Hunters Took More than 17,000 Deer in 2022
By Joshua Morse, VT Fish & Wildlife Department
The final number of deer taken in Vermont’s 2022 hunting seasons will not be available for a few more weeks, but the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says the final tally will be a little over 17,400 deer. Those deer will provide approximately 3.5 million servings of local, nutritious venison.
The buck harvest will be close to 9,600, which will be up from 2021 (9,133) and near the previous 3-year average of 9,482. The final antlerless deer harvest will be around 7,800, also similar to the previous 3-year average (7,651). The archery season harvest, which accounts for much of the total antlerless deer harvest, will be the second highest on record, behind only the 2020 season.
“Hunting conditions were generally good in 2022,” said Nick Fortin, the department’s deer project leader. “Limited fall foods caused deer to move more and spend more time feeding in fields, which made it easier for hunters to locate them. Snow during much of the regular season in November also helped hunters locate and see deer.”
The primary goal of Vermont’s deer management strategy is to keep the deer herd stable, healthy and in balance with available habitat. “Maintaining an appropriate number of deer on the landscape ensures deer and the habitats that support them remain in good condition and productive,” said Fortin.
The 2022 White-tailed Deer Harvest Report with final numbers will be on Fish and Wildlife’s website in early March. Beginning in late March, the department will be holding informational hearings to share biological information and to listen to any information people wish to share.