Deer seasons productive overall

ADDISON COUNTY — During archery, rifle and muzzleloader seasons and Youth Hunting Weekend in October, November and December, Addison County weigh stations handled 772 deer, the third lowest total in the past eight years.
But that total is misleading. Department of Fish and Wildlife officials earlier this year decided not to issue doe permits to muzzleloader hunters in wildlife zones that included virtually all of Addison County.
That decision resulted in the lowest local muzzleloader deer kill in eight years and the lowest combined archery/muzzleloader season totals since 2011, the least successful area deer year overall in recent memory.
This year only 44 deer were  reported locally in the December muzzleloader season, compared to an average of about 125 the past two years.
Dick Phillips, owner of Vermont Field Sports in Middlebury, said the department’s ruling also led many hunters to decide not to hit the woods during the muzzleloader season, which ran from Dec. 5 to Dec. 12 and also included the second half of archery season.
“That’s going to take down the number of hunters, too,” Phillips said. “A lot of people just didn’t go.”
The lack of snow compounded the problems for the eight-day season, according to Robert Bedell, owner of Bristol’s Green Mountain Trail’s End. Hunters who rely on tracks to help pin down deer’s location didn’t get any help from the weather, Bedell said.
“The weather was not cooperative and took the gas right out of the tank,” he said. “You could hunt in the wrong spot the whole season. A week is not too long.”
With a more typical December season, the final numbers could have been better than average, even with Youth Hunting Weekend coming in at 78 deer taken, less than the roughly 100 usually weighed in Addison County.
The total of 444 deer weighed locally during rifle season was the highest in 13 years and the most in the county since Fish and Wildlife regulations changed in 2005, when a ban on shooting younger spikehorn bucks during rifle season went into effect.
And October’s archery season, which runs for almost the entire month, saw hunters take down 206 deer, compared to 152 in 2014 and 132 in 2013. This year’s October bow season approached the combined total of 232 for both the October and December bow and muzzleloader seasons in 2011, when poor weather plagued hunters and a tough previous winter thinned the deer herd.
The best deer hunting year in the past eight came in 2008, when the combined total from October, November and December locally came in at 1,024.
The full scan from the past seven years, as measured in deer weighed in the county, is:
•  In 2015, 772 deer (444 rifle, 78 youth, 206 bow, 44 muzzleloader).
•  In 2014, 724 deer (359 rifle, 107 youth, 152 bow, 106 muzzleloader).
•  In 2013, 807 deer (421 rifle, 109 youth, 132 bow, 145 muzzleloader).
•  In 2012, 875 deer (405 rifle, 124 youth, and 346 bow/muzzleloader).
•  In 2011, 671 (329 rifle, 110 youth, 232 bow/muzzleloader).
•  In 2010, 1,021 (428 rifle, 95 youth weekend, 498 bow/muzzleloader).
•  In 2009, 840 (301 rifle, 91 youth, 448 bow/muzzleloader).
Despite some early evidence that weights might be up and the dramatic increase in the number of 200-pound bucks killed this year — two in archery season, three in youth weekend and seven in rifle season compared to just one in all of 2014 — in the end weights overall were not up.
According to Independent calculations, the average weights of bucks killed during rifle season this year essentially tracked with 2014, 144 pounds this November compared to 145 pounds in November a year ago.
Those numbers are both higher than the recent low of 141 pounds in 2013, but are in line with other recent years for average weights of bucks weighed locally: 146 pounds in 2012 and 144 pounds in 2011. The average in both 2008 and 2009 was 141 pounds.
Weigh station operators generally say the uptick in weight started in 2011 after the 2005 rules change.
Bow hunters weighed locally two deer that topped 200 pounds, including the single biggest deer killed in the county this year, a 234-pound, eight-point specimen Mike Matot killed in Shoreham and weighed at Buxton’s Store in Orwell.
Buxton’s also handled the other 200-pounder, one that Eric Steele took down in Sudbury that tipped the scales at 205 pounds and had an exceptional 10-point rack. According to Buxton’s owner Doug Edwards the deer scored highly on the Boone-Crockett system used to rate antler racks.
