50 CFR 32.65 - Vermont.

§ 32.65 Vermont.

The following refuge units have been opened for hunting and/or fishing, and are listed in alphabetical order with applicable refuge-specific regulations.

Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge

A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of goose, duck, brant, merganser, coot, woodcock, and snipe in accordance with State regulations subject to the following conditions:

1. Waterfowl - For the hunting of goose, brant, duck, merganser, and coot we divide the refuge into six discrete waterfowl hunting units: the Delta Lakeshore Area, the Saxes Pothole/Creek and Shad Island Area, the Junior Waterfowl Hunting Area (including Long Marsh Bay, Patrick Marsh, and Charcoal Creek), the Long Marsh Channel and Metcalfe Island Area, and the Maquam Swamp Area. Conditions for each area are as follows:

i. Delta Lakeshore Area includes lakeshore areas from Shad Island to the south side of Martindale Point but does not include Saxes Pothole/Creek and Shad Island Pothole.

a. We prohibit blind staking, permanent blinds, or unattended decoys.

b. We prohibit jump shooting within 200 yards (180 m) of a party hunting from a boat or blind.

c. We do not require a refuge permit to hunt in this area.

d. This area is available to youth waterfowl hunters on Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend.

e. We prohibit entering closed areas of the refuge for any reason, except for the recovery of legally harvested animals, and in that case you may not carry a weapon (see § 27.42(a) of this chapter).

f. Unarmed hunters may scout open hunting areas before a particular season opens but in no case before September 1. We do not require a hunting permit for scouting.

ii. Maquam Shore Area encompasses a 30-acre area along the lakeshore of Maquam Bay and is bounded by private land on the west and a Vermont wildlife management area on the east. a. Conditions A1i(a-f) apply.

iii. Saaxes Pothole/Creek and Shad Island Pothole encompasses Saxes Creek, Saxes Pothole, and Shad Island Pothole. This is a controlled hunting area. We stake and make available five zones (numbered 1-5) to five hunting parties in Saxe's Pothole, zone 6 is staked and available to one hunting party in Shad Island Pothole.

a. A hunting party consists of the hunter named on the permit and one guest hunter per zone per day. Nonhunters may accompany a hunting party.

b. Each hunting party must possess and carry a permit for the specific zone on the specific day they are hunting in this area. Permits are not transferable.

c. You may obtain permits for the period from the opening day of duck hunting season through the first Sunday of the duck hunting season, and for the second weekend of the duck hunting season through application to a preseason lottery. During the years when the State elects to have a split season, you may also obtain your permits for the second opening day through the following Sunday through application to the preseason lottery. On all other hunt days, you must acquire permits through self-registration at the Mac's Bend Landing no earlier than 2 hours before legal shooting time on the day of the hunt.

d. Hunters selected during the preseason lottery must pay a $10 fee. The refuge must receive the fee no earlier than 2 days before the opening of the season or forfeit the permit, which we will then make available to other hunters on a first-come, first-served basis. The fee is paid for any permit assigned before the day of the hunt. There is no fee for any permit obtained on the day of the hunt.

e. On those days that we draw permits by preseason lottery, hunters must sign in at the Mac's Bend Landing by 7 a.m. before going to the assigned zone. After 7 a.m. other hunters may sign in, self-register, and use unoccupied zones.

f. At the end of each daily hunt, you must sign out and deposit a report of hunt success at the Mac's Bend Landing. When you sign out, another party may sign in and use the vacated zone. You must sign out of a zone at Mac's Bend Landing prior to occupying a different hunting site in any of the controlled hunting areas.

g. You must hunt within 100 feet (30 m) of a numbered stake corresponding to your assigned zone. We prohibit jump shooting.

h. You must use a retrieving dog.

i. You may only possess approved nontoxic shot shells (see § 32.2(k)) in quantities of 25 or less per day.

j. This area is open on a first-come, first-served basis to youth waterfowl hunters during the annual 2-day special Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend conducted in late September. We will hold no preseason drawing and assess no fee, however, youth hunters must self-register and submit a report of their hunt.

k. We prohibit entering closed areas of the refuge for any reason, except for the recovery of legally harvested animals, and in that case we prohibit carrying a weapon (see § 27.42(a) of this chapter).

l. Unarmed hunters may scout open hunting areas before a particular season opens but in no case before September 1. We do not require a hunting permit for scouting.

