The Pine Mountain Wildlife Management Area is a very unique property. Not only for the variety of habitat but the fact that it encompasses 4 towns and two counties within the state. Pine Mountain itself along with most of the nearly 2300-acre wildlife management area is located in the town of Topsham. However substantial portions are also located in the towns of Newbury, Ryegate and Groton, and the WMA straddles the Caledonia and Orange County lines. The size and diversity of wildlife and habitat types makes Pine Mountain an attractive place to visit for a variety of reasons. It also features several access points, making it easy for visitors to enjoy the WMA year round.
Mud Creek is a small, sluggish stream that flows from the Canadian border south to Lake Champlain. The WMA consists primarily of a mix of emergent marsh and forested swamp, which provide habitat for a variety of waterfowl, including black ducks, wood ducks, mallards and teal, as well as other wetland birds. Below the marsh, from the dam downstream to the lake, Mud Creek also offers great paddling opportunities as well as fishing. In the fall Mud Creek offers good duck hunting, especially on its main marsh, which is regulated as a controlled hunting area. From September 1st to December 31st it is open only to waterfowl hunters with a valid permit.
The Sandbar Wildlife Management Area was the very first WMA in Vermont. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department purchased this unique piece of property back in 1920. The Sandbar WMA encompasses over 1500 acres and is located in the town of Milton, where the Lamoille River flows into Lake Champlain.
Researchers from Vermont Center for Ecostudies study the rare and secretive Bicknell's thrush on Mt. Mansfield. Also, a visit to Sandbar Wildlife Management Area in Milton, Vt., and a day on the river with Matt Lavallee of Winooski, Vt., who is trying to earn certification from Vermont's Master Angler Program.
In 2007, a stunning 458-acre parcel on Lake Memphremagog was donated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the estate of Michael Dunn. Although it is technically part of the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, the property is managed by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department as a wildlife management area. Located only 5 miles north of the City of Newport, the undeveloped shoreline is a welcome contrast to the southern end of the lake. In addition to the forested lakeshore habitat, the WMA includes two wetlands and several large meadows.
Located in the towns of Plymouth and Shrewsbury, the Plymsbury WMA is also nestled within the Coolidge State Forest. These two tracks of state land combined provide a critical link between the southern and northern portions of the Green Mountain National Forest.
Nestled in the northwestern corner of Vermont, the 872-acre Maquam Wildlife Management Area is nearly split in half by route 36. The southern half, or Lampman portion, is mostly woodlands while the northern half, or Maquam Bay side, borders Lake Champlain. The Maquam WMA and surrounding land not only has a rich history, it also has fertile soils, productive wetlands and a well managed forest that support a rich diversity of habitats and wildlife. The wetland portion is great for spotting waterfowl, wading birds and aquatic mammals like beaver, muskrat and river otters. The early successional habitat is great for grouse and woodcock. Adjacent farmland and hardwoods attract turkey, deer and a host of other popular wildlife species.
Every November during Vermont’s youth deer hunting season, check stations across the state are filled with smiling kids and proud parents. Deer are reported, stories shared, and photos taken. But at a handful of check stations, a lot more goes on. Since 1963 the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has annually operated special biological check stations to gather the data needed to monitor the health of the deer herd. This information and other data help state biologists determine science-driven management strategies.
West Mountain Wildlife Management Area is located in the remote Northeast Kingdown towns of Ferdinand, Maidstone and Brunswick. Covering nearly 23,000 acres, it is the largest and wildest WMA in Vermont, and it borders tens of thousands of acres of conserved commercial forest land. The West Mountain WMA is home to 14 species of plants that are rare or endangered in Vermont and eight sites of ecological significance. Its many ponds, bogs and wetlands provide nesting and roosting habitat for migratory waterfowl, and its deep forests have a long history of producing large northwoods deer.
Lawrence Pyne heads for Quimby Country, a storied hunting and fishing camp in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. There, he enjoys some upland bird hunting. West Mountain Wildlife Management Area, covering nearly 23,000 acres, occupies parts of Ferdinand, Maidstone and Brunswick, Vt. It's a diverse and important ecosystem, and is home to many rare or endangered plants.