Department of Fish and Wildlife

Toby Talbot / AP

Hunting license sales have been on a steady decline in Vermont over the last few decades, mirroring a trend seen in many states around the country. License fees account for a significant portion of the budget for Fish and Wildlife departments. So the declining numbers of hunters negatively impact those budgets, and fee increases can't keep pace with the increasing costs of research and enforcement.

Tom Rodgers

Vermont may not have a lot of pink-kneed tarantulas, bearded dragons, Burmese pythons or brown caymen. But when there are reports made that one needs to be captured or confiscated, efforts are made to get that animal out.

The gloved hand of a biologist holds a little brown bat in Vermont.
Jane Lindholm / VPR File

A muggy summer evening in Vermont, in a swampy area, just as the sun is going down and the mosquitoes are thick in the air might not sound like a good place to hang out. But it's ideal if you're a little brown bat. Or a bat researcher. 

James Boase / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Every fisherman has a story about the "one that got away." But Chet MacKenzie is dedicated to making sure that this particular species of fish in Lake Champlain doesn't get away – or disappear. 

Lemon Fair Wild Life Management Area gains 330 acres. Milton has a new town manager. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture announces a free breakfast on the farm event.

A controversial state-owned shooting range in Hartland will re-open on Thursday, following renovations and with new rules.

Charlotte Albright / VPR/file

As the state prepares to re-open a controversial shooting range it owns in Hartland, a rift has developed within the Fish and Wildlife Board. One board member says the site is unsafe, but the commissioner strongly disagrees.

twildlife / iStock

The Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife spent three years taking input on proposed changes to deer hunting rules, and the process has finally yielded changes that will go into effect in 2016. A ban on natural urine lures and expanded opportunities for hunting with crossbows are among the new regulations hunters will get used to.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board is considering changes to the state's hunting regulations that would expand the archery season, and a change that would allow hunters to use crossbows during that season.

Courtesy Kristen Schmitt

When you think of Vermont's hunters, an image of a father and son in the woods might spring to mind.

But now, more and more hunters are learning the sport as adults for the opportunity to harvest organic, local meat.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

A state-owned shooting range in Hartland is itself under fire. Most of the complaints about noise are coming from Plainfield, New Hampshire. The sound travels just over 300 yards from Hartland across the Connecticut River, and residents in this small, rural town say they've heard enough.

iStock / Thinkstock

Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials are considering a ban on the use of aircraft while hunting, and the big concern isn't about helicopters and small planes - it's unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.

Officials aren't so much worried about a drone flying around shooting at deer (though that would certainly be alarming), but they want to make sure hunters don't violate landowners' rights, get too much of an unfair advantage in their hunt or disrupt other hunters.

Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

A Montgomery man has been charged by the Fish & Wildlife Department for allegedly feeding bears.

Jeffrey Messier was charged with intentionally feeding the animals, according to a Fish & Wildlife press release.

“Game Warden Sgt. Carl Wedin received a report of a bear being killed in self-defense at a neighboring residence on June 22, 2014.  Sgt. Wedin responded and recovered the bear.  Its stomach contained a large number of sunflower seeds. 

Toby Talbot / AP

For the past 18 months, the Fish and Wildlife Department has been surveying Vermont hunters to see if the time has come to make some major changes in the state’s various deer hunting seasons.

Mark Scott is the department’s director of wildlife. He says the review is looking at virtually every aspect of the deer season, including when to hold a separate season for hunters who use a bow and arrow, a muzzle loader or a rifle.

Jim Cole / AP

The Department of Fish and Wildlife works to protect habitat and help Vermonters access the state's woods and streams. But the Department faces declining revenues as fewer people are taking to the outdoors to hunt and fish. We talk about some of the challenges the department faces with new Commissioner Louis Porter and Wildlife Director Mark Scott.

Gillian Stippa / Vt. Dept. Fish & Wildlife

After a hunting cabin burned to the ground on Georgia Mountain last night, reports of a bear attack were widespread, but police haven’t found any evidence to substantiate those claims, and a state wildlife biologist said bear attacks in Vermont are extremely rare.

According to WCAX, police reported that 44-year-old Ladonna Merriman and 28-year-old Lucas Gingras were hospitalized after the cabin fire, Merriman with serious injuries.