iv. Junior Waterfowl Hunting Area encompasses Long Marsh Bay, Patrick Marsh and that portion of Charcoal Creek south of Vermont Route 78. This is a controlled hunting area. We establish 11 blind sites for use by junior waterfowl hunters, blind sites 4-8 in Long Marsh Bay, blind sites C-F in Charcoal Creek, and blind sites A-B in Patrick Marsh.

a. Junior waterfowl hunters (ages 12-15, inclusive, at the time of the hunt) following successful completion of the annual training program (usually held the third or fourth Saturday in August) vie for blind site assignments during a lottery drawing at the conclusion of the training. The 11 blind sites are available exclusively to these junior waterfowl hunters and their mentors the first 4 Saturdays and Sundays of the duck season.

b. As an incentive to the adult volunteers who serve as mentors to junior waterfowl hunters, they will vie for blind site assignments during a lottery drawing at the conclusion of the annual junior waterfowl hunter training for the use of blind sites in the junior hunt area on the first Wednesday following the second weekend of the season. This day is known as Mentor Day. We will collect no fee from mentors for this hunt day. We will make available blinds not assigned because of this lottery to other adult hunters via a preseason lottery.

c. Following the use of the blind sites in this area by junior hunters and junior hunter mentors, all blind sites are then available to all adult hunters by permit awarded via a preseason lottery for the second Wednesday following the second weekend of the duck season; and on weekends following the junior hunt by a first-come, first-served, self-registration, and permitting basis at the refuge headquarters.

d. Hunters, including junior hunters, with preregistered permits must sign in at refuge headquarters no later than 7 a.m. on the date of their scheduled hunt. After 7 a.m. other hunters may sign in, self-register, and use unoccupied blind sites. Only junior hunters may hunt on the first 4 Saturdays and Sundays of the season.

e. Each junior hunter must possess and carry a free permit for the assigned blind site and day. On Mentor Day, mentors must also possess and carry this free permit for the assigned blind site. Each adult hunting party must possess and carry a permit for the blind site and day they are hunting. Permits are not transferable.

f. The mentor must accompany the junior hunter who completed the training program with him or her. We include the mentor on the permit assigned to the junior hunter. A mentor may simultaneously oversee up to two junior hunters at one blind site.

g. Each adult hunter, except mentors on Mentor Day, must pay $10 for each permit issued because of the preseason lottery. Permits acquired by self-registration are free.

h. Only junior hunters may discharge a firearm in this area during the junior hunt periods.

i. We allow and recommend hunting from portable blinds and boat blinds constructed and place by the refuge for the junior waterfowl hunting program at some of the blind sites. Junior hunters, with the approval of the refuge manager, may construct stationary blinds and leave them in place for the duration of the season. Otherwise, we prohibit permanent blinds.

j. All hunting must take place within 100 feet (30 m) of the stake marking the blind area. We prohibit jump shooting.

k. This area is available to refuge-trained junior waterfowl hunters during the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend in late September.

l. Shooting hours are from legal opening time until 11 a.m.

m. Hunters must deposit the Hunt Success Report portion of their permit at refuge headquarters at the end of the hunt.

n. A small flat-bottom boat, car-top boat, or canoe is necessary for access to Charcoal Creek and Patrick Marsh blind sites. Access is available at the Charcoal Creek crossing on Vermont Route 78 or from a pulloff on Route 78 about 3/4 of a mile (1.2 km) east of the Charcoal Creek access.

o. You may only possess approved nontoxic shot shells (see § 32.2(k)) in quantities of 25 or less per day.

p. A hunting party consists of the hunter named on the permit and one guest hunter per blind site per day. Junior hunters may not invite a guest hunter unless it another refuge-trained junior hunter. Nonhunters may accompany a hunting party.

q. You must use at least six decoys.

r. We prohibit entry to closed areas of the refuge for any reason, except for the recovery of legally harvested animals, and in that case you may not carry a weapon (see § 27.42(a) of this chapter).

s. Unarmed hunters may scout open hunting areas before a particular season opens but in no case before September 1. We do not require a hunting permit for scouting.

v. Long Marsh Channel and Metcalfe Island encompasses the Metcalfe Island Pothole and Long Marsh Channel. This is a controlled hunting area. We established three blind sites, designated 1-3, in Long Marsh Channel. We established three blind sites, designated 8-10, on Metcalfe Island.

