Vermont Holds Special ‘Novice Weekend’ for New Hunters

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Hunters in Vermont who are going out on their first deer season have been encouraged to take advantage of the state’s novice weekend. This was the third annual novice weekend in the state. It took place on October 22 and 23. New hunters had some qualifications that they needed to meet.

For instance, they needed to be 16 years old or older. They had to have successfully completed a hunter education course. Also, they have to have purchased their first hunting license. Toss in a hunting and fishing combination license within one year of the first day of novice weekend. They had to have possessed a free novice weekend tag in addition to their hunting license. Also, they must have possessed a free novice weekend tag in addition to their hunting license. They had to be accompanied by an unarmed adult, 18 years or older. That person had to have a Vermont resident hunting license or hunting and fishing combination license.

Hunters Received Help From Others Out In The Field

For those that needed details about these requirements and additional guidance, people were directed to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department‘s novice weekend web page. Novice weekend was designed to give teenagers and adults new to hunting a mentored experience. It was just similar to what younger hunters received during Vermont’s concurrent tough deer hunting weekend.

This also was a chance for seasoned hunters to offer up their knowledge of deer behavior and hunting. Add woodscraft and passing along safe hunting practices and responsible behavior to it all as well. When the 2021 novice weekend happened, 530 new hunters harvested 54 deer. That was done with the support from their experienced hunter mentors.

“We know that new hunters, especially new adult hunters, are more successful when they have strong social support like a reliable hunting mentor,” Hunter Education Program Coordinator Nicole Meier said. “The importance of mentorship to the future of hunting cannot be overstated.” Additionally, the department had invited new hunters who are interested in novice weekend to contact our Hunter Education Program with questions. Those interested in the Hunter Education Program can be reached by phone at (802) 828-1193.

Hunters who do not have as much experience in the field as others can get help. This is what the novice weekend can do for them. Imagine getting excited for the first hunting season of your life. But you have not had the mentorship that others have had out there. Well, the novice weekend provides hunters with a big boost. Vermont obviously wants the people out in the field to know what they are doing.