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License Information for Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping

Know the License Requirements for Outdoor Activities in Vermont

If you plan to engage in fishing, hunting, trapping, or taking any wild animals in Vermont, it's essential to be properly licensed. Here's what you need to know:

License Requirements

  • All individuals involved in fishing, hunting, trapping, or taking wild animals must possess the appropriate license.
  • Wild animals encompass all animals, including birds, amphibians, and reptiles, except domestic animals.

Exceptions

  • Resident Landowners: A resident landowner, their spouse, and minor children can hunt within the boundaries of their land and fish in a private pond on their land without a license within the season. Exceptions apply if their right to obtain a license is under suspension or for special tag seasons like moose, antlerless muzzleloader, and waterfowl.
  • Nonresident Landowners: Nonresident landowners have the same privileges if their land is NOT posted (except if their right to obtain a license is under suspension). "Posted" means signs indicating hunting is prohibited, except for "Safety Zone" signs.

License Coverage

  • Basic Hunting Licenses: Include a late season bear tag, November season legal buck tag, and cover small game hunting.
  • Combination Licenses: Include a late season bear tag, November buck tag, small game hunting, and fishing.
  • Add-On Licenses: Required for early season bear, archery deer season, muzzleloader deer season, and turkey seasons, each with its tags.

Military Personnel

  • Vermont residents serving on active duty for 120 or more consecutive days in the U.S. armed forces or in homeland defense/state-side contingency operations can obtain hunting or fishing licenses at no cost.
  • Nonresident members of the U.S. armed forces stationed in Vermont can buy licenses at the resident fee.

For eligibility questions or to obtain military licenses, contact Vermont Fish & Wildlife at 802-828-1190 or fwlicensing@vermont.gov.

Resident Status

  • To qualify for resident licenses, a person must have lived in Vermont for the six months immediately before applying and not claimed residence elsewhere for any reason.
  • Resident lifetime license applicants must have been residents for at least 12 months or be dependents of residents.
  • Nonresident students enrolled in Vermont high schools, colleges, or universities can get resident fishing, hunting, or combination licenses.

Mentored Hunting License in Vermont

Getting Started with Mentored Hunting

If you're new to hunting and have never successfully completed a hunter education course or held a hunting license in Vermont or any other state or province, you can get started with a mentored hunting license. Here's what you need to know:

Eligibility

  • The mentored hunting license is available to both residents and nonresidents who meet the following criteria:
    • Have never successfully completed a hunter education course.
    • Have never held a hunting license in Vermont or any other state or province.

Hunting with a Mentored License

  • With a mentored hunting license, you can hunt under the following conditions:
    • You must be accompanied by an adult aged 21 or older who holds a valid Vermont hunting license.
    • "Accompanied" means you are under the direct control and supervision of the fully licensed adult hunter and are within 15 feet of them.
    • If you are 15 years old or younger, a parent or legal guardian must also sign the license.
    • The licensed adult hunter can only accompany one person with a mentored hunting license.
    • The licensed adult must purchase all tags and stamps required for the type of hunting they are participating in (e.g., a turkey tag for mentored turkey hunting).

Bag Limit

  • The person holding a mentored hunting license is subject to the bag limit of the fully licensed adult accompanying hunter.
  • Game taken by a person with a mentored hunting license is considered taken by the fully licensed adult.

Transportation of Game

  • After tagging and reporting game if required, a person with a mentored hunting license may transport the game they've taken without being accompanied by the fully licensed adult hunter.

Limitations

  • A person with a mentored hunting license cannot:
    • Hold a moose permit or accompany moose hunters.
    • Participate in youth and novice turkey and deer hunting weekends.
    • Hunt waterfowl without purchasing and carrying a federal duck stamp if they are 16 or older.
  • A mentored hunting license will only be issued twice to any one individual.

Penalties for Violations

  • Fines for violations are doubled and assessed against the fully licensed adult hunter accompanying the mentored license hunter.
  • Points for the violation(s) will be assessed against the fully licensed adult hunter.

Permanent Licenses for Vermont Residents

If you're a Vermont resident aged 66 or older, you have the opportunity to apply for a permanent license, which offers several benefits and options for outdoor enthusiasts. Here's what you need to know:

Applying for a Permanent License

  • Eligibility: Vermont residents who are 66 or older can apply for a permanent license.
  • Application Methods: You can apply for a permanent license through the following methods:
    • Online on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website.
    • At authorized license agents.
    • At district offices.
    • Via mail to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife office.

Cost and Renewal

  • One-time Fee: A permanent license comes with a one-time fee of $60.
  • Renewal: Permanent licenses must be renewed each year, and the renewal is free. However, if you choose to renew your license at a license agent, they may charge up to $1.50.

