Rifle deer hunters off to fast start

ADDISON COUNTY — Local deer hunters got off to a fast start during opening weekend of the 16-day rifle season, which started this past Saturday, as they reported 200 kills at Addison County’s eight reporting stations.

That was up from 148 during the first weekend of rifle season last November and way up from the unusually low count of 122 deer taken during opening weekend in 2011. That comes on the heels of an average Youth Hunting Weekend.

Observers said the first bow season, which preceded Youth Weekend, was quite frustrating for local hunters. That may have been because a relatively warm and dry fall meant hunters made more noise than usual when tramping through the woods.

But with the weather turning cooler and more bucks going into rut there appear to have been more signs of deer and in some reporting stations more carcasses than in past years.

“It was an incredible first weekend,” said Vaneasa Stearns at the Lincoln General Store, which had 50 percent more deer over opening weekend from last year. “I was out there for two hours straight. There was pickup after pickup after pickup.”

Kirk Fuller at Jerusalem Country Store likewise had a banner opening weekend. He said there was more feed in the woods, which kept the deer moving. He had heard that a change in the lunar pattern may have prompted deer to feed less at night and more during the day, too.

Plus the weather up at elevation was more amenable for tracking than down in the valley.

“There was a little snow for tracking on Youth Weekend — an inch and a half up there on the mountain,” Fuller said. “The first day of rifle we also had an inch of snow.”

Scott Petrin at the West Addison General Store reported a good start down in the valley, which was a bit of a surprise.

“I think it was fairly exceptional because of the weather,” he said.

Despite the large number of deer taken, there were none reported over 200 pounds.

Four local hunters in rifle season vied for the unofficial title of biggest buck. Three of them reported their deer at Vermont Field Sports, including the largest kill: a 191-point, 11-point beast tagged by Richard Dutton in Brandon. Three others reported deer over 190 pounds — Tim Butler brought down a 190, six-point buck in Bristol; Derek Hathaway shot a 190, four-pointer in Middlebury; and Daniel Cram bagged a 190, four-pointer in Lincoln.

None of these, however, got the biggest buck in the county so far this year. That distinction belongs to Austin Brown, who killed a 193-pound, eight-pointer in Weybridge during Youth Hunting Weekend.

NEW REPORTING STATION

Hunters had one fewer familiar reporting stations this year and one new one. The Panton General Store is closed for the winter and so not taking deer reports. But Robbie Bedell opened Green Mountain Trails End LLC in Bristol on Route 116 a quarter mile south of A. Johnson Lumber this past June, and he has weighed several deer so far.

Bedell said he had wanted to open a sporting goods store for a long time and after he lost his sight he made the big career switch from electrician. Now the shop in the garage next to his home sells all kinds of hunting and fishing equipment, and specializes in cross bows and standard bows. Bedell said his guns and bullets are moving swiftly this time of year, too.

The following hunters had deer they shot over the first few days of rifle season weighed at Green Mountain Trails End in Bristol; Buxton’s Store in Orwell; C&S Hunting Supplies in East Middlebury; the West Addison General Store; Vermont Field Sports in Middlebury; the Lincoln General Store; the Village Green Market in New Haven or the Jerusalem Country Store.

They are listed by name, town of kill, and weight and number of antler points.

GREEN MOUNTAIN TRAILS END (8)

David Patterson, Lincoln, 180-6; Ethan Gevry, Addison, 125-4; Ray Garrison Jr., Middlebury, 124-4; Kirk Jennings, Starksboro, 116-4; Corey Jennings, Charlotte, 144-8; Thomas Lathrop, Starksboro, 167-4; Brian McCormick, Goshen, 163-7; and Gary Briggs, New Haven, 103-3.

BUXTON’S STORE (42)

