December 2012 Volume 0 Number 12
GREAT OUTDOORS Outdoor Gift Ideas Dozens of gift ideas for outdoor enthusiasts.
● Cut your own Christmas trees ● A 6-year-old is lost overnight ● Youth hunting photos
Ski Season Begins Good early conditions get season started right.
● So you think you know Champlain? ● Sacred Hunter column debuts ● News, Calendar, More …
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 3
Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine www.VtGreatOutdoorsMag.com December 2012 • Volume 0 • Number 12
Features 14 Christmas
© Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine 2012
The Green Mountain National Forest is offering Christmas trees for a $5 permit.
General Manager Lori Moro News Assistants Maya Marcy & Camilla Marcy
Here’s a Vermont idea or two for the outdoor enthusiast on your list.
Publisher & Editor Darren Marcy
Contributors Tim Barry, Bradley Carleton, Steven Faccio, Eric LaMontagne. Article & Photo Submissions editor@VtGreatOutdoorsMag.com
The winter season kicked off early and Vermont resorts are ready for the year.
Press Releases, Letters, Calendar news@VtGreatOutdoorsMag.com Advertising ads@VtGreatOutdoorsMag.com
Our newest columnist is an old hand at introducing kids at risk to the outdoors.
Phone (802) 331-0130 All articles and photos need to be submitted electronically.
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5. Editor’s Note 6. Photos of the Month 8. Outdoor News 15. Calendar 45. Out & About
22. Skiing 30. The Outside Story 32. LCI 34. Vt. State Parks 36. Hunting
Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine is published monthly as a free digital publication. This publication is protected by copyright and each individual story and photo is protected by copyright owned by the respective contributors. All opinions belong to the respective writers and do not necessarily reflect that of Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine.
Page 4 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
A solid end to 2012
On the Cover
’m not one to brag too often. I usually keep it to myself when I do get a little bit of a big head unless I’m shooting the bull with some friends. But I just have to crow a little bit here. After the initial effort in November to get Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine off the ground, this month, I think, we took a huge step toward where I want to see this little magazine go. The November issue, you’ll remember was a little bit on the small side at 27 pages despite the fact it had some great reading and photos in it. But for December, this little publication has stepped up. This issue hits the digital news stand at just under 50 pages and it’s loaded with some great stuff. A big part of that are the contributions from some folks who want to be part of what we’ve got going on here. Flip through this issue and I think you’ll see what I mean. Check out the little brook trout in the photo by Tim Barry on Page 6 for a little good news after Tropical Storm Irene. And then look at that monster buck on Page 7 if you want to start dreaming about next year’s season 11 months early. We’ve packed a lot of news into this issue beginning on Page 8 and a solid page worth of outdoor events in the calendar on Page 15. Our Vermont gift giving guide for outdoor enthusiasts checks in on Page 16. This guide focuses on just those products sold, or produced, by Vermont companies and is an impressive showing of our state. On Page 22, where we take a look at many of the state’s ski areas and what kind of off-season improvements they’ve made. We also have a collection of some youth hunters on Page 37. I’d like to see a lot more of these next year but for short notice we did OK. In the back of the magazine are a few new features I think you’re going to like. This month we have added columns by representatives of Lake Champlain International, Vermont State Parks and Northern Woodlands Magazine. Many more are planned, but these folks were eager to jump at the chance to get onboard and share information with you about what they have going on. Another new feature this month is one of the things I’m most excited about. Bradley Carleton has joined our effort and his inaugural column, “Sacred Hunter,” is on Page 42 this month. Bradley respect for the outdoors and the traditions are fun to read. Don’t miss this one. And look for us at the Yankee Sportsman Classic in January. As always, please let us know what you think. Email us your thoughts.
Shotshell Santa This little guy has been hanging on our Christmas tree for at least a decade now and always takes up an important spot on our tree despite the fact my wife rolls her eyes every year. Shotshell Santa is always somewhere close to the flyfishing vest, and the rainbow and brown trout that also decorate my tree every year. Please let us take this opportunity to thank you everyone for taking some time out of their busy lives to spend with Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine. We know there are a lot of things competing for your attention and the fact that you’ve allowed us into your computer / tablet / phone is much appreciated. We hope to earn a monthly place in your life and will work toward earning that privilege every month. We wish you a very Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you and your family may celebrate this holiday season.
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 5
Photos of the Month:
In June, Tim Barry stopped in at Orvis in Manchester to get some advice on what he could expect to find following Tropical Storm Irene. He was told that anything that flowed west off the mountain was a disaster and that all fish had been swept away. He went fishing anyway, and couldn’t draw a hit. But he returned in the fall and checked in on one of his favorite spots with his dog, Summit, hoping for better results. The results were exciting. In addition to the brookie fry pictured here, Barry said he had many more takes, but this guy was the only one that could handle the size 14 offering. “They say size doesn’t matter,” Barry said. “In this instance, I have to agree. What this brookie lacks in size, he more than makes up for with ambition. Let's hope the recovery continues and that it's a long time before the next big flood.”
Page 6 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
Photos of the Month:
Erik Werner of Brandon shot this 10-point buck during the October archery deer season. Preliminary numbers from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department are saying this year’s deer harvest should be better than previous years.
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 7
Outdoor News: The first event is 7 p.m. Dec. 28 at the Castlerock Pub at Sugarbush Resort. That event is free and there will be raffles for great prizes. The second show is Jan. 5 at the base lodge at Mad River Glen. This showing is a fundraiser for the Green Hunter Crashes ATV, Mountain Club. Admission is $8 or $5 for GMC Gets Shot in Shoulder members. A deer hunter suffered a gunshot wound to the For more information about the shows, or Mohr and shoulder Dec. 2 when he crashed his four-wheeler and Johnson, call (802) 496-5434 or log on to his muzzleloader went off. www.emberphoto.com. The events are listed under the In a news release, Vermont State Police said Richard link for Slideshows and Exhibits. B. Allen, 61, of Pittsford lost control of his ATV about 1:40 p.m. near Five Allen Boys Lane in Pittsford. In the Two Arrested in crash his .50-caliber muzzleloader discharged, hitting Deer Poaching Case him in the left shoulder. Two teenagers were arrested Nov. 11 in Springfield Police said Allen walked about a mile for help. He was transported by ambulance to Rutland Regional by a Vermont State Game Warden who caught them Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery. trying to drag a buck out of a field. Police said Warden Stephen Majeski caught the pair Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Pittsford First Response, Pittsford Fire Department, and Regional allegedly trying to drag a 4-point buck out of a field on Missing Link Road. Ambulance Service were at the scene. A landowner reported seeing a vehicle back into his Police said there was no alcohol involved and speed driveway, shining its lights on the field across the road. was not a factor. They are continuing to investigate. The landowner then heard a shot and the vehicle left. When Majeski arrived, he found the dead 4-pointer Frozen Bike Race and hid in the nearby woods. About 20 minutes later, the Series on Tap vehicle returned and the two got out and started to drag The Frozen Onion Winter Bike Race Series has set the deer across the field. Majeski nabbed them and ended the first two dates of its three-race schedule. up arresting Bruce Wells, 18, and a 17-year-old juvenile, Sponsored by Onion River Sports, the first two races both of Rockingham. are set for Jan. 6 and Feb. 3, with a third race to be He also seized a .308-caliber rifle as part of the determined by snow conditions. investigation. The race is expanding to three events this year. If convincted, Wells faces fines and restitution of up The first two races will be at 11 a.m. at Hubbard Park to $3,000 and could lose his privilege to hunt, fish and in Montpelier. trap for three years.
