal rights agenda.
District judge Emmet G. Sullivan did dismiss allegations of mail and wire fraud, but he did so only because Feld didn't have standing to file this charge. His ruling all but set the stage for a class-action RICO lawsuit against HSUS for misrepresenting itself in its fundraising campaigns across the nation. This lawsuit easily could bankrupt HSUS, put it out of business and send some of its top executives to prison.
For the first time, a group has fought back against the animal rights and environmental extremists who have been setting policy in this country for the past 20 years or more. Now, instead of getting rich off their lawsuits and fundraising schemes that misrepresent their efforts and accomplishments, they could be driven out of business. These groups have cost the farming and ranching industry jobs and raised the price of products we buy every day. They are behind the efforts to ban sport hunting across the nation. They have forced state wildlife and fishery agencies to waste countless millions of dollars on lawsuits and have spearheaded policies and legislation like the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), which has ruined livelihoods in recreational and commercial fishing without helping marine resources.
These groups operate with surly arrogance and believe they are above the law. Thankfully, that is not the case. Stay tuned.
UVM Political Science Students making
UNAUTHORIZED site "safety" inspect...
section of the Vermont report. The Vermont lead report was pseudo science.
--------------------------Original E-mail released 4/25/12----------------------------
Last Friday I became aware that UVM students had been making site visits to Vermont gun ranges. I learned this because an officer of the North Country Sportsmen's Club (NSCS) in Williston encountered three UVM students on the club property.
The students were informed they should have eye and ear protection and they were there without permission. asked what they were doing on the property they related they were there to do a site inspection for a study requested by Chittenden County State Senator "Ginny" Lyons.
The NCSC officer contacted Senator Lyons and it turns out they were doing this site inspection at the instruction of UVM Professor Anthony "Jack" Gierzynski, who is an Internship Director for the UVM Political Science Department.
The study was checking for lead management and was being performed as a research project for the Vermont Legislative Research of the James M. Jeffords Center.
The UVM students impressed the NCSC officer as not having any real working knowledge of firearms or ranges. They also showed up a range without ear or eye protection. The officer related they did not have any writing or recording materials or devices.
The NCSC officer contacted Professor Gierzynski to get access to the completed research report. What he received was what is reportedly a "rough draft" of the study and it is provided as an attachment to this E-mail.
The report is incorporated into a previous study performed about ranges. It was requested by Senator Lyons in an apparent reaction to an April, 2011 article about ranges in Seven Days Magazine.
The original study was lacking in objectivity and the level of the work was quite disappointing for a college of the standing of UVM. This one is no better.
Starting on Page 9 the study reports the UVM students visited four ranges in Vermont. The Bulleye's range, Barre Fish & Game Club, Waterbury-Stowe Club and the North Country Sportsmen's Club in Williston were reviewed in March and April... Apparently, the ranges visited were selected because they had shotgun ranges.
In February, 2007 the Vermont Attorney General and Acting Commissioner of Health issued the report "Get the Lead Out of Vermont" which had three pages dedicated to ranges and specifically targeted skeet and trap ranges.
This raises important questions:
Is it ethical for a faculty academic research leader to dispatch students to private property for data gathering unannounced inspections without the permission or prior knowledge of the property owner?
Given the fact that UVM receives funding support from your taxes, do Vermont taxpayers want to have their tax dollars funding research that is clearly biased and certainly appears to be driven to justify the goal of finding ranges as bad actors?
Do the graduates of UVM want to continue to donate to the college so long as it engages in these type of research projects.
Is it a sound safety practice for UVM students to be dispatched to ranges for a research project without ear and eye protection?
Concerned about this situation? You should be. In Vermont there used to be respect for private property. Apparently clubs and ranges are sufficiently Politically Incorrect to the point that UVM students on a mission for a state senator just show up and traipse all over the property. All in the name of ethical research.
The UVM President's Office is located at 85 South Prospect Street, 344-353 Waterman Building, Burlington, Vermont 05405. Tel. 802-656-3186
As a Richmond resident you may already know our club has been involved in an ongoing legal battle with a few neighbors who don’t like the fact an organization that has been in operation since 1926, long before any of them moved in, is still there.
We are an essential part of Richmond’s recreational outlets for hundreds of residents and added to the town’s quality of life for over 250members in just the last decade.
After multiple hearings with the town boards, 3 court sessions (including Vermont Supreme Court) the issue is coming to a head after 10 years.
All this came about by unsubstantiated testimony in the original 2003 court case. That led the judge to rule we had expanded usage by 2X since enactment of the zoning laws in 1969, and now the town is seeking to require us to cut usage in half, under a zoning “Notice of Violation”. In 1969 we had 2000 members, allowed unlimited guests and operated from dawn to dark, as opposed to 7-800 members now, no guests and reduced hours.
The Town Select Board has apparently approved the hiring of counsel to represent the Town, and its zoning administrator, in the Club’s appeal of the Notice of Violation, to the Town Development Review Board.
If you enjoy the use of the range, archery, ponds, etc. and think this action an injustice, it is critical you come to the Development Review Board at the town hall on Wednesday, April 11th for the 7 pm meeting to show your support. Please make the effort to attend for your own benefit and we are sure all will be respectful as we always have been.
Thank you, and hope to see you there..
HAT Survey Results
Would you support a $10.00 surcharge on each ADULT hunting license sale which MUST be deposited into an escrow account to be used solely for DEER WINTER HABITAT improvement on both public and private lands?