Vermont’s Regional Working Groups

     The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has recently announced an upcoming series of Regional Working Groups regarding deer hunting and management. The aim of these groups is to get deer hunters together to help evaluate data collected through surveys as well as discuss their thoughts on the state of deer hunting in the Green Mountain state. It is done on a volunteer basis and participants are required to attend at least four meetings which will be held late March through September.
      These groups are part of Vermont’s Comprehensive Deer Management Review Plan and will essentially serve as a means for hunters to voice opinions on the state of deer management and the quality of deer hunting. Participating hunters will also have the responsibility of serving as liaisons with hunters and the general public in their regions to gauge sentiment pertaining to deer management.
     The Regional Working Groups are a great way to incorporate regular hunters into the overarching deer management strategy of Vermont. This makes a lot of sense considering that a significant portion of the Fish and Wildlife Department’s funding comes from hunting license fees. It is only reasonable to let those who contribute to the funding have a say in how the resource is managed. Hunters are also in a unique position to provide worthwhile input on the subject. We spend a lot of time in the woods paying attention to the deer we see and we put in many hours trying to figure out how we can see more deer.
     It is quite fashionable for sportsmen to offer criticism of the state agencies that govern them. Sometimes this criticism is appropriate, sometimes it is misguided and it is almost always polarizing. In the case of the Regional Working Groups I have a hard time imagining anyone will find anything to complain about.

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