Additional Considerations

  • Hunting Privileges: Permanent license holders enjoy hunting privileges, including the ability to hunt for archery deer and waterfowl.
    • Archery Deer: If you wish to hunt for more than one archery deer, additional archery licenses must be purchased.
    • Waterfowl: For waterfowl hunting, you must also purchase state and federal duck stamps and register with H.I.P. (Harvest Information Program) each year.
  • Exclusions: Permanent licenses do not include duck stamps or entries into the moose and antlerless lotteries or permits.

Permanent Disability Licenses

  • Legally Blind Residents: Legally blind Vermont residents can apply for a free permanent fishing license. Detailed information is available from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife office or their website.
  • Permanent Mobility Disability: Vermont residents who are paraplegic or certified by a physician to have permanent severe physical mobility disabilities can receive a free permanent fishing, hunting, or combination license, if qualified, with proper proof of disability. "Paraplegic" refers to a person with permanent paralysis of the lower half of the body with involvement or loss of both legs. A Statement of Disability form is available from the office or website.
  • Disabled Veterans: Vermont residents who are veterans of the armed forces of the United States and have a disability rating of 60% or more due to a service-connected disability can receive a free permanent fishing or combination license, if qualified, upon presentation of a letter from the Veterans Administration specifically indicating the service-connected disability rating. To check if you qualify, contact the Licensing office at 802-828-1190.

Lifetime Licenses for Vermont Residents and Nonresidents

If you're looking for a long-term commitment to outdoor activities like fishing and hunting in Vermont, a lifetime license might be the perfect option for you or your family members. These licenses offer the convenience of a one-time purchase with no need for annual renewals. Here are the details:

Types of Lifetime Licenses

  • Lifetime Fishing License: This license allows you to enjoy fishing activities throughout your lifetime.

  • Lifetime Hunting License: With this license, you can participate in hunting activities for the rest of your life.

  • Lifetime Combination Fishing and Hunting License: This comprehensive license covers both fishing and hunting, ensuring you have access to a wide range of outdoor experiences.

Application Process

  • Where to Apply: You can obtain a lifetime license from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Applications are available on their website or can be obtained from the main office in Montpelier.

Pricing Structure

The cost of lifetime licenses varies depending on the age of the applicant. Here's a breakdown of the pricing structure:

  • Children Under 1 Year Old: The fee for children under 1 year old is equivalent to 8 times the current adult license price.

  • Children Aged 1–15: For children aged 1 to 15 years old, the fee is 16 times the current adult license price.

  • Adults Aged 16–24: Individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 can obtain a lifetime license by paying 31 times the current adult license price.

  • Adults Aged 25–64: Adults in the 25 to 64 age range can secure a lifetime license by paying 26 times the current adult license price.

Benefits of Lifetime Licenses

Lifetime licenses offer several advantages, including:

  • Convenience: No need to renew your license each year.
  • Cost Savings: Over the long term, a lifetime license can be more cost-effective than purchasing annual licenses.
  • Enjoyment: Access to fishing and hunting activities for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Renewing Your Lifetime and Permanent Licenses in Vermont

If you plan to engage in hunting, fishing, or trapping activities in Vermont during the current year, it's essential to renew your lifetime, permanent disability, or permanent license. This renewal is mandatory, regardless of whether you used your tags in the previous year. Here's what you need to know about renewing these licenses:

Why Renew?

Renewing your license is a statutory requirement designed to ensure the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department can collect accurate harvest and licensing information for lifetime licenses. This information is vital for effective wildlife management.

How to Renew

You have several options for renewing your license:

  1. Online Renewal: The most convenient option is to renew your license online at the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's website www.vtfishandwildlife.com. This online renewal process is free.

  2. Authorized License Agents: You can also visit any authorized license agent in Vermont to request a license update. While most agents won't charge for this service, some may charge up to $1.50 for a reprint.

  3. Vermont Fish & Wildlife Office: If you prefer in-person assistance, you can go to a Vermont Fish & Wildlife office and request to have your license updated.

  4. Phone Renewal: Another option is to call the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department at 802-828-1190 to initiate the renewal process over the phone.

Updated License with Current Year Tags

When you renew your license, you will receive an updated version that includes the current year's tags. This ensures that your license is valid for the activities you plan to engage in during the current year.

Licensing Requirements for Hunting, Fishing, Archery & Trapping in Vermont

Before you embark on your hunting, fishing, archery, or trapping adventures in Vermont, it's crucial to understand the licensing requirements. Here's what you need to know:

License Application Options

When applying for a hunting, combination hunting and fishing, archery, or trapping license in Vermont, you must present one of the following:

  1. Previous or Current License: You can provide a previous or current hunting, combination, archery, or trapping license from Vermont or any other state or Canadian province.