Alan Wilson, Orwell, 109-4; Bruce Payne, Cornwall, 137-3; Bryan Young, Orwell, 121-4; Darryl Gebo, Orwell, 137-6; Ed Lanpher, Shoreham, 164-7; Greg Raymond, Shoreham, 129-5; Bob Douglas, Shoreham, 182-7; Jonathan Steffan, Shoreham, 150-5; Carsyn Buxton, Sudbury, 110-6; James Giard, Shoreham, 179-7; Stephen Myrick, Bridport, 128-5; William Telgen, Shoreham, 151-4; Skip Doane, Shoreham, 126-6; Mike Matot, Shoreham, 162-8; Karrigan Desorda, Benson, 141-3; Robert Cook, Sudbury, 136-7; Rusty Young, Orwell, 149-6; Scott Philbrook, Orwell, 119-3; Jeremy Audet, Orwell, 151-8; Nate Thompson, Shoreham, 137-6; Del Frazier Jr., West Haven, 145-6; Paul Parent, Shoreham, 174-8; Scott Douglas, Shoreham, 154-6; Jacob Williams, Orwell, 137-7; Ronald Allen, Castleton, 103-3; Eric Hall, Orwell, 107-3; Dave Hanson, Shoreham, 143-8; Travis Little, Shoreham, 188-6; Michael Quatacker, Hubbardton, 165-8; Dean Ouellette, Orwell, 152-6; Peter Orr, Hubbardston, 131-4; Jeff Bishop, Bridport, 124-3; Thomas Radford, Whiting, 146-8; Wayne Newton, Orwell, 121-6; Tim Bertrand, Orwell, 141-3; Daniel Boyce, Benson, 138-8; Jonathan Ryan, Orwell, 132-6; Steven Rheaume, Bridport, 125-4; Taylor Patterson, Shoreham, 174-10; Dan Gosselin, Orwell, 162-8; Mike Shaw, Orwell, 169-6; and Jim Gill, Cornwall, 147-6.

C&S HUNTING SUPPLIES (1)

Hunter Warner, Middlebury, 128-5.

WEST ADDISON GENERAL STORE (14)

Michael Johnston, Addison, 117-5; Evan Fleming, Bridport, 160-8; Michael LeBeau, Monkton, 109-4; Robert Merchant, Bridport, 157-6; Mark Szymanski, Ferrisburgh, 130-4; Joshua Baldwin, New Haven, 135-4; Thomas Barrows, Ferrisburgh, 109-4; Eric Preston, Panton, 176-8; Charles Cushman, Ferrisburgh, 120-3; Kevin Reed, Addison, 125-4; Timothy Nolan, Addison, 98-3; John Parker, Addison, 130-3; Jacob Birchmore, Sudbury, 138-7; and Kevin Payne, Shoreham, 135-5.

VERMONT FIELD SPORTS (59)

Donald Welch, Middlebury, 157-6; Alexis A. Lathrop, Middlebury, 154-7; Derek Hathaway, Middlebury, 190-4; Andrew Hutchison, Leicester, 168-6; Richard Dutton, Brandon, 191-11; Todd Seguin, Ripton, 160-8; Erik Carroll, Ferrisburgh, 150-6; Charles Whittemore, New Haven, 160-6; Joseph Dragon, Ripton, 155-5; Brian Gero, Shoreham, 155-8; Justin Bolduc, Addison, 147-4; Kristin Butler, Bristol, 176-5; Fred Raymond, Brandon, 137-6; Mort Pierpont, Salisbury, 142-4; John Wakefield, Ripton, 152-7; John Chestna, Sudbury, 180-8; Jerry McCray, Ripton, 186-10; Kevin Jackson, Ripton, 122-4; Jonathan Audy, New Haven, 148-4; Matt Broughton, Weybridge, 142-4; George McCray, Salisbury, 146-6; Ronald Berthiaume, Salisbury, 137-4; Glenn Terk, Ripton, 130-4; Ronald Yantz Sr., Monkton, 138-6; John Campbell, Weybridge, 119-4; Michael Loven, Leicester, 135-3; Thomas Barter, West Salisbury, 135-4; Kenneth Perine, Middlebury, 127-7; Timothy Yandow, New Haven, 157-3; Toby Rheaume, Salisbury, 161-8; Jeff Lathrop, East Middlebury, 130-4; Joseph Fortune, Cornwall, 158-5; William Casavant, Bridport, 118-4; Ronald Devoid, Middlebury, 157-7; Daniel Bill, Lincoln, 153-7; Sawyer Heath, Brandon, 159-8; Charles Torrey, Salisbury, 148-3; Roger Behoure, Grand Isle, 136-4; Matthew Gosselin, Shoreham, 159-6; Patrick Foley, New Haven, 125-4; Frank Raymond, Waltham, 144-6; Danny Dragon, Salisbury, 145-4; Curtis Benjamin, Ripton, 126-4; Keith Audy, New Haven, 137-3; Scott Whitman, Ripton, 148-4; Lawrence Pyne, Benson, 121-4; Israel Dwire, Salisbury, 130-5; Tim Butler, Bristol, 190-6; Calhan Butler, Middlebury, 136-4; Cody Brouillard, Underhill, 130-8; Cale Wright, Bridport, 152-4; Bruce Many, New Haven, 178-6; Ronald Quesnel, Salisbury, 138-3; Gardner Stone, Florence, 110-3; Wesley Butler, Middlebury, 173-7; Michael Alger, Salisbury, 117-4; Jay Malinowski, Leicester, 116.5-5; Stanley Hartman, Starksboro, 110-4; and Andy Gendreau, Monkton, 136.5-4.

