Rifle deer season opens with bang-up weekend; big numbers build on youth, bow results

ADDISON COUNTY — Area deer hunters enjoyed the second best opening weekend of rifle season since 2005, bringing 242 bucks to an Addison County weigh station on this past Nov. 11 or 12.
That total of deer taken came just seven short of 2016’s opening weekend kill of 249. That total was the best opening weekend result since Vermont wildlife officials in 2005 banned the taking of spikehorn bucks during November’s 16-day rifle season, the most popular of the state’s deer hunting seasons.
The 2016 rifle season total then went on to finish at 573 weighed locally, also the best total since 2005.
In 2015 hunters weighed 188 deer locally during the opening weekend. Opening weekend totals between 2011 and 2014 ranged from 122 to 154.
Last year eventually proved to be the most successful year for local hunters since 2005. Counting all of the 2016 deer seasons — including animals taken during the October archery season (206), Youth Hunting Weekend (94), rifle season (573), and December’s combined archery and muzzleloader season (191) — hunters brought 1,064 deer to one of the county’s nine reporting stations.
This year’s overall numbers are putting 2017 on a record-breaking track when the opening rifle total is included.
Youth hunters on Nov. 4 and 5 brought 110 deer to be weighed locally, an increase of 16 over 2016, and in the month-long archery season that ended in early November 254 hunters had deer weighed locally (with one weigh station not reporting), an increase of 48 over 2016.
In all, this year local hunters are at least 57 deer ahead of last year’s record pace post-2005.  
And, like last year, weigh station operators report the herd looks good, even if 200-pounders were scarce.
“We’ve had some monster deer,” said Andy Buxton, owner of Orwell’s Buxton’s Store.
Buxton’s weighed the only 200-pound deer, one exactly that weight, an 8-pointer shot by Emilee Huntley in Orwell. But Buxton noted his store handled a 195-pounder (a 6-pointer Jon Audet shot in Orwell), a half-dozen that tipped the scales at more than 180 pounds, and another dozen that weighed more than 170.
Other notable deer weighed over opening weekend included a 196-pound, 9-pointer taken by Randy Cameron in Ferrisburgh and weighed at Rack N’ Reel in New Haven; a 193-pound, 10-pointer shot by William Swett in Starksboro and handled at Jerusalem Corners Country Store in South Starksboro; and a 192-pound, 9-pointer Matthew DeBlois killed in Ferrisburgh that he took to Rack N’ Reel.
Lincoln General Store owner Vaneasa Stearns summed up the consensus: “It was a great weekend, nice racks, healthy deer.”
Hunters who were successful shooting bucks on opening weekend and had their deer weighed locally were (listed by name, town of kill, pounds and points):
Leon Demers, New Haven, 190 pounds-8 points; Jeremie Butterfield, Middlebury, 172-7; Michael Loven, Middlebury, 171-10; Carl Murray, Middlebury, 170-8; Daniel Gaotti, Salisbury, 168-8; Daniel Whitney, Salisbury, 167-8; Michael Palmer, Ripton, 162-8; David Dupoise, Middlebury, 165-4; Kevin Sullivan, Ripton, 162-8; Bruce Cram, Ripton, 160-6; George Martin, New Haven, 160-6; and George Malinowski, Leicester, 160-6.
Also, David Fuller, Bridport, 158-6; Raven Payne, Cornwall, 155-8; David Wemette, Salisbury, 14-6; Albert Hobbs, Middlebury, 154-3; Giovaniana Price, Ripton, 153-5; Christopher Berry, Bristol, 152-8; Fred Raymond, Salisbury, 151-6; Ronald Stevers, Middlebury, 149-9; Duncan Tilford, Ripton, 148-6; Melanie Gaiotti, Salisbury, 146-6; Nicholas O’Keefe, Castleton, 145-5; and Charles Torrey, Salisbury, 144-3.
Also, Davis Bodette, New Haven, 143-4; Casey Babcock, Leicester, 142-6; Tyler Pockette, Salisbury, 139-6; Brent Jocelyn, Bristol, 137-5; Glenn Terk, Tipton, 136-6; Jonathan Clark, Salisbury, 135-8; Denise Johnson-Terk, Ripton, 131-4; Maurice Rheaume, Middlebury, 130-3; Andrew Malzac, Ripton, 128-6; and Ronald Berthiaume, Salisbury, 121-7.
Also, Paul Malzac, Ripton, 120-6; William Maloy, Sudbury, 116-3; Timothy Yandow, New Haven, 115-4; Kegan Brown, Salisbury, 114-3; Jay Malinowski, Leicester, 112-4; Jordan Broughton, Weybridge, 110-4; James Brown, Ripton, 105-4; and Frank Kurek, Ripton, 99-5.