a. We will limit hunting to Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays throughout the waterfowl hunting season for duck.

b. You may obtain permits for the first 5 days of the duck season through application to a preseason lottery. The procedure described in the Saxes Pothole/Creek and Shad Island controlled hunt area apply. Following the first 5 days, hunters may acquire permits on a first-come, first-served basis with self-service permitting and sign in at the Mac's Bend Landing, no more than 2 hours before legal shooting time.

c. Hunters selected during the preseason lottery must pay a $10 fee. The refuge must receive the fee no less than 2 days before the opening of the season or the permit will be forfeited and made available first to standby hunters identified at the time of the drawing, and second to other hunters on a first-come, first-served basis. The fee is paid for any permit assigned before the day of the hunt. There is no fee for any permit obtained on the day of the hunt.

d. On those days that we draw permits by preseason lottery, hunters must sign in at the Mac's Bend Landing by 7 a.m. before going to the assigned zone. After 7 a.m., other hunters may sign in, self-register, and use unoccupied zones.

e. Shooting hours will be from 1/2 hour before legal sunrise until 11 a.m.

f. At the end of each daily hunt, you must sign out and deposit a report of hunt success at the Mac's Bend Landing. When a party signs out, another party may sign in and use the vacated zone. Hunters must sign out of a zone at Mac's Bend Landing prior to occupying a different hunting site in any of the controlled hunting areas.

g. You must hunt within 100 feet (30 m) of a numbered stake corresponding to your assigned zone.

h. You must use a retrieving dog.

i. You may only possess approved nontoxic shot shells (see § 32.2(k)) in quantities of 25 or less per day.

j. We prohibit permanent blinds.

k. We prohibit jump shooting.

l. You must use at least six decoys.

m. You must use a boat to hunt at each of these blind sites.

n. This area is open on a first-come, first-served basis to youth waterfowl hunters during the annual 2-day special Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend conducted in late September. We will hold no preseason drawing and assess no fee, however, youth hunters must self-register and submit a report of their hunt.

o. We will close this area to waterfowl hunting during split seasons when goose are the only waterfowl that hunters may legally take.

p. We prohibit entry to closed areas of the refuge for any reason, except for the recovery of legally harvested animals, and in that case you may not carry a weapon (see § 27.42 of this chapter).

q. Unarmed hunters may scout open hunting areas before a particular season opens but in no case before September 1. We do not require a hunting permit for scouting.

vi. Marquam Swamp Area encompasses about 200 acres (80 ha) west of the Central Vermont Railroad and south of Coleman's inholding and is open to migratory bird hunting with the following special requirements:

a. Conditions A1ia and A1ic through A1 if apply.

b. You must use a retrieving dog.

c. We prohibit hunting within the area encompassing the headquarters nature trail. We identify this area with “No Hunting Zone” signs.

2. Other migratory birds (including woodcock and common snipe):

i. The open area consists of the Delta Lakeshore Waterfowl Hunting Area excluding the Saxe's Creek/Pothole and Shad Island Pothole controlled areas.

ii. You may hunt woodcock and snipe in the Maquam Swamp Area, but you must have a retriever.

iii. We do not require a permit to hunt woodcock and snipe in these areas.

iv. Conditions A1ie and A1if apply.

3. On the Eagle Point Unit, we allow hunting of goose, duck, brant, merganser, coot, woodcock, and snipe in accordance with State regulations and these refuge-specific regulations:

i. You may possess only approved nontoxic shot shells (see § 32.2(k)) in quantities of 25 or fewer per day.

ii. We prohibit permanent blinds.

iii. You must use at least six decoys.

iv. Unarmed hunters may scout open hunting areas before a particular season opens but in no case before September 1. We do not require a hunting permit for scouting.

B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of cottontail rabbits, snowshoe hare, ruffed grouse, and gray squirrels on open areas of the refuge (designated in B2 below) in accordance with State regulations subject to the following conditions:

1. You must obtain a permit at refuge headquarters prior to hunting, and you must hold a valid State hunting license. We will collect a $10 fee for each permit issued. The permit applies for the calendar year of issue.

2. You may pursue upland game: east of the Missisquoi River and north of Goose Bay Pool (as indicated by public hunting area signs), on Shad Island, on all refuge lands west of Tabor Road, and on all refuge lands between Tabor Road and the Central Vermont Railroad bed to the east, except the marked area encompassing the headquarters nature trail and the land east of Charcoal Creek and north of the marked boundary near Coleman's inholding. We mark the headquarters trail area with “No Hunting Zone” signs.

