By the mid-1800s turkeys had disappeared from the state as a result of unregulated hunting and deforestation. In 1969, Vermont wildlife biologists began the decades long effort to restore wild turkeys to the state with the release of 31 New York wild turkeys into Rutland county. Vermont's turkey population is now estimated to be greater than 45,000 birds and their distribution in the state far exceeds their historical range with turkeys occurring in nearly every town. Vermont has become a turkey hunting destination. With its unique patchwork of fields, forests and farmland, Vermont's diverse landscape not only supports a healthy, abundant population of turkeys but it offers a variety of productive hunting opportunities as well. In fact, Vermont's spring turkey hunters routinely achieve success rates greater than 25% and more than 35% of successful spring hunters take a second turkey to fill their two bird bag limit. In recent years, more than 6,000 turkeys have been harvested annually across the state providing hunters with an enduring connection to their environment and over 140,000 servings of all-natural, local and sustainably harvested turkey meat. NEW THIS YEAR ˜Only number 2 and smaller shot shall be used or possessed, and an arrowhead must be at least 7/8 of an inch in width and have two or more cutting edges. Rifles shall not be used or carried by any person while hunting turkeys. No person shall use electronic calling devices, bait, live decoys, or participate in cooperative drives. No person shall use dogs in the spring season.
SafetyTurkey hunting requires some additional measures of safety that may not be practiced in other forms of hunting. Never stalk a gobbling turkey — your chances of getting close are poor and you may be sneaking up on another hunter. Wear blaze orange when walking in and out of your hunting site, and wrap any turkeys you bag in blaze orange. Use only hen calls to avoid potentially attracting another hunter with a gobbler call. Sit with your back against a tree in a spot with a good field of vision, and avoid sitting in the potential line of fire should another hunter mistakenly shoot at your decoy.
Reporting TurkeyA person taking turkey shall within 48 hours report the taking and exhibit the carcass to the nearest game warden, official Fish & Wildlife Department Reporting Station, or to a person designated by the commissioner to receive the reports. No turkey carcass shall be transported out of state without first being reported. NEW THIS YEAR Check our Website for any changes in these requirements such as online reporting.
Shooting HoursOne-half hour before sunrise to 5:00 p.m. for this weekend season only. The youth hunter may take one bearded turkey during Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend and may also hunt during the Spring Season and take two bearded turkeys during that season. The amount of a fine will be doubled for a violation on Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend, and the fine shall be assessed against the licensed adult who is accompanying the youth and who has the youth hunter in his or her charge. NEW THIS YEAR
Novice Turkey Hunting Weekend — April 24 – 25, 2021(also Youth Turkey Weekend) Novice: A person who has purchased their first hunting license within the past 12 months and is 16 years of age or older. To participate in the novice season, a qualified person must have a valid Vermont hunting license, turkey license and a novice turkey hunting tag and follow the requirements of the youth turkey hunting weekend. The novice hunter must be accompanied by an unarmed adult who holds a valid Vermont hunting license and who is 18 years of age or older. An adult accompanying a novice shall accompany no more than two novice hunters at one time. “Accompany," "accompanied," or “accompanying” means direct control and supervision, including the ability to see and communicate with the novice hunter without the aid of artificial devices such as radios or binoculars, except for medically necessary devices such as hearing aids or eyeglasses. No novice hunter shall hunt on privately owned land without first obtaining the permission of the owner or occupant.
Shooting HoursOne-half hour before sunrise to 5:00 p.m. for this weekend season only.
LimitOne bearded turkey per novice. A novice may also hunt during the spring season and take two bearded turkeys during that season.
Spring SeasonMay 1–31, 2021
Shooting HoursOne-half hour before sunrise to 12:00 noon.
LimitTwo bearded turkeys for the spring season. All Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) are open to hunting during the spring season.
Fall Turkey Season
Shooting HoursOne-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. (See Sunrise/Sunset Tables.)
LimitOne turkey of either sex for the fall season.
Dates and Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) Open to Hunting
- Archery only: Oct. 2 – 22, 2021 in all WMUs statewide
- Shotgun or Archery: Oct. 23 – 31, 2021 in WMUs B, D, G, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, and Q
- Shotgun or Archery: Oct. 23 – Nov. 7, 2021 in WMUs F, K, and N.