index

Buying Your License

Application Process

  • Anyone Eligible: No prior fishing license required to apply for a fishing license.
  • Personal Information: Ensure accuracy of personal details such as name and address.
  • Term License Considerations: Specify the start date for term fishing licenses, which are valid for consecutive days.
  • Previous License Requirement: For hunting, combination, archery, or trapping licenses, proof of previous license or completion of a safety course is necessary. An affidavit form may be completed for verification.
  • Carrying License: Carry a photo ID when fishing, hunting, or trapping. Both printed and digital versions of the license are acceptable.

Purchase Options

  1. Online Purchase: Visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.

    • Requirements:
      • Adobe Acrobat Reader installed.
      • Credit card (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard).
    • Optional:
      • Conservation Identification Number (CID #).
  2. District Offices or Authorized Agents:

  3. Print and Mail Application:

Additional Information

  • Photo ID: Carry a photo ID at all times during fishing, hunting, or trapping activities.
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Online purchases require a credit card (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard).
  • Convenience: Online purchase offers ease and flexibility, while district offices and authorized agents provide in-person assistance.
  • Documentation: Maintain records of previous licenses or safety course completion for license application purposes.

License Requirements

Mandatory Licensing

  • Requirement: Anyone engaging in fishing, hunting, or capturing wild animals must possess the appropriate license, excluding exceptions.
  • Definition of Wild Animals: Encompasses all animals, including birds, amphibians, and reptiles, excluding domestic animals.

License Possession

  • Carrying Requirement: License holders must carry their licenses while engaging in hunting, fishing, trapping, or transporting fish, game, or furbearers.
  • Exhibition Requirement: Licenses must be exhibited upon request by a state game warden, enforcement officer, or landowner where the activity occurs.
  • Acceptable Forms: Electronic or digital copies are acceptable, except for minor children hunting with rifles or bows, who must carry a paper license signed by a parent.

Free Fishing Days

  • Designated Days: The second Saturday in June and the last Saturday in January are designated as Free Fishing Days in Vermont.
  • License Exemption: Residents and nonresidents are exempt from license requirements on Free Fishing Days.
  • Legal Compliance: All legal fishing methods and limits remain applicable during Free Fishing Days.

Fishing License Coverage

Fishing License

  • Year-Round Fishing: Fishing licenses provide coverage for fishing activities throughout the year.

Combination License

  • Additional Benefits: Combination licenses offer extended coverage beyond fishing activities.
  • Late-Season Bear Tag: Includes a late-season bear tag for bear hunting.
  • November Regular Season Legal Buck Tag: Provides a tag for hunting legal bucks during the November regular season.
  • Small-Game Hunting: Covers small-game hunting activities.

Add-On Licenses

  • Supplemental Coverage: Required for specific hunting seasons and activities, each with their own tags.
  • Early Season Bear: Add-on license for early season bear hunting.
  • Archery Deer Season: License extension for archery deer hunting season.
  • Muzzleloader Deer Season: License extension for muzzleloader deer hunting season.
  • Turkey Seasons: Coverage for various turkey hunting seasons, each with their respective tags.

Resident Status Requirements

Resident Annual Licenses

  • Residency Criteria: Applicants must have resided in Vermont for at least six consecutive months immediately before applying for a license.
  • Residence Claim: Individuals must not have claimed residency elsewhere for any other purpose.

Resident Lifetime License

  • Residency Duration: To qualify for a resident lifetime license, applicants must have been residents for at least 12 months.
  • Dependent Eligibility: Dependents of residents are also eligible for resident lifetime licenses.

Nonresident Student Status

  • Eligibility: Nonresident students enrolled in Vermont high schools, colleges, or universities are eligible for resident fishing, hunting, or combination licenses.
  • Requirements: Students must have completed two successive semesters at their educational institution.
  • Documentation: Presentation of an admission card is required.
  • Fee Payment: Students must pay the resident fee to qualify.

Exceptions to License Requirements

Resident Landowners

  • Privileges: Resident landowners, their spouses, and minor children may hunt and fish on their land without a license.
  • Scope: This exemption applies only within the boundaries of their own land.
  • Conditions: The activities must occur within the designated season, and the individuals must not be under license suspension.

Nonresident Landowners

  • Equal Privileges: Nonresident landowners enjoy the same hunting and fishing privileges as resident landowners if their land is not posted.
  • Definition of "Posted": Land is considered "posted" if signage indicates hunting prohibition, excluding "Safety Zone" signs.

License Requirement for Children

  • Age Exemption: Children under the age of 15 are exempt from the fishing license requirement.
  • Scope: This exemption applies regardless of land ownership and season.

Military Personnel License Benefits

Resident Active Duty

  • Eligibility: Vermont residents serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces or in homeland defense or stateside contingency operations for 120 or more consecutive days.
  • License Offered: Eligible individuals may obtain a hunting or fishing license, or a combination license, at no cost.
  • Validity: The license remains valid until its expiration, irrespective of continued military service.

Nonresident Military Members

  • Resident Fee Access: Nonresident members of the U.S. armed forces stationed at a Vermont military installation can purchase hunting or fishing licenses at resident fee rates.

For eligibility inquiries or further assistance:

  • Contact:
    • Phone: (802) 828-1190
    • Email: fwlicensing@vermont.gov
    • Address: Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Attn: Licensing, 1 National Life Drive, Dewey Building, Montpelier, VT 05620-3208.

