ADDISON COUNTY — Despite uncooperative weather and inconsistent reports about the presence of deer, the number of bucks taken to Addison County’s weigh stations during the just-concluded 16-day rifle season ended up being the second-highest since 2003.
That year marked the last season before the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife adopted new rules banning rifle hunters from shooting at bucks with fewer than three antler points.
In all, hunters weighed 405 deer this year at county reporting stations, an increase of about 23 percent from the 2011 total of 329.
The best rifle season since 2003 came in 2010, when hunters had 428 deer weighed at local stations. Other seasons have ranged from 301 in a disappointing 2009 to 388 in 2008, the third-highest area rifle season count since the new rules.
The rifle results followed the most productive local Youth Hunting Weekend since the event was expanded from one day to two in 2002. In all, young hunters had 124 deer weighed in Addison County after shooting them on Nov. 3 and 4, a 13 percent increase over a year ago and one better than the next best area total, 123 in 2006.
State Fish and Wildlife officials said they have yet to receive enough data to draw any conclusions about statewide trends. Their early bow season results showed a 20 percent increase, and the department estimated that the state’s deer herd grew by 2,000 from last year to a total of 125,000.
The Independent will publish bow and muzzleloader results in mid-December after the muzzleloader season concludes, and at that point also analyze weight trends and the overall area deer kill.
Many hunters and weigh station operators said the warm weather that held sway for most of rifle season made hunting harder: Colder weather typically prompts deer to move more often, and tracking was not possible given the lack of snow cover.
Lincoln General Store owner Vaneasa Stearns noted Monday’s snow and cold.
“Today would have been a great day for them to hunt. Day late and a dollar short,” Stearns said. “That warm stretch was a downer for them.”
Vermont Field Sports manager Greg Boglioli heard some hunters who came into the Middlebury store say they just weren’t seeing deer, but not all shared that opinion. It seemed to depend on where they were hunting, he said, or just the luck of the draw.
“There were people saying that, and there were also people saying they saw deer all over,” Boglioli said.
Boglioli was mildly surprised to hear the numbers ended up relatively strong, because he and other Field Sports workers noticed a trend of hunters leaving Vermont to seek their trophies elsewhere this fall.
He concluded those who stayed were generally successful and knowledgeable.
“It’s nice to know the guys who actually went out to find deer found deer,” Boglioli said.
Most operators — including Melissa Germond at Buxton’s Store and Stearns — thought that deer weights would end up heavier than in 2011.
“I thought they were beautiful,” Stearns said. “I felt it was a great year.”
In 2011, deer weight rose by more than 3 percent, in part because seven bucks weighing more than 200 pounds were taken during rifle season.
Hunters matched that total during this rifle season:
The largest was taken by Jesse Booska, a 218-pound, 8-pointer shot in Orwell. Two tipped the scales at 215 pounds and had 8 points and were both also weighed at Buxton’s: Glenn Telgen killed one in Shoreham, and Eric Russell brought the other one down in Orwell.
New Haven’s Village Green Market weighed four 200-pounders, one that might have offered the best combination of size and antlers, a 203-pound, 10-pointer that Scott Stearns shot in Ferrisburgh. Also weighed there was a 203-pound, 7-pointer Kevin Kayhart shot in Waltham, and a 200-pound, 8-pointer Cody Barnum killed in Monkton.
Travis Paquette had a 218-pound, 8-pointer weighed at the Village Green Market, but it had only been field-dressed; unlike the other animals its heart, lungs and liver had not been removed.
John Palmer’s buck that was weighed at Vermont Field Sports came up just short of 200 pounds, a 198-pound, 8-pointer.
Two hunters might end up with the best wall displays: Robert Ketcham shot a 180-pound, 11-pointer in Cornwall that was weighed at Buxton’s, and Ambrose Cousino killed a 186-pound, 11-pointer in Hinesburg that he had weighed at the Village Green Market.
