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Hunting Season is Here

By: Shelby Perry, Conservation Assistant
November 6th, 2017

Hunting season has arrived, and several Northeast Wilderness Trust Preserves allow hunting of abundant or over abundant prey species, such as white tailed deer.  This type of hunting is allowed on NWT Preserves based on the theory that the absence of large predators in the Northeast can be partially mitigated by hunting of prey species – at least in the short term.  In doing so, we hope to reduce the negative impacts on habitat that result from overpopulation of some prey species.  Those negative impacts range from excessive deer browse on favored species (such as yellow birch and sugar maple) reducing  forest diversity to increased populations of parasites, such as deer ticks, due to a large populations of host animals.

Hunters interested in obtaining permission to hunt on an NWT Preserve should review the access packet for that property and sign up for a permit through our online system or call the office at (802) 224-1000 and request that an access packet be mailed to you.

Even if you don’t hunt it is always a good idea to be aware of when hunting is in season and how to stay safe and be courteous to others in the woods.  As rifle seasons approach in the Northeast there are a few main points to keep in mind when walking through the woods.

  1. Be visible.  Wearing hunter-safety orange any and every time you go out in the woods during rifle season is a must.  A lot of people think wearing any bright color will do, but almost nothing is more visible and recognizable as human in the late fall forest than hunter-safety orange.
  2. Be respectful.  Few things are more frustrating for a hunter who has been shivering silently in a carefully chosen lookout since dawn than a person or dog thrashing obliviously past.  If you think there might be a hunter already in the woods it’s best to stick to heavily traveled trails or to just avoid the area during rifle season altogether.  Less about safety and more about etiquette, respecting other legal uses of the forests you love is a condition on which your own access depends.
  3. Take it seriously.  “It won’t happen to me” is the wrong approach to safety during rifle season.  We would never condone the actions of anyone who would pull the trigger before being absolutely certain of their target, but it is always wise to set yourself up for success.    Never assume your safety is someone else’s responsibility.

Wishing all lovers of the land safe and happy adventures in the wild this November!


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