The signs are everywhere: Autumn will be upon us soon. If you're one of the many people who have never hunted before, but are thinking of trying it this year, now is the time to prepare. But if you don't have a mentor to get you started, the prospect of heading out into the fields and woods alone can be intimidating. If you live in Vermont, though, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is ready to help you get started with three "Getting Started in Deer Hunting" seminars this September.
While basic firearm hunter education is still mandatory for first-time license buyers, these classes go beyond the traditional course. They offer the tips and techniques prospective hunters need to get the most out of their first deer hunting season.
"Vermont is a leader in locally sourced food, and we value knowing where our food comes from, " said Christopher Saunders, hunter education coordinator. "Hunting is a natural extension of this passion, particularly for people who care deeply about the land. These seminars are a first step for folks who want to get into deer hunting, particularly for those who haven't grown up in a hunting family or don't know many hunters. "
Topics will include basic deer biology, hunting regulations, firearm selection, ideas about finding the right hunting area, and hunting tips, gear and techniques. Even participants who are on the fence about trying deer hunting are welcome to attend and get a glimpse of what deer hunting is all about, and why it's so inextricably linked with Vermont's working landscape.
"Being able to source healthy meat has become the number one reason why people like to hunt, even more than getting outdoors or spending time with family and friends, " said Saunders. "And it's becoming the main reason they take up hunting to begin with, particularly adults. "
The Getting Started in Deer Hunting seminars are being offered in Montpelier (9/10), Castleton (9/17) and Burlington (9/24) from 6 to 9 p. m., except the Burlington seminar ends at 8:00 p. m.