The following hunters had bucks weighed at Addison County reporting stations since the opening weekend of rifle season (the first weekend’s results were reported Nov. 15); their deer are listed by town of kill, pounds and points:
Adam Broughton, Bridport, 154-7; Ray Cook Jr., Florence, 141-4; Chip Maynard, Orwell, 168-6; Russell Bishop Sr., Shoreham, 155-7; Russell Bishop Jr., Shoreham, 166-6; Allen Alger Jr., Orwell, 175-7; Phil Williams, Cornwall, 150-6; Ronald Kerr, Shoreham, 140-5; Leo Larocque, Middlebury, 135-5; Michael Eastman, Orwell, 129-6; Matthew Lajeunesse, Whiting, 134-3; Corey Barry, Bridport, 141-4; Jason D’Avignon, Orwell, 157-7; Matt Mulcahy, Sudbury, 154-5; Jeff Hornbeck, Shoreham, 164-6; and Brian Kemp, Sudbury, 145-6.
Also, Tucker Cummings, West Haven, 115-5; Mike Shaw, Orwell, 135-6; Glen Cousineau, Orwell, 165-8; Wright Myrick, Bridport, 173-8; Jeremy Audet, Orwell, 117-4; Hunter Birchmore, Sudbury, 168-8; Jameson Kirby, Orwell, 115-4; Eugene Field, Shoreham, 138-6; Brian Ketcham, Sudbury, 145-5; Dylan Lanpher, Shoreham, 143-5; Cathy Alger, Orwell, 154-8; Ronald Alger, Hubbardton, 145-4; Tracy Tupper, Orwell, 140-5; Tim O’Neill, Castleton, 137-8; Mike Mulligan, Shoreham, 165-3; and Mark Brisson, Shoreham, 176-3.
Also, Tim Bertrand, Orwell, 176-8; Jonathan Ryan, Orwell, 165-6; Stephen Bruyneel, Orwell, 175-8; Phil Wagner, Bridport, 157-6; Aaron Ouellette, Bridport, 153-7; Allen Alger Sr., Orwell, 135-6; Robert Ketcham, Cornwall, 180-11, James Giard, Shoreham, 152-7; Jeff Bishop, Bridport, 150-7; Ronald Germond Sr., Sudbury, 118-4; Bernard Chanaud, Cornwall, 159-8; Chris Hanson, Orwell, 168-8; Jeff Booska, Orwell, 117-3; Pamela Strong, Bridport, 125-4; James Zeno, Starksboro, 135-8; and Eric Russell, Orwell, 215-8.
Also, Wilson Tupper, Orwell, 180-8; Duane Kehoe, Shoreham, 143-4; Joseph Gibbs, Hubbardton, 135-5; Phil Marcelle, Sudbury, 167-8; Patrick Mulcahy, Sudbury, 164-7; Dan Desforges, Pittsford, 140-8; David Cook, Brandon, 162-9; Jesse Maynard, Orwell, 174-7; Wyatt Forbes, Orwell, 110-4; Brian Barber, Shoreham, 110-3; and Dennis Patterson, unrecorded, 165-8.
LINCOLN GENERAL STORE
Mark Tierney, Lincoln, 133-6; Jody Brown, Bristol, 163-8; Erik Mayer, Cornwall, 160-6; Mark Cousino, Lincoln, 132-6; Brian Donnelly, Lincoln, 152-5; Richard Antone, Williston, 154-6; Bryan Peck, Ripton, 154-8; Chuck Thompson, Lincoln, 120-7; Tom Kilbourn, Monkton, 104-4; Kerry Bushey, Lincoln, 164-8; Patrick Reen, Lincoln, 164-8; and Jason Russell, Lincoln, 193-7.
Also, Brett Coombs, Huntington, 157-8; Justin Lucia, Lincoln, 160-8; Scott Bell, Lincoln, 140-8; Ron Brown, Starksboro, 127-6; Bill Geehan, Lincoln, 141-5; Matt Gordon, Lincoln, 100-4; Alan Kamman, Lincoln, 88-4; Christian Zeno, Starksboro, 136-8; Mark Masterson, 115-3; William Eckels, Lincoln, 141-6; Dan Adam, Orange, 117-4.
JERUSALEM CORNER STORE
Robert Cote, Huntington, 128-8; Rowan Haskins III, Huntington, 152-4; Paul Morse, Starksboro, 158-4; Henry Emmons Jr., Huntington, 153-4; John Nolette, Huntington, 172-6; Lonnie Menard, Starksboro, 125-7; Mary Taft, Huntington, 147-4; Jeff Palmer, Starksboro, 161-4; Tim Taft, Huntington, 158-4; Stephen Larocque, Huntington, 154-7; Michael Place, Huntington, 144-5; and David Lee, Starksboro, 135-6.
