Rifle season: Nice, but few bucks

ADDISON COUNTY — The final count of bucks weighed in Addison County during the 2014 rifle season ended up at a below-average total of 359, but weigh station operators all said the animals were mostly good-sized.

“A lot of nice deer were taken this year,” said Steve Ploof of East Middlebury’s C&S Hunting Supplies.

After nine years of Vermont’s much-debated 2005 law that banned rifle hunters from shooting two-point “spikehorn” bucks, Dick Phillips, owner of Vermont Field Sports in Middlebury, said more and more hunters are beginning to believe that the ban is meeting its goal of creating more trophy bucks.

“I think now there are a lot of people who are putting their arms around it,” Phillips said.

As for the total, the 359 from November compares to a local average of 378 over the past five years, with counts ranging from a low of 301 in 2009 to a high of 428 in 2010.

The rifle totals in the past two years were 421 in 2013 and 405 in 2012.

There were no easy explanations for the decline, as most hunters told store employees and owners they were seeing deer. Phillips continues to believe fewer hunters head out each year and has pointed in the past to the tendency of more land posted as off limits to hunters.

Vermont Field Sports manager Greg Boglioli said last week’s snowstorm probably was not to blame.

“I think that guys who track deer were pumped” to see the snow, Boglioli said.

Robert Bedell, owner of Bristol’s Green Mountain Trails End LLC, said it can just be difficult to come home with a deer here.

“A lot of the hunters were disappointed,” Bedell said. “But it’s Vermont. It is what it is.”

The earlier local 2014 Youth Hunting Weekend total of 107 came in at just about average. The Independent will report on the bow and muzzleloader counts later this month, and also evaluate the overall tally and average weights.

Despite the prevailing sense that the deer were healthy and large, only one killed during rifle season tipped the scales at 200 pounds, an eight-pointer that weighed exactly that amount and shot by Ryan Fortune in Cornwall and taken to New Haven’s Village Green Market.

During the opening weekend, four 190-plus pounders were shot, and since then hunters took down another nine of at least 190 pounds.

Four of those were weighed at Vermont Field Sports, including one that might have had the best blend of size and antlers, a 194-pound, 10-pointer Brent Newton killed in Waltham. Also taken to the Middlebury store were a 198-pound, 6-pointer killed by Jeff Hayes in Salisbury; a 194-pound, 6-pointer shot by Calihan Butler in Bristol; and a 191-pound, 4-pointer taken by Kenneth Lafountain in Monkton.

Kelly Barrows took the second-heaviest deer in rifle season, a 199-pound, 3-pointer, to the West Addison General Store, while Rusty Young took a 192-pound, 6-pointer to Buxton’s Store in Orwell.  

Rack and Reel at New Haven Junction weighed a 198-pound, 5-pointer that Nathan Kerr shot in Shoreham, and a 190-pound, 7-pointer that Dwayne Roberts killed in Addison.

Slightly smaller deer with impressive antler racks included a 187-pound, 11-pointer that Philip Lenz shot in Huntington and weighed at the Jerusalem Corners Country Store in Starksboro; a 165-pound, 10-pointer that Henry Bissonette took in Lincoln and had weighed at Rack and Reel; and a 164-pound, 10-pointer that Justin Maheu brought down in Salisbury and took to Vermont Field Sports.

The following hunters found success during the first two days of rifle season; they are listed by weigh station, name, town of kill, pounds and antler points.

VERMONT FIELD SPORTS

Jeff Hayes, Salisbury, 198-6; Calihan Butler, Bristol, 194-6; Brent Newton, Waltham, 194-10; Kenneth Lafountain, Monkton, 191-4; Steven Fifield, Whiting, 184-8; Daniel Spadaccini, Ripton, 180-6; Stacy Stevers, Middlebury, 179-6; Michael Barrett, Bridport, 173-5; Levi Doria, Ripton, 171-8; Bruce Cram, Cornwall, 170-4; Casey Butler, Middlebury, 167-6; Glenn Terk, Ripton, 165-7; Justin Maheu, Salisbury, 164-10; and Mark Trudeau, Middlebury, 156-6.

Also, Gilles Laroche, Salisbury, 156-6; Bryon Bishop, Goshen, 155-9; Dean Ouellette, Weybridge, 147-8; William Dutton, Leicester, 146-7; Gregory Raymond, Salisbury, 145-7; Christopher Stearns, Shoreham, 143-4; Christopher Sumner, Salisbury, 140-3; Corey Hurley, Middlebury, 140-6; William Lang, Cornwall, 140-4; Louis Poirier, Ripton, 138-4; Scott Whitman, Ripton, 137-8; Devin Dwire, Salisbury, 135-3; and Ethan Dragon, Ripton, 135-6.

