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Becoming a Let's Go Fishing instructor is a great way to pass Vermont's fishing tradition on to the next generation. A free instructor training workshop for volunteers will be held Sept. 17 in Vergennes.

Antlerless deer permit application deadline, Aug. 26

The deadline to apply for a Vermont muzzleloader antlerless deer hunting permit is fast approaching — Aug. 26.

Hunters can apply on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). A quick-link to the information and application is provided on the home page. Or, they can apply with a paper application available from license agents.

Applying online automatically enters you to win one of ten $50 Cabela's gift cards.

As in the past, a person may apply in the lottery category, or as a landowner. However, it is a violation for a landowner to apply for a landowner antlerless permit if they are posting their land against hunting. Fish & Wildlife says it will be closely monitoring landowner applications and listing permit winners in both categories on its website.

Hunting for antlerless deer will be statewide for the October 1-28 and December 3-11 archery season. Last year, hunters took 2,618 antlerless deer during the archery season.

One deer of either sex is allowed for youths during the November 5-6 youth weekend hunt. Youths took 761 antlerless deer during the 2015 youth weekend hunt.


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The December 3-11 muzzleloader season will have 18,950 antlerless permits distributed in 16 of Vermont's 21 WMUs, which is estimated to result in 2,700 antlerless deer being taken.

"The number of muzzleloader season antlerless deer permits was increased to account for the expected increase in the deer population following the exceptionally mild winter of 2016," said Nick Fortin, deer project leader for the Fish & Wildlife Department. "The permit allocation is intended to allow moderate population growth in most of the state while stabilizing or reducing deer densities in a few areas."

"We expect the statewide deer population to be about 145,000 prior to the start of the 2016 deer seasons," said Fortin.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife to offer free fishing clinics in September

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will be hosting two free fishing clinics in September, both of which are open to people of all ages and levels of experience, including those who are completely new to fishing.

The first clinic, "Basics of Fishing," will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at the Shelburne Bay Fishing Access Area in Shelburne. The clinic will focus on general fishing techniques and equipment, and is tailored toward those who have little to no fishing experience. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. and run until 7 p.m.

"The Basics of Fishing program is the perfect opportunity for anyone new to the sport to learn the fundamentals and get started in fishing," said Corey Hart, Let's Go Fishing Coordinator with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.

A second clinic, "Intro to Trout Fishing," will take place on Saturday, September 10, at the Waterbury Public Library as well as on the Winooski River in Waterbury. The clinic, which will concentrate specifically on trout fishing tactics, will start at 9:30 a.m. and run until 1 p.m.

"For those looking to learn the basics of trout fishing with spinning equipment, this clinic is a great starting place," said Hart. "We'll cover a range of topics including habitat, life cycle, regulations, and fishing techniques. The course is designed as an introductory level course and will emphasize basic live bait techniques as well as strategies for using artificial lures."

The two clinics will be led by staff from Vermont Fish & Wildlife and instructors from the Let's Go Fishing Program.

Fishing equipment will be available for use, or participants can bring their own.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required for participation in either clinic. Anyone interested can register by emailing letsgofishing@vermont.gov, or by calling 802-505-5562

Let's Go Fishing instructors needed

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is seeking volunteers who would like to become "Let's Go Fishing" instructors so they can pass on Vermont's fishing tradition to the next generation of Vermonters.

The department will be hosting a one-day training workshop for new instructors on Sept. 17, at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Rd. Vergennes.

Instructors in the Let's Go Fishing program organize and instruct clinics in their communities for young people and their families. Participants in the training workshop will learn how to teach a fishing clinic -- including fishing ethics, aquatic ecology, fisheries management, habitat conservation, and tackle craft. The class is informal, and it is not necessary to have a high level of fishing expertise to become an instructor.

"Becoming an instructor will give you the opportunity to introduce Vermonters, both young and old, to the joys of fishing while teaching them all they need to know to enjoy a day on the water," said Corey Hart, Vermont Fish & Wildlife's Lets Go Fishing coordinator.

There is no charge for the training, and all curriculum materials and lunch will be provided. The workshop runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Pre-registration is required, and you must be 18 to participate. You can register by Sept. 9, by calling 802-505-5562 or emailing letsgofishing@vermont.gov.

Vermont moose hunt auction nets $28,916 for wildlife education

Vermont's annual auction of five moose hunting permits closed on August 10, with $28,916 taken in from the five winning bids. The auction helps fund Fish & Wildlife Department educational programs, such as the Green Mountain Conservation Camps for youths.

Bids do not include the cost of a hunting license ($26 for residents and $100 for nonresidents) and a moose hunting permit fee ($100 for residents and $350 for nonresidents). Winning bidders can choose to hunt in any one of Vermont's Wildlife Management Units open for moose hunting.

The Fish & Wildlife Department held a lottery August 2, when 160 moose hunting permit winners were drawn from the more than 8,300 people who applied.

Hunters are expected to take close to 80 moose during Vermont's moose hunting seasons. Archery moose season is October 1-7. Regular moose season is October 15-20. Wildlife biologists estimate Vermont has 2,200 moose statewide.