Two Wheels and Two Planks
First Responder Course set Dec. 10
“Two Wheels, Two Planks,” a slideshow about biking A wilderness first responder course will be held Dec. and skiing in the Swiss and Italian Alps by Brian Mohr 10-18 at the Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee. and Emily Johnson, who are adventurers and The 10-day intensive course will focus on extended photographers from Waitsfield, will be presented twice care required in on wilderness medicine and rescue in late December and early January. situations.
Page 8 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
Outdoor News: The course is perfect for enthusiasts and outdoor trip leaders. The cost for the course is $815, which includes meals, lodging and the course. Day students pay $615. Snowmobile Safety Preregistration is required at (802) 333-3405, or Course Offered Online www.alohafoundation.org/Hulbert. For more information, contact Lynn_daly@alohafoundation.org. Students who need to complete a snowmobile safety course and get their safety certificate can now take that training on their smartphone, tablet or laptop at www.snowmobile-ed.com. “People complete a wide variety of tasks on their smartphones and tablets nowadays, so it makes sense Maine Wardens Find for snowmobile-ed.com to be mobile ready,” said Body of Hunter Edward Cossette, user experience director for Maine game wardens found the body of a hunter the Kalkomey, parent company of snowmobile-ed.com. morning of Nov. 15 after he had been reported missing “Responsive Web design lets the pages at snowmobilethe previous day in a remote area of Washington County. ed.com automatically resize according to the device Authorities report Eugene Koehler, 73, of Riverside, being used. There’s no app needed, making it very Pa., was reported missing by a friend when he failed to user-friendly.” show up at an arranged meeting. Wardens searched Another benefit of snowmobile safety classes being through the night and found his body the next day at 6:10 available on any device is students can access their course on the Web even if the only way they have to a.m. Authorities believe Koehler died from natural causes connect to the Internet is with a smartphone. Plus, the new mobile-ready site features realistic illustrations but the case remained under investigation. and interactive animations that make it easier and more fun to learn how to safely operate a snowmobile. Hunter Gored The training offered is approved by the state agencies by N.H. Deer responsible for snowmobile safety education, and it the A New Hampshire man was gored by the 8-point buck same material that taught is in the classroom. Studying he had just shot when he tried to finish the kill with a at snowmobile-ed.com is free. Students who must be knife rather than a second shot. certified before operating a snowmobile pay a onePolice said Everett Gray, 54, of Cornish, N.H., shot time fee, which is due only if they pass the test. Online an 8-point buck near his home Nov. 29. As he moved in snowmobile safety courses are available in on the deer with a knife, the buck lunged, driving one of participating states, so visit snowmobile-ed.com for a its antler tines into Gray’s stomach and lifted him off the state-specific course. ground. The pair tumbled down a hill as Gray grabbed the buck’s antlers and tried to dislodge the antlers and the Have a business card buck continued to try to grind the man into the ground. advertising your business? Gray was able to free himself from the buck and made This space is just $20 per month. his way for help. He was not severely injured in the encounter. Reach a focused, While at the hospital, Gray’s friends and family dedicated and engaged members hung the deer in his garage and retrieved his group of outdoor enthusiasts. rifle and knife from the woods.
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 9
Jason Gibbs leaves post at Ski Vermont Former commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation launches communications firm
ason Gibbs, Ski Vermont’s director of marketing since March of 2011, has left the organization to launch a communications firm. His last day was Nov. 30. Gibbs’ position will be filled from within the organization by Kyle Lewis. He is a native Forestdale, Gibbs is a gradate of Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon and earned a political science degree from the University of Massachusetts -
Amherst. Prior to joining Ski Vermont, Gibbs was named the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation by former Gov. James Douglas. During his tenure with FPR the agency reduced its reliance on taxpayers by 30 percent, increased timber sales by 27 percent, boosted park visitation by 15 percent and guided the largest single investment in state park improvements as the $8.3 million in spending contributed hundreds of jobs and helped put the
park system on a more sustainable financial path. Prior to being chosen to run FPR, Gibbs was part of Douglas’ senior staff as communications director. Ski Vermont, the Vermont Ski Areas Association was founded in 1969, and is the trade association representing Vermont’s alpine and nordic ski areas in marketing, public affairs and governmental relations. Gibbs is an Eagle Scout and an avid outdoorsman. He lives in Duxbury with his wife, Amy, and their daughter Addison.
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Page 10 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
Early season conditions have brought a lot of people to the slopes. See Page 22 for a round up of some of the upgrades Vermont’s ski areas have made in preparation of the 2012-2013 season.
Need a different size? Contact us, we’ll price it for you. These introductory rates are intended to introduce your organization to VGOM. Despite the demand and excitement generated by the publication, we have chosen to keep rates low enough to allow everyone to get in on the ground floor. Enjoy the added advantage that each monthly issue of VGOM will continue to be available through the digital reading platform and for download at the end of each month. Long after a printed magazine is pulled from the shelves or tossed in the recycle bin, people will continue to run across these old issues as they discover the magazine or find interesting articles during Internet searches.
What you are reading is a practice issue, the second test following an initial effort in November. The best way to learn to produce a magazine is to produce a magazine. That’s what we’ve done here. That doesn’t mean this effort is anything less than our best effort given the circumstances. We put our heart and soul into this publication, but we have learned plenty of lessons and have more to learn. But this effort is a lot better than the last. We continue to fine-tune our efforts to make this the best publication it can be. What you’re reading on these pages is an example of what this magazine will be about. But it is just a sample. We envision a much more robust publication that offers more features and more news. It will come as we continue to grow. This second effort, however, is a marked improvement already. We added columns, more photos, a more robust calendar and more news items. We encourage feedback about this issue. To make it the best it can be, we need to hear from you. We need to know what works and what doesn’t. This publication is produced with the reader as the focus. Please share your thoughts – good or bad – on all aspects of the magazine at:
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 11
Moose Season Successful
ermont moose hunters had a successful hunting season according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. An archery moose hunt was held Oct. 1-7, and the regular moose hunt was Oct. 20-25. “A preliminary count shows that by Nov. 5, the department had received official reports of 17 moose being taken by 50 hunters in the archery season, and 205 moose taken by 385 hunters in the regular season,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont’s moose project leader. A few additional reports are still expected to be sent in from other reporting agents. “Vermont’s moose population is
being managed scientifically, according to a plan developed on sound wildlife biology and input from the public,” Alexander said. “We are pleased that licensed hunters achieved the target moose harvest in Wildlife Management
Unit-E1, which was the final WMU where we still needed to reduce moose numbers to come in balance with their habitat.” This was Vermont’s 20th moose hunting season in modern times, the first occurring in 1993 when 30 permits were issued and 25 moose were taken by hunters. Vermont Fish & Wildlife reports that 1,191 residents and 467 nonresidents entered Vermont’s 2012 archery moose permit lottery, and 8,279 residents and 2,324 nonresidents entered the regular moose season lottery. A final report on Vermont’s moose hunting season will be issued in January when all of the 2012 data have been received and reviewed.
6-year-old gets lost, spends night in the woods
uch of the state held its collective breath overnight Nov. 24-25 as authorities raced to Sunderland to search for a missing 6-year-old. The missing boy, Jo Jo McCray, 6, of Arlington, was on a hunt with family when he went missing in the woods off Route 7. After disappearing about 1 p.m., authorities were called at about 2:45 p.m. and began a search that eventually included about 120
members of official search and rescue groups as well as volunteers. Despite crews searching overnight, the boy walked out of the woods about 9:30 a.m. the next morning after spending the night lost with temperatures falling to close to freezing. The family told authorities that as they started a deer drive, McCray took up a spot in the line and the group began a push and the youngster went off by himself. He was not familiar with the area and apparently became disoriented.
