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Vermont’s Youth Hunting Programs: Lifelong Pursuit

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Vermont makes it easy for families to take time out and focus on the young hunter by offering youth-oriented hunter education classes and special youth seasons

Hunter Education: The First Step

To purchase their first license, all aspiring hunters, bowhunters and trappers must first successfully complete their respective hunter education course. All Vermont courses are free. They are led by certified volunteer instructors, and they are open to all ages and experience levels. The courses include basic firearm, bowhunter (and combination hunter-bowhunter) and trapper education. While they are available year-around, most courses are offered between August and October. All courses include a hands-on field day to learn shooting and navigation skills.

You can locate a course on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website. Check back frequently as the website is updated often when new courses are scheduled, or sign-up to receive an email notification when a class in your area is posted.

To find a course or for more information:

Homestudy Option

Most courses are offered in a homestudy format to provide opportunities to all hunters. Rather than attending a series of classroom lectures, the student completes a workbook or an online course. A field day is still required for these courses.

Youth Season: Special Opportunities to Hunt

The department offers three special youth-only hunting seasons — spring turkey, waterfowl and deer — to ensure young hunters get the quality training they need from experienced hunters. These special seasons increase confidence in the hands-on use of firearms, reinforce the principles of hunting safety and promote interest in hunting and wildlife conservation. Most importantly, they take place under the supervision of an experienced mentor. Supervision by an unarmed adult is always required.

Being with family and friends is the most important factor in youth hunting interest. Hunting regularly during one’s youth leads to lifelong hunting participation. Thus these seasons are helping to produce confident, avid young hunters who go on to become successful, enthusiastic adult hunters.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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