The Independent reported the names and size of deer killed in rifle season and over Youth Hunting Weekend in earlier editions.
The following hunters brought deer to one of the local reporting stations during the bow or muzzleloader seasons. They are listed by name, town of kill, and pounds and points if a buck or gender if a doe.
BOW: Ralph Brown, Middlebury, 174-6; Barry Delphia, Leicester, 145-6; Stever Bartlett, Cornwall, 143 doe; James Payne, Cornwall, 132-8; Todd Kennedy, Brandon, 130-6; George Scribner, Leicester, 126-4; Craig Newton, Waltham, 125 doe and 70 female; Andrew Hutchinson, Leicester, 124 doe; Brian Webb, Middlebury, 123 doe; Terry Aldrich, Cornwall, 122 doe; and Frank Raymond, Addison, 120 doe.
Also, James Reynolds, Salisbury, 119-4; Cameron Forbes, Ripton, 118 doe; Casey Butler, Middlebury, 117-4; Sean Sullivan, Middlebury, 116 doe; Timothy Little, Orwell, 116 doe; Barry Forbes, Middlebury, 115-4; Cameron Forbes, Lincoln, 115 doe; Chris Ringey, Cornwall, 113-5; Leonard Desjadon, New Haven, 112 doe; Asa Sargent, Ripton, 111 doe; Lyle Webb, Ripton, 110-4 and 62 female; John Austin, Weybridge, 108 doe; Frank Raymond, Addison, 107 doe; and Stephen Blaise, Pittsfield, 107 doe.
Also, Randy Cameron, Ferrisburgh, 107 doe; Chase Goodrich, Salisbury, 105 doe; Jesse Otis, Addison, 101 doe; Paul Long, Ripton, 101 doe; Bruce Cheever, Middlebury, 97 doe; Jonathan Bassett, Cornwall, 96 doe; Brian Webb, Ripton, 96 doe; Calvin Loven, Shoreham, 95 doe and 80 female; Dean Ouellette, Weybridge, 95 doe; Terrence Ferson, Middlebury, 90 doe; Richard Terk, Lincoln, 90 doe; Lee Ann Ringey, Whiting, 68 female; Lawrence Kaufmann, Shoreham, 65 male; Robert Benoure, South Hero, 62 male; and Jamie Smith, Shoreham, 45 female.
MUZZLELOADER: Ronald Berthiaume, Salisbury, 143-4; Thomas Murphy, Lincoln, 132-7; Elwood Martin, Pawlet, 116 doe; Gregory Gearwar, Brandon, 106-3; David Dupoise, Hubbardton, 96-3; and Robert Clark, Hubbardton, 71 female.
BOW: Scott Brace, Ferrisburgh, 186-6; Adam Gorton, Middlebury, 176-4; Derek Campbell, Ferrisburgh, 140-4; Jeremy Francis, Bridport, 136 doe and 74 female; Chad Phillips, Huntington, 132-8; Eric Wedge, Waltham, 128-6; Dyllinger Higbee, Monkton, 128-5; Gary Hallock, Monkton, 117-6; Geoffrey Hesslink, Salisbury, 116 doe; Christopher Melendy, Bridport, 113 doe; Chris Burritt, Bristol, 113 doe; John Parker, Addison, 112 doe; Casey Huizenga, Monkton, 112 doe; Andrea Harvey, Charlotte, 112 doe; Skylar Silloway, New Haven, 111 doe; and Cody Barnum, Monkton, 110 doe.
Also, Charles Paolontonio, Monkton, 109 doe; Andre Deering, Bridport, 107 doe; Tyler Flynn, Addison, 100 doe; Heather Ploof, Salisbury, 98 doe; Kenneth Sullivan, Panton, 96 doe; Frank Raymond, Addison, 95 doe; Andrew Piper Whiting, 94 doe; Christian Paquin, Panton, 91 doe; Alan Clark, Lincoln, 90 doe; Andy Gendreau, Monkton, 83 doe; Cole Lossman, Bristol, 70 female; Adam Flynn, Monkton, 67 male; Courtney Morin, Addison, 60 male; Daniel Sweet, Ferrisburgh, 56 male; and Jason Cousino, New Haven, 54 female. 