LINCOLN GENERAL STORE  (15)

Wilbert Clark Jr., Lincoln, 155-3; Daniel Cram, Lincoln, 190-4; Peter Brown, Lincoln, 97-4; Joseph Hagan, Starksboro, 128-6; David Patterson, Lincoln, 176-7; Daniel Crossman, Lincoln, 152-9; Larry Reynolds, Lincoln, 166-8; Darrin Fefee, Monkton, 119-4; Stephen Larson, Lincoln, 123-7; Brett Combs, Lincoln, 119-6; Mark Cousino, Lincoln, 146-6; Dan Ober, Lincoln, 135-6; Jacob Pierce, Lincoln, 138-4; Robert Haight, Ripton, 123-4; and Justin Lucia, Lincoln, 102-3.

VILLAGE GREEN MARKET (37)

Scott Hawkins, Ferrisburgh, 180-7; Adam Gorton, Middlebury, 130-4; Charles Paolantonio, Monkton, 154-4.5; Zachary Wood, New Haven, 138-5; Cody Cyr, Waltham, 122-4; Brenden Hoag, Starksboro, 123-5; Kyle Delabruere, Bristol, 177-8; Matthew Shepard, Bristol, 112-4; Brian Lavoie, Ferrisburgh, 117-5; Jamie Pierce, Hinesburg, 142-7; Joshua Fitzgerald, Ira, 162-7; Eric Bingham, Middlebury, 160-4 (muzzleloader); Linda Stearns, Ferrisburgh, 138-5; Daniel Stearns, Ferrisburgh, 116-5; Chad Whittemore, Waltham, 114-4; Joanne Newell, New Haven, 148-6; Thomas Charnley, Monkton, 140-6; Rheal Gevry Jr., New Haven, 138-7; Victor Lavoie Jr., North Ferrisburgh, 115-3; Terry Hier, Weybridge, 117-4; Michael Coyle, Ferrisburgh, 170-6; Andrew Raymond, Ferrisburgh, 136-9; John Kenyon, Monkton, 138-5; Michael Safford, Monkton, 140-7; Mark Happer, New Haven, 171-6; Brett Jocelyn, Bristol, 133-9; Jordan Stearns, Middlebury, 148-4; Cody Barnum, Bristol, 128-3; John Palmer, New Haven, 146-7; Patrick Paquette, Bristol, 144-3; Emile Paquette, Bristol, 115-3; Scott Stearns, Ferrisburgh, 153-8; Mark Livingston, New Haven, 115-6; Conrad Aube, Monkton, 7-138; Paul Bodington, New Haven, 161-6; Brian Novak, Middlebury, 135-3; and Heidi Stearns, Cornwall, 163-8.

JERUSALEM COUNTRY STORE (24)

James Sweeney, Lincoln, 122-5; Ben Burnor, Hinesburg, 147-7; Corey Burnor, Hinesburg, 125-6; Adam Lafountain, Starksboro, 117-6; Anthony Porter, Buel’s Gore, 170-10; Jack Gracie, Lincoln, 123-4; Scott Heath, Huntington, 165-8; Bruce Rublee, Starksboro, 150-3; Henry Emmons Jr., Huntington, 167-7; Peter Bouvier, Starksboro, 162-8; Jerry Tatro, Huntington, 125-4; Meagan Bigelow, New Haven, 140-6; George Culver, Monkton, 143-7; Glenn Delibac, Warren, 120-4; Chris Haskins, Hanksville, 160-6; Ben Bigelow, Waitsfield, 130-3; Jason Barnard, Starksboro, 155-7; Jamesen Haddad, Huntington, 149-5; Larry Hill, East Middlebury, 140-4; Joseph Calevro, Richmond, 143-4; Mary Taft, Huntington, 142-3; Charles Spence, Huntington, 172-5; Holland Haskins, Starksboro, 171-6; and Brad Palmer, Charlotte, 170-12.

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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