When the family met up later, he wasn’t there. Authorities were more concerned because the 4-foot-6, 60-pound boy was not carrying a firearm, nor did he have a radio, cell phone or other means of communicating with family members. Temperatures that night dropped well into the 40s and McCray was wearing coveralls and a plaid jacket with a winter hat. He was eventually located about
Page 12 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
Youth Hunting Memories
he Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is seeking submissions for the sixth-annual Youth Hunting Memories Contest. Young hunters need only to submit a short essay or artwork describing his or her time in the field on a hunt. Bagged game is not a requirement. The essay or art should describe why hunting is important to the young hunter and must include a description of one of their hunting experiences. Criteria will be judged according to creativity, ethics, landowner relations, appreciation of wildlife, respect for our
hunting heritage, hunting skills and family. Entrants are encouraged to send in hunting photos with their story. Entries will be categorized by age, with categories for: 9 years of age and younger, 10-12 years of age, and 13-16 years of age. One selected entry from
each category will win a set of special prizes from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Winners will be announced April 20, at the inaugural Youth Hunting Awareness Day held at Kehoe Conservation Camp in Castleton. Submissions are property
of the department and cannot be returned. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reserves the right to publish photos and essays. Submissions must include the hunter’s first and last names, address, age, telephone number, and location of hunt. The contest is open to Vermont hunters 16 and younger. Submissions must be received by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 4. Email submissions to Ann.Shangraw@state.vt.us or mail to: 2012 Youth Hunting Memories Contest, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 103 S. Main St. Waterbury, VT 05671-0501.
Lost 1¾ miles from where he had last been seen near Exit 3 of Route 7 in Sunderland. After walking out and being discovered by a searcher, McCray was taken to a hospital for a precautionary evaluation. Searchers from the Vermont State Police Search and Rescue squad, Fish & Wildlife Department wardens, Vermont State Police K9 units, and local fire departments assisted in the search. A Customs and Border Protection air and marine unit helicopter and Vermont Army Aviation helicopter both responded to assist in the search. Nobody was injured during the search.
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December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 13
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Green Mountain National Forest offers $5 permits for Christmas trees
hose who want to cut their own Christmas tree can do so on the Green Mountain National Forest for the $5 cost of a Christmas Tree Removal permit. The cut-your-own tree program has grown in recent years. Last year, 431 permits were sold. It’s a great way to get out in the woods and tromp through the snow and decide which tree is better. And that’s one of the prime benefits of cutting down your own family Christmas tree -- time spent together in the woods.
But there are others as well. Price is certainly one consideration. The permits cost one-seventh or less of what a tree will cost from a commercial lot in most places. Permit are available at Forest Service offices in Rutland, Middlebury, Manchester Center and Rochester. There are rules to follow. Trees must be cut down on Forest Service land. While the Green Mountain National Forest offices will provide a map, it’s up to you to make sure you are on federal land. Trees also cannot be cut down in
active timber sales, wilderness areas, campgrounds, picnic areas, or within 25 feet of any Forest Service, town, or state maintained road. Trees cannot be taller than 20 feet and the stump cannot be more than 6 inches tall. Only one tree per household per year and trees cannot be sold. Permits are nonrefundable and the tag must be attached to the tree before it is removed from the site where it was cut. For more information, contact the nearest GMNF office or log on to www.fs.usda.gov/greenmountain.
Page 14 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
Calendar of Events ● ● ● ● ●
● Photography outback guided snowshoe tour, 10 Muzzleloader deer season, Dec. 1-9. a.m., Dec. 29, grab your camera and join the Archery deer season, Dec. 1-9. tour, leaves from The Farmhouse, $55, ages 13 Bobcat trapping season, Dec. 1-16 and older, reservations required, Sugarbush Fisher trapping season, Dec. 1-31. Resort, information (888) 651-4827 or Green Mountain Fly Tyer Meeting, 7-9 p.m., firstname.lastname@example.org. Dec. 12, guest tyer Peter Burton will demonstrate ● Groton State Forest hike, Dec. 29, GMC two of Fran Betters flies, the Ausable Wulff and Montpelier Section, hike around Kettle Pond, the Haystack. Bring your vises and tie with us. moderate, 3 miles, little elevation gain, dress for Godnick Center, 1 Deer St. Rutland, contact Eric weather, contact leader for details, Steve Nelson, 468-5525. Lightholder, 479-2304 or Animals in Winter, 10-11:30 a.m. Dec. 13, email@example.com Bundle up and head outside to investigate how ● Bird Monitoring Walk, 8-9:30 a.m., Dec. 29, animals cope during the long New England Birds of Vermont Museum, 900 Sherman winters, VINS Nature Center, 665 Woodstock Hollow Road, Huntington, join experienced Road, Information: 359-5000, birders for a monthly bird walk, information: www.vinsweb.org, firstname.lastname@example.org. 434-2167, email@example.com, Camels Hump hike, Dec. 15, with the GMC www.birdsofvermont.org. Burlington Section, route determined by popular ● Bald Mountain hike, 10 a.m. Dec. 29, GMC demand, moderate hike, moderate pace, 4.8 to Killington Section, climb to several viewpoints 12.4 miles depending on route, 1,300- to 3,700 overlooking the Coolidge Range and the feet elevation gain depending on route, contact Taconics, some places may require snowshoes leader for details, information: and traction devices, some steep climbing, 4 firstname.lastname@example.org or 522-2516. miles, contact Sandy Bragg, 492-2143. Bucklin Trail hike, Dec. 22, with the GMC ● Laura Cowles Trail hike, Dec. 30, GMC Killington Section, check out a new bridge and Burlington Section, start at winter parking area new trail thanks to Tropical Storm Irene, hike as and ascend Mount Mansfield, winter clothing far as the second bridge with option to continue and gear required, snowshoes and traction spikes, farther after lunch, snowshoes may be needed, expect 2 hours above treeline in severe moderate, 4 miles, contact Sue Thomas, 773conditions, difficult pace, 8 miles, 3,000 feet 2185. elevation gain, group limit 10, contact leader Camels Hump via Burrows Trail hike, Dec. 23, Richard Larsen, 878-6828 or with the GMC Burlington Section, depending on email@example.com. the weather, we’ll either hike or snowshoe to the ● Ruffed Grouse season ends, Dec. 31. top of Camels Hump from the Huntington side, ● Raccoon hunting season ends, Dec. 31. moderate hike, moderate pace, 4.8 miles, 1,950 ● Gray squirrel hunting season ends, Dec. 31. feet elevation gain, group limit 12, contact Sheri ● Mink, fox, skunk, raccoon, coyote, opposum, Larsen, 878-6828 or firstname.lastname@example.org weasel and fisher trapping season ends, Dec. 31. Full Cold Moon Hike, 6-7:30 p.m., Dec. 28, dress for the weather with water proof footwear, To have your organization’s meeting or activity no pets, meet at warming shack at Hard’ack listed in the outdoor calendar; or for additions, Recreation Area, St. Albans, deletions or corrections, email www.stalbansrec.com/info/default.aspx. December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 15
A Vermont Christmas
ermont is full of Christmas gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast on your list. Whether the person you’re buying for is a hunter, angler, hiker, biker, wildlife watcher, snowmobiler, camper or just someone who likes
the outdoors, you can find a gift in the Green Mountain State that will bring a smile on Christmas morning. And just about everybody would love a Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department calendar. Everybody needs a new calendar and what better to hang on your wall than some of Vermont’s most
beautiful wild animals. The $9.95 calendar features photos of a rabbit, moose, cardinal, deer, salmon, turkey, loons, bobcat, bear, owl, a waterfowl hunter and a photographer in a canoe. Each month features key dates for hunting, fishing and trapping throughout the year.