MUZZLELOADER: Richard Choque, New Haven, 113-5; Robert Benoure, Grand Isle, 111 doe; Kyle Delabruere, Bristol, 104-4; Leman Bronson, Pittsford, 101 doe; Joseph Benoit, Hubbardton, 97 doe; and Cory Cheever, West Haven, 71 doe.
BOW: Cale Pelland, Lincoln, 110 doe; Eugene Doe, New Haven, 80 buck; Daniel Crossman, Lincoln, 102 doe; Todd Jennings, New Haven, 112-3 buck; Harold Chamberlain, New Haven, 98 doe; Frank Stanley, Monkton, 162-6; Craig Cheever, New Haven, 104 doe; David Kirby, Bristol, 110-5; and Brant Jocelyn, Bristol, 111 doe.
MUZZLELOADER: Andre Rheaume, New Haven, 112 buck; Cale Pelland, Ira, 128 doe; Daniel Nugent, Florence, 107 doe; and Peter Funk, Castleton, 139 doe.
BOW: Travis White, Middlebury, 132 doe; Mark Deering, Cornwall, 85 doe; Daniel Bromley, Starksboro, 115 doe and 111 doe; Larry Marcelle, Moretown, 95 doe; Wilbur Clark, Lincoln, 106 doe; Josh Roscoe, Bristol, 92 doe and 112 doe; Matthew Bartlett, Bristol, 115 doe; Adam Whitcomb, Starksboro, 120 doe; Caleb Tucker, Salisbury, 114 doe; David Gagnon, New Haven, 102 doe; Johnny Chamberlain, Starksboro, 143 doe; Robert Jennings, Starksboro, 110 doe; Dustin Whitcomb, Middlebury, 80 doe; Kevin Masse, New Haven, 109 doe; Donald Pepe, Whiting, 99 doe; Jonathan Jennings, Bristol, 105-5; Britney Ramsey, New Haven, 109 doe; Jody Brown, Lincoln, 126 doe; Cory Jennings, Charlotte, 109 doe; Henry Ramsey, Lincoln, 48 fawn; William Geehan, Lincoln, 167-8; and Justin Malzac, Ripton, 83-3.
MUZZLELOADER: Pernell Bedell, Buel’s Gore, 94-4, and Jordan Fritz, Lincoln, 106-4.
BOW: Zachary Laurie, Bristol, 120 doe; Robert Labossier, Lincoln, 124 doe; Matt Brown, Lincoln, 76 doe; Nick Mayer, Lincoln, 152-4; Brett Sargent, Lincoln, 152-6 and 120 doe; Peter Moyer, Lincoln, 115 doe; Todd Roscoe, Lincoln, 103 doe; Robert Jimmo, Lincoln, 116 doe; Andrew Cousino, Lincoln, 125 doe; Cody Course, Starksboro, 63 fawn and 60 fawn; Mark Cousino, Lincoln, 111 doe; and Taylor Mason, Lincoln, 101 doe.
MUZZLELOADER: Stanley Sargent, Lincoln, 135 doe, and James Webb, Lincoln, 146-9.
BOW: Richard Shimel, Bridport, 138 doe; James Anderson, Addison, 120 doe; Kevin Payne, Shoreham, 110 doe; Mercedes Forbes, Bridport, 80 male; Eric Campbell, Ferrisburgh, 105 doe; Dwayne Roberts, Shoreham, 118 doe; Daniel White, Ferrisburgh, 102 buck; Zachary Comeau, Ferrisburgh, 93 doe; Thomas Barrows, Ferrisburgh, 95 doe; Herbert Glidden, Bridport, 132 doe; Devin Campbell, Addison, 103 doe; Jamison Bannister, Addison, 62 male; Kevin Reed, Addison, 94 doe; and James Towle, Addison, 110-4.