Permanent Licenses for Seniors

Eligibility

  • Age Requirement: Vermont residents aged 66 or older are eligible to apply for and purchase a permanent license.

Application Process

  • Options: Applications can be made online via our website, through authorized license agents, at district offices, or via mail.

Additional Considerations

  • Supplementary Licenses: If a permanent license holder intends to hunt for multiple archery deer, additional archery licenses must be purchased.
  • Waterfowl Hunting: For waterfowl hunting, the holder must also acquire state and federal duck stamps and register with H.I.P. annually.
  • Exclusions: Permanent licenses do not include duck stamps or entries into moose and antlerless lotteries or permits.

Permanent Disability Licenses

Legally Blind Residents

  • Eligibility: Vermont residents who are legally blind can apply for a free permanent fishing license.
  • Application: Information is available from the Fish & Wildlife office or our website.

Severe Physical Mobility Disability

  • Eligibility: Vermont residents who are paraplegic or certified by a physician to have a severe physical mobility disability may receive a free permanent fishing, hunting, or combination license.
  • Proof of Disability: Applicants must provide proper proof of disability, such as a Statement of Disability form available from the office or website.

Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities

  • Eligibility: Vermont residents who are veterans of the U.S. armed forces and have a 60 percent disability due to a service-connected disability may receive a free fishing or combination license.
  • Documentation: Applicants must present a certificate issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs, certifying their disability rating.
  • Application Process: Contact Licensing at (802) 828-1190 to determine eligibility. Qualified applicants need to provide a copy of their VA documentation, available from benefits.va.gov/benefits.

Additional Details

  • License Inclusions: Qualified applicants may receive additional licenses based on their eligibility, such as turkey and muzzleloader deer licenses for combination license holders, or an archery license.
  • Exclusions: Permanent licenses do not cover duck stamps or entries into moose and antlerless lotteries or permits.

Lifetime Licenses

Eligibility and Application

  • Residents and Nonresidents: Both residents and nonresidents can obtain lifetime fishing, hunting, or combination licenses from the Fish & Wildlife Department.
  • Application Process: Applications are available on the department's website or from the office.

Fee Structure

  • Children Under 1 Year Old:

    • Fee: 8 times the current adult license price.
  • Children Aged 1–15 Years:

    • Fee: 16 times the current adult license price.
  • Adults Aged 16–24 Years:

    • Fee: 31 times the current adult license price.
  • Adults Aged 25–64 Years:

    • Fee: 26 times the current adult license price.

Lifetime and Permanent License Renewal

Renewal Requirement

  • Mandatory Renewal: If you plan to hunt, fish, or trap in the current year, you must renew your lifetime, permanent disability, or permanent license. This applies regardless of whether you used your tags in the previous year.
  • Purpose: This statutory requirement ensures accurate collection of harvest and licensing information for lifetime licenses.

Renewal Process

  • Online Renewal: You can update your license at no cost online by visiting www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
  • Alternative Methods:
    • Phone: Call (802) 828-1190 for assistance with renewal.
    • In-Person: Visit any authorized license agent or Fish & Wildlife office for renewal.

Reprinting Fees

  • License Agent Charges: If you choose to renew at a license agent, they may charge up to $1.50 for a reprint.

Requirements for Hunting, Combination Hunting and Fishing, Archery, and Trapping Licenses

Documentation Needed

  • Previous License: Present a previous or current hunting, combination, archery, or trapping license from Vermont or any state or Canadian province.
  • Education Course: Provide a certificate or letter proving satisfactory completion of an approved hunter safety, archery, or trapping education course from Vermont or any other state or province.
  • Affidavit: Submit a signed affidavit attesting to prior possession of a hunting, combination, archery, or trapping license from Vermont or any other state or province.
  • Minor Applicants: Individuals under age 16 must have their parent or guardian sign to obtain a hunting license.

Federal Firearms Laws

  • Prohibitions: Certain individuals, including felons, those convicted of domestic violence offenses, and unlawful users of controlled substances, are prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law (18 U.S.C. Sect. 922).
  • Contact: For a comprehensive list of prohibitions, contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives at (802) 865-4020.

State Border Regulations

  • Connecticut River: Residents with a Vermont fishing license may fish in the Connecticut River, following Vermont and New Hampshire regulations.
  • Hunting Boundaries: Hunting licenses are valid only up to the New Hampshire state boundary, which is the low-water mark on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River.
  • Lake Champlain: Refer to Lake Champlain Regulations for fishing license details.

License Revocation and Suspensions

  • Uniform Point System: Licenses may be revoked based on points received from convictions of fish or wildlife law violations (10 V.S.A. Sect. 4502).
  • Suspension Periods: Accumulation of points may result in one-, two-, or three-year suspensions.
  • Serious Offenses: Conviction of certain offenses, like carelessly wounding a person or manslaughter, can lead to a five-year license revocation.
  • Interstate Compact: It's illegal to hunt, fish, or trap with a suspended license in Vermont or any other state in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
  • Landowner Restrictions: Suspended license holders may not hunt, fish, or trap on their land.
  • Penalties: Violations may result in fines up to $2,000 and additional suspension periods.
  • Remedial Course: Those with 15 or more accumulated points in five years must complete a remedial course on legal and ethical hunting, trapping, and fishing practices.
  • Family Court Orders: Licenses may be suspended for failure to comply with child support orders of the Family Court (15 V.S.A. Sect. 798(b)).
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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.