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Deer season opening boasts solid numbers

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Posted on November 15, 2018 |
By Andy Kirkaldy



Dead deer Jeff Booska.jpg
JEFF BOOSKA SHOT this 226-pound, 10-point buck in Orwell on this past Saturday and had it weighed at Buxton’s Store. In all a half-dozen hunters brought down deer on opening weekend that tipped a county reporting station’s scales at 200 pounds or more. Photo Courtesy of Buxton’s Store

ADDISON COUNTY — Opening weekend of 2018’s deer rifle season — this past Saturday and Sunday — did not approach 2017’s near-record start, but the season got off to a solid beginning with 175 bucks weighed at Addison County wildlife reporting stations.

Opening weekend of 2017 saw 242 deer weighed on the way to a rifle season total of 554, part of the year’s local post-2005 record of 1,089 deer taken in all seasons.

The overall numbers look promising again for county hunters in 2018. Between the first weekend of rifle season, the first portion of archery season (Oct. 6 to Nov. 2) and Youth Hunting Weekend, county weigh stations have already handled 549 deer, more than half of last season’s high-water total.

In 2005 Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department officials banned shooting spikehorn bucks during rifle season, depressing numbers for those 16 November days. But, according to weight data collected by the Independent over the years, the rule has had the desired effect of creating more trophy-buck targets for hunters. Last year’s total was the highest since then.

So far in the 2018 October and November archery season hunters killed 274 bucks and weighed them locally, an increase of 103 over 2017. That is the highest county total in at least a decade for the first part of the archery season.

The Independent will report on successful bow hunters once the second portion of archery season, which runs with muzzleloader season, concludes in December.

On Nov. 3 and 4 this year Youth Hunting Weekend saw county weigh station operators handle an above-average total of 110 deer, a number that equaled that of 2017. (Click here to read the story and see a photo.)

Hunters and weigh station operators also reported plenty of big bucks in the field and on the scales as rifle season opened.

Lincoln General Store owner Vaneasa Stearns described rifle season as going “really, really well,” and said most hunters she talks to agree.

“I’m hearing they’re seeing deer,” Stearns said.

Anecdotal evidence supports them. On Monday morning at Bristol’s Green Mountain Trails End store, Dave Livingston of New Haven said on Sunday he got his first deer in 20 years, a 169-pound, 8-pointer he nailed from a stand on the Monkton end of the family’s Livingston Farm.

And there were plenty of 200-pounders shot, none larger so far than the buck Scott Hawkins took down on his Ferrisburgh property on Saturday, a 236-pound, 8-pointer. Hawkins had it weighed at Rack and Reel in New Haven, which also handled a 212-pound, 7-pound animal Keith Audy shot on his Bristol spread, and a 202-pound, 9-pointer Hunter Pizzagalli bagged in Charlotte.

Buxton’s Store in Orwell weighed a 226-pound, 10-pointer Jeff Booska shot, and a 210-pound, 8-pointer Jay Wilson shot, both in Orwell.

“We’ve had some nice ones,” said Andy Buxton, whose store also weighed a number of animals that tipped the scales at more than 190 and 180 pounds.

The West Addison General Store weighed a 206-pound, 8-pointer that Victor Lavoie shot in Ferrisburgh. Among the 23 bucks that the Lincoln General Store handled included one at 195 pounds and two in the 180s.

Vermont Field Sports manager Greg Boglioli said the deer look good, and numbers from each season so far are tracking well with last year. Green Mountain Trails End in Bristol weighed two deer in excess of 197 pounds.

“We’re getting some very nice deer,” said Green Mountain Trails End owner Robbie Bedell.

The following hunters weighed deer at one of the county reporting stations after a successful rifle season opening weekend. Included are the towns of kill and deer pounds and points.

WEST ADDISON GENERAL STORE

Richard Shimel, Bridport, 123 pounds-7 points; Rene Paquette, Lincoln, 140-4; Michael Quesnel, Bridport, 155-6; Horace Richards, Addison, 147-3; Russell Bishop, Shoreham, 148-4; William Veldman, Addison, 126-5; and Victor Lavoie, Ferrisburgh, 206-8.