Also, Patrick Foley, New Haven, 133-5; Craig Newton, Waltham, 129-6; Robert Taylor, Cornwall, 128-6; John Lucia, New Haven, 128-5; Fred Waite, Waitsfield, 125-4; Nicholas Ouellette, Bridport, 124-5; Stewart Hobbs, Cornwall, 123-5; Matthew Broughton, Weybridge, 123-4; and Nathan Peck, Ripton, 121-6.

Also, Rodney Bordeau, Salisbury, 120-5; Michael Desjadon, Ripton, 120-6; Neil Mackey, Ripton, 120-3; Stephen Aruzza, Middlebury, 116-5; Joseph Marcoux, Addison, 113-4; Tyler Pockette, Salisbury, 113-4; Danny Dragon, Salisbury, 110-6; and Phillip Williams, Cornwall, 110-3.

BUXTON’S STORE

Stephen Blaise, Rutland, 139-8; Jim Booska, Orwell, 185-8; Bob Douglas, Shoreham, 185-7; Rusty Young, Orwell, 192-6; Ben Alger, Orwell, 171-8; Allen Alger Jr., Orwell, 160-8; Peter Connor, Shoreham, 155-6; Glen Tupper, Orwell, 144-8; Ryan Bowles, Hubbardton, 105-6; Tyler Patterson, Shoreham, 180-8; Edward O’Neill, Castleton, 145-4; Brady Cook, Brandon, 122-4; Joe Pouliot, Orwell, 139-6; David Patterson, Shoreham, 143-5; and Jeff Disorda, Benson, 161-7.

Also, Phil King, West Haven, 170-5; Brian Wilson, Orwell, 143-4; Glen Hayward, Castleton, 140-7; Tom Williams, Cornwall, 142-6; Ray Mitchell, Orwell, 184-8; Courtney Christian, Orwell, 125-5; Curt Parent, Benson, 140-8; Roger Young, Orwell, 145-5; Skip Maynard, Orwell, 130-8; Larry Bishop, Orwell, 147-3; Travis Whittemore, Bridport, 138-8; Wyatt Forbes, Orwell, 160-8; Peter Orr, Hubbardton, 120-4; and Robby Ketcham, Sudbury, 152-4.

Also, Jeremy Quenneville, Orwell, 120-5; Brian Desforges, Bridport, 176-5; Skip Doane, Shoreham, 160-3; Terry Norris, Shoreham, 180-8; Paul Parent, Orwell, 136-8; Tim Langlois, Clarendon, 127-6; Dan Gosselin, Orwell, 149-6; Eric Russell, Orwell, no weight-3; Eric Travers, Hubbardton, 104-5; Edward Guinness, Orwell, 130-4; and Steve Myrick Jr., Bridport, 148-8.

Also, Aaron King, Orwell, 134-7; Jacob Kemp, Sudbury, 175-8; Wyatt Norris, Shoreham, 157-6; Jason Billings, Cornwall, 137-6; Kevin Birchmore, Sudbury, 154-8; David Hanson, Shoreham, 128-4; Del Frazier Jr., Orwell, 123-3; Jesse Booska, Orwell, 140-6; Steve Myrick, Bridport, 126-6; Tim Williams, Sudbury, 121-3; Robert Mulcahy, Sudbury, 176-6; and Jakob McDonough, Sudbury, 126-6.

C&S HUNTING SUPPLIES  

Steve Wilson, Cornwall, 143-8; Hunter Warner, Middlebury, 148-3; and Darcy Trudeau, Salisbury, 128-8.

LINCOLN GENERAL STORE

Brendan Moore, Fayson, 133-4; Brett Combs, Lincoln, 149-5; Chris Griggs, Lincoln, 146-7; Richard Antone, Williston, 109-4; Perry Kilbourn, Bristol, 148-4; Adam Thomas, Lincoln, 138-4; Zachary Laurie, Bristol, 125-5; Greg Tucker, Lincoln, 143-4; Ruth Antone, Williston, 185-7; Marc Swenor, Lincoln, 127-6; David Jerome, Lincoln, 143-6; Bradley Palmer, Charlotte, 144-6; Gary Barclay, Lincoln, 100-4; and Allen Noble, Starksboro, 152-7.

Also, Kenneth Curler, Lincoln, 146-6; Douglas Lowell, Starksboro, 147-8; Bryan Peck, Ripton, 130-4; Perry Thomas, Starksboro, 117-7; Carla Jimmo, Grand Isle, 103-6; Jason Russell, Lincoln, 146-8; Jesse Bashaw, Lincoln, 120-4; Nick Jennings, Lincoln, 123-5; Ray Martin, Ripton, 124-4; Chad Perlee, Bristol, 136-8; and Nelson O’Brian, Lincoln, 110-4.

