House approves extending deer management plan

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(Host) A little more than an hour ago, Vermont legislators endorsed the system they set up three years ago to regulate the state’s deer herd.

Representative Gale Courcelle of Rutland says lawmakers are prepared to extend the regulations for six more years.

(Courcelle) “Time has proven that deer herd management is a very positive program. It has increased the size and health of the deer. And hunters seem satisfied with the regulations and their effects on the herd.”

(Host) For the past several deer seasons, hunters have been prevented from shooting “spike horn” deer. Spike horns are younger male deer. So the regulations give them an extra year to mature before they can be taken by hunters.

The Fish and Wildlife Department credits the regulations for making 2007 a good hunting season.

The department says 14,500 deer were taken during Vermont’s archery, rifle and muzzle-loader seasons this fall.

The deer also were bigger this year. The largest buck reported last fall weighed 225 pounds and was taken in Orleans.

So, this morning, the House gave preliminary approval to extending the existing deer herd management plan. It gives ultimate authority for setting regulations to the Fish and Wildlife Board.

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