LINCOLN GENERAL STORE

Ray Barrows, Middlebury, 142-4; Ross Norton, Lincoln, 114-3; Justin Donnelly, Lincoln, 114-4; Andrew Cousino, Lincoln, 129-5; Chad Beauvais, Lincoln, 127-4; Devin Wood, Lincoln, 134-4; Jacob Pierce, Lincoln, 167-5; Todd Muir, Ripton, 156-6; Justin Jean, Lincoln, 146-8; Chris Haskins, Huntington, 185-4; Zachary Laurie, Lincoln, 149-4; Douglas Lowell, Starksboro, 133-7; Shane Atkins, Lincoln, 168-4; Sarah Lathrop, Lincoln, 170-4; Grady O’Connor, Lincoln, 111-3; John Barrows, Ripton, 146-3; Brett Bassett, Middlebury, 150-4; Steven Lavallette, Charlotte, 120-3; Anthony Myrick, Bristol, 189-5; Jonathan O’Connor, Hinesburg, 136-3; Eric Calacci, Lincoln, 195-8; Harold Masterson, Ripton, 155-4; and David Hall, Starksboro, 137-5.

BUXTON’S STORE

Bradley Disorda, Orwell, 156-4; Aaron King, Orwell, 156-6; Chris Hanson, Orwell, 167-5; Sarah Washburn, Orwell, 127-4; Jay Wilson, Orwell, 210-8; Russell Nickerson, Orwell, 190-6; Alan Christian, Shoreham, 150-5; Oliver Audet, Orwell, 120-5; Anthony Warren, Shoreham, 182-6; Will Madison, Shoreham, 168-8; Jeff Booska, Orwell, 226-10; Mike Matot, Shoreham, 172-7; and Tim Steady, Shoreham, 136-4.

Also, Roy Murdock, Brandon, 115-3; Seth Gebo, Orwell, 151-4; Adrian Brower, Fair Haven, 174-8; Sophia Chicoine, Shoreham, 146-4; Eric Leno, Whiting, 121-4; Krista Hall, Orwell, 162-4; Hayden Martin, Shoreham, 140-6; John Lowell, Orwell, 135-4; Chip Maynard, Orwell, 192-9; Mike Shaw, Orwell, 150-5; Seth Pope, Bridport, 135-3; Clinton Snyder, Orwell, 168-6; Wyatt Stearns, Shoreham, 125-4; and Matt Miller, Hubbardton, 168-8.

Also, Jeff Hornbeck, Whiting, 166-8; Dennis Rheaume, Rupert, 140-7; Tom Williams, Whiting, 168-8; David Ketcham, Whiting, 123-5; Steve Kimball, Sudbury, 132-4; Kevin Eddy, Rupert, 140-7; Brian Desforges, Bridport, 150-7; Zachary Fraser, Shoreham, 136-6; Robert Quesnel, Orwell, 158-4; Chris Lewis, Shoreham, 134-4; and Gerald Quenneville, Brandon, 111-6.

Also, Trysten Quesnel, Orwell, 168-6; Seth Charneau, Benson, 135-6; Gabe New, Cornwall, 142-4; Steve Myrick, Bridport, 113-5; Courtney Christian, Bridport, 197-7; and Brian Kemp, Sudbury, 156-8.

VERMONT FIELD SPORTS

Mark Raishart, Leicester, 173-5; Lemuel Palmer, Shoreham, 163-7; Richard Wood, Ripton, 162-8; Marc Ringey, Cornwall, 160-10; Glen Peck, Ripton, 156-7; Thatcher Trudeau, Salisbury, 150-8; Michael Palmer, Salisbury, 148-7; Todd Kennedy, Hancock, 148-6; Mark Lee, Brandon, 146-4; Morgan Dragon, Ripton, 145-4; Kevin Payne, Bridport, 144-5; Jay Malinowski, Leicester, 142-5; and David Gagnon, New Haven, 140-6.

Also, Michael Ash, Cornwall, 139-3; Gary Brown, Salisbury, 135-4; Lawrence Kaufmann, Shoreham, 135-6; John Austin, Weybridge, 131-5; Ronnie Gero, Cornwall, 130-5; Barry Whitney, Shoreham, 130-4; Michael Shackett, Leicester, 126-3; Gregory Whitney, Shoreham, 125-3; Harold Atkins, New Haven, 125-4; Harold Doria, Ripton, 125-4; Harry Hunt, Salisbury, 122-7; Brett Ringey, Cornwall, 120-4; Gregory Gearwar, Brandon, 107-5; and Kevin Clark, Salisbury, 107-4.

