The Green Mountain State is becoming a more and more popular destination for hunting in recent years. Vermont offers the perfect mixture of farmland and hills, where you could come across a wide variety of wildlife: from black bears, moose, and white-tailed deer to snowshoe hare and gray squirrels.
With more than 800,000 acres of land open to public hunting, it’s not difficult to find a good location. Yet the best ones – with good deer density, for example, take more time and effort to locate. Whether you are a complete newbie in the hunting game or you just want to get the most of the season, make sure to check out our list of the best places to hunt in Vermont in 2022.
But First, Let’s Talk Safety
Before you take on your hunting journey, you have to prepare yourself for the trip with the proper equipment and safety guidelines. Rule number one is to act carefully around every firearm, no matter if it’s loaded or not. Don’t forget to aim your rifle sight precisely while being aware of your surroundings. And lastly, always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to use it.
As for the equipment, wearing fluorescent hunting orange gear is essential for safely practicing this sport. This specific color makes you visible for other hunters and interestingly enough, not so visible for deer, so it’s a win-win situation.
If you are looking for ways to step up your look or just have more fun while hunting, treat yourself with some badass patriotic t-shirts underneath the orange gear. You could even surprise your fellow huntsmen with these patriotic outfits to celebrate the season’s opening.
Where To Go Hunting in Vermont This Year?
As mentioned before the state offers quite impressive public land open to hunting, fishing, trapping, etc. Yet the most exquisite locations are without a doubt – Vermont’s system of WMAs or Wildlife Management Areas.
To put it in numbers, The Fish & Wildlife Department owns approximately 130,000 acres of land for Vermont’s citizens and guests to enjoy and explore the wildlife and the natural resources.
The WMAs are divided into 5 districts (Springfield, Rutland, Essex, Barre, and St. Johnsbury) where each district is composed of many sub-districts, inhabited by different wild animals for you to hunt. In order to decide which district is the right spot for you, you should first choose what you are going to hunt.
If you are a fan of big-game hunting, then you would most likely want to know which are the best locations to hunt for black bears, deer, mooses, and turkeys. Take a look at the table below and find out which are the places with the highest density of the species of your choice, so that you have the best chance to hunt them. We also included the duration of seasons, so you are even better prepared.
|Black bear||01/09 – 11/11 (early season)|
12/11 – 20/11 (late season)
|Plymsbury WMA (District 2)|
Tiny Pod WMA (District 2)
Bill Sladyk WMA (District 5)
West Mountain WMA (District 5)
|Deer||October – November |
3/12 – 11/12
|Blueberry Hill WMA (District 2)|
Otter Creek WMA (District 2)
Pomainville WMA (District 2)
Riley Bostwick WMA (District 2)
Tinmouth Channel WMA (District 2)
Whipple Hollow WMA (District 2)
Fred Johnson WMA (District 3)
Lower Lamoille WMA (District 3)
Snake Mountain WMA (District 3)
Roy Mountain WMA (District 4)
Calendar Brook WMA (District 5)
Victory Basin WMA (District 5)
Wenlock WMA (District 5)
|Turkey||April – May|
October – November
|Densmore Hill WMA (District 1)|
Birdseye WMA (District 2)
Blueberry Hill WMA (District 2)
Hubbardton Battlefield WMA (District 2)
Whipple Hollow WMA (District 2)
Robbins Mountain WMA (District 3)
Buck Lake WMA (District 4)
|Moose||In all sub-districts of District 4|
Les Newell WMA (District 1)
Huntington Gap WMA (District 3)
As for the small-game hunters, we have selected the perfect locations for 2022 for hunting snowshoe hare, rabbits and squirrels.
In Densmore Hill WMA, part of District 1, you will find plenty of snowshoe hare, as the species spent their entire life in that region. Yet the district with the highest density is the fourth one, where you could come across the hare in almost every sub-district. Finally, a large population of the species could be found in Bald Hill WMA, located in District 5.
The cottontail rabbits are well distributed in District 3 and District 4, mainly in the following sub-districts: Brandon Swamp, Marsh Pond, and Pond Woods and respectively in Cornwall Swamp, Dead Creek, Intervale, and Rock River.
And finally, for those of you interested in hunting squirrels, you should know that the gray and red ones are spread in most of the districts. Yet the best locations to hunt them are WMAs in District 1: Arthur Davis, Knapp Brook, Skitchewaug, Weathersfield and White River; WMAs in District 2: Birdseye (also known as Bird Mountain), Brandon Swamp, Hubbardton Battlefield, Pond Woods; WMAs in District 3: Cornwall Swamp, Dead Creek, Intervale, Little Otter Creek, Mud Creek, Rock River, Whitney-Hospital Creek, and Snake Mountain; WMAs in District 4: Middlesex Notch and Podunk.
Bear in mind gray and red squirrels are rarely seen in the WMAs of District 5, so don’t waste your time and effort in searching for them there.
Check out this cool video of Bill Elder and his two sons as they spend a week chasing bucks up at their deer camp for the Vermont 2018 whitetail rifle season:
The furbearers’ group refers to bobcat, grey and red fox, muskrat, and coyote. Those species are usually hunted for their valuable fur and are pretty common to find in Vermont. Here are the best places where you can hunt them:
- In District 1 you could find coyotes and bobcats (Arthur Davis, Atherton Meadows, and Little Ascutney), as well as red and grey foxes (Skitchewaug and Weathersfield)
- In District 2 are common red foxes and coyotes (Brandon Swamp, Pond Woods, Rochester, and Star Lake) and muskrats too (Loves Marsh and South Stream)
- District 3 is the most populated with muskrats (Black Creek, Carmans Marsh, East Creek, Fairfield Swamp, Halfmoon Cove, Intervale, Lemon Fair, Lower Otter Creek, and Maquam), foxes (Cornwall Swamp, Dead Creek, Intervale, Rock River, Sandbar and Whitney-Hospital Creek) and coyotes (Averys Gore, Cornwall Swamp, Dead Creek, Elm Brook, Lewis Creek, Sandbar and Whitney-Hospital Creek)
- In District 4 you could hunt coyotes (Buck Lake, Clover Hill, East Hill, Middlesex Notch, Middlesex, Pine Mountain, Podunk, Washington, Wild Branch, and Worcester Woods) and bobcats (Middlesex Notch, Pine Mountain, Podunk, Wild Branch, and Worcester Woods).
- Lastly, District 5 offers you 3 ideal locations to hunt muskrats: Eagle Point, Johnson Farm, and South Bay.
Time to hunt
Now we have equipped you with all the useful insights and tips so that your next hunting adventure in Vermont would be not only successful but also memorable!
You could share the best locations for hunting in Vermont with your friends or you could save those hunting gems for yourself and enjoy the glory of your future trophies!
Just before you go, make sure to go once again through Vermont’s hunting regulations and “Shoot well”!
Alex is a computer geek, programmer, who loves traveling. Not the usual mix, but Alex is always with his laptop – no matter how high the mountain he’s hiking on. On every peak he reaches, he writes a story that captures it all.