Page 16 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
Find out more about how to get a unlimited day entry to any State calendar online at Park for up to eight people per visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com. all year, two State Parks water bottles, two gift cards good for one-hour boat rentals, and a tote bag The Vermont State Parks offers a for $99. State Parks also offers gift variety of great gift ideas, but have also put together a few gift packs to certificates, park passes and other merchandise. help. “When you give the gift of the The first is the Day Tripper Package, which includes a punch parks, you know you are buying card good for 10 State Park day use locally, supporting your State Parks, while giving the passes, a State Parks hat, a one-hour boat rental gift card and a tote bag receiver a glimmer of the summer to come,” said Craig Whipple, for $39. Another is the Weekend Getaway Director of State Parks. The packages come in gift boxes. Package, which includes two nights of tent, RV or lean-to camping, two There is no shipping costs. Order online at Vermont State Parks water bottles, a bundle of firewood, and a State www.vtstateparks.com. Parks tote bag for $79. Finally, there’s the Full Season of Family Fun Gift Package, which The Vermont Fish & Wildlife includes a vehicle pass good for Department also has a few items
people would like to find under the tree or in a stocking. One of those items is a t-shirt, with the words “Keeping Vermont Wild," on the front with a fish, a moose and a maple leaf on the back with the words, “Vermont - respect, protect, enjoy." The $12 shirt is 100 percent cotton, comes in tan and adult sizes from small to extra large. Another gift is a stainless steel sports bottle featuring the same logo as the tshirt. The 26-ounce bottle features an extra-wide mouth, is BPA free and sells for $10. The department also offers several books, including one on Wildlife Management Units in
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 17
Christmas: line wool outer wear. For people who believe in buying quality gear and then using it year after year, Beagle Outdoor Wear is among the best you can buy. While most people think of Beagle as hunting wear, there’s no reason this quality outdoor gear wouldn’t keep you warm on the ice, while trekking through the woods on snowshoes, or while hunting with a gun or a camera. Beagle Outdoor Wear is a lot more than just the manufacturer of outer wear, however. The company offers contract stitching work and custom embroidery, as well as manufacturing Vermont products like the Hunters Smart Seat. Find them on the Web at www.beaglewear.com.
the state, and another about “Wetlands, Woodslands and Wildlands,” and another on the Baitfish of Vermont. But the book, many anglers will be interested in is the “Fishes of Vermont.” It’s a comprehensive field guide for identifying fish in the state, and takes a look at the natural history of the 92 fish species in the Green Mountain State. It covers mountain streams to Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River. The book is written for anglers, naturalists, biologists and anyone interested in fish in Vermont. The book costs $24.95 and is ordered through American International Distribution Corporation. Find a link and contact information at www.vtfishandwildlife.com/support_store2.cfm.
One of Vermont’s leading outdoor retailers has developed a reputation as the producers of top-of-the-
We have had some interest by people who would like to write or submit photos to Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine. We welcome submissions by writers and photographers but keep three things in mind: 1. Understand our budget starting out doesn’t allow for payment. If you want to write because you love it, we can afford that, but we’re not paying any writers or photographers right away. Even the editor is working for free to start. We hate this, but it’s the way it has to be for now. 2. You will be edited. The best writers still need editors – some more than others. If it makes you feel better, I’ve been writing and editing professionally for 20 years. I won’t hack your work to death. 3. Query with an idea. Don’t write 1,000 words only to find VGOM doesn’t publish vampire fiction, even if the vampire sucks the blood of an 8-pointer. Let’s talk about your idea and decide if it’s right for this magazine. Then we’ll do it. Page 18 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
If you’ve ever snuggled up against an uncomfortable back rest, or sat on rocks until you start to fidget and readjust constantly, you may not with you had a Hunters Smart Seat. This seat is small enough to fit in a pocket, daypack, or on your belt. It quiet, lightweight and durable seat and is ideal for hunting, camping, fishing and other outdoor recreation. Find it online at www.thesmartseat.com.
At $10, Ice Team Members get access to weekly audio reports by Ice Team Pros, bi-weekly promo content, and the opportunity to enroll in Ice Team University. In addition, Ice Team Members will get a subscription to Ice Team Digital Magazine and access to Ice Team Internet TV webisodes exclusively until the next issue and webisode is issued and the older content is made public.
tough enough to stand up to time on the trail. The New Vermont Trail Map covers the entire state and costs only $5. Maps can be ordered through your VAST club, or through the VAST website at www.vtvast.org.
What about a membership at your local trail system? Kingdom Trails Association hasn’t announced its 2013 rates yet, The Vermont Association of but last year’s season passes were Snow Travelers has a perfect idea for the snowmobiler on your list. Ice anglers are a hearty lot. After The maps are printed on a all, it takes some dedication to your material that is waterproof and sport to sit in f r e e z i n g temperatures and maintain holes in the ice that keep refreezing, and various other issues. So help the frozen water angler on your list get the most out of his or her time on the ice with an Ice Team Member gift. December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 19
Christmas: individual. If you’re not sure if your hiker is already a member or perhaps he or she is already a life member, there are still options. The GMC website has a variety of clothing, books, maps and other gift items. All funds raise benefit the club and its effort to protect the Long Trail in Vermont.
$75 for individuals or $150 for a family pass. Kids 7 and younger are free as are riders 70 and older. A little too much for your budget? Day passes make great stocking stuffers and in 2012 were $15 for riders 16 and older, $7 for kids 8 to 15. There’s also a porcelain travel mug if you’re looking for something to wrap and put under the tree.
Who would think of socks at Christmas? People who have worn Darn Tough Socks, what some would argue to be the best socks made. These just happen to be made in Vermont. From their website: “We live and work in Vermont. Our backyard is the perfect testing ground to make the finest Premium All Weather Performance Socks. We ski, snowboard, hike, bike and run in the most unforgiving climate in the lower 48. It is under And if these companies don’t give you enough ideas, these conditions that we design, test and manufacture maybe a gift certificate to an outdoor guide or outfitter our socks.” business, or any number of outdoor retailers is in order. Check them out online at www.darntough.com. But how do you find a business? It’s a lot easier than you might think. Just point your browser toward the Vermont Outdoor The Green Mountain Club offers a variety of gift Guide Association’s website, the largest collection of ideas for the hiker or trail lover on your list. How about a membership businesses in existence. Log on to www.voga.org to keep your Christmas in the club that is the keeper of the Long Trail as well as outdoor business in Vermont. the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. There are many levels of membership in the GMC, but it starts at $40 for an
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Like that special tree stand from which you always see deer, or that stretch of river where the trout always rise, there are just some places that are unique. A spot that holds a place in your heart so special that you keep it to yourself. If you’re looking for an advertising opportunity to share your message, this can be your special place. This prime spot can be yours next month. By advertising in Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine, you’ll not only be supporting a growing publication that is generating a lot of excitement in the Green Mountain State, but you’ll also place your message in front of avid and dedicated outdoor enthusiasts. And you won’t believe how affordable this space is. There are other publications that cover some of the outdoor experience in Vermont and this little slice of Heaven they call northern New England. They do a good job, but none of them cover the depth and breadth of the topics you’ll read about in Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine. So contact us today to ensure we can get your advertisement in the next monthly issue of a growing and exciting publication that covers the topics that are important to you and your business. Email: email@example.com Phone: (802) 331-0130 December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 21
Ski Season 2012-2013
Page 22 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
Ski season arrives early
cross Vermont, the high county is covered in white and skiers and snowboarders are flocking to the slopes eager to renew their love affair with the mountains. The lifts began turning in early November with mountain after mountain turning on the snowguns to supplement Mother Nature’s efforts to convert the lush green
hillsides into white gold. One of Vermont’s biggest seasons kicked off in a big way Thanksgiving weekend with only a few areas holding out with their mid-December openings just around the corner. According to the Ski Vermont website, Vermont ski areas yet to open include Bolton Valley and Magic Mountain, both of which are planning to open Dec. 8; as well as the Middlebury College Snow
Bowl, which is slated to launch operations Dec. 14. Mad River Glen and Pico Mountain are both set to open Dec. 15 and Suicide Six Ski Area is expected to open Dec. 20. Ski season in Vermont is big business and tourists flock in from all over the northeast and even farther. The holidays bring out-of-state license plates to Vermont resort towns and wallets full of money to spur the state’s economic engine.
