Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online


Title 10 : Conservation and Development

Chapter 113 : GAME


(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 4827)
  • § 4827. Black bear doing damage

    (a)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection and in subsection 4827a(b) of this title, a person, an authorized member of the person’s family, or the person’s authorized regular on-premise employee may, after attempting reasonable nonlethal measures to protect his or her property, take on land owned or occupied by the person a bear that he or she can prove was doing damage to the following:

    (A) livestock, a pet, or another domestic animal;

    (B) bees or bee hives;

    (C) a vehicle, building, shed, or any dwelling; or

    (D) a crop or crop-bearing plant other than grass.

    (2)(A) The requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply in exigent circumstances. As used in this subdivision, “exigent circumstances” means the need for immediate protection of a person, livestock, pet, domestic animal, or occupied dwelling.

    (B) Landowners or lessees subject to bear damage in unharvested cornfields shall be exempt from having to first use nonlethal control measures prior to taking a black bear doing damage under subdivision (a)(1) of this section.

    (b) A person authorized to take a bear under subsection (a) of this section may designate one individual who holds a resident Vermont hunting license as an agent to take a bear doing damage on his or her behalf. The person may not offer or accept any form of payment to or from the agent under this subsection except as allowed in subsection (e) of this section.

    (c) A person who wounds or kills a bear pursuant to this section shall immediately report the wounding or killing to a game warden. Within 12 hours of the wounding or killing, the person who performed the act shall submit a written, signed report relating the date, time, place, and reason for the wounding or killing to a game warden.

    (d) A person who kills a bear under this section shall immediately properly dress the carcass and care for the meat.

    (e) The game warden shall immediately investigate the case and if satisfied that the bear was taken as provided in this section, the warden shall give the person who owns or occupies the land a certificate of his or her finding in the matter. The certificate shall entitle the person who owns or occupies the land to the ownership of the carcass. However, the person may not sell or give away the carcass except to offer all or a portion of it to an agent designated under subsection (b) of this section as compensation for killing the bear. Any carcass not desired for home consumption in the household of the certificate holder or designated agent shall be turned over to a game warden.

    (f) [Repealed.]

    (g) The Commissioner is authorized to issue an order requiring a person to contain food which has the effect of luring a bear onto property owned or occupied by the person. In this subsection, food does not include a crop, a crop bearing plant, or livestock. The order shall include specific measures which would constitute containing the food and the date by which the food shall be contained. Containing food means to prevent a bear from having access to the food. Following issuance of an order under this subsection, a person who fails to contain the food may not shoot a bear causing damage pursuant to this section. However, if the person contains the food and a bear continues to do damage pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, 30 days or more after containment, the person may take the bear pursuant to this section.

    (h) A person who shoots a bear in violation of subsection (g) of this section or subsection 4827a(b) of this title may be fined up to $2,000.00. A person who does not remove bait or contain food following an order issued under subsection (g) of this section or subsection 4827a(b) may be fined up to $1,000.00. (Added 1961, No. 119, § 1, eff. May 9, 1961; amended 2003, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 27, 2004; 2013, No. 78, § 16.)