by Alison Kosakowski, Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
Editors: Hi-Res photos are available at https://goo.gl/photos/L1AimpVUv97VL9AW9
As hunters across Vermont gear up for the 2017 turkey season, Vermont’s Ag Secretary and Fish and Wildlife Commissioner are praising the many farmers and hunters, who work together the steward Vermont’s land.
“There’s a strong tradition of partnership between Vermont’s farming and hunting communities, who share a natural appreciation for the rural beauty of our state, and a strong conservation ethic,” according to Vermont’s Ag Secretary, Anson Tebbetts, who is both a farmer, and a sportsman. “We have more than 1.25 million acres of farmland here in Vermont. Many of those acres have been opened to hunters, thanks to the special relationships many hunters and farmers have formed over time.”
“Private landowners play an important role in the hunting community, by fostering habitat and opening their land,” according to Fish & Wildlife Commissioner, Louis Porter. “As some of the largest landowners in the state, farmers are in a unique position to help Vermont’s hunting community thrive.”
When hunters and farmers work together, both benefit, according to Tebbetts.
“We often hear farmers say that they appreciate the hunters, who keep an eye on their land for them,” said Tebbetts. “The deal is even sweeter when the hunter shares some of their bounty.”
Turkey biologists believe the ideal turkey habitat contains 10-50% open, non-forested lands. Crop land, and the surrounding areas, can be very attractive to hungry gobblers.
“Some of my favorite hunting experiences have taken place on Vermont farmland, from waiting for deer on the edge of a cornfield to calling in a turkey on a back meadow,” added Porter.
When asked to elaborate on the exact location of his favorite hunting spot, Commissioner Porter was a bit more evasive.
“It is indeed a farm, and it is indeed a great spot for hunting turkeys,” said Porter. “Beyond that, I have no comment.”