November 2012 Volume 0 Number 11
GREAT OUTDOORS Fantastic Fishing Lake Champlain gives up some of its best fish in the fall.
Family Affair Twelve hunters hang eight bucks on the family game pole.
Off Camera Buck TV host puts down the camera and tags a buck
Plus: • Multi-use trail gets permit. • Duck Stamp art chosen. • News, Calendar, More …
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 Page 2 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
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November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 3
Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine www.VtGreatOutdoorsMag.com November 2012 • Volume 0 • Number 11
Features 10 Duck
© Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine 2012
Calif. artist wins duck stamp art contest for the second time with painting of goldeneye.
Publisher & Editor Darren Marcy General Manager Lori Moro
A 93-mile, northern Vermont multi-use, 4-season trail has cleared its final hurdle.
News Assistants Maya Marcy & Camilla Marcy Contributors This Could Be You. Article & Photo Submissions
One family has found deer hunting success with 15 bucks in the last two years.
Press Releases, Letters, Calendar news@VtGreatOutdoorsMag.com
Lake Champlain’s fishing remains hot despite the colder late-fall weather.
Phone (802) 331-0130 All articles and photos need to be submitted electronically.
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5. Editor’s Note 6. Shot of the Month 7. Outdoor News 9. Calendar 26. Out & About
10. Conservation 12. Skiing 13. Trails 15. Hunting 21. Fishing
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 • November 2012
This is only a test …
elcome to our first test issue of Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine. Call it a test, sample, beta, practice, whatever you want to call it, this first effort is a chance to beat our heads up against the learning curve. And there have been a few dents along the way. That’s why this first issue is coming at you a couple of weeks later than we intended it to. First we ended up being forced to upgrade the software we were using midstream, which required a computer upgrade, and a complete rework of the pages as dominoes continued to fall. But, here we are. VGOM will cover just about every type of outdoor recreation there is – just not in every issue. While there will be a lot of coverage given to some sports, over time we will feature just about everything. That includes a lot of activities that seem to get overlooked in Vermont or that aren’t as high-profile. Thank you for reading this first issue – and for being guinea pigs. I appreciate that you chose to download this issue to check it out. I hope you’ll find it worthwhile and come back every month for a new issue. I hope you’ll offer feedback and constructive criticism on what could be better. Let me know what you find. What are the weaknesses and where are the strengths of this publication. We would like to know what we are doing right, so we can continue to do those things in future issues. But we also need to know where we are falling short so we won’t continue to make those same mistakes. As pointed out throughout this first issue, this is only a test. There will be problems and concerns. There are many things with this magazine I’m not entirely happy with and will fix before you download the December issue. That will again produce concerns that will be fixed before we officially launch in January. In all, however, I’m excited with this first issue. I think you’re getting a couple of real solid and useful stories, a lot of good news, and some really cool photos. We’ll be improving on all these things as we continue forward. I’m already in talks with some folks who have agreed to write for and provide photos for future issues. And I plan to pursue content from the state’s conservation groups and various organizations to provide them with the opportunity to share their message. The invitation is also open to anyone who wants to write or contribute photos. I encourage everyone to like us on Facebook and follow our Twitter stream for regular updates, news and events as well as important notices. For now, please click, swipe or tap to the next page and take a look. I hope you like what we have to offer in the following pages.
On the Cover
Sam McCuin, producer of the television show “The Outfitter,” killed his first deer with a bow. The buck was a 164-pound, 8-pointer.
Sam McCuin gets to hunt some amazing animals in spectacular places as co-producer, with his wife Ruth, of “The Outfitter” television show. But on the second day of the Vermont archery deer season he left the cameras at home for a change and headed afield. Due to medical issues, McCuin qualifies to hunt with a crossbow and was hunting from the ground near some apple trees in Pittsford when a buck stepped out in front of McCuin. The pair locked eyes inside of 25 yards, but when the buck turned his head, McCuin fired. He heard the arrow strike the rib cage. Despite a complete pass through shot, McCuin said there was no blood trail and he began to second guess himself.