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 23
Skiing: For locals, its a time to share the Green Mountain State’s splendor. And while the lift lines are longer and the roads a little busier, most skiers and riders put up with it because they know its part of what makes it possible for the little state with a big heart to stay afloat when the tourists go home. The ski areas know, too, that skiers and riders want to see good conditions, even when natural snow doesn’t fly and quality equipment and terrain are key to attracting those tourist dollars. And managers at Vermont’s ski areas know that without snowmaking equipment there might not be enough natural snow until January some years, yet the skiing and riding public want snow by mid-December in time for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. That, of course, means snowmaking is king in order to have mid-season conditions as soon as the lifts start to turn. It’s little surprise, then, that some of the biggest additions in the off season at ski areas around Vermont involved snow making upgrades and enhancements including more capacity and energy-saving changes. Here’s a little roundup with some of the off-season preparations for the 2012-2013 ski season throughout Vermont. We have had some interest by people who would like to write or submit photos to Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine. We welcome submissions by writers and photographers but keep three things in mind: 1. Understand our budget starting out doesn’t allow for payment. If you want to write because you love it, we can afford that, but we’re not paying any writers or photographers right away. Even the editor is working for free to start. We hate this, but it’s the way it has to be for now. 2. You will be edited. The best writers still need editors – some more than others. If it makes you feel better, I’ve been writing and editing professionally for 20 years. I won’t hack your work to death. 3. Query with an idea. Don’t write 1,000 words only to find VGOM doesn’t publish vampire fiction, even if the vampire sucks the blood of an 8-pointer. Let’s talk about your idea and decide if it’s right for this magazine. Then we’ll do it. Page 24 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
Skiing: water storage provides plenty of capacity and the mountain has enough snow-making capacity to cover a football field in 3 feet of snow every hour.
Bromley added 60 new permanent, energy efficient snow guns around the top of the mountain including Upper Corkscrew, RunAround 1, Plaza and Peril. The 60 new guns brings the mountain’s total to 310 over 150 acres out of a total of 178 skiable acres.
Stowe dropped $4.7 million into snowmaking improvements and now covers 90 percent of its skiable terrain with snowmaking. The ski area added 325 HKD energy-efficient snow tower guns, replaced 150 land guns with more efficient ones and added 16 Super Pole Cat fan guns all fed by seven miles of new snowmaking pipeline. The net result is Stowe is now making twice as much snow as it did last year and will end up burning 100,000 gallons less diesel fuel per year. That could prove valuable any year, but particularly in years like last year when the resort saw less than two-thirds of its normal snowfall.
Smugglers’ Notch is another ski are that spent big to improve its snowmaking capacity having spent more than $1 million to add 150
low-energy, high-efficiency tower snow guns and other snowmaking improvements including a new electric compressor. The changes will allow more snow to be made in warmer temperatures and with reduced energy costs. New guns are positioned to better cover popular trails on each of the three mountains at Smugglers Notch. But one of the things Smuggs has going for it is that it’s known as a family resort. Smugglers’ family programs were recognized as the best among eastern ski resorts by SKI Magazine readers for the 14th year.
Magic Mountain has added two additional trails -- Witch and Black Line -- to its snowmaking system, which now covers 70 percent of the mountain. The two expert runs offer snowmaking on some of the mountain’s most challenging terrain. Magic Mountain’s volunteer crew
Improved snowmaking at Stratton means the resort can now cover 93 percent of its terrain with snow even when the natural stuff doesn’t fall. That allows Stratton to make a “great snow” guarantee. More than 250 million gallons of
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 25
Skiing: fleet that allows Sugarbush to groom steeper slopes and better maintain trails.
There will be more snow, more trees and more quality conditions at Okemo this year. Three new gladed areas were added for 16 new acres of intermediate tree skiing. Two new groomers were added to the fleet including a Prinoth Beast and a Prinoth Bison Park Cat. Okemo also added 42 new HKD Snowmakers SV-10 tower guns to a system that covers 97 percent of Okemo’s trails. The new tower guns offer more efficiency, better control and wider operating temperature range. And if that wasn’t enough to improve skiing and riding at Okemo, another waffle cabin has been added to help hungry skiers find a Belgian waffle when their stomach’s say it’s time to eat.
of workers cleared a new glade skiing area. Although not on the trail map, asking any regular skier and you’ll likely get pointed in the right direction to try some brand new tree skiing terrain.
Last season, Sugarbush added 40 new high-efficiency snow guns allowing for more snowmaking at a wider range of temperatures. The ski area also added a new Piston Bully Elite groomer to its
Mount Snow has teamed up with Burton to unveil the Official Burton Learn to Ride Center with programs for riders as young as 3 years of age. Burton has provided the latest and most technologically advanced learning equipment to help riders progress. The Burton Riglet Park, where the mantra is “if they can stand, they can ride," will open the newest park at the Mount Snow Ski and Snowboard School. For more experienced riders, Carinthia will see the addition of “The Farm,” a Vermont-themed terrain park featuring Vermont icons
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Skiing: Quad, snowmaking improvements to replace old snowmaking guns with new energy efficient guns, improving ski runs, upgrading lifts and updating lodges. The ski area has also added four Prinoth groomers to its fleet.
Pico has added a new trail this year as it celebrates its 75th anniversary. The new trail give Pico 53 trails for skiing and riding.
Vermont’s co-op ski area, one of the state’s more famous winter features for its single-chair lift and refusal to allow snowboarders, is intent on keeping things the way they were -- not last year, but when the ski area was established. Low skier density, an intimate atmosphere, deep and steep powder runs, with nary a groomer in sight, and lots of big grins.
like tractors, sugar shacks, sap buckets and stone walls. With Burton’s help, the first phase of the The Farm will debut this year and continue to grow in future seasons.
The Beast of the East is turning to Cow Power to drive its K-1 Express Gondola this year. The ski resort has signed on with
Doing things the Jay way, this year, means reducing lift ticket prices from $75 to $64 and letting Vermonters ski for just $50. Ticket prices are dropping across Green Mountain Power’s Cow Power program in which it will pay a premium for some of its power that is produced by methane gas produced by cow manure. In doing so, Killington is helping to support local dairy farmers. The last five years have seen Killington invest more than $20 million in on-mountain projects including the Skye Peak Express
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 27
Skiing: all categories. That doesn’t mean Jay is scrimping on investing in its mountain. The ski area at the far northern reaches of Vermont, added an additional $300,000 worth of snowmaking capacity to improve trail coverage and to make sure the trails served by its new quad chairlift will have plenty of snow.