3. We only allow shotguns or muzzleloaders on open areas east of the Missisquoi River and on Shad Island.

4. You must use approved nontoxic shot (see § 32.2(k)) for the shotgun hunting of all upland game species except deer.

5. We prohibit hunting from the end of snowshoe hare and rabbit season through September 1.

6. We require you to submit an annual report of the results of your hunt by December 31. Failure to do so will result in denial of a permit the following year.

7. We prohibit entry into closed areas of the refuge for any reason, except for the recovery of legally harvested animals, and in that case you may not carry a weapon (see § 27.42(a) of this chapter).

8. Unarmed hunters may scout open hunting areas before a particular season opens but in no case before September 1. We do not require a hunting permit for scouting.

9. On the Eagle Point Unit, we allow hunting of cottontail rabbits, snowshoe hare, ruffed grouse, and gray squirrels in accordance with State regulations.

C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of big game in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

1. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer. We prohibit hunting of bear, moose, and turkey except under condition C9.

2. You must obtain a permit at refuge headquarters prior to hunting, and you must hold a valid State hunting license. We will collect a $10 fee for each permit issued. The permit applies for the calendar year of issue. Permits issued to youth hunters (licensed hunters age 16 and under) for the Youth Deer Hunting Weekend are free.

3. You may pursue deer during State-designated archery and regular firearms seasons: east of the Missisquoi River and north of Goose Bay Pool (as indicated by public hunting area signs), on Shad Island, on all refuge lands west of Tabor Road, and on all refuge lands between Tabor Road and the Central Vermont Railroad bed to the east, except the marked safety zone encompassing the headquarters nature trail and the land east of Charcoal Creek and north of the marked boundary near Coleman's inholding.

4. We only allow shotguns, muzzleloaders, or archery equipment on open areas east and north of Vermont Route 78. We prohibit rifles in these areas at any time.

5. During the State-designated muzzleloader season and Youth Deer Hunting Weekend, you may hunt the entire area north of the line of public hunting area signs west of Mudgett Island, and all of Metcalfe Island, in addition to the open areas described in C3 above.

6. During the State regular firearms season, Youth Deer Hunting Weekend, and muzzleloader big game season, you must wear in a visible manner on head, chest, and back a minimum of 400 square inches (2,600 cm 2) of solid-colored, hunter-orange clothing or material.

7. You may use portable tree stands in accordance with State regulations guiding their use on State Wildlife Management Areas. We require written approval from the refuge manager on your big game hunting permit prior to leaving a stand or blind unattended. We prohibit permanent stands and blinds (see § 27.93 of this chapter).

8. Conditions B6, B7, and B8 apply.

9. On the Eagle Point Unit, we allow hunting of white-tailed deer, bear, moose, and turkey in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

i. You may use portable tree stands in accordance with State regulations guiding their use on State Wildlife Management Areas. We prohibit permanent stands and blinds.

ii. We allow training of hunting dogs during the regular hunting seasons as regulated by the State. Dog training outside the regular hunting seasons (June 1 to July 31) will be permitted by Special Use Permit (Permit Application Form: National Wildlife Refuge System General Special Use, FWS Form 1383-G) only.

iii. We require Special Use Permits to train hunting dogs from June 1 to July 31. Permits must be requested in writing from the refuge manager, Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge.

D. Sport Fishing. We allow fishing on areas described below in accordance with State regulations subject to the following conditions:

1. We allow sport fishing by boat in the west branch, east branch and main channel of the Missisquoi River, Dead Creek, and shallow water areas of the Missisquoi River delta from Goose Bay to Charcoal Creek (north of Vermont Route 78) with the following exceptions:

i. We close the following areas from ice out to July 15 - Goose Bay, Saxes Creek and Pothole, Metcalfe Island Pothole, Long Marsh Channel, and Clark Marsh.

ii. We close the following areas from Labor Day to December 31 - Long Marsh Bay and Long Marsh Channel.

2. We allow bank fishing along Charcoal Creek where it passes under Route 78, and along the shoreline of the Missisquoi River from refuge headquarters to Mac's Bend boat launch. Bank fishing is accessible only by foot along the Missisquoi River from Louie's Landing to Mac's Bend.

