Ruffed grouse and woodcock seasons start soon

Hunting season for ruffed grouse is Sept. 30 through Dec. 31 this year, and the woodcock hunting season is Oct. 1 through Nov. 14. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department said the key to hunting success is to find suitable habitat for these upland game birds.

Woodcock are often found in alders along brooks and near beaver ponds as well as in new-growth small timber where old fields are reverting to forest. Ruffed grouse also frequent the same habitat, and they are particularly fond of the apples they find under wild apple trees.

Regulations require woodcock hunters to make sure their shotgun is capable of holding no more than three shells, and they must register for the federal Harvest Information Program on Vermont Fish & Wildlife's website ( or by calling toll-free 1-877-306-7091.

For more information on hunting in Vermont, be sure to get a copy of the 2017 Hunting & Trapping Guide available from license agents statewide and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Tel. 802-828-1000 and email: You can also find a digital version of the Guide on the department's website. Hunting licenses are available from the website and from agents throughout the state.

Vermont's Northeast Kingdom offers large expanses of huntable land and plenty of excellent grouse and woodcock habitat. Go to the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce at or Tel. 802-748-3678 for overnight accommodations and helpful local advice.

Several state wildlife management areas (WMAs) in the Northeast Kingdom and other sections of the state offer excellent public hunting opportunities. Descriptions and maps of the WMAs are provided on Fish & Wildlife's website.


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