Few things are more satisfying for landowners than seeing deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife on their property. And few things are more important to deer and other wildlife than engaged landowners. About 80 percent of Vermont’s forested habitat is privately owned, and as more land is lost to development each year, the importance of the remaining habitat has steadily grown. With the help of organizations like the Vermont Woodlands Association, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department hosts workshops that educate landowners on the benefits of actively managing wildlife habitat.
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.
Nestled deep in the vast forestland of the Northeast Kingdom is a classic northwoods camp that's been a haven for hunters, anglers, and other outdoor lovers for more than a century. Located on a quiet pond a stone's throw from Canada, Quimby Country Lodge and Cottages just might also be one of the best kept secrets in Vermont. To learn more about this historic camp, we visited for an overnight stay and some upland bird hunting.
VPT’s advisory board discusses content and community engagement. Public welcome.
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