MUZZLELOADER: Michael Holler, Panton, 134-3, and Edmund Brooks, Rupert, 108 doe.
BOW: Mike Matot, Shoreham, 234-8; Eric Steele, Sudbury, 205-10; Ed Lanpher, Shoreham, 185-7; Keith Betourney, Bridport, 116-6; Travis Little, Shoreham, 117-3; Roger Dunn, Orwell, 83 doe; Michael Dame, Shoreham, 108 doe; Ben Algers, Orwell, 125-6; Glenn Telgen, Shoreham, 198-6; Darren Ouellette, Shoreham 111 doe; Dan Gosselin, Orwell, 134-6; Dylan Lanpher, Shoreham, 136 doe; Tim Little, Shoreham, 115 doe. John Hutchins, Sudbury, 157-5; Darryl Davis, Shoreham, 114 doe; Dave Laberge, Shoreham, 160 doe; Tom Blackbird, West Haven, 105-5; Sondra Alexander, Cornwall, 107 doe; Todd Huntley, Benson, 181-6; Eric Dalley, Orwell, 113 doe; Cody Steele, Shoreham, 117 doe; Jeremy Quenneville, Orwell, 86 doe; Bret Huntley, Benson, 103 doe; Steve Brileya, Shoreham, 120 doe; Larry Bishop, Orwell, 105-4; Mike Chicoine, Shoreham, 123 doe; Taylor Patterson, Shoreham, 113 doe; Bret Williams, Sudbury, 144-4; Steve Pyenta, Fairhaven, 98 doe; Shane Beayon, Castleton, 108 doe; Dennis Cummings, Orwell, 135-4; Michael Dame, West Haven, 122 doe; Steve Bartlett, Cornwall, 182-8; Brock Quesnel, Shoreham, 109 doe; Casey Barry, Bridport, 101 doe; and Steve Myrick Jr., Bridport, 132 doe.
MUZZLELOADER: Matt Corey, Castleton, 120 doe; Kyle Campbell, Orwell, 125 doe; Devin Russell, Rupert, 156 doe; Dale Barber, Shoreham, 168-5; Jason D’Avignon, Orwell, 158 doe; Louis Lee, Orwell, 148-5; Dell Frazier Sr., Orwell, 160 doe; Ben McKinney, Orwell, 92 doe; Wyatt Forbes, Orwell, 132 doe; Robert Whittemore, Orwell, 100 doe; Kevin Stocker, Orwell, 130 doe; and Darryl Davis, Shoreham, 137-5.
BOW: Kristin Butler, New Haven, 124-6; Scott Bougor, Middlebury, 108 doe; Travis White, Middlebury, 122-4; Leonard Desjadon Jr., Salisbury, 128-4; Peter McDurfee, Shoreham, 112 doe; Mark Chapman, Shoreham, 50 female; Cory Newton, Middlebury, 97 doe; Shawn Warner, Middlebury, 106 doe; and Joshua Quinn, Weybridge, 86 doe.
BOW: Adam Whitcomb, Starksboro, 80 doe; Corey Shepard, Starksboro, 118 doe; Gerry Lafreniere, Starksboro, 103 doe; Chad Phillips, Huntington, 102 doe; Gabriel Meader, Starksboro, 117-4; Victor Atkins, Lincoln, 110 doe; Erin Dalley, Starksboro, 106 doe; Thomas Utter, Hinesburg, 115 doe; Chad Shepard, New Haven, 60 pounds; Eric Larose, Lincoln, 94 doe; and Paul Morse, Waitsfield, 112 doe.
Also, Jeff Mayo, Lincoln, 79 doe; Heath Butler, Starksboro, 118 doe; Erik Mayer, Starksboro, 101-3; Rollin Jimmo, Lincoln, 92 doe; Ronald Meunier, Waitsfield, 123 doe; Hugh Delibac, Waitsfield, 129-0; Tyler Utter, Hinesburg, 120-4; Roy Catella, Warren, 134-5; and Benjamin Turner, Bristol, 110 doe and 107-3.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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