Randy Cameron, Ferrisburgh, 196-9; Matthew DeBlois, Ferrisburgh, 192-9; Frank Galipeau, Shelburne, 180-8; Darren Muzzy, Ferrisburgh, 170-10; Brian Lavoie, Ferrisburgh, 169-7; Bruce Smith, Monkton, 168-8; Jerad Gorton, New Haven, 167-7; Harley Grice, Middlebury, 164-10; Jacob Lafleche, Ferrisburgh, 159-4; Eric Dalley, New Haven, 159-8; and Robert Armstrong, Johnson, 158-4.
Also, Richard Choquette, New Haven, 157-5; Daniel Sweet, Ferrisburgh, 156-8; Charles Ringer, Weybridge, 156-5; Brian Morin, Addison, 156-5; Brian Larock, Hinesburg, 155-4; Andrew Tracy, Monkton, 155-8; Chauncy Barrows, Ferrisburgh, 155-7; Stephen Gutowski, Ferrisburgh, 155-8; Daniel Valentine, New Haven, 154-7; Maxwell Flynn, New Haven, 154-6; and William Smits, Bridport, 154-4.
Also, Jon Boise, Monkton, 153-5; James Giard, Shoreham, 153-5; Kim Goodell, New Haven, 152-7; Dewey Barrows, Lincoln, 152-3; Bryan Peck, Ripton, 151-6; Travis Scribner, Monkton, 150-7; Johnathan Hill New Haven, 147-9; Andy Gendreau, Monkton, 145-9; Adam Flynn, Monkton, 143-3; Jacob Linehan, Monkton, 143-6; and Shawn Murray, Hinesburg, 143-6.
Also, John Dugan, New Haven, 142-4; David Hurlburt, Monkton, 141-8; Erik Saggerson, Monkton, 141-3; Daniel Stearns, Ferrisburgh, 140-4; Mehmed Jandric, Monkton, 136-4; Ben Freund, Monkton, 133-8; Eric Raymond, Addison, 131-6; Matthew Hunter, Hinesburg, 130-4; Matthew Sweeney, New Haven, 129-6; Alan Mayer, Middletown Springs, 129-4; and Dyllinger Higbee, Monkton, 129-4.
Also, Charles Paolontonio, Monkton, 128-3; Daniel Flynn, Addison, 128-3; Sean Dike, Ferrisburgh, 128-5; Eric Boise, New Haven, 127-4; Jessica Thompson, Addison, 127-3; John Halpin, Middlebury, 126-4; Christian Day, New Haven, 125-3; Timothy Paquette, Waltham, 125-4; Seth Kittredge, Bristol, 122-4; Daniel Bushey, Starksboro, 122-6; and Tony Bushey, Ferrisburgh, 121-7.
Also, Abigail Stearns, Ferrisburgh, 121-3; Daryl Tribou, Addison, 119-6; Patrick Deering, Cornwall, 119-5; Jacob Lafrance, Ferrisburgh, 117-4; Matthew Titus, Ferrisburgh, 116-3; Casey Huizenga, Monkton, 115-4; Damon Boudreau, New Haven, 115-4; and Joshua Hanlon, Ferrisburgh, 112-3.
Also Skylar Silloway, Williston, 112-3; Bradley Carleton, Charlotte, 112-4; Henry Gund, Bristol, 109-4; Raymond Shepard, Monkton, 107-6; Goia Dimaggio, New Haven, 106-4; David Huizenga, Monkton, 105-3; and Jeffrey Jerger, Ferrisburgh, 100-4.
Andre Fletcher, Orwell, 184-8; Christopher Mongeur, Shoreham, 136-4; Dean Ouellette, Orwell, 131-5; Emilee Huntley, Orwell, 200-8; Devin Lowell, Orwell, 124-6; Carter Audet, Orwell, 176-6; Richard, Groman, Bridport, 110-5; Bryan Young, Orwell, 149-6; Shirley Bowen, Orwell, 121-4; Jon Audet, Orwell, 195-6; Jacques Litch, Orwell, 120-4; and Michael Dame, Shoreham, 146-3.
Also, Tyler Barber, Shoreham, 185-4; David Stearns, Orwell, 171-4; Ryan Fraser, Shoreham, 162-6; Zachary Fraser, Shoreham, 155-7; Jim Ryan, Shoreham, 120-3; Steven Brileya, Shoreham, 180-7; Jonathan Alger, Shoreham, 129-12; Zakk Williams, Brandon, 166-8; Eugene Sheldrick, Salisbury, 142-5; Hunter Birchmore, Whiting, 123-4; and Bret Williams, Whiting, 126-6.