3. We prohibit fishing from any dike or from within any water management unit or any other area not specifically designated as being open under D1 and D2 above.

4. We allow ice fishing in open areas described in D1 above.

5. We allow bow fishing from a boat on refuge waters that are open to fishing as described in D1 above.

6. We prohibit taking fish with firearms within refuge boundaries.

7. We allow boat launching from Louie's Landing year-round. We allow boat launching from Mac's Bend boat launch area from September through November inclusive.

8. Anglers may collect minnows in accordance with State regulations from refuge open fishing areas for personal use. We prohibit collection of more than 2 quarts (1.9 l) per day from the refuge.

9. We authorize commercial bait dealers to take and transport minnows in excess of 2 quarts (1.9 l) per day only after acquiring a refuge Special Use Permit that will contain the following special conditions:

i. We require a $35 fee for the Special Use Permit.

ii. The permittee must possess and carry a Commercial Bait Dealer's Permit from the Vermont Commissioner of Fish.

iii. Excessive fish mortality and waste, as determined by the refuge manager, will result in revocation of the Special Use Permit and denial of future permit applications.

iv. The permittee must remove all traps and holding cages (see § 27.93 of this chapter) within 1 week of permanent freeze up.

v. The Special Use Permit must be in the possession of the permittee or an employee of the permitee on site while on the refuge and is not transferable to another individual or party.

vi. The Special Use Permit does not grant or imply permission to obstruct any refuge road, parking area, boat launch, or waterway at any time.

vii. The permittee must keep all equipment used clean so as not to introduce aquatic nuisance species. The permittee must not clean or empty tanks and other equipment used into refuge waters.

viii. Failure to comply with conditions of the Special Use Permit will result in its revocation and the denial of future permit applications.

Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of ducks, geese, crows, and American woodcock at the Nulhegan Basin Division and Putney Mountain Unit in accordance with State of Vermont regulations, seasons, and bag limits subject to the following conditions:

1. Shooting across, over, or within 10 feet of the traveled portion of any gravel road is prohibited in the interest of public safety (see §§ 25.71 of this chapter).

2. You may only use portable blinds.

3. We allow the use of retrieving, flushing, pointing, and pursuit dogs; however, dogs must be under control as is reasonable and customary for that activity, such as voice command or remote telemetry (see § 26.21(b) of this chapter).

4. We prohibit the use of all-terrain and off-highway vehicles (ATVs and OHVs).

5. You must remove all blinds, decoys, shell casings, and other personal equipment and refuse from the refuge at the end of each hunt day (see §§ 27.93 and 27.94 of this chapter).

B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of coyote, fox, raccoon, bobcat, woodchuck, red squirrel, eastern gray squirrel, porcupine, skunk, snowshoe hare, eastern cottontail, and ruffed grouse at the Nulhegan Basin Division and Putney Mountain Unit in accordance with State of Vermont regulations, seasons, and bag limits subject to the following conditions:

1. Conditions A1 through A4 apply.

2. To monitor and mitigate potential disturbances to wildlife and neighboring landowners, raccoon hunters hunting at night with dogs will require a special use permit (FWS Form 1383-G) issued by the refuge manager.

C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of white-tailed deer, moose, black bear, and wild turkey at the Nulhegan Basin Division and Putney Mountain Unit in accordance with State of Vermont regulations, seasons, and bag limits subject to the following conditions:

1. Conditions A1 through A4 apply.

2. We allow only temporary tree stands and you must remove them (see § 27.93 of this chapter) by the end of the final deer season. Your name and address must be clearly visible on the tree stand. We prohibit nails, screws, or screw-in climbing pegs to build or access a stand (see § 32.2(i)).

3. Moose may be retrieved at the Nulhegan Basin Division by a commercial moose hauler, subject to a special use permit (FWS Form 1383-C) issued by the refuge manager.

D. Sport Fishing. [Reserved]

[ 58 FR 5064, Jan. 19, 1993, as amended at 58 FR 29077, May 18, 1993; 60 FR 62047, Dec. 4, 1995; 61 FR 46399, Sept. 3, 1996; 65 FR 30792, May 12, 2000; 65 FR 56409, Sept. 18, 2000; 69 FR 54362, 54462, Sept. 8, 2004; 79 FR 14842, Mar. 17, 2014; 80 FR 51933, Aug. 26, 2015]

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