Rifle season is here and Forest Service officials on the Green Mountain National Forest are encouraging the public to use extra caution and to be visible and mindful of their surroundings in the coming weeks. November 14 marked the opening day of the white-tail deer hunt in Vermont, a lifelong tradition for many Vermonters and visitors to our state.
Officials want to remind hunters and other forest users that the entire 400,000-acre National Forest is open for hunting—the only exceptions are developed trails and recreation sites. As with any recreational opportunity on the GMNF, all applicable state and federal laws and regulations must be followed. Here are some safety tips for hunters that may be planning to hunt on the GMNF.
- Check weather reports before visiting the forest. Dress properly and be prepared for the worst possible conditions.
- Tell someone where you will be hunting and when you will return; be familiar with the area where you are hunting.
- Wear blaze orange and try to be visible from all directions.
- Check hunting equipment before and after each outing and maintain it properly. Familiarize yourself with the operation of your firearm before using it in the field.
- Carry a spare set of dry clothes. Use layering techniques to prevent moisture retention while maintaining body warmth.
- Always bring waterproof gear.
- Have a first-aid kit, flashlight, cell phone, food and water in case of an emergency.
- Clearly identify your target before shooting to prevent accidents or fatalities. Fire only at clearly identified wildlife and know what is beyond your target.
- Be alert when hunting near developed areas and trails. Other recreationists are in the forest as well.
For additional information on hunting in the GMNF, visit fs.usda.gov/activity/greenmountain/recreation/hunting.