Also, Jeffery Hornbeck, Whiting, 180-8; Jason D’Avignon, Orwell, 184-6; Timothy Williams, Sudbury, 146-5; John Williams, Whiting, 127-4; Siri Swanson, Orwell, 175-7; Travis Laduke, Shoreham, 142-3; Mark Reginbald, Shoreham, 138-6; Sean Paquette, Orwell, 124-4; Jeffrey Booska, Orwell, 138-6; Timothy Birchmore, Sudbury, 124-7; and Jeff Laberge, Shoreham, 127-3.
Also, Justin Quenneville, Whiting, 164-9; Jarod Wilcox, Hubbardton, 132-8; Zachary King, West Haven, 108-5; Rex Corey, Orwell, 137-4; Benjamin Alger, Orwell, 153-6; Jordan Bradish, Sudbury, 112-5; Timothy Smith, Orwell, 135-5; Stephanie Corey, Orwell, 124-3; John Reed, Hubbardton, 138-8; Heath Genier, Fair Haven, 175-7; Daniel Ellis, Orwell, 153-5; Adrian Brower, Fair Haven, 130-5; Garrett Tupper, Orwell, 129-5; and James Booska, Orwell, 167-8.
Damion Mitchell, Charlotte, 122-4; Randy Blanchard, Monkton, 116-4; Christopher Larson, Huntington, 153-5; Grant Lewis, Huntington, 138-4; Bradley Stokes, Starksboro, 132-6; David Little, Huntington, 166-4; Miles Russell, Starksboro, 163-8; Burton Shangraw, Huntington, 162-4; William Swett, Starksboro, 193-10; Steven Bissonette, Middlesex, 131-6; and Michael Gay, Starksboro, 136-6.
Also, Patrick Lampart, Huntington, 138-4; Daniel Brooks, Hinesburg, 107-4; Peter Reposa, Starksboro, 162-6; Matthew Brace, Huntington, 142-6; Ryan Whitcomb, Bristol, 115-5; Francis Jennings, Starksboro, 143-7; Benjamin Turner, Lincoln, 130-3; Kristopher Tenney-Lawyer, Huntington, 158-4; Erin Dalley, Lincoln, 144-4; Brandon Thibault, Huntington, 137-8; Albert Thibault, Huntington, 153-8; Alan Schmidt, Starksboro, 122-3; and Thomas Young, Huntington, 120-5.
Jody Brown, Lincoln, 160-8; Matt Elder, Starksboro, 111-6; Timothy Fournier, Hinesburg, 102-3; Dave Rideout, Lincoln, 156-8; Louis Brown, Lincoln, 114-4; Richard Manning, Ripton, 153-4; Robert Lowell, Starksboro, 173-7; Patrick Albertini, Ripton, 110-6; Shawn Laurie, Lincoln, 154-4; Christopher Griggs, Bristol, 131-5; Robert Patterson, Lincoln, 141-4; Dave Cavoretto, Lincoln, 159-8; Alan Kamman, Lincoln, 113-5; Patrick Hendee, Starksboro, 174-7; Adam Donnelly, Lincoln, 166-8; Brett Sargent, Lincoln, 166-6; John Wisell, Lincoln, 183-7; Ty Combs, Lincoln, 137-4; Michael Brennan, Monkton, 144-4; and Thomas Millette, Lincoln, 133-6.
Brandon Richards, Addison, 124-4; Kelly Barrows, Ferrisburgh, 199-8; Nathan Fleming, Addison, 127-4; Shepherd Carter, Panton, 177-2; Justin Bolduc, Addison, 138-4; William Brown, Ferrisburgh, 123-3; Kevin Reed, Addison, 114-4; James Anderson, Bridport, 180-8; Richard Shimel, Bridport, 119-6; Ben LaFlam, Panton, 117-3; Timothy Johnston, Addison, 130-5; Charles Bradford, Addison, 135-7; Jeff Bishop, Cornwall, 132-4; Francis Lalumiere, Addison, 120-3; and Ryan McLean, Bridport, 122-4.
Derek Whitcomb, Bristol, 129-4; Jacob Lathrop, Bristol, 135-3; Doug Butler, Middlebury, 153-5; Kim Butler, Bristol, 149-4; Casey Butler, Middlebury, 180-8; Mike Menard, Bristol, 140-7; Mike White, Starksboro, 145-5; Damon Power, Starksboro, 123-5; Alexis Lathrop, Middlebury, 132-4; Adam Whitcomb, Starksboro, 116-8; Bob Patterson, Lincoln, 146-4; Chris Darling, New Haven, 179-8; Paul Porter, Starksboro, 157-7; Evan Eaton, Lincoln, 119-6; Kevin Clark, Cornwall, 128-8; Tom Lathrop, Starksboro, 163-7; Callahan Butler, Bristol, 148-6; Brock Francis, Hinesburg, 125-4; Brent Francis, Hinesburg, 147-4; Richard Fritz, Lincoln, 162-6.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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