As hunting season begins, we would like to remind all citizens to exercise caution in order to help keep our community safe.
In response to inquiries regarding areas in which the discharge of firearms is restricted, please click here to view a map provided by Colchester Police Department detailing these areas (please make particular note of areas marked in red and in blue).
(You may also click the above thumbnail of the map to open it.)
In addition to remaining aware of Colchester’s restricted-shooting zones, it is also important to respect property owners’ postings and to exercise extreme caution with target shooting and other discharge of firearms. In addition, the Winooski Valley Park District—which owns various parks near the causeway and property surrounding Colchester Pond and the Winooski River (depicted in blue on the attached map)—has its own regulations with respect to hunting or shooting. For more information about those regulations, please contact the Winooski Valley Park District at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (802) 863-5744.
Community members are strongly encouraged to be especially mindful during this annual tradition in Vermont. “When spending time in the woods, make sure that you’re visible,” said Colonel David LeCours with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. “Wearing bright clothing in areas where hunting is likely to occur is a common-sense approach.”
As is posted on its website, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department calls particular attention to three new hunting rules now in effect:
- A person shall not take or attempt to take any wild animal by shooting a firearm, a bow and arrow or a crossbow while on or within 25 feet of the traveled portion of a public road.
- It is also illegal to shoot a firearm, a bow and arrow or a crossbow across the traveled portion of a public road.
- It is now legal to carry a pistol or revolver while bow hunting deer in the bow and arrow deer season. The pistol or revolver MAY NOT be used to dispatch deer. It is still illegal to carry a rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader while bow hunting deer in the bow and arrow deer season.
To read the Sportsmen’s Act of 2013 for other new hunting and fishing regulations, please click here.
Chapter 9 OFFENSES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS, Sec. 9-3 Use of firearms regulated (please click here to access the Town of Colchester’s Code of Ordinances) states the following (you may also click here to download the ordinance as a .pdf):
(a) Restricted firearms use in certain areas. No person may shoot or discharge a firearm in the following areas of the town:
(1) In the area west of a line from Lake Champlain south on Prim Road, Bean Road and Parsons Road to the Winooski River.
(2) In the area east of U.S. Route 7 between the Winooski city line and Severance Road and south of Severance Road/Kellogg Road to the Essex town line.
(3) In the area west of Interstate I-89 between Route 127 (Bay Road) and S.A. 9 (Blakely Road) and T.H. 3 (Mallets Bay Avenue).
(4) In the area north of Route 127 and Lake Champlain extending from Bayside Park to Prim Road.
(5) In the area bounded by Severance Road, Route 7, Route 2a east of Route 7 to the Essex town line, and south along the Essex town line to Kellogg Road.
(6) In any Winooski Valley Park District lands within the town.
(b) Certain uses excepted:
(1) The use and discharge of a shotgun firearm for hunting purposes using birdshot or buckshot shall be allowed in all areas.
(2) Nothing shall prevent owners of land from the use of firearms to protect their lands from damage being caused by wild animals or for other reasons which are otherwise lawful.
(3) Nothing in this section shall prevent police officers from the use of firearms in performance of their legal duties.
(4) Firing ranges approved by the chief of police and in conformance to zoning regulations are excluded from provisions of this section.
(Ord. of 4-11-80, §§ 1–3; Ord. of 3-5-91; Ord. of 11-12-91)
For questions relating to fishing and hunting, please call the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department at (802) 828-1000 or (802) 241-3700.
For questions regarding the ordinance, please contact Town Manager Dawn Francis at (802) 264-5500.
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