The Vermont Bowhunters Association, VBA, was established as a Vermont Non-Profit Corporation on April 28, 2011, and as a Federal 501(C)(3) in 2019 but its official beginning was September 12, 2010.  Six bowhunters met in Danville to discuss the need for a statewide organization that would unite Vermont’s bowhunters and represent their views and concerns about topics that were important to bowhunting.  At that meeting the six decided to form the VBA and to get as many people involved in the process as they could. Soon more hunters joined the group, working on the process of forming a legitimate state and federally  recognized association. Even during that process the founders were working on the issues. 

523 Westminster West Rd, Putney, Vt  05346   (802) 579-8471  ​

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​​​​​ What is the Vermont Bowhunters Association doing for you?

     In May 2008, Bill Hickok and Roy Kilburn submitted two petitions to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board concerning starting an archery-only moose season. Charlie Palmer, an avid bowhunter, and Cedric Alexander, lead moose biologist for the Fish and Wildlife Department, had promoted an archery-only season for years. In March 2010, a formal proposal for a special season was presented to the Fish and Wildlife Board but was defeated. Not deterred, it was reintroduced and in February 2011 it passed. A short time after that victory the Vermont Bowhunters Association was founded.
      In 2012, VBA submitted a petition to the F&W Board to extend the bowhunting season from a proposed start date of September 15 to an end date of December 15. That proposal was partly realized, as it was felt at that time that five additional days was all the Department and the Board could stand behind. We are very pleased to see that in the Deer Rules section of the new 10 Year Big Game Management Plan recently adopted by the F&W Department shows that they have reconsidered their position and there will be a large increase in the number of days that we can bow hunt. The season will be running from October 1st through December 15th and only closed during the regular Gun Season. This will mark the first time that we can hunt during the "Chase Phase" of the rut. There are other changes as well that give us even more opportunities such as an early special bow season in urban areas with high concentrations of deer. The VBA is in large part responsible for these changes, as over the last few years we have fostered a good working relationship with the Department and Board and have helped their understanding of how important a tool bowhunting can be.
      We have petitioned the F&W Board for a youth archery season as well. Unfortunately, there isn’t currently enough support for this proposal. We also started a conversation about a special bear baiting season, but again there is inadequate support for it at this time. We will continue to support these initiatives.
     We are happy to be sending two youths between the ages of 12 and 15 to their choice of conservation camps in the summer. They can choose either Buck Lake Camp in Woodbury or Kehoe Camp in Castleton.
      We have several events throughout the year to promote our sport. The West Central Chapter (WCC), based in Middlebury, held their 1st “Snowball 3-D Shoot” and it had such a positive response it will be an annual event. WCC hosts yearly Open Houses as well as a VBA 3-D Shoot.  The VBA sponsors our Annual Shoot, the last two years it was held in Morrisville at Lamoille Valley Fish and Game Club and before that at Whistling Arrow Archery Club in E. Montpelier.  We will also hold 3rd shoot at a roving location that moves around the state.  Last season it was in St. Johnsbury at the Caledonia Sportsman’s Club and the year before in Bennington at Catamount Bow Hunters. The dates and times for all of our events are in the planning process now and we hope to announce them at the beginning of the New Year. To help keep those dates in mind, we produce the Green Card that has the dates, times, and locations of various shoots throughout the state.  We at the VBA wish to thank all of the clubs, organizations and shops that host our events throughout the year.
       Of special importance, we are very happy about the continuation of the Archery Mentor Training Program. This program is spearheaded by the West Central Chapter in conjunction with and sponsored by the Middlebury Parks and Recreation Department. The program is comprised of young people who have completed the Parks and Recreation Department’s Archery 1 Training Program. Classes are held to pick up where the Department left off with training the applicants on Archery 2 and Advanced Archery skills utilizing compound bows. Through the leadership of the WCC a new group of archers will be learning the ways of the bow and embarking on what we hope will be years of fun and exploration.  The program launched last spring/summer and promises to be back in 2020. This is a pilot program that we hope can be exported around the state.
      We are very happy to announce a new program geared to increase our membership and connect more to the local shops and businesses that support us. This fall we launched the Partnering Program and VBA Bucks! Partnering Shops and Businesses agree to help spread the word about the VBA and encourage their clientele to join up.  We give them all they need to promote us, flyers, info sheets and applications etc. In exchange they get top billing at all of our events as well as on our social media sites plus a few other perks.  In appreciation of their efforts we have created VBA Bucks!  VBA Bucks is a form of currency that we will give away at our events that lucky winners will get to spend at a Partner Shops.  One VBA Buck is worth $1.00.  So, not only can you help a great organization and a local business you can get great merchandise as well.  We are signing up Partner Shops now and when we have a complete list we’ll post them online. If you have a shop and this sounds interesting to you please contact us.
      We at the VBA wish to thank our many sponsors.  We hope all members and non-members alike will support them. If you want to be a sponsor please contact one of the Directors and they’ll explain the various levels
       As always, the Vermont Bowhunters Association is working toward the common goal of improving the bowhunting experience for all bowhunters by continuing to advocate for issues that are important to bowhunters and archers throughout the state.     

            Please contact us for more about what the VBA is doing for you and how you can take part!

This is a list of many of the programs that the VBA has worked on over the years.

  • Formation of an “Archery Only” moose season.  Adopted by the State in 2011. 
  • ​​​Extended Archery Season and increased opportunities to hunt. Five days were added in 2015 and starting this fall the season will have a huge extension, almost doubling in size.  The bow season will October 1 and run through December 15. It will be closed during the regular gun season.  
  • Special Youth Bow Season. Has not been adopted at this time.
  • Limited Deer and Bear Baiting Seasons.  Has not been adopted at this time.
  • Expand archery opportunities around the State.  We sponsor at least three 3-D shoots around the State every year.
  • Host events where archers can meet and talk about the issues or just gab about hunting. We have multiple “Open Houses” around the State partnering with local shops and businesses.  That number is always growing.
  • Working with the Fish and Wildlife Department and Board.  We were invited to help with the development of the new 10-Year Big Game Management Plan that greatly increases bowhunting seasons and opportunities.
  • Be the “go to” spot for all your archery information.  We have an in-depth website and a major presence on social media such as Facebook and Instagram.
  • We produce the “Green Card”--the schedule for 3-D shoots around the region.
  • The West Central Chapter operates the Archery Mentoring Program for youths in the greater Middlebury area. This is a pilot program that we hope will grow to other regions.
  • Launched the Partnering Shops/Businesses Program and offer VBA Bucks. 

          ​We hope that the VBA will be a conduit for information on Vermont  bowhunting and related issues, ranging from how many deer you see in a given season to what broadhead works best for you. Also, we plan to keep you abreast of archery activities, such as bowhunter education courses, locations of shooting ranges, different leagues, target and 3-D competitions, and much more. Check the Upcoming Events page for more information.