Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 10 Appendix : Vermont Fish and Wildlife Regulations

Chapter 001 : GAME

Subchapter 002 : BIRDS

(Cite as: 10 App. V.S.A. § 23)
  • § 23. Methods of taking, possessing and transporting migratory game birds

    (a) Scope of regulations.

    (1) In general. The regulations contained in this section relate only to the hunting of migratory game birds, and crows.

    (2) Procedural and substantive requirements. Migratory game birds may be taken, possessed, transported, shipped, exported, or imported only in accordance with the restrictions, conditions, and requirements contained in this section. Crows may be taken, possessed, transported, exported, or imported only in accordance with subsections (ff) through (hh) of this section.

    (b) Relation to other provisions.

    (1) Migratory bird hunting stamps. The provisions of this section are in addition to the provisions of the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act of 1934 (48 Stat. 451, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 718a).

    (2) National wildlife refuges. The provisions of this section are in addition to, and are not in lieu of, any other provision of law respecting migratory game birds under the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 927, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 668dd) or any regulation made pursuant thereto.

    (3) Each person hunting migratory game birds in Vermont shall annually register with the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife's Harvest Information Program (H.I.P.), and must be able to provide proof of the H.I.P. registration.

    (c) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following terms shall be construed, respectively, to mean and to include:

    (1) "Migratory game birds" means those migratory birds included in the terms of conventions between the United States and any foreign country for the protection of migratory birds, for which open seasons are prescribed in this section and belong to the following families:

    (i) Anatidae (ducks, geese, brant, and swans);

    (ii) Columbidae (doves and pigeons);

    (iii) Gruidae (little brown cranes);

    (iv) Rallidae (rails, coots, and gallinules); and

    (v) Scolpacidae (woodcock and snipe).

    (2) "Open season" means the days on which migratory game birds may lawfully be taken. Each period prescribed as an open season shall be construed to include the first and last days thereof.

    (3) "Closed season" means the days on which migratory game birds shall not be taken.

    (4) "Daily bag limit" means the maximum number of migratory game birds permitted to be taken by one person in any one day during the open season in any one specified geographic area for which a daily bag limit is prescribed.

    (5) "Possession limit" means the number of migratory game birds permitted to be possessed by any one person when lawfully taken in the state for which a possession limit is prescribed.

    (6) "Personal abode" means one's principal or ordinary home or dwelling place, as distinguished from his or her temporary or transient place of abode or dwelling such as a hunting club, or any club house, cabin, tent, or trailer house used as a hunting club, or any hotel, motel, or rooming house used during a hunting, pleasure, or business trip.

    (7) "Migratory bird preservation facility" means:

    (i) Any person who, at his or her residence or place of business and for hire or other consideration; or

    (ii) Any taxidermist, cold-storage facility or locker plant which, for hire or other consideration; or

    (iii) Any hunting club which, in the normal course of operations, receives, possesses, or has in custody any migratory game birds belonging to another person for purposes of picking, cleaning, freezing, processing, storage, or shipment.

    (8) "Paraplegic" means an individual afflicted with paralysis of the lower half of the body with involvement of both legs usually due to disease of or injury to the spinal cord.

    (9) "Nontoxic shot" includes steel, bismuth/tin, tungsten/iron, tungsten/polymer, tungsten atrix, tungsten/nickel/iron, tungsten/iron/nickel/tin, tungsten/bronze, tungsten/tin/bismuth, tungsten/iron/copper/nickel, tungsten/tin/iron, or other shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    (d) Hunting Methods. Migratory birds on which open seasons are prescribed in this section may be taken by any method except those prohibited in this section. No person shall take migratory game birds:

    (1) With a trap, snare, net, crossbow, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machinegun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance;

    (2) With a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with an on-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells;

    (3) From or by means, aid, or use of a sinkbox or any other type of low floating device, having a depression affording the hunter a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water;

    (4) From or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft of any kind, except that paraplegics and persons missing one or both legs may take from any stationary motor vehicle or stationary motor-driven land conveyance;

