Vermont Big Game Records

Well, here we are again, deer season. While I no longer hunt, I do keep my rifle ready. I do see deer in the field, but nothing yet with horns. The deprivation continues.

A few years ago, I was contacted by Curtis P. Smiley of the Vermont Big Game Trophy Club Inc. Curtis was publishing his second book of Vermont big game records and wanted to know if I knew of any trophy bucks taken in this area in years past. I knew of a couple ancient deer heads.

I contacted those current owners and put them in touch with Curtis. One deer I knew of was taken over 60 years ago. The antlers could still be scored by Boone & Crockett. It has since been scored and is included in this book.

big game
“2018 Vermont Big Game Records.” Photo provided

Boone & Crockett is a method of measuring racks. It’s a complex method, which totals the length of tines and distances between beams and other statistical factors of the rack. Vermont has produced some monster bucks.

Curtis published his second edition in 2018. I have a copy so I can give you an idea what’s in it. It’s a hardcover book of 336 pages, many in color. It’s a beautiful book and very well done.

It contains Vermont state records for deer, moose, bear, and turkey. Archery records and sheds are included. A bow hunter took a 450-pound bear. You’ll see monster bucks over 225 pounds. The buck Chester’s Brian Benson took in 2014 along with stories Ed Peck and I contributed.

Before they are sold out you should order a copy. It would make a great Christmas gift for the sportsman. It’s available at

Chester’s big game reporting station

Chester Hardware is a big game reporting station. I stopped over the weekend hoping to find someone reporting a deer. Not this day, so I quizzed Julie as to how many deer and bear have been reported. Scott Carsen reported a 309-pound bear. Friday, Nov. 22, a 200-pound buck was reported. The count is down this year. But one reporting station does not a trend make.

My classmate Kevin Gould, who lives in Baltimore, got his deer the first morning. Kevin was sitting in the hardwoods when a mama bear and her cub came along eating acorns. Kevin didn’t shoot them. Instead, he sat and watched them. Then he heard the leaves rustle. Kevin thought another cub was coming. No, it was a seven-point buck weighing 167 pounds.

Kevin has been writing poetry for years for his own pleasure. Below is one of his poems about deer hunting.

First Day Of Deer Season

“T’was a frost on the ground

and a bite in the air.

I felt a slight shiver

just standing there.

So I wiped my nose

on the back of my glove.

Then on up the mountain

I knew I must shove.

Here is the spot

I’m willing to bet.

So there I did stop

and I commenced to set.

I hope and I pray

as I sit real still.

That a BUCK will come by

“I know that he will.”

Now hours have passed

with not one Deer.

And I’m asking myself

”Why am I here?”

I say this is great

but I know that it’s not.

My body’s half frozen

my glove is all snot.

My leg has a cramp

my back has an ache.

How much of this fun

can I possibly take?

What a miserable day

this first one has been.

And to think that tomorrow


  This week’s old saying my mother used to say. “The only thing the horns are good for is stirring the gravy.”

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