Burke was acquired by the owner of Jay Peak, and has added 150 snow guns and replaced its diesel compressors with an electrical compressor. The changes allowed Burke to open the day after Thanksgiving, two weeks earlier than normal. The change is expected to save about 40,000 gallons of diesel this season and the new guns are much more energy efficient while making as much snow as the older guns produced.
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Color in Nature
nimals display a dazzling variety of colors, particularly in the tropics. But even here in northern New England where wildlife diversity is comparatively limited, we enjoy a rich palette of colors and patterns. The majority of colors are produced by pigments– particles of color chemicals found within specialized cells. These include melanins, which are found in nearly all organisms and produce the earthy tones common to many animals (including humans), and carotenoids, which produce colors primarily in the red to yellow end of the spectrum (think northern cardinal and American goldfinch). What’s surprising, however, is that pigments that produce blue coloration are all but unknown in the animal kingdom, even though we have plenty of blue-colored animals, particularly among birds, butterflies, and fish. So if it’s not pigments, what makes an animal blue? When we see a blue jay or an indigo bunting, the intense blue that we perceive is due to the microscopic structure of its feathers and the way they reflect blue and violet light. This is known as structural coloration. In fact, among vertebrates, there are only two known examples of blue color deriving from a blue pigment. Furthermore, for amphibians, reptiles, and some birds, the scattering of blue wavelengths, together with the presence of yellow
pigmentation, is fundamental for the expression of the color green. A simple way to experience structural coloration is to hold a blue feather up to the sky so it is backlit. With sunlight streaming through the feather, rather than bouncing off its surface, the blue color vanishes, and the feather appears a drab greyishbrown. But, bring the feather down so the light bounces off, scattering blue wavelengths of light, and the feather appears blue once again. Structural coloration is also
responsible for a variety of color phenomena, including iridescence and sky color. Indeed, for many years scientists thought birds look blue for the same reason the sky does: red and yellow wavelengths pass through the atmosphere, but shorter blue wavelengths bounce off gas molecules and scatter, emitting a blue glow in every direction. But Richard Prum, an ornithologist at Yale University, discovered that the blue in birds’ feathers is slightly different.
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Northern Woodlands: Prum discovered that as a The Outside Story, provided by Northern physical structure of its scales to make it appear as green as blue feather grows, protein Woodlands magazine, is a series of your lawn in mid-June. But molecules called keratin weekly ecology articles that has been shortly after the snake dies, (located within the feather appearing in newspapers across New the yellow pigments break cells) separate from water, Hampshire and Vermont since 2002. The down chemically, and the like oil from vinegar. When series is underwritten by the Wellborn snake takes on an iridescent the cells die, the water Ecology Fund of the New Hampshire blue appearance. evaporates and is replaced by Charitable Foundation Upper Valley To date, only two air, leaving a specific Region and edited by Dave Mance at vertebrates have been found structure of keratin Northern Woodlands. that have blue coloring as a interspersed with air pockets. result of cellular pigment This three-dimensional arrangement of the keratin/air layers within feather called cyanophores. Both the Mandarin fish and the barbs is what reflects blue wavelengths of light back to closely-related psychedelic Mandarin (also called the our eyes. Prum also discovered that different shapes picturesque dragonet) are vividly-colored fish native to and sizes of these keratin/air layers create the different coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean. You might say that shades of blue that we see among various species of these small, stunning fish, which are popular in the birds. However, even though blue is a structural color, saltwater aquarium trade, are the only animals worthy what’s key to this entire phenomenon is the presence of being called true blue. Steven D. Faccio is a conservation biologist at the of the pigment melanin, because without it, all blue Vermont Center for Ecostudies; he lives in Strafford. birds would look white. Underlying the keratin structure of a feather is a layer of melanin, which absorbs red and yellow wavelengths. Without melanin (or other pigment cells), all the wavelengths would be reflected back to our eyes, resulting in pure white feathers. When this occurs in feathers or hair that normally have color, it is known as leucism– sometimes mistakenly referred to as partial albinism. (Albinism occurs when melanin is absent from all cells, including skin and eyes.) Blue skin in amphibians is relatively uncommon. Notable exceptions include the blue-spotted salamander and the South American blue poison dart frog. However, since green pigmentation is not normally present in amphibians, the structural expression of blue wavelengths from amphibian skin is essential for the green coloration of many frogs. Basically, the shorter blue wavelengths of light are largely absorbed by the filtering yellow pigment layer, reflecting the yellowgreen wavelengths back to our eye. Occasionally, however, due to a genetic mutation, frogs that normally appear green – such as the American bullfrog and green frog – lack the yellow pigments in their skin, making them appear blue. The same phenomenon that makes amphibians green also occurs with many reptiles. In our area, the yellow pigments of the smooth green snake combine with the December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 31
Lake Champlain International
The Adsit Cabin
ake Champlain and the surrounding lands are home to a ton of history. From massive battles, slave smuggling, and the development of revolutionary transportation methods, there are myriad stories to tell. The Lake Champlain shoreline is home to one of the oldest (or the oldest, depending on who you ask) log cabins in the U.S. still at its original location. The home was built by a man named Samuel Adsit. Originally from Connecticut, Samuel served under Peter Van Ness in the U.S. Army during the Revolutionary War. Upon retiring, he wanted a place to live out his years on the lake. He selected a spot in Willsboro, N.Y., and in 1778 constructed his home. Once settled in, he and his wife set out to start a family. As the children came, so did the need for more space. Gradually Samuel added bedrooms, living rooms, and other rooms until the entire cabin had been built into a large farm house big enough to fit all of their 16 children. Looking at the lofty structure, one would never have known the cabin ever existed.
For more information, check out these links! ● www.lakestolocks.org/content/adsit-cabin/ltlB07558115FB756854 ● www.aarch.org/resources/map/county/essex/window/adsit.html ● www.aarch.org/archives/leeman/040917aVLPWillsboroPoint.pdf ● http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~havens5/p250.htm
And that is how it stayed until 1927, when the property was purchased by Dr. Earl Van DerWerker. Dilapidated and broken from over 100 years of weathering and use, Van DerWerker began to raze the old farm house in 1929 with the intentions of building his own, new summer home. As the machines tore through the old buildings, the workers uncovered the cabin which had been built into the house. Van DerWerker ordered the rest to be dismantled by hand and, piece by piece, they removed the rest of the house until just the cabin stood. It was remarkably well preserved, undoubtedly due to the fact that it had not experienced any weathering since being built into the farm house. It instantly became a cultural icon for the area. The cabin changed hands until it was deeded to the town of Willsboro, N.Y., which carried out a $70,000 renovation project. The cabin is currently a popular destination for people exploring the
Lake Champlain region of Vermont and New York. Stocked with local artifacts and items from the Adsit family, a visit there offers a rare glimpse into pioneer life. Volunteers are on hand to give tours, tell stories, and answer questions. In addition to several other historical markers in the area, there is great hiking and boating nearby for those looking to make a day of it.
Hunting, Fishing, Hiking, Backpacking, ATVing, Biking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Snowmobiling, Bird Watching, Climbing, Photography, Power Boating, Paddling, Skijoring, Conservation, Four Wheeling, Dog Sledding, and … try us!
