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The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
To view the new guide, please download the pdf. Check back in the coming days as we work to put up the new 2014 website.

Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Game Bird Hunting

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Ruffed grouse are the most widely available upland game in Vermont. Good numbers of “partridge” can be found wherever brushy forest stands provide nesting cover, protection from predators and food in the form of berries and buds. Overgrown apple orchards, abandoned hillside farms and regenerating clear cuts covered with hardwood thickets are all grouse hot spots. Although grouse are found statewide, the Northeast Kingdom offers some of the best grouse hunting.


The following are classified as game birds: quail, ruffed grouse, chukar partridge, woodcock, pheasant, common snipe, coot, wild ducks, wild geese, and wild turkey (which is classified as big game). Other wild birds including spruce grouse and Hungarian partridge have no open season.

Seasons & Bag Limits

Ruffed Grouse

Last Sat. in Sept.
through Dec. 31

4 daily;
8 possession

Pheasant *

Last Sat. in Sept.
through Dec. 31

2 daily;
4 possession

Bobwhite Quail *

No Closed Season.

No limit

Chukar Partridge *

No Closed Season.

No limit


March 14 – April 30,
Aug. 16 – Oct. 29

No limit

* Practically nonexistent except by private stocking.

Migratory Bird Regulations

The Syllabus of State and Federal Hunting Regulations for Migratory Birds will be available in September on the VTF&W website and from license agents.

State & Federal Waterfowl Stamps

Both Vermont and federal waterfowl stamps are required to hunt migratory waterfowl for hunters 16 and older. Federal stamps are sold at post offices. Vermont State Waterfowl “Stamps” are available on the Fish & Wildlife website, from Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department offices and license agents for $7.50. A state waterfowl stamp is good for the calendar year and no longer needs to be signed by the hunter.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend

A Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend for residents and nonresidents is usually held in late September for hunters 15 and under. Check the migratory bird hunting rules, available in September, for details.

Duck Blinds

Waterfowl blinds may not be placed on or in the waters of the state earlier than the first Saturday of September of any year.

Anyone who places a blind must have their name and address permanently and legibly affixed on the blind by waterproof paint or rustproof tag.

Waterfowl blinds located on or in any waters of the state except Lake Champlain must be removed, together with contents and any surrounding debris, on or before May 15 of the following year. A waterfowl blind located on or in Lake Champlain must be removed on or before February 15 of the following year. Also see Tree Stands and Ground Blinds sections.

Nontoxic Shot

It is illegal to take waterfowl or coots in Vermont while possessing loose shot or shot shells loaded with shot other than nontoxic shot. Shot should be of a size no larger than size T.

It is illegal to take a group or combination of waterfowl/coots and other species in Vermont while possessing loose shot or shot shells loaded with any shot other than nontoxic shot.

Woodcock & Common Snipe

Woodcock are found statewide. “Timberdoodles” feed primarily on worms, and they favor areas with moist, rich soils covered with dense stands of woody shrubs and sapling-stage hardwoods. Alder swales, regenerating clear cuts and abandoned pastures covered with thickets of dogwood, sumac, birch and aspen are all likely woodcock covers. Locally hatched native birds provide hunting early in the season, but the best shooting is in mid to late October, when large numbers of flight birds are pushed out of Canada by cold weather. The best hunting is generally in the Champlain Valley and Northeast Kingdom.

Season: Set annually.

Woodcock and common snipe are migratory game birds. Migratory game birds, including waterfowl, may be taken only by shotgun with one-piece plug or manufactured to restrict it to three-shot capacity. State and federal duck stamps are not required for woodcock or snipe hunting.

Harvest Information Program for Migratory Birds (H.I.P.)

Compliance: If you are hunting migratory game birds, federal law requires you to annually register with the Harvest Information Program (H.I.P.). Migratory game birds include ducks, geese, brant, coots, snipe, and woodcock. Visit or call Toll Free 1-877-306-7091 (Monday–Friday, 7:45 am to 4:30 pm EST) to register and obtain your H.I.P. permit number. Write the H.I.P. number in section three of your hunting license. Vermont and federal migratory waterfowl stamps are also needed to hunt ducks or geese.

How does the H.I.P. work? The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) will ask a sample of hunters to record daily hunt information on survey cards and return completed cards at the end of hunting season. The survey will enable the USFWS to more accurately determine the status of migratory game birds. Inadequate harvest information has been used to legally challenge hunting seasons in some states.

We thank you for your help! Cooperation and support from hunters is the key to sound wildlife management. The Harvest Information Program for Migratory Game Birds will help ensure the future of migratory bird hunting.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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