Fish Shooting Season Opens

Fish Shooting Season Opens

Fish Shooting Season Opens
Fish Shooting Season Opens
Outdoors Magazine
Outdoors Magazine

Vermont –-( In Vermont it is a tradition that is “as old as the hills.” Some call it barbaric and dangerous, others say it is a part of the state’s rural culture, and not any more dangerous than duck or muskrat hunting.

I am, of course, talking about pike shooting.

Vermont is the last state in the nation to have a set season on pike shooting. For those out of the loop, it is exactly what it sounds like – shooting fish with a gun. The common method is to wait on a high point of shore, or in a treestand, for a spawning group of northern pike (usually 1 female and 2-6 males) to swim through the area. A high-powered rifle is then shot into the water close to the fish. The percussion of the bullet stuns them for a few minutes, allowing the shooter to spear or net the fish he wants. The others recover and swim away apparently unharmed.

Critics of the “sport” will quickly point out the inherent dangers of shooting into the water, while proponents will counter citing that the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife does not know of a single gunshot related injury that has occurred as a result of pike shooting.

While no one is certain where the sport got its roots in Vermont, the common theory is that it was put in place to aid farmers during the month of May when they didn’t have time to fish. Instead, they could pull over their tractors next to a swamp and quickly “shoot” a fish dinner.

Has the time come for this tradition to end?
(Not at all, we need to work to expand this in other states –

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Spearing and Shooting Grand Isle, Vermont from Robert Maass on Vimeo.

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When I took hunter safety in Missouri 40 years ago we were taught to never shoot at the flat surface of a body of water because the bullet tended to skip across the surface like a stone but with a lot more velocity. Just don’t spread this to my state.


Can't wait for the EPA nuts to get a hold of this and proclaim the waters are being poisoned with all that lead


omg rly soprt fishing…. sick country