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December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 33
Vermont State Parks:
Wintertime in Vt. State Parks
inter is a time of year loved and dreaded by many people alike. Some of the best times spent in the parks can be when few people are around and there is a white blanket coating the state. Our parks have an abundance of activities such as: snowshoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling and winter camping. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “I thought the parks closed back in October.” And you are right but they are still open without fee for winter use. See you in the parks this winter!
When: Jan. 25-27. Free gear demos, clinics for the beginner to advanced climber, multimedia slideshows, dry tooling competition, raffles and camaraderie in Vermont’s premier ice climbing destination, Smuggler’s Notch.
Hiding in the woods, Seyon Lodge State Park provides rustic and welcoming facilities in the midst of the inspiring beauty of Groton State Forest.
Looking to visit Vermont State Parks after they have closed for the season? Off-season day use visits and camping are magical experiences with many perks. Entry into the parks is free (the camping is free too). The parks are very quiet, there are no bugs, and a fire never felt so good. For more information, about off-season visitation at Vermont’s State Parks check out these links:
● Off Season Camping Rules ● Off Season Camping Request Form ● Off Season Parking Information
Have you ever wanted to try or learn more about ice climbing? Keep this on your radar for the winter season. Smugglers’ Notch Ice Bash is an event to promote the sport of ice climbing, to educate climbers, to exhibit and demo new gear, and to share a weekend of fun, challenge, and inspiration with other winter enthusiasts in one of Vermont’s most amazing places, Smugglers Notch. Page 34 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
Vermont State Parks:
Situated on the pristine shores of Noyes Pond, the Lodge provides year-round lodging and meeting facilities for individual guests and groups, including small conferences, retreats,and weddings. The Lodge at Seyon is situated within the 27,000 acres of Groton State Forest. The secluded setting allows guests to enjoy some of the most beautiful and undisturbed natural scenery in Vermont. After a day out snowshoeing though snow or cross country ski touring miles of connecting trails in search of moose tracks, you can come back to the lodge for a
homemade local dinner featuring River, Woodford, Elmore, Green River Vermont products and a steaming Reservoir, Ricker Pond, New Discovery. cup of hot chocolate. Ice Fishing: Sand Bar, Lake Carmi, Crystal Lake, Knight Point, Bomoseen, Lake St. Catherine. Snowshoeing: Mt. Ascutney, Gifford Woods, Branbury, Niquette Bay, Underhill, Woodford, Little River, Seyon Lodge, Elmore. Send story pitches, photos, news Sledding: Mt. Philo, Mt. releases, calendar items, letters to the Ascutney, Elmore. editor, and other submissions to: Cross Country Skiing: Smugglers’ Notch, Little River, Seyon Send advertising correspondence to: Lodge, Woodford, Thetford, Jamaica. criticism, kudos and questions Ice Skating: Knight Point, Lake St. Send and comments about articles to: Catherine, Silver Lake. Snowmobiling: Coolidge, Little
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 35
2012 Youth Hunters
Matthew Lorman, 14, of Rutland City (left) shot his first deer on the first day of the youth hunting weekend. Lorman was hunting with his father Keith Lorman and brother Jacob Lorman in Clarendon when he shot the 98-pound spikehorn with one shot from his .243 rifle. Jacob Lorman, 12, of Rutland City, (above) shot his deer later the same day, dropping this doe with one shot from about 60 yards.
Danny Alaggio, 16, of Readsboro (right) with his first deer, a 175-pound 8-pointer he shot in Whitingham hunting with his step-father Larry Dix. Alaggio’s mother, Dawn SommerDix, said her husband was in a tree stand with Danny about 50 yards away in some brush when he spotted the buck and dropped it with his .30-30.
Page 36 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012
Tommy Baker, 11, shot this doe on the first day of youth hunting weekend in Mendon. The doe field dressed at 108 pounds and was estimated by the Vermont deer team leader as 5-plus years old.
Colin Moore, 11, shot this 130-pound, 6-point buck in Clarendon on the first day of youth hunting weekend.
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 37
Kerigan Disorda, 11, with her first black bear, which weighed 160 pounds.
Josh Chapin poses with his first deer.
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Lifetime License Winners Fifty-two youth 15 years old and younger gathered at the Neshobe Sportsman Club in Brandon on Nov. 4 for the Youth Deer Hunting Celebration. When it was over, nine youth had won lifetime hunting licenses (a $330 value), which the parents had an
opportunity to pay the difference and get a lifetime combination hunting and fishing license. A muzzleloader, hats, t-shirts, gift cards and plaques were also given out to the lucky young hunters, and hunters and their parents enjoyed a free barbecue. Among those donating prizes, or
contributing to the prizes were, Brandon Mobil, OMYA, Ron’s Plumbing & Heating, Brandon American Co., GE Employees, Wimett Trading, Goodro Lumber, Lawes Agricultural, Van Denton & Son, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabelas. Several plaques were donated by Dan McDonough.
Nathan McKeighan with JR Balch
Samantha Summer with Tom Cram
Tyler Rowe with Tom Cram
Zachary Kasuba with Aaron Tucker
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Mercedez Shackett with Tom Cram
Kasey Billings with Dan McDonough
Anthony Rovi with Tom Cram
Christina Wiles with Gary Stone
Tre McCoy with Eric LaRock
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 41
radition: truh-dish-uhn, (noun) the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice. Traditions are a cultural phenomenon that binds together social groups that share a common interest or passion and, for outdoorsmen and women, they are frequently centered on the “traditional” outdoor sports of hunting, fishing and foraging. Many Vermont families share a love of hunting, particularly white-
tailed deer hunting. The timing of rifle season coincides with the beginning of the holiday season, which adds a festive atmosphere to the annual pilgrimage to the woodlots around the state. Many families and their closest
friends venture to remote camps in the mountains, where the actual pursuit of the hunt sometimes takes a back seat to the social aspects of a less restrictive model of manners assigned to the home. It’s a fact of life that deer camp is a more relaxed environment where members are freer to express their humor and opinions unfettered by the social mores of everyday life. My first exposure to deer hunting traditions was to be introduced to “Camp Atta-Boy” in Central Pennsylvania, where my father had grown up. Upon arriving at the rustic old cabin that smelled of woodsmoke
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Sacred Hunter: and whiskey, I was welcomed into a fraternity of men that seemed to be allowed to cuss whenever they wanted. I learned that the initiation to Camp Atta-Boy was actually an invitation to employ my first expletive among adults without being punished. Unlike “Ralphie” from the classic movie, “Christmas Story” upon blurting out my first vulgarity, there was no soap in the mouth to wash out the bad word. There were no “I’m gonna beat you when we get home” looks. Instead, I was treated to a rousing response of “ATTA-BOY!” by everyone in the camp. I had been “initiated” into the realm of manhood with one accidental slip of the tongue. Now I’m not suggesting that camp life should adopt disrespectful protocols, but I think we all need a place to go to speak our mind without fear of reprisal. I digress. This article is, after all, about traditions. Traditions come in all shapes and flavors and many of us have had to construct our own traditions because we were not offered those connections in our youth. So, for young men who may not have a father, or at least one who would introduce them to the outdoor sports of hunting or fishing, we have established a nonprofit that does just that – minus the negative role model using expletives. Traditions Outdoor Mentoring.org has a curriculum of outdoor activities that young men enjoy year-round with appropriate male mentors. We learn conservation through organizations like Ducks Unlimited, the Quality Deer Management Association and the National Wild Turkey Federation. We plant food plots for deer and waterfowl, learn to rig decoys, run boats, work on farms
to build our respect for landowners, learn fly fishing, bass fishing, ice fishing, turkey hunting strategies, gun safety, shooting, even the politics of fish and wildlife legislation and enforcement. Our team of outdoorsmen welcome young men who are at-risk and teach them respect, empathy and compassion
through interpersonal relations and learning about the habits and environment of the animals we hunt. We build our own “traditions.” My wife Katie and I do not have children of our own, but we both enjoy working with young people and recognize that there are many of them who do not have consistent role
