Vermont deer hunters had a better season in 2012 than the year before, with the overall kill just above the 10-year average.
Final numbers released Thursday by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department show hunters killed 13,850 deer in all seasons this past fall. That's a 14 percent increase over the 2011 season, but still about 11 percent less than the year before. State biologists point to weather conditions as a major factor. The 2011 kill was down because the record snows of the previous winter took a toll on the herd. But last winter was mild with very little snow, allowing the health of the herd to bounce back, giving hunters more targets.