November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 5
Shot of the Month:
A climber tops a spire in Brandon Gap during warmer weather. This photo was provided by Vermont Adventure Tours, 223 Woodstock Ave. in Rutland. Find them on Facebook, or check them out on the Web at www.vermontclimbing.com and www.vermontadventuretours.com.
Page 6 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
Vermont Starksboro Man Charged with Taking Moose Out of Season A 25-year old Starksboro man has been charged with taking a moose in closed season by Vermont State Game Wardens. Warden Robert Currier and Warden Sgt. George Scribner responded to a report of a moose found dead on Guthrie Road in Lincoln on Oct. 5. The wardens determined the moose had been illegally shot. Vermont’s firearms moose hunting season was October 20-25 this year. Further investigation revealed that Shaun E. Rublee of Starksboro was involved in killing the moose. Wardens and Vermont State Police executed a search warrant on Rublee’s residence. Wardens seized eight bags of moose meat, moose antlers, several tools used to butcher the moose, a rifle and several rounds of .32 caliber ammunition. Rublee was then charged with taking a moose in closed season. If convicted, Rublee is subject to fines and restitution totaling up to $2,500 and faces up to 60 days in jail or both. Rublee is also facing the loss of his privileges to hunt, fish and trap in Vermont for three years.
Two Men Charged After Shooting Decoy in Royalton You never know if that deer you’re planning to spotlight is real or a decoy, as two Central Vermont men discovered late at night Oct. 5. Vermont State Game Wardens conducted a decoy deer operation in Royalton that evening setting up a fake deer. At approximately 10:47 p.m. shots were fired at the decoy deer. Warden Keith Gallant pursued and stopped a vehicle containing Mikel Brady of Randolph and Joshua Hill of Bethel, both 23, and a 15-year-old juvenile. After a cursory check of the vehicle and its occupants, no gun was located in the vehicle and the men were released and advised the gun used would be located by wardens along the roadside.
A short time later, while searching the roadside for the firearm, a pickup truck was observed turning around shining its headlights into a field, in the area where the firearm was believed to have been tossed. The vehicle was stopped by Warden Steven Majeski, and the 20-year-old operator and three 17-year-old occupants were identified. Wardens quickly determined that one of the occupants was the brother of the earlier shooting suspect. Two of the occupants told wardens that Brady had called the brother and instructed him to retrieve the firearm that had been tossed earlier. In addition, the 20-year-old operator of the second vehicle was determined to be intoxicated and was turned over to Vermont State Police for arrest on the charge of DUI. One occupant was cited by wardens as a minor in possession of alcohol. A firearm was located nearby along the road a short time later. Mikel Brady and Joshua Hill are facing charges of taking deer in closed season, taking deer by illegal means and possession of a loaded rifle in a motor vehicle. Brady and Hill may also face charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor as well as federal charges. Fish and Wildlife charges include fines of up to $1,000 per charge and 60 days in jail as well as penalties upon conviction and a three-year suspension of licenses to hunt, fish and trap in Vermont.
Two Men Charged With Mining On State Wildlife Area Two men, one from Vermont and one from New York, made a costly mistake in August by mining quartz on a state Wildlife Management Area. On Aug. 26, Vermont State Game Wardens Robert Sterling and Justin Stedman found Robert J. LaPorte of Shaftsbury and Philip G. Yerke of Waterford, N.Y., digging and extracting quartz crystal rock material from an area on Bird Mountain Wildlife Management Area in the towns of Ira, Castleton and Poultney. The 770-acre WMA was purchased in 1976 with funding from the sale of hunting licenses and federal
November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 7
Outdoor News: News taxes on hunting equipment. It is managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department as public hunting land and for its unique wildlife habitat qualities. LaPorte and Yerke were charged with willful and careless destruction of state property under 10 V.S.A. Section 4517. Each man is subject to a fine of $2,500 and loss of their licenses to hunt, fish or trap in Vermont for one year.