December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 43
Sacred Hunter: models who can teach them about the outdoors. All it takes is a passion for the great outdoors and a desire to re-live some of your own first discoveries. There is nothing more rewarding than watching a young person take their first deer, drop their first duck or cook their first squirrel. These activities build bridges to maturity. They transform children into caring adults. I remember working with a young man from Texas, who had started down a path of delinquency that lead him to believe that he wanted to be a gang member, devoid of any empathy or concern for life. He had slipped through the cracks of the education system and was on his way to becoming a burden on society. We took him under our wing and introduced him to the great outdoors. Before long he had learned that nature is far more powerful than any individual – with or without a gun. Mother Nature could drown you, freeze you, trip you and take your life if you ignored her warnings. This recognition taught him humility and respect. About a year into the program, after learning a lot about waterfowl communication, habitat and characteristics, the young man shot his first duck – a drake mallard. As he held the dying bird in his hands, he stroked the auburn breast and admired the iridescent green hue of the head. He marveled at the dark blue speculum on the wings, outlined with a pearl white bar. He was quiet. After a few minutes, he spoke. “I feel kind of badly for having taken the life of something so beautiful. And yet I am full of joy at the same time. Have you ever
felt that?” he asked me. I answered him “Every time I take one.” The value of being able to pass on traditions is that you can be a facilitator to a persons’ discovery of their own love and appreciation for nature and life itself. So if you don’t have family with a deer camp, if you don’t have children in your life right now, or if your children are grown and starting their own family traditions, don’t limit yourself. Find a young man or woman and introduce them to the outdoors. Share your stories and
lead them down the path of starting a tradition all their own! Bradley Carleton is Executive Director of Sacred Hunter.org, a nonprofit being formed that seeks to educate the public on the spiritual connection of man to nature and raises funds for Traditions Outdoor Mentoring.org, which mentors at-risk young men in outdoor pursuits. Please feel free to visit our websites at www.sacredhunter.org/wordpress and www.traditionsoutdoormentoring.org or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Out & About:
The Importance of Family
he moment is forever etched shake -- the way men congratulate in my memory. The rooster each other. pheasant surprised me with “Nice shot,” he said, then ruffled its speed as it rocketed out of the my hair knowing I hated that. tailwater pit and shot right toward That moment is what many people me. In the moments before the experience when a child succeeds at action had begun I had repeatedly a challenging event. Sometimes it's rehearsed in my mind where my safe a home run on the baseball field or shooting lanes were and knew that to mention hundreds of rounds scoring a touchdown in football. from where I stood at one corner of through the shotgun on clay targets Another child might perform a solo the pit, until the bird was beyond – had paid off. in an orchestra, or play the lead in a me, I had no shot. Walking back toward the vehicles school play. As the cackling bird’s long tail where my dad, four uncles and And then, there are the deer feathers shot past, 2 1/2 feet woods. of pheasant beat a hasty There is no doubt that a “They will, and do, have an understanding retreat, its head and neck young hunter taking a first ablaze in color. and appreciation of the natural world that deer is a momentous I pivoted as the bird surrounds them and will have a connection occasion. winged past, pushing the to it through our relationship.” I was fortunate enough to safety off with my meet a couple of first-time Jeremy Baker forefinger and dropping the successful hunters the bead of my 12-gauge pump opening Saturday of the on the rapidly fleeing bird. youth deer-hunting I slapped the trigger and just as the several cousins were already weekend. recoil racked through my skinny gathered, I must have been glowing. I spent a couple of hours at a 14-year-old frame I saw the bird My dad looked at me and his eyes biological check station and two tumble. lit up. I sprinted toward the rooster, Six or eight rooster pheasants and deer came in during the time I was afraid it might somehow turn into a at least that many hens had erupted there. It was a lot of fun to see a little figment of my imagination before I from the tailwater pit and in the piece of what had to be a great day cold cover the 20 or so yards to ruckus that followed he had no idea where it fell. I picked it up and felt I had just reached a momentous for these young hunters and their families. its warmth against the cold morning milestone. One of the young hunters had a air. I ran my hand over it to smooth “Where'd you get that?” my dad nice spikehorn and was there with the soft feathers on its back, their asked, hoping for the answer I gave. his dad. iridescence glimmering in the early “I shot it,” I said. Matthew Lorman, 14, had tagged morning light. “Your first pheasant.” I could see his deer that morning, and he was My first pheasant. the pride in his eyes. The miles of walking corn stubble Uncles slapped my back and my there with his father, Keith Lorman, and kicking out weed patches – not dad stuck out his hand for me to who was clearly a proud father. December 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 45
Out & About:
“There's nothing like it,” the elder Lorman said about seeing his son shoot his deer. In fact, later that day, he got to do it again when his younger son, Jacob Lorman, 12, tagged a doe just before dark. It was Jacob’s second deer, having shot a spike the previous year, an event Keith said left him so excited he couldn't get out of the tree stand at first. But what was impressive to me was that as Matthew Lorman began talking about hunting, he immediately brought up family and tradition as reasons he enjoyed hunting. And while he wasn’t at the check station with them, they all made it clear that grandpa, Fred Lorman, was an important part of the crew. You expect a parent to be proud, but how many young teenagers list family high on their list for anything important these days? That’s the way hunting and the outdoors is. Family and tradition are key components to enjoying time spent outside, whether you are a
grizzled veteran of the woods or a youngster who has just killed his first deer. A second young hunter who checked a deer in while I was there also listed family as being important to him. Brandon Lafayette, 13, showed up with a doe, his first deer. He was with his father, Andre; his mother, Angela; and twin brother Cody. His mother had attended his hunter education course with him and Brandon said his family was the reason he had been wanting to go hunting. Most of us learn our outdoor skills from a family member – most often mom and dad, but also grandparents and aunts and uncles. Another young hunter who tagged a deer during the youth hunting weekend was Tommy Baker, 11, who shot a mature doe – his first deer. Tommy's father, Jeremy Baker left on a hunting trip to Ontario the week after, but he said he couldn’t get his son’s deer out of his head.
“I am on an incredible trip right now but I can’t stop thinking about my hunt with my son this past weekend and how incredibly proud I am of him,” Baker said via email from the road. “I knew I would be but didn't realize how emotional the experience would be. I could shoot the biggest buck of my life two days from now and it won't compare to that moment that he and I shared together last weekend.” And while these families are making those memories that will last a lifetime, the parents are also giving a gift the kids might not realize they’re receiving until they are taking their own kids into the woods. Baker said he is making sure his kids will have an outdoor legacy to pass on to his grandkids. “They will, and do, have an understanding and appreciation of the natural world that surrounds them and will have a connection to it through our relationship,” Baker said. We learn our love of the outdoors when someone takes us out there and makes sure that it is part of who we are. You might like pretty photos in a magazine, but you won’t get it until you’ve heard it, smelled it, seen it, tasted it, and felt it. Wild places attack our senses in a way urban -- or even more rural -places never can. You know the feeling you get -that tingle that crawls up your spine when you see or hear something that people who stay on the pavement will never experience. What better gift could you give your child? Darren Marcy is editor and publisher of Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine.
Page 46 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • December 2012