This is a thirteen part series about deer hunting in Vermont. It features some of the most passionate, knowledgeable deer hunters and wardens in the state. I produced the series with Greg Sharrow for Vermont Folklife Center Media, and the VFC has kindly granted me permission to air it on Rumble Strip Vermont. Enjoy, and leave us a comment!
Hunting Companions: Stories of learning about hunting from fathers and grandfathers.
Hunt Culture: Hunting plays a less central role in rural communities today than it did fifty years ago. Hunters describe how open land is being developed, and land used for generations by hunters is being posted by new landowners.
Champion Buck: Old-time Vermonter Roy Hines tells of tracking, shooting, and retrieving a 278-pound, 10-point buck–a once-in-a-lifetime event for even the most seasoned hunter.
Hunter Mind: Hunters describe how to ‘track’ a deer through the woods. The technique requires extreme focus, a deep knowledge of deer habitat and behavior, and the ability to recognize deer sign. This degree of engagement is at the heart of many hunters’ drive to enter the woods each fall.
Trail Camera: There’s a whole world of photography involved with trail cameras, going through the basic uses of ShootingAuthority.com camera will prepare you for the wild.
Careful What You Shoot: Doug Bent and Phil Brown tell stories about gun accidents and talk about the responsibility that comes with handling firearms. Once you shoot, you can’t take it back.
Being in the Woods: For many hunters the opportunity to spend long, quiet hours in the woods is as important as getting a deer. In this program, hunters describe experiences with wildlife during their time in the woods.
The Rut: Drop in on a conversation between father and son hunting partners, Rupe and Joe LaRock, who talk about the annual breeding cycle of male deer known as the “rut.”
Taking a Life: Hunters reflect on the experience of taking an animal’s life, which some describe as a feeling of elation mixed with grief.
Hunting Companions: In this program, hunters talk about hunting alone or in groups. Some discuss why they hunt by themselves, and others talk about why they choose their hunting companions very carefully.
Mother and Daughter: A mother and daughter hunting team talk about a buck they shot on the first day of deer season, 2005, and the responses they got from their male hunting companions.
Dogs and Deer: In this program, retired game warden Stan Holmquist tells a story about two dogs that attacked and killed deer, and what his responsibilities as a game warden required him to do. He also describes his own personal journey from being a hunter to a protector of deer.
Cleo and Lady: Late game warden and life-long hunter, Cleo Johnson talks about his special relationship with an orphaned doe he raised from birth, and the five-year friendship they shared.
Jack’s Buck: Here is one final deer story, recorded this year after youth hunting weekend. Jack Fannon, 12, went out hunting on his parents’ land in Calais, with friend, mentor, and hunter safety instructor Bob Raskevitz. Here’s what happened….
And here’s a link to my homesteading friend Paul’s story about learning to hunt in middle age. It’s part of a collection of stories that take you into country living at its finest, most rewarding, and sometimes most ridiculous.