Saturday, November 16, marks the opening day of the whitetail deer hunt in Vermont, a lifelong tradition for many Vermonters and visitors to the Green Mountain State.
Through prescribed fire, timber management, and wildlife monitoring programs, the GMNF works year round to enhance wildlife habitat, including that for large and small game, on the 400,000-acre national forest. As with any recreational opportunity on the Green Mountain National Forest, all applicable state and federal laws and regulations must be followed.
Here are some safety tips for hunters that may be planning to visit the GMNF:
• Check weather reports before visiting the forest -- dress properly and be prepared for the worst possible conditions
• Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you will return -- be familiar with the area that you are hunting
• Wear blaze orange and try to be visible from all directions
• Check hunting equipment before and after each outing, and maintain it properly. Familiarize yourself with its operation before using it in the field
• Carry a spare set of dry clothes. Use layering techniques to prevent moisture retention, while maintaining body warmth
• Always bring rain gear
• Have a first aid kit, flashlight, cell phone, food, and water in case of an emergency
• Clearly identify your target before shooting to prevent unfortunate accidents or fatalities. Fire only at clearly identified wildlife and know what is beyond your target
• Finally, be alert when hunting near developed areas and trails. Other recreationists are in the forest as well.
For information on hunting in the GMNF visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/greenmountain/recreation/hunting. For information on Vermont hunting regulations visit http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com.