State seeks public input on new trapping regs

Two other hunting & trapping restriction laws to take effect

When the Vermont Legislature passes laws about hunting and trapping, new regulations to enforce the laws must follow.

On November 29, 6:30-9 pm, at White River Valley High School, 223 S. Windsor St. in South Royalton, Vermont Fish & Wildlife will invite public input on draft regulations regarding trapping.

The 2022 Legislature passed Act 159, which requires the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife to submit to the General Assembly recommended best management practices (BMPs) for trapping that propose criteria and equipment designed to modernize trapping and improve the welfare of animals subject to trapping programs.

The BMPs shall be based on investigation and research conducted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and shall use the “Best Management Practices for Trapping in the United States” issued by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies as the minimum standards for BMP development.

After submission of the BMPs, the act requires the Fish and Wildlife Board to revise the rules regulating the trapping of furbearing animals in the State so that the rules are at least as stringent as the BMPs for trapping recommended by the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has scheduled a public information meeting on draft changes to the state’s trapping regulations.  The meeting will be held , from 6:30 – 9:00 pm on Tuesday, November 29.

The draft changes draw from a recently completed series of meetings with a range of stakeholders and the best available trapping data and research.

The November 29 meeting is not a referendum on trapping but an opportunity for the public to provide early feedback on draft changes to the regulations.  Department staff will review this input before the Commissioner advances a proposal to the Fish and Wildlife Board for deliberation.  A formal public comment window will occur when the Board begins its official rulemaking process in early 2023.

The meeting will begin with presentations from an Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies expert about current research on trapping best management practices and from department staff on the process that informed the draft regulation changes.  Following these, the public will have an opportunity to voice their perspectives on the draft regulation changes in breakout groups facilitated by department staff. 

This meeting will focus only on the draft changes to trapping regulations.  Prior to attending, the public is encouraged to review the state’s current trapping regulations, available in the department’s official 2022 Hunting and Trapping Guide, and Act 159, available through the department’s web page on new hunting and trapping legislation.

Final changes to trapping regulations in response to Act 159 are expected to take effect in winter 2024.

New laws also restrict hunting coyotes with dogs, wild game retrieval and use

Another 2022 law, Act 165, creates a moratorium on hunting coyotes with dogs, effective July 1, 2022, with some exceptions. The moratorium is in effect until the Fish and Wildlife Board establishes permitting rules for this practice. This act also authorizes the use of gun suppressors for hunting, effective June 1, 2022, until July 1, 2024.

Also, Act 110 requires that hunters retrieve and use any legally harvested specimens of game or furbearer species, effective June 1, 2022. The species covered by this act are moose, deer, bear, wild turkey, gray squirrel, cottontail rabbit and snowshoe hare, game birds, crows, and furbearers. Legal uses for these species are food, fur, hide, feathers, or taxidermy. This act also requires that legally harvested coyotes must be retrieved.

Categories: Outdoors