Have a business card advertising your business? This space is just $20 per month. Reach a focused, dedicated and engaged group of outdoor enthusiasts.
Regional River Guide Charged After Woman Drowns in N.Y. River INDIAN LAKE, N.Y. — A guide has been criminally charged after he was accused of being under the influence while guiding a rafting trip during which a woman was thrown from a raft and drowned, according to a report published in the Glens Falls (N.Y.) Post-Star newspaper. Rory K. Fay, 37, of North Creek was charged with criminally negligent homicide according to New York State Police. Officials say he was was piloting the raft when Tamara F. Flake, 53, of Columbus, Ohio, was thrown into the water on the Indian River. According to the newspaper, State Police said the guide was intoxicated and a passenger steered the raft to shore. The raft company was identified as the Hudson River Rafting Company, which operates guided trips on four rivers in northern New York.
There are no ads in this month’s test issue. We are not going to take someone’s money while we learn what works and what doesn’t. We will take your money beginning in January and encourage your support of this magazine. Any advertisements placed by the end of November for the January issue, will also be included in the December issue free of charge. Buy January, get December free.
What you are reading is a practice issue. 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. 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. We plan to add writers, topics and even more photos. For example, the news section on this page and the previous page is expected to include more items and will be about more than just criminal conduct. The calendar, on Page 9, will include more than just a small handful of events. It will be largely dependent upon your contributions. But the first thing we wanted to do was put a sample calendar together to test the formatting and layout possibilities. December’s issue will be another practice issue before we launch in January. We encourage feedback between now and then, so we can better understand 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page 8 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
Calendar of Events ● Youth deer weekend, Nov. 3-4.
● Muzzleloader deer season, Dec. 1-9.
● Fall turkey season ends in west-central WMUs, Nov. 4.
● Archery deer season, Dec. 1-9.
● Woodcock season ends, Nov. 14. ● Game Supper, 4 p.m., Nov. 15, venison, moose, bear, coon, beaver, rabbit, and chicken. Danville United Methodist Church. Information: email@example.com www.danvillevt.com/Activities.htm.
● Bobcat trapping season, Dec. 1-16 ● Fisher trapping season, Dec. 1-31. ● Ruffed Grouse season ends, Dec. 31. ● Mink, fox, skunk, raccoon, coyote, opposum, weasel trapping season ends, Dec. 31.
● Beaver trapping season begins, Nov. 15 ● Largemouth & smallmouth season closes, Nov. 30.
Cover But with his wife’s help, the pair soon found the buck a mere 100 yards from where it was shot. The buck turned out to be a 164-pound 8-pointer. “This was my second year to hunt with (the crossbow), and I was very fortunate to take this nice Vermont buck,” McCuin said. “It’s my first archery kill and the best racked Vermont buck I have taken to date.”
The Outfitter 8 a.m. Sundays Fox 44 (WFFF) out of Burlington
www.theoutfittertv.com The Outfitter TV Series November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 9
Duck Stamp winner is golden
Robert Steiner’s acrylic painting of a common goldeneye was selected to be turned into the 2013-14 duck stamp.
California artist has won the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp art contest. Robert Steiner of San Francisco won the event for the second time, with his winning art gracing the
Federal Duck Stamp during the 1998-99 season previously. Steiner's acrylic painting of a common goldeneye is this year's winner and the stamp bearing Steiner's art will go on sale in June 2013 for the 2013-14 stamp season. Steiner's art was chosen Sept. 29 during the annual juried art
competition, which is sponsored by the federal government. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould announced the winners at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, during this year's contest.