Also, Joseph Hernandez, Lincoln, 157-3; Adam Thompson, Starksboro, 156-8; Wyatt Gendreau, Huntington, 126-5; Jeremy Fitzgerald, Huntington, 126-6; Caleb Tucker, Bristol, 102-3; Todd Weston, Huntington, 157-4; and Bruce Moultroup, Huntington, 148-8.
C&S HUNTING SUPPLIES
Jordan Allen, Ripton, 155-8.
WEST ADDISON GENERAL STORE
Bryan Nolan, Addison, 152-4; Michael Quesnel, Bridport, 159-5; Kevin Reed, Addison, 119-4; Timothy Davis, Addison, 131-4; Louis Rivers, Addison, 125-6; Mark Shimel, Bridport, 112-5; James Anderson, Waltham, 130-4; Mark Torrey, Addison, 187-8; Kaleb Roberts, Addison, 161-5; Christopher Payne, Shoreham, 146-8; Zachary Comeau, Addison, 160-8; Haley Paquette, Ferrisburgh, 111-3; Brian Desforges, Bridport, 105-not recorded; and Jay Curtis, Ira, 100-3.
PANTON GENERAL STORE
Charles Cushman, Ferrisburgh, 132-6; Dylan Raymond, Ferrisburgh, 160-6; Richard Ambrose, Ferrisburgh, 167-4; James Toule, Addison/Panton line, 165-6; Charles Bradford, Panton, 163-4; Tammy Evans, Ferrisburgh, 130-3; Tim Nolan, Panton, 159-6; Adam Paquin, Panton, 160-6; Don Martin, Ferrisburgh, 160-4; Nathan Nimblett, Lincoln, 98-4; and Christien Paquin, Addison, 165-6.
VILLAGE GREEN MARKET
Lucas Sweeney, Sudbury, 162-6; Katherine Recupero, Ripton, 130-5; Patrick Coyle, Weybridge, 150-5; Kevin Kayhart, Waltham, 203-7; Jeff Sturtevant, Bristol, 118-4; James Whitcomb, New Haven, 131-4; Cody Barnum, Monkton, 200-8; James Charron, New Haven, 140-4; Daniel Stein, Ferrisburgh, 150-6; Scott Stearns, Ferrisburgh, 203-10; and Todd Jipner, New Haven, 169-8.
Also, Taylor Bessette, New Haven, 177-6; Bill Smolinski, Monkton, 125-5; David Hurlburt, Monkton, 174-8; Timothy Flynn, New Haven, 160-5; Andre Palmer, New Haven, 133-7; Paul Roche, New Haven, 137-3; James Pierce, Ferrisburgh, 161-6; Todd Hunter, Hinesburg, 162-6; Robert Cota, Hinesburg, 141-6; Ronald Smith, Monkton, 155-8; Bryan Ashley-Selleck Jr., Weybridge, 130-3; and Bryan Ashley-Selleck, Weybridge, 150-5.
Also, Mitchell Davis, Bristol, 130-5; Daniel Stearns, Ferrisburgh, 114-3; Dave Ringer, Ferrisburgh, 170-5; Scott Hawkins, Ferrisburgh, 186-6; Joe Sawyer, New Haven, 134-7; Rodney Cyr, New Haven, 182-7; Charlie Hahn, Monkton, 142-4; Joshua Hurlburt, Monkton, 172-8; Matthew Shepard, Bristol, 156-8; Elmer Lyons, Bristol, unweighed-4; Andrew Coyle, Ferrisburgh, 147-4; Dylan Barrows, Ferrisburgh, 141-8; and Erin Dalley, New Haven, 181-8.
Also, Jonathan Rule, Bridport, 155-5; Philip Livingston, New Haven, 138-5; Lee Loven, Panton, 129-3; Jeffrey Racine, Charlotte, 135-3; Dyllinger Higbee, Monkton, 165-7; Richard Lathrop, New Haven, 184-3; Howard Hunter, Monkton, 128-4; Debra Bessette, Ferrisburgh, 120-4; Ambrose Cousino, Hinesburg, 186-11; and Brian Hill, New Haven, 142-5.