    (5) From or by means of any motorboat or other craft having a motor attached, or any sailboat, unless the motor has been completely shut off and/or the sails furled, and its progress therefrom has ceased: Provided, That a craft under power may be used to retrieve dead or crippled birds; however, crippled birds may not be shot from such craft under power;

    (6) By the use or aid of live birds as decoys; although not limited to, it shall be a violation of this paragraph for any person to take migratory waterfowl on an area where tame or captive live ducks or geese are present unless such birds are and have been for a period of 10 consecutive days prior to such taking, confined within an enclosure which substantially reduces the audibility of their calls and totally conceals such birds from the sight of wild migratory waterfowl;

    (7) By the use or aid of recorded or electrically amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds;

    (8) By means or aid of any motor-driven land, water, or air conveyance, or any sailboat used for the purpose of or resulting in the concentrating, driving, rallying, or stirring up of any migratory bird; or

    (9) By the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area. As used in this paragraph, "baiting" shall mean the placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of shelled, shucked, or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt, or other feed so as to constitute for such birds a lure, attraction or enticement to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them; and "baited area" means any area where shelled, shucked, or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed whatsoever capable of luring, attracting, or enticing such birds is directly and indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered; and such area shall remain a baited area for 10 days following complete removal of all such corn, wheat or other grain, salt, or other feed. However, nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit:

    (i) The taking of all migratory game birds, including waterfowl, on or over standing crops, flooded standing crops (including aquatics), flooded harvested croplands, grain crops properly shocked on the field where grown, or grains found scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural planting or harvesting; and

    (ii) The taking of all migratory game birds, except waterfowl, on or over any lands where shelled, shucked, or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt, or other feed has been distributed or scattered as the result of bona fide agricultural operations or procedures, or as a result of manipulation of a crop or other feed on the land where grown for wildlife management purposes: Provided, That manipulation for wildlife management purposes does not include the distributing or scattering of grain or other feed once it has been removed from or stored on the field where grown.

    (10) Prohibition on Toxic Shot:

    (i) No person shall take waterfowl or coots while possessing loose shot or shot shells loaded with shot other than nontoxic shot, and then of a shot size no larger than size T.

    (ii) No person shall take an aggregate or combination of waterfowl/coots and other species while possessing loose shot or shot shell loaded with shot other than nontoxic shot.

    (e) Closed seasons. No person shall take migratory game birds during the closed season.

    (f) Shooting hours. No person shall take migratory game birds except during the hours open to shooting.

    (g) Daily limit. No person shall take in any one calendar day, more than the daily bag limit or aggregate daily bag limit, whichever applies.

    (h) Wanton waste of migratory game birds. No person shall kill or cripple any migratory game bird pursuant to this section without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the bird, and retain it in his or her actual custody, at the place where taken or between that place and either (1) his or her automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (2) his or her personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; or (3) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (4) a post office; or (5) a common carrier facility.

    (i) Possession prohibitions. No person shall at any time, by any means, or in any manner, possess or have in custody any migratory game bird or part thereof, taken in violation of any provision of subsections (d) through (h) of this section.

    (j) During closed season. No person shall possess any freshly killed migratory game birds during the closed season.

    (k) Possession limit. No person shall possess more migratory game birds taken in this State than the possession limit or the aggregate possession limit, whichever applies.

    (l) Opening day of a season. No person on the opening day of the season shall possess any freshly killed migratory game birds in excess of the daily bag limit.

    (m) Field possession limit. No person shall possess, have in custody, or transport more than the daily bag limit of migratory game birds, tagged or not tagged, at or between the place where taken and either (1) his automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (2) his personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; or (3) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (4) a post office; or (5) a common carrier facility.

