Ten-day competitive shooting program teaches the tricks of the trade in Vermont

Smallbore Rifle Shooters taking aim at NRA's National Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio

Fairfax, Virginia - You've been working on your game. Practicing your breathing, sight alignment, trigger control ... everything. But you still can't seem to break into the medal yours. Here's what you need to do.

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From the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department - Vermont Moose Hunting Applications Are Available

Mike and Bonnie Blanchard of Sullivan took this great bull in the 2012 NH moose hunt - image courtesy of New Hampshire Fish and Game Montpelier, Vermont - Vermont moose hunting permit applications are now available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). Printed applications will be available from Vermont license agents in early May.

The 285 regular moose season permits to be issued this year represent a 20 percent decrease from the 355 permits issued last year. Hunters are expected to harvest close to 150 moose during the regular season hunt which starts October 18 and ends October 23.

An additional 50 permits are designated for the October 1-7 archery moose season when hunters are expected to take about 15 moose.

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From the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department - Vermont Hunters Took More than 14,000 Deer in 2013

Youth hunter with whitetail deer Montpelier, Vermont - Hunters took 14,107 deer during Vermont’s four deer hunting seasons in 2013, according to a report on last year’s hunting success just released by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

The number of legal bucks with at least two points on one antler totaled 8,831, up 8 percent from the year before.

“We estimated there would be an increase in the deer population in 2013 due to two consecutive mild winters,” said state deer biologist Adam Murkowski. “The number of antlerless deer permits was increased last year by 16 percent in response to these mild winters and we maintained or reduced antlerless deer permits in other regions to promote population growth.”

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From the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department - Fish & Wildlife Board Sets Permit Numbers for 2014 Moose Hunt

A bull moose rests in a field during a light rainshower. - image courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Montpelier, Vermont - A total of 285 regular firearms moose season permits and 50 archery moose season permits will be issued for Vermont’s 22nd annual October moose hunt under a proposed regulation approved by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board at their February 26 monthly meeting in Montpelier.

The board voted on a proposal presented by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department that allocates permits in 16 of the state’s 21 Wildlife Management Units. The proposed regulation must be voted on at one more Board meeting in early April.

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From the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department - Vermont Turkey Hunters Had a Record Year

Assistant American Hunter Online Editor Sarah Smith Barnum tagged her first ever turkey in 2013. Montpelier, Vermont - Vermont wild turkey hunters had safe and successful spring and fall hunting seasons in 2013, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

A record 6,968 turkeys were taken by hunters during Vermont’s three hunting seasons – the spring youth hunt, the regular May spring season, and the fall turkey hunt.

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From the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department - Muzzleloader and 2nd Archery Deer Seasons, Dec. 7-15

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department Vermont’s hunters will get one final chance for a deer this year during the muzzleloader deer season and the second part of the archery deer season. The two seasons run at the same time -- December 7-15.

A muzzleloader hunter may take one legal buck anywhere in the state. In addition, a hunter who received a muzzleloader antlerless deer permit may take one antlerless deer in the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) designated on the permit.

An archery hunter may take a legal buck anywhere in the state, provided they didn’t take one in the earlier part of archery season. An archery hunter may take an antlerless deer except in WMU-E in the Northeast Kingdom.

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From the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department - Vermont Moose Hunting Application Deadline is July 5, permit auction now open

Hunting moose in Vermont Vermont’s moose hunting permit lottery application deadline is July 5, and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is urging hunters who plan on entering to do so online.

The application is quick and easy to fill out on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). Under “Hunting and Trapping,” click on Lottery Applications.

“It’s a really quick process that ensures your entry is immediately entered into the lottery,” said Director of Wildlife Mark Scott, “plus, it saves postage. Printed moose applications are available at license agents, but we really encourage you to use the online application. It is more efficient for you and for us.”

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From the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department - Vermont Moose Hunting Applications Are Available

Charles 'Tate' Moots standing atop a moose that he bagged south of Fairbanks, Alaska

Vermont moose hunting permit applications are now available on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). Printed applications will be at Vermont license agents statewide in June.

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From the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department - Fish and Wildlife Department Makes Grant Money Available to Shooting Ranges

Open air, free to the public shooting range

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is continuing a grant program that increases access to safe places to shoot.

The grant is available for shooting clubs, sportsmen’s groups and government agencies involved in the operation of shooting ranges and archery ranges. Applicants have until 4:30 p.m. on May 15, 2013 to submit applications. The funding period is Fiscal Year 2014, which runs from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.

The Shooting Range Improvement Grant Program was developed to encourage shooting ranges to make improvements and enhance their safety and operation. “Increased range opportunities encourage hunters to become more proficient with firearms and promote safe and responsible gun handling,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry.

Projects eligible for funding include shooting range development, noise abatement structures, safety berms, shooting pads and stations, and road and parking lot improvement. Grant money can be also used for lead mitigation measures.

The Fish & Wildlife Department anticipates making a total of $80,000 available this year. These funds are derived from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program, which is funded from Federal excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment. Grant Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department recipients are required to provide 25 percent of project funding, which may come from an ‘in-kind’ funding match such as volunteer labor or donations.

A range receiving one of these grants must provide at least 20 hours of public use per week when in operation and the facility must be made available at reasonable times for hunter education courses.

For further information or to download an application packet, visit the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department website at www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Click on “Hunting and Trapping,” and then on “Shooting Ranges in Vermont.” You may also contact Chris Saunders, Hunter Education Coordinator, at 802-828-1193.

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