Also, Lance Perlee, Bristol, 180-8; Kevin Masse, New Haven, 144-5; Alcide Gingras, Cornwall, 108-6; Earl Bessette, Ferrisburgh, 122-5; Lanny Smith, New Haven, 162-5; Rheal Gevry, Addison, 145-5; Jeffrey Higbee, Waltham, 117-4; Joshua Rochon, Bristol, 104-3; Patrick Clark, Middlebury, 127-8; Eugene Aube, Monkton, 143-8; Michael Gingras, Bristol, 136-6; Stephen Gutowski, Ferrisburgh, 150-6; Josh Roscoe, New Haven, 122-3; Brian Lalumiere, Weybridge, 115-2; Ellis Grace, Middlebury, 177-4; Beau Gevry, Weybridge, 152-6; and Adam Hescock, Shoreham, 170-8.
VERMONT FIELD SPORTS
Cody Downs, Rochester, 163-5; Calihan Butler, Bristol, 156-4; Scott Bouton, Middlebury, 182-3; Michael Betourney, Salisbury, 157-6; Joseph Dragon, Ripton, 105-4; David Gagnon, New Haven, 121-6; Rayce Burnham, Cornwall, 178-6; Daniel Zentara, Rochester, 137-8; Roger Currier, Weybridge, 121-3; Calvin Loven, Shoreham, 136-4; Izzy Mitchell, Cornwall, 155-6; Erik Carruth, Cornwall, 120-4; Kristin Coro, Middlebury, 163-4; John Palmer, New Haven, 198-8; and Andrew Clark, Brandon, 120-4.
Also, Eric Baker, New Haven, 135-5; Gerald Munson, Hancock, 157-4; Bradley Mullin, Addison, 127-6; Joshua Kennett, Orwell, 148-4; Terrence Ferson, Hubbardton, 127-5; Albert Brouillard, Bridport, 170-8; David Kenyon, Salisbury, 130-4; Tim Butler, Bristol, 145-6; Raymond Gale, Shoreham, 123-4; Aaron Schondube, Waltham, 168-6; Pierre Laroche, Shoreham, 120-3; Joseph Fortune, Cornwall, 138-6; Nick Madison, Shoreham, 116-4; Christopher Stearns, Shoreham, 128-3; Shaw Gero, Cornwall, 123-4; and Shawn Leuber, Starksboro, 172-8.
Also, Christopher Davis, Shoreham, 174-6; David Morris, Leicester, 117-5; Terry Aldrich, Cornwall, 144-7; Ronald Berthiaume, Salisbury, 130-5; Michael Tatro, Starksboro, 125-4; Thomas Radford, Whiting, 160-4; Marc Laroche, Shoreham, 104-3; Jeremy Lattrell, New Haven, 138-6; Justin Bolduc, Addison, 163-6; Ralph Dragon, Ripton, 115-5; Israel Dwire, Salisbury, 150-3; Nicholas Desjadon, Middlebury, 156-7; Michael Shackett, Leicester, 138-7; James Dragon, Ripton, 132-6; and Kaleb Radford, Whiting, 142-7.
Also, Mathew Stevers, Cornwall, 192-8; Patrick Needham, 147-5; Scott Galipeau, Weybridge, 114-4; Lawrence Pyne, Cornwall, 155-7; Charles Desjadon, Ripton, 155-4; Ronald Warner, Middlebury, 135-4; Matthew Cram, Leicester, 110-5; Gary Perkins, Cornwall, 149-5; Jerry McCray, Salisbury, 118-4; Albert Hobbs, Middlebury, 137-4; Joseph Conant, Salisbury, 140-6; and Douglas Yantz, New Haven, 150-8.
Also, Jacob Wulfson, Weybridge, 175-4; Charles Rule, New Haven, 151-4; Ryan Aldrich, Cornwall, 130-9; David Dupoise, Ripton, 114-6; Randy Dragon, Ripton, 118-4; Gary Whitman, Ripton, 119-4; Andre Dubois, Addison, 165-7; Maxx Rheaume, Cornwall, 100-3; Peter Scott, New Haven, 110-3; Margene Loven, Leicester, 110-6; and Daniel Gaiotti, Salisbury, 144-7.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at email@example.com.