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The department attributes the success in part to a strong culture of safety among Vermont hunters and the state’s required Hunter Education Program.

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MONTPELIER — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department reported zero hunting related shooting injuries in 2021, continuing a multi-year trend of declining hunting related shooting injuries in Vermont.

The department attributes the success in part to a strong culture of safety among Vermont hunters and the state’s required Hunter Education Program.

“Since hunter education became a requirement in Vermont in 1975, hunting related shooting injuries have dropped precipitously. Hitting the goal of zero hunting related shooting injuries this past year is a testament to the important work being done through our Hunter Education Program and in the wider hunting community,” said Commissioner Christopher Herrick.

The department stresses that its hunter education effort and Vermont’s safety-focused hunting culture is a community accomplishment. “Our hunter education program relies on over 350 dedicated, knowledgeable volunteer instructors,” said Nicole Meier, the department’s Hunter Education Program Coordinator.

Working alongside department staff and game wardens, Hunter Education Program volunteer instructors are responsible for teaching the basics of firearm safety to roughly 3,500 youth and adult-onset hunters per year.

“This year’s success with zero hunting related shooting injuries is a reminder of why we dedicate so much of our time to this work,” said Katrina Ducharme, Hunter Education Program volunteer instructor.