  2. Hunter Education Certification: If you haven't held a previous license, you can show proof of satisfactory completion of an approved hunter education, archery, or trapping education course from Vermont or any other state or province.

  3. Affidavit: Alternatively, you can complete an affidavit attesting to having had a prior hunting, combination, archery, or trapping license from Vermont or any other state or province.

Age Requirement

If you're under the age of 16, you must have your parent or guardian sign to obtain a hunting license.

Firearms Laws

It's important to be aware that state firearms laws in Vermont prohibit certain individuals from possessing centerfire and rimfire firearms, including muzzleloaders with #209 primers. These prohibitions apply to individuals convicted of felonies, any domestic violence offense, those subject to a final relief from abuse order, and unlawful users of controlled substances, among others. For a complete list of prohibitions, you can contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at 802-865-4020.

Hunter Education Courses

If you need to complete a hunter education course, you can find a list of upcoming courses on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's website www.vtfishandwildlife.com or by calling 802-828-1193.

License Possession

Once you have obtained the appropriate licenses, it's crucial to carry them with you while hunting, fishing, trapping, or transporting fish, game, or furbearers. You may be asked to exhibit your licenses upon the demand of a State Game Warden or other enforcement officer, or the owner of the land on which you are engaging in these activities. An electronic or digital copy of the license is acceptable. Tags are required to be carried while big game hunting, and minor children who are hunting must still carry a paper license signed by their parent.

License Revocation

Vermont follows a "Uniform Point System" (10 V.S.A. Sect. 4502) where hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses can be revoked based on the number of points accumulated through convictions for violating fish or wildlife laws. The points-based suspension system is as follows:

  • 10 to 14 points accumulated in 5 years: 1-year suspension
  • 15 to 19 points accumulated in 5 years: 2-year suspension
  • 20 points or more accumulated in 5 years: 3-year suspension

Additionally, a conviction for carelessly or negligently wounding a person by gunshot or manslaughter by the careless and negligent use of firearms will result in a five-year revocation of hunting license privileges.

Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact

It's important to note that it is illegal to hunt, fish, or trap while a license or the right to obtain a license is under suspension in Vermont or any other state that is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

License Suspension Per Family Court Orders

Vermont hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and permits may be suspended for failure to comply with child support orders of the Family Court (15 V.S.A. Sect. 798(b)).

Penalties

Violations of fish and wildlife laws in Vermont can result in fines of up to $4,000, additional suspension periods, and up to 60 days in jail.

Remedial Course

If your license is revoked with 15 or more points accumulated in five years, you must successfully complete a remedial course designed to teach correct legal and ethical behavior while hunting, trapping, and fishing.

How to Purchase Your Vermont Hunting and Fishing License

Purchasing your Vermont hunting and fishing license is a straightforward process. We offer three convenient methods to acquire your license:

  1. Online Purchase at www.vtfishandwildlife.com

    • The online license buying process is user-friendly, and here's what you'll need:

      • Acrobat Reader on your computer (you can download it for free from our website).
      • A credit card for payment (we accept Visa, MasterCard, or Discover).
    • Pro Tips:

      • Have your Conservation Identification Number (CID #) ready. You can find it on your previous license or look it up on the website.
      • Verify that your personal information, including your address, is up to date each time you purchase a license.
    • To purchase a hunting, combination, archery, or trapping license online:

      • You must have held a previous hunting, combination, archery, or trapping license in Vermont, any other state, or Canada, or have successfully completed a state-approved safety course. You can complete a license affidavit form certifying your previous license or safety course completion.
    • Important Reminders:

      • Type your information as you want it to appear on your license. Always carry your license and a photo ID when fishing, hunting, or trapping.
      • A digital version of your license on your mobile device is acceptable. For big game hunting, ensure you have the necessary transportation tags. A transportation tag, available for free at license agents, is acceptable. Minor children who are hunting must carry a paper license signed by their parent.
  2. Purchase at a District Office or License Agent

    • You can also buy your license in person at one of our district offices or from an authorized license agent.
    • You can find a list of license agents on our website, or you can call 802-828-1190 to locate an agent nearest to you.
  3. Print and Mail-In Application

    • If you prefer, you can print a license application from our website, fill it out, and send it in with your payment.

Whichever method you choose, we make it convenient for you to obtain your Vermont hunting and fishing license. Enjoy your outdoor adventures responsibly and make sure to have the necessary licenses with you at all times.

Wild Advisor Pro

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.