Page 10 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
Paul Bridgford of Des Moines, Iowa, placed second with his acrylic painting of a pair of northern shovelers (above, left). Gerald Mobley of Claremore, Okla., took third place with his acrylic painting of a pair of northern shovelers (right).
Commonly known as “the duck migratory bird habitat for inclusion stamp,” the Migratory Bird into the National Wildlife Refuge Conservation and Hunting Stamp is System. Since 1934, stamp sales have “I congratulate Robert Steiner on required to be purchased and carried his second Federal Duck Stamp by all waterfowl hunters 16 years raised more than $850 million and has helped purchase 6 million acres Contest win, and my appreciation and older. of wildlife habitat at goes out to all of the artists hundreds of refuges in who entered the contest this “Whether you buy a Duck Stamp to hunt nearly every state. year,” Gould said. “I look waterfowl, add to your stamp collection, “Whether you buy a forward to seeing this admire in a frame, or contribute to Duck Stamp to hunt beautiful artwork adorning conservation, you are buying a piece of waterfowl, add to your the 80th Federal Duck history.” stamp collection, admire in Stamp – one of our nation's a frame, or contribute to oldest and most successful Jerome Ford conservation, you are conservation programs – buying a piece of history,” when it goes on sale next said Jerome Ford, the FWS June.” Additionally, conservationists, assistant director for migratory There were 192 entries in this year's two-day competition. A final stamp collectors and others buy the birds. “For nearly 80 years, hunters, $15 stamp, which grants the bearer round featured 17 entries. Paul Bridgeford, of Des Moines, free admission to any National wildlife watchers, and millions of Iowa, came in second for his acrylic Wildlife Refuge open to the public. other people who purchase Federal Money raised from the sale of Duck Stamps have made a direct painting of a pair of northern shovelers. Federal Duck Stamp benefits the contribution to wildlife conservation Gerald Mobley, of Claremore, Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, through the protection of wetland Okla., was third. His painting, also which supports the purchase of habitats.” of northern shovelers. Mobley's art won the 1985-86 Federal Duck Stamp art contest.
November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 11
Skiing and riding season is just around the corner As temperatures continue to head toward winter, Vermont’s ski areas are in top gear to launch the season. Snow guns began blowing snow at many resorts as soon as the first frost appeared and some natural snow has helped the cause. While Mother Nature can be fickle, every ski area has a date they mark on the calendar and hope to start turning the lifts.
Killington opened for pass holders Oct. 13-14, then opened the mountain to everyone Nov. 5. For everybody else, the dates are just around the corner and you’ll be carving before you know it. Find your favorite mountain on this list, provided by Ski Vermont, to find out when you can get in your first turns.
Tentative Opening Dates ● ● ● ● ● ●
Stowe Mountain Resort: Saturday, November 17 Sugarbush Resort: Saturday, November 17 Okemo Mountain Resort: Saturday, November 17 Stratton Mountain: Wednesday, November 21 Mount Snow Resort: Friday, November 23 Smugglers’ Notch Resort: Friday, November 23
● ● ● ● ● ●
Bromley Mountain: Friday, November 23 Jay Peak Resort: Saturday, November 24 Bolton Valley: Saturday, December 8 Middlebury College Snow Bowl: Friday, December 14 Magic Mountain: Saturday, December 15 Mad River Glen: Saturday, December 15
Page 12 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
Final piece of the puzzle
t was 10 years in the making, but the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail recently received the final piece to the puzzle that will let the trail building begin. With a long-awaited land use permit in hand, 10 years of struggles are now behind the trail and Phase 1 of the 93-mile, four-season, multi-use recreation trail can begin. That Phase 1, of three phases, construction includes 44 miles of finished trail in three sections: St. Johnsbury to West Danville, Morrisville to Cambridge, and Sheldon Junction to Swanton. The trail is expected to not only provide jobs in the near term, but should serve as a tourism draw for years to come. Eventually, the trail is seen as one that will stretch from New York to New Hampshire and the Sheldon Junction to Swanton section will connect to the Missisiquoi Valley Rail Trail, which is 26 miles long.