RACK AND REEL

Justin Leclair, Charlotte, 116-5; Matthew Malaney, Shelburne, 108-4; Sophie Hatch, Ferrisburgh, 134-5; Donald Carpenter, Rupert, 125-3; Kaian Richards-Wilkes, New Haven, 166-5; Brandon Tierney, New Haven, 128-5; Brian Novak, Middlebury, 143-6; Raymond Shepard, Monkton, 168-9; Dyllinger Higbee, Monkton, 150-3; Adam Shortsleeves, Starksboro, 158-8; Scott Laberge, Charlotte, 174-6; and Alexander Newton, Waltham, 128-6.

Also, Jessica Pinnell, Williston, 165-5; Scott Hawkins, Ferrisburgh, 236-8; Zachary Wood, New Haven, 114-4; Shawn Lacey, Richmond, 117-2; Wayne Stearns Jr., Ferrisburgh, 169-4; Charles Paolontonio, Charlotte, 170-7; Daniel Flynn, Benson, 152-8; Keith Audy, Bristol, 212-7; Ryan Zeno, Bristol, 148-4; Christopher Miller, Ferrisburgh, 196-9; Peter Viau, New Haven, 160-6; Dustin Dattilio, Weybridge, 152-7; and Ryan Thomas-Danyow, Ferrisburgh, 133-4.

Also, James Danyow, Ferrisburgh, 189-7; Jacob Lafleche, Ferrisburgh, 115-4; Amber Whittemore, New Haven, 153-6; Edward Kwiatkowski, Weybridge, 173-7; David Huizenga, Monkton, 160-8; Jacob Watrous, New Haven, 157-5; Kelly Kayhart, Waltham, 154-7; Brad Sprague, New Haven, 162-5; Samuel Martin, Charlotte, 118-6; Hunter Pizzagalli, Charlotte, 202-9; Caleb Wright, Charlotte, 178-8; and Wade Mullin, New Haven, 140-4.

Also, Eric Highter, Middlebury, 162-6; Shannon Martin, Starksboro, 129-6; Davin Torrey, Ferrisburgh, 120-6; Daniel Hebert, Addison, 132-8; David Robert, Huntington, 189-5; Todd Huestis, Ferrisburgh, 160-6; Patrick Coyle, Ferrisburgh, 129-4; and Emile Paquette, Starksboro, 166-6.

Also, Bryan Ashley-Selleck, Waltham, 141-8; Basil Jerger, Ferrisburgh, 135-5; Brian Armell, 181-7; Dylan Raymond, Ferrisburgh, 191-8; Scott Curtis, Monkton, 155-8; Joe Gallese, Monkton, 145-7; Nicole Stearns, Ferrisburgh, 199-8; and Eric Raymond, Addison, 180-4.

DAVE LIVINGSTON HAD this 168-pound, 8-point buck weighed at Green Mountain Trails End in Bristol. The happy Livingston said it was the first deer he shot in 20 years of regular hunting. He squeezed the trigger minutes before the legal Sunday deadline while crouching in a Monkton tree stand on the family farm. He thought he missed, but found the buck the next morning with help from his son.

Independent photo/Andy Kirkaldy

GREEN MT. TRAILS END

Jack Bodington, Monkton, 153-4; Joshua Sherman, Bristol, 197-6; Jeff Booth, New Haven, 106-6; Andrea Wernhoff, Bristol, 158-8; Nolan Whitcomb, Bristol, 158-7; Shean Pope, Northfield, 165-6; David Jerome, Lincoln, 175-5; Victor Fifield, Shoreham, 116-4; Mitchell Davis, Bristol, 164-6; Casey Butler, Middlebury, 176-8; and Matthew Niquette, Starksboro, 155-5.

Also, Warren Chase, Hinesburg, 196-6; Alexis Lathrop, Middlebury, 148-4; Jacob Rochon, Ripton, 192-7; Jeffrey Sturtevant, Bristol, 128-6; Paul Porter, Ripton, 158-4; Steven Palmer, Hinesburg, 199-4; Larry Marcelle, Bristol, 141-4; John Chamberlain, Lincoln, 154-7; Kevin Clark, Lincoln, 107-3; and Dave Livingston, Monkton, 169-8.

Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected]

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