Eyes and Ears
Our Eyes and Ears On the Ground
Why information submitted by hunters and trappers is essential to wildlife management
Hunters, anglers and trappers are the original conservationists, from Teddy Roosevelt to Aldo Leopold. The sporting legacy includes the conservation of numerous species from moose to muskies to bald eagles.
Not only do sportsmen and women contribute money to conservation every time they buy a license or pay taxes on equipment, but we also contribute important biological information that plays a crucial role in the management of wildlife. To pass on these traditions to the next generation, Vermonters have a responsibility to contribute to the sound management of the species all enjoy.
Calling all deer hunters
The Fish & Wildlife Board is currently examining the antler point restriction (or spike horn rule) using data submitted by hunters. To gather information, they are asking that all successful hunters submit a tooth at a check station from any bucks they harvest during the rifle season.
Deer hunters also help monitor deer and moose by submitting sighting surveys. Sighting surveys are mailed to a random sample of deer hunters and, for the first time this year deer hunters may also visit the department’s website to complete the sighting survey.
Mandatory bear tooth submission
NEW THIS YEAR Successful bear hunters are now required to submit a tooth from their bear. The tooth is small and easy to remove, and doesn’t affect taxidermy mounts. It should be turned in using a designated envelope available at all check stations. This information will allow our biologists to fine tune the bear population estimate to better manage bears.
Submit your trapper survey
Information provided by trappers is essential in conserving furbearer species. Data collected from trapper surveys help track furbearer population trends. Vermont’s trappers have always gone above and beyond to conserve wildlife, partnering with department staff to set trapping regulations, conduct studies, identify habitats for protection, improve animal welfare through trap testing, and submit observations from their time afield. Because these animals are so elusive, trapper information is crucial in monitoring these species. The department encourages trappers to submit their harvest survey annually so trappers can continue to be active stewards of Vermont’s wildlife.
Fortunate moose hunters
With fewer moose permits being given out, it’s more important than ever that all successful moose hunters turn in samples from their harvest. The department collects teeth from all moose, in addition to checking antlers on bulls, and collecting udders and ovaries from cows. Collecting ovaries helps biologists determine the percentage of cow moose that are producing twins – a sign of good health for a moose cow.
Ducks and geese
All waterfowl hunters are asked about previous year bag numbers when they purchase a new waterfowl stamp. This information helps the department track duck populations to help set annual bag limits.
Thank you for your help conserving Vermont’s wildlife!