The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail is a joint project between the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers. It also has had the support of Vermont’s congressional delegation. Just last month, the delegation announced a grant that multi-use northern Vermont trail.
Vermont's congressional delegation of Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch issued a joint press release to announce a grant for $249,982 from the Northern Border Regional Commission in early October. The grant is leveraged by a $5.2 million grant Sanders previously secured for the construction of the trail. The total cost for the trail is expected to be about $10 million, but much of the remaining amount will come from donations and in-kind services. “These two grants will help bolster efforts to promote conservation, tourism and recreation, which are fundamental to the economy of northern Vermont,” Sanders said. Vermont's senior senator said the grants benefit key economic strengths. “These grants match federal investments to local priorities, moving these ideas from plans, into action,” Leahy said. “They align with key economic strengths and goals of these communities and will help with tourism, recreation and other community goals.”
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!
Most races and competitions. There will be some allowance for fishing tournaments, some shooting events, and a few others, but we’re not interested in 5k, 10k, half marathons, triathlons, bike races, ski races, swim meets, auto/motorcycle races, adventure races and similar events that are already covered by other publications and local newspapers. Also, no golf, Frisbee games, dog shows (unless they’re bird dogs), gardening, backyard birding, polo, team sports, well you get the idea. We have to draw the line somewhere, and this is a good starting point. Some things will be on a case-by-case basis. It never hurts to ask.
November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 13
Trails: LVRT Vermont’s delegation was influential in creating the border commission, which directly invests federal resources for economic development and job creation in economically distressed regions of northern New Hampshire, New York, Maine and Vermont. But, while the funding is critical, it was an Act 250 permit and other red tape that was holding up the ground breaking. After a lengthy environmental review process that included public hearings and permitting, the trail received its Act 250 permit Oct. 25. “This is excellent news for VAST and the four season recreational community,” said VAST Executive Director, Alexis Nelsen. “We hope to break ground in Morrisville in the spring.” But, others were even more anxious to get started. “We might be able to get the first bridge in this fall,” said Laird MacDowell, chairman of the LVRT Committee.
The bridge would connect St. Johnsbury to the new trail. And Sanders announced the development in the press release. “This is exciting news,” Sanders said. “The trail across some of the most beautiful terrain in Vermont will be a fantastic recreational asset while strengthening Vermont’s economy. Once built, the trail will be a huge attraction for tourists who come to Vermont in the winter to snowmobile or ski, or in the summer to bike and hike. These tourists will stay in our hotels and inns, eat in local restaurants, visit other Vermont attractions and buy Vermont products.” Lamoille Valley Rail Trail got its start as a rail line serving as an important east-west corridor from 1877 until it closed in 1994. VAST won state approval in 2003 to convert the rail bed into a four-season recreation trail. The trail will be available to hikers, bikers, horseback riders, snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and others. To learn more about the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, please visit www.lvrt.org.
Page 14 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
A family that hunts together …
Eight bucks hang from the buckpole after last year’s deer season. The deer were taken by 12 hunters from one family during the November rifle season. The largest of the deer was a 204-pound 10-pointer.
wice Carroll Wortman brought his .243 to his shoulder and twice he put the gun down. Wortman had been watching a field near some apple trees as a
couple of deer edged cautiously into the field. Try as he might, he just couldn't make antlers appear on either doe. But the action got Wortman's blood pumping. A longtime hunter, he knew that big, old bucks are rarely the first deer to step out into a field.
So, despite the fact the day was drawing to a close, he waited and watched. Ten minutes later, about 4 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving, 2011, Wortman was on alert when another deer stepped out into the field intent on reaching those apple trees.