PANTON GENERAL STORE

Tim Curler, New Haven, 129-4; David Johnson, Panton, 125-4; Alan Whittemore, Ferrisburgh, 140-5; Ben Paquin, Panton, 149-5; and Simon Flynn, Waltham, 125-3.

WEST ADDISON GENERAL

Ronald Petro, West Haven, 130-4; Kevin Payne, Shoreham, 145-7; Michael Quesnel, Bridport, 145-5; Kelley Barrows, Addison, 199-3; Roy Wood, Ferrisburgh, 180-5; Brent Perkins, Addison, 150-7; Brian Nolan, Panton, 142-5; and Francis Lalumiere, Addison, 146-6.

VILLAGE GREEN MARKET  

Langdon Smith Jr., New Haven, 118-5; Brent Jocelyn, Bristol, 127-6; Peter Funk, Cornwall, 157-4; Ryan Fortune, Cornwall, 200-8; and Pierre Laroche, Shoreham, 163-8.

RACK AND REEL

Jason Whittemore, Waltham, 146-9; Richard Brunet, Waltham, 154-5; Terry Hier, Weybridge, 139-7; Lyle Gallison, Ferrisburgh, 110-4; Nathan Kerr, Shoreham, 198-5; Eric Preston, Ferrisburgh, 167-3; Amber Sorrell, Starksboro, 177-8; Randy Butler, New Haven, 130-4; John Parker, Addison, 170-8; Timothy Curtis, Monkton, 117-5; Raymond Stearns, Ferrisburgh, 167-5; Mark Livingston, New Haven, 137-4; Bryan Boise, Cornwall, 140-6; Ryan Parker, Charlotte, 161-7; Justin Fitzsimmons, Ferrisburgh, 130-4; and Henry Bissonette, Lincoln, 165-10.

Also, Scott Jarvis, New Haven, 167-9; Kyle Cousino, Bristol, 130-4; Andrew Raymond, Ferrisburgh, 121-4; Dean Gilmore, New Haven, 121-4; Rheal Gevry Jr., Addison, 119-5; Dwayne Roberts, Addison, 190-7; Winston Hart, Ferrisburgh, 141-8; Adam Paquin, Panton, 148-6; Peter Viau, Addison, 150-4; Lance Perlee, New Haven, 161-8; Dylan Raymond, Ferrisburgh, 130-5; Devon Campbell, Bridport, 170-8; Guy Cousino, Middlebury, 163-6; Timothy Flynn, Waltham, 143-4; Leman Bronson, Monkton, 134-6; and Thomas Gould, Lincoln, 94-4.

GREEN MT. TRAILS END  

Donald Pepe, Whiting, 154-7; Andrea Wernhoff, Bristol, 110-4; Brian McCormick, Bristol, 154-6; Jeremy Jennings, New Haven, 144-4; Charles Rockwell, Bristol, 162-6; Jacob Sturtevant, Bristol, 106-3; Larry Marcelle, Waitsfield, 158-6; George Carty, Bristol, 125-3; and David Pepe, Whiting, 142-8.

JERUSALEM CORNER STORE  

Evan Deckers, Huntington, 169-7; Roland Haskins, Huntington, 156-8; Theodore Palmer, Huntington, 146-5; Richard Wixson, Huntington, 144-8; Eugene Martin, Starksboro, 140-6; John Gillette, Starksboro, 135-9; Thomas Carr, Starksboro, 124-4; Jason Berry, Lincoln, 124-4; Roland Haskins, Starksboro, 117-3; Tyler Sanville, Bristol, 103-3; Burton Shangraw, Huntington, 102-4; Ryan Whitcomb, Starksboro, 101-3; and Victor Atkins Jr., Starksboro, 172-6.

Also, Philip Lenz, Huntington, 187-11; William Wetherbee, Huntington, 186-8; Bruce Taft, Huntington, 180-4; Patrick Fitzgerald, Huntington, 180-5; Dustin Haselton, Buel’s Gore, 167-4; Todd Weston, Huntington, 150-8; Mary Taft, Huntington, 145-7; Alan Schmidt, Starksboro, 142-4; Matthew Niquette, Starksboro, 140-4; Danny Grace, Bristol, 136-6; Taylor Gingras, Starksboro, 136-8; and Seth Clifford, Starksboro, 135-6.

Also, David Lee, Starksboro, 135-5; Robert Cote, Huntington, 130-4; Charles Spence, Huntington, 129-4; John Kelley, Huntington, 128-4; Alexander Rust, Starksboro, 125-8; Christopher Breen, Starksboro, 121-4; Kevin Haskins, Starksboro, 120-4; Stanley Bigelow, New Haven, 115-3; Bryan Thibault, Huntington, 110-6; and Brian Russin, Huntington, 107-3.

Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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