MONTPELIER — Vermont officials are reminding trappers state law requires them to complete a training course instructing them on rules, regulations and humane trapping methods.
The state’s trapping season starts Oct. 27. State owned land is open to trapping, but trappers must get permission from private landowners.
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department oversees the harvest of 13 common species of furbearers ranging from weasels to coyotes.
ROYALTON — Two men were charged for deer poaching in Royalton recently.
Mikel Brady of Randolph and Joshua Hill of Bethel, both 23, shot at a decoy deer on Oct. 5, police said Tuesday. They face charges of taking deer in closed season, taking deer by illegal means and possession of a loaded rifle in a motor vehicle.
According to police, the gun was shot and discarded in the woods before Brady and Hill drove away. Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials tracked down Brady, Hill and a 15-year-old juvenile and searched the truck. No gun was found but Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials said that Brady called his brother to retrieve the firearm. The gun was located nearby along a road a short time later.
Brady and Hill face fines up to $1,000 per charge, 60 days in jail and a three-year suspension of licenses to hunt, fish and trap in Vermont.
To report poaching call 800-752-5378 or visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
WATERBURY — Vermont landowners can now connect with hunters who wish to hunt in their areas through a new feature on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department web site.
The department has developed an online system where hunters can register for permission to hunt in certain areas of the state. That came about after an advisory group of landowners, hunters, foresters and wildlife biologists recommended the state investigate issues of deer eating saplings and doing damage to forestry land and hunters unable to access private lands.
The department says landowners can now go to the website and contact hunters to hunt deer on their property.
A get connected quick link is on the web site under “items of special interest.”
MONTPELIER — Vermonters traveling out of state to hunt deer or elk are reminded that rules aimed at protecting Vermont’s wild deer from chronic wasting disease are still in effect.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says it’s illegal to import or possess deer or elk, or parts of deer or elk, from states and Canadian provinces that have had chronic wasting disease, or from captive hunt or farm facilities.
Some of the exceptions are:
— meat that is cut up and packaged;
— boneless meat;
— hides or capes with no part of the head attached;
— clean skull-caps with antlers attached.
The regulations apply to deer or elk carcasses from 21 states and two Canadian provinces.
POWNAL — A Vermont man has shot a black bear weighing a little over 500 pounds, one of the largest recorded in the state in years.
Michael Davenport of Pownal came home from work on Sept. 17 and looked out over the field behind his house, where he had set up a number of game cameras. He saw the bear through his binoculars.
Davenport told the Bennington Banner he grabbed his rifle and went down into the field about 150 yards, using a stone wall for cover. He shot the bear and watched it move into the woods. He heard it moan.
Davenport later found the bear. He needed his stepson and a tractor to help move it. At weigh-in, it was 501.5 pounds. The body is at a taxidermist.
Dennis Jensen will have a full story on this bear in Sunday’s newspaper.
BURLINGTON — University of Vermont students are being warned after a bear was seen on campus.
A student reported seeing the bear near a Dumpster on the south end of Coolidge Hall near Davis Road around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The bear was last seen heading south toward the UVM soccer fields. Campus police searched but did not find the animal.
Police issued safety tips to students, telling them to remain a safe distance from any wild animal and to call Police Services. They also warned not to approach a wild animal, corner, taunt or feed it.
SHEFFIELD — The owner of a commercial wind project in Vermont has been issued a special permit for migratory bird monitoring.
The permit was sought by First Wind, which has a 16-turbine wind development project in Sheffield.
The Caledonian-Record reports the permit was issued in July by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It authorizes the company to “collect, transport and temporarily possess carcasses and partial remains of migratory birds,” except threatened or endangered species, to monitor bird mortality.
The company is seeking another permit in connection with any possible fatalities of the little brown bat, an endangered species.
BRATTLEBORO — Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials say the state’s black bear population is estimated at slightly more than 6,000, higher than the goal sought for the state’s big game management plan.
Biologist Forrest Hammond said 25 years ago, the bear population was less than 3,000. The 2010-2020 plan aimed for 4,500 to 6,000 bears.
Vermont’s bear hunting season starts Saturday. Hunters are encouraged to wear fluorescent orange while in the woods. Hunters are required to collect a small pre-molar tooth from each harvested bear for officials to learn about the status of the bear population.
Hunters took 396 bears last year in Vermont.
BURLINGTON — Vermont’s rabies bait drop is starting this week to prevent the spread of the disease among wildlife.
A new bait is being used this year to prevent the spread of raccoon rabies into Canada. It’s covered with a sweet-scented dark green waxy coating with a label to help people identify it. Previous drops used a fish-scented bait.
The Burlington Free Press reports more than 227,000 baits will be dropped from U.S. Department of Agriculture planes and another 15,000 will be placed by hand in eight counties in Vermont and in Coos County in New Hampshire.
The baits are not harmful to children or pets. If discovered, people should use a plastic bag or glove to move it to an area where a raccoon or skunk could find it.