November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 15
Hunting: Family This was no doe, but a big-bodied, antlered buck and Wortman again brought his gun up and settled into it. Wortman waited for the deer to clear some brush, then squeezed the trigger. The deer, clearly hit, bolted. Wortman shot again and the big buck piled up. That first shot, Wortman later learned, was fatal, but not wanting to take a chance, he anchored the buck with a follow-up shot. Wortman knew he had killed a nice buck, but until he got to his deer and took a look at its headgear, he didn’t understand just how great his 2011 deer was going to look on the wall. Wortman quickly counted 10 antler points, and later, the big buck registered 204 pounds dressed out. “That’s the biggest deer I ever got,” Wortman said. “I didn’t know he was that big. I lifted his head up and, ‘holy moly.’”
All bucks, the deer ranged from a 4-pointer to the big 10-pointer. The smallest buck hit the scales at 143 pounds. There was a 145-pounder and three in the 160s. Two 8pointers checked in at 179 pounds and a 188 pounds. A game warden that checked the
Wortman knew he had killed a nice buck, but until he got to his deer and took a look at its headgear, he didn’t understand just how great his 2011 deer was going to look on the wall. But while Wortman's deer was the biggest deer hanging on the family game pole last fall, it was far from the only one. Seven other deer hung alongside the 204-pound bruiser. All eight deer were killed by members of the Wortman family in the Rutland area of Vermont on public land. In all 12 family members went afield.
hunters and admired the game pole surmised that it might be the best game pole in the state for 2011. Wayne Wortman said their hunting party is likely one of the largest in the state that is made up of all family members. “We all hunted with our fathers and now we’re carrying on the tradition,” he said.
One deer was killed on opening day with the last of the eight bucks taken on the next to last day of the Vermont rifle season. Lest you think the family's 2011 harvest was a fluke, the same crew hung seven deer last year, although they admit the 2010 harvest wasn’t as impressive in either antlers or weight. Carroll Wortman and his brother Wayne, say their success is partially a result of taking their deer season seriously. But, it’s also a testament to Vermont’s antler restrictions that require all bucks to have at least one forked antler to be legal – a regulation that has been in affect since 2005. The brothers said that this year’s game pole is reminiscent of days gone by and is a direct result of the regulation change.
Page 16 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
Tree Stand Safety
“We feel that this game pole this year is because we’re not shooting spikehorns,” Wayne Wortman said. There has been talk about allowing hunters in Vermont to again kill spikehorns because some believe that the current regulation is resulting in more deer with inferior genes surviving.
“We feel that this game pole … is because we’re not shooting spikehorns.” The Wortmans disagree and say that regardless of what the regulations are, they will not kill spikes. “We really believe it would ruin it again,” Wayne Wortman said. It’s hard to argue with the Wortman success. The family has tagged 15 bucks in two years. “We go out there and hunt for them,” Carroll Wortman said. “And we hunt every day.” When the 2012 deer season opens this month, the Wortmans will again be roaming the hills where their fathers and grandfathers tagged deer. And if their past success is any indication, there will be a full game pole featuring some very fine Green Mountain whitetailed bucks.
unters are using tree stands much more today than they historically did and knowing how to safely use a tree stand can be the difference between getting hurt or killed, and bagging that big buck of a lifetime. Here are some tips for using your tree stand while staying safe and legal: ● Only use stands certified by the Treestand Manufacturers’ Association. ● Inspect your tree stand each time you use it. ● Choose a live, straight tree. ● Always wear a full-body safety harness, even for climbing. Most falls occur going up or down the tree and getting in and out of the stand. ● Don't go too high. The higher you go, the vital zone on a deer decreases, while the likelihood of a serious injury increases for you. ● Always use a haul line to raise and lower all gear.
● Never carry firearms or bows up and down trees. Make sure your firearm is unloaded. ● Familiarize yourself with your gear before you go. The morning of opening day is a poor time to put your safety belt on for the first time. ●Be careful with long-term placement. Exposure to the elements can damage straps, ropes and attachment cords. Also, the stand’s