    (n) Tagging requirement. No person shall put or leave any migratory game birds at any place (other than at his or her personal abode), or in the custody of another person for picking, cleaning, processing, shipping, transportation, or storage (including temporary storage), or for the purpose of having taxidermy services performed, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter, stating his or her address, the total number and species of birds, and the date such birds were killed. Migratory game birds being transported in any vehicle as the personal baggage of the possessor shall not be considered as being in storage or temporary storage.

    (o) Custody of birds of another. No person shall receive or have in custody any migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such birds are tagged as required by subsection (n) of this section.

    (p) Possession of live birds. Every migratory game bird wounded by hunting and reduced to possession by the hunter shall be immediately killed and become a part of the daily bag limit. No person shall at any time, or by any means, possess or transport live migratory game birds taken under authority of this section.

    (q) Termination of possession. Subject to all other requirements of this section, the possession of birds taken by any hunter shall be deemed to have ceased when such birds have been delivered by him or her to another person as a gift; or have been delivered by him or her to a post office, a common carrier, or a migratory bird preservation facility and consigned for transport by the U.S. Postal Service or a common carrier to some person other than the hunter.

    (r) Gift of migratory game birds. No person may receive, possess, or give to another, any freshly killed migratory game birds as a gift, except at the personal abodes of the donor or donee, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter who took the birds, stating such hunter's address, the total number and species of birds, and the date such birds were taken.

    (s) Transportation prohibitions. No person shall at any time, by any means, or in any manner, transport any migratory game bird or part thereof, taken in violation of any provision of subsections (d) through (h) of this section.

    (t) -Birds of another. No person shall transport migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such birds are tagged as required by subsection (n) of this section.

    (u) -Species identification requirement. No person shall transport within the United States any migratory game birds, except doves and band-tailed pigeons (Columba fasciata), unless the head or one fully feathered wing remains attached to each such bird at all times while being transported from the place where taken until they have arrived at the personal abode of the possessor or a migratory bird preservation facility.

    (v) -Marking package or container. No person shall transport by the U.S. Postal Service or a common carrier migratory game birds unless the package or container in which such birds are transported has the name and address of the shipper and the consignee and an accurate statement of the numbers of each species of birds therein contained clearly and conspicuously marked on the outside thereof.

    (w) Exportation prohibitions. No person shall at any time, by any means, or in any manner, export or cause to be exported, any migratory game bird or part thereof, taken in violation of any provision of subsections (d) through (h) of this section.

    (x) -Species identification requirement. No person shall export migratory game birds unless one fully feathered wing remains attached to each such bird while being transported from the United States and/or any of its possessions to any foreign country.

    (y) -Marking package or container. No person shall export migratory game birds via the U.S. Postal Service or a common carrier unless the package or container has the name and address of the shipper and the consignee and an accurate statement of the numbers of each species of birds therein contained clearly and conspicuously marked on the outside thereof.

    (z) Importation limits. No person shall import migratory game birds in excess of the following importation limits:

    (1) Doves and pigeons.

    (i) From any foreign country except Mexico, during any one calendar week beginning on Sunday, not to exceed 25 doves, singly or in the aggregate of all species, and 10 pigeons, singly or in the aggregate of all species.

    (ii) From Mexico, not to exceed the maximum number permitted by Mexican authorities to be taken in any one day: Provided, That if the importer has his or her Mexican hunting permit date-stamped by appropriate Mexican wildlife authorities on the first day he or she hunts in Mexico, he or she may import the applicable Mexican possession limit corresponding to the days actually hunted during that particular trip.

    (2) Waterfowl.

    (i) From any foreign country except Canada and Mexico, during any one calendar week beginning on Sunday, not to exceed 10 ducks, singly or in the aggregate of all species, and five geese including brant, singly or in the aggregate of all species.

    (ii) From Canada, not to exceed the maximum number permitted to be exported by Canadian authorities.

    (iii) From Mexico, not to exceed the maximum number permitted by Mexican authorities to be taken in any one day: Provided, That if the importer has his or her Mexican hunting permit date-stamped by appropriate Mexican wildlife authorities on the first day he or she hunts in Mexico, he or she may import the applicable Mexican possession limit corresponding to the days actually hunted during that particular trip.

    (aa) Birds of another. No person shall import migratory game birds to another person.

    (bb) Species identification requirement. No person shall import migratory game birds unless each such bird has one fully feathered wing attached, and such wing must remain attached while being transported between the port of entry and the personal abode of the possessor or between the port of entry and a migratory bird preservation facility.

    (cc) Foreign export permits. No person shall import, possess or transport, any migratory game birds killed in a foreign country unless such birds are accompanied by export permits, tags, or other documentation required by applicable foreign laws or regulations.

    (dd) Processing requirement. No person shall import migratory game birds killed in any foreign country, except Canada, unless such birds are dressed (except as required in subsection (bb)), drawn, and the head and feet are removed: Provided, That this shall not prohibit the importation of legally taken, fully feathered migratory game birds consigned for mounting purposes to a taxidermist who holds a current taxidermist permit and who is also licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to decontaminate such birds.

    (ee) Marking of package or container. No person shall import migratory game birds via the U.S. Postal Service or a common carrier unless the package or container has the name and address of the shipper and the consignee and an accurate statement of the numbers of each species of birds therein contained clearly and conspicuously marked on the outside thereof.

    (ff) Violation of federal law. No person shall at any time, by any means or in any manner, take, possess, transport, or export any migratory bird, or any part, nest, or egg of any such bird, in violation of any act of Congress or any regulation issued pursuant thereto.

    (gg) Violation of state law. No person shall at any time, by any means or in any manner, take, possess, transport, or export any migratory bird, or any part, nest, or egg of any such bird, in violation of any applicable law or regulation of any state.

    (hh) Violation of foreign law. No person shall at any time, by any means, or in any manner, import, possess, or transport, any migratory bird, or any part, nest, or egg of any such bird taken, bought, sold, transported, possessed, or exported contrary to any applicable law or regulation of any foreign country, or state or province thereof.

    (ii) Tagging requirement. No migratory bird preservation facility shall receive or have in custody any migratory game birds unless such birds are tagged as required by subsection (n) of this section.

    (jj) Records required.

    (1) No migratory bird preservation facility shall:

    (A) Receive or have in custody any migratory game bird unless accurate records are maintained which can identify each bird received by, or in the custody of, the facility by the name of the person from whom the bird was obtained, and show (i) the number of each species; (ii) the location where taken; (iii) the date such birds were received; (iv) the name and address of the person from whom such birds were received; (v) the date such birds were disposed of; and (vi) the name and address of the person to whom such birds were delivered, or

    (B) Destroy any records required to be maintained under this section for a period of one year following the last entry on the record.

    (2) Record keeping as required by this section will not be necessary at hunting clubs which do not fully process migratory birds by removal of both the head and wings.

    (kk) Inspection of premises. No migratory bird preservation facility shall prevent any person authorized to enforce this section from entering such facilities at all reasonable hours and inspecting the records and the premises where such operations are being carried.

    (ll) Commercial use of feathers. Any person may possess, purchase, sell, barter, or transport for the making of fishing flies, bed pillows, and mattresses, and for similar commercial uses the feathers of migratory waterfowl (ducks, geese, brant, and swans) killed by hunting pursuant to this section, or seized and condemned by federal or state game authorities, except that:

    (1) No person shall purchase, sell, barter, or offer to purchase, sell, or barter for millinery or ornamental use the feathers of migratory game birds taken under authority of this section; and

    (2) No person shall purchase, sell, barter, or offer to purchase, sell, or barter mounted specimens of migratory game birds taken under authority of this section.

    (mm) Personal use of feathers or skins. Any person for his or her own use may possess, transport, ship, import, and export without a permit the feathers and skins of lawfully taken migratory game birds. (Added 1983, Fish and Game Board Reg. No. 940, eff. ______; amended 2010, Fish and Wildlife Board Reg. eff. May 18, 2010.)