Press Release

Zero hunting-related shooting injuries in Vermont last year

VT Fish & Wildlife’s Nicole Meier teaches range safety at a Hunter Education Program event

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department reported zero hunting related shooting injuries (HRSIs) in 2021, continuing a multi-year trend of declining HRSIs in Vermont.

The department attributes the success in part to a strong culture of safety among Vermont hunters, and the state’s required Hunter Education Program.

“Since hunter education became a requirement in Vermont in 1975, HRSIs have dropped precipitously,” said Commissioner Christopher Herrick.  “Hitting the goal of zero HSRIs this past year is a testament to the important work being done through our Hunter Education Program and in the wider hunting community.”

The department stresses that its hunter education effort and Vermont’s safety-focused hunting culture is a community accomplishment.

“Our hunter education program relies on over 350 dedicated, knowledgeable volunteer instructors,” said Nicole Meier, the department’s Hunter Education Program Coordinator.  “They are incredibly effective bridges between the department’s programs, hunting organizations across the state, and the wider hunting community.”

Working alongside department staff and game wardens, Hunter Education Program volunteer instructors are responsible for teaching the basics of firearm safety to roughly 3,500 youth and adult-onset hunters per year.

They also cover other skills like correctly identifying game species, and principles like respecting landowners, which the department considers essential for anyone hunting in Vermont to know.

“This year’s success with zero HSRIs is a reminder of why we dedicate so much of our time to this work,” said Hunter Education Program volunteer instructor and Hubbardton resident Katrina Ducharme.  “It’s a good sign for the future of hunting in Vermont.”

4 replies »

  1. said Hunter Education Program volunteer instructor and Hubbardton resident Katrina Ducharme. “It’s a good sign for the future of hunting in Vermont.”
    As long as anti-hunting groups lobbing in Montpelier are kowtowed to, the future of hunting in the state of Vermont is under fire. These groups, one in particular here in Vermont, have their sights set on nothing less than establishing a new regulatory board to oversee the Fish and Wildlife Department, and Board. These anti-hunters will tell you that are not “anti-hunting” but you don’t have to look, or read too far on their “Facebook” page to draw a different conclusion. Hunting is, and always has been a very safe, enjoyable, and socially responsible past time. Taxes, and license fees levied on sportsmen and women are responsible for the management of this renewable resource. How much money do you suppose “non-consumptive” users/antis actually contribute to the animals they claim to speak for ? Hunters contribute hundreds of billions (yes, billions, with a B!) of dollars every year that go to the management and betterment of wildlife, and it’s habitat. If these anti-hunters were as serious about supporting wildlife as they claim, they’d put their money where their mouths are, and all buy hunting and fishing licenses, as the pittance that is contributed to their cause through the “Chickadee Check Off” on Vermont State tax forms is pitiful, and I’d be willing to bet that even this cause gets most of it’s contributions from hunters, trappers, and anglers. I’d also bet that these organizations spend more money on political, and administration costs than they give to habitat,and wildlife causes. In closing, watch these groups very closely. They are very good at the one domino at a time game. They will never be satisfied. Don’t ever think that you, or your interest have no stake in this because I don’t hunt coyotes, or bears with dogs, or I don’t trap. They will be coming for you, or your interest, give them time. To quote Ben Franklin “We must hang together or surely we will hang separately.”

  2. Hmmm, so those educated on firearm safety, ethical hunting practices and wildlife conservation didn’t kill any humans? Imagine that. But it is their fault certain individuals in the State do shoot humans ( like in parking garages),so they ( hunters)should have their rights to firearm freedom restricted? Super logical. Not that any of the Representatives serving on the Fish and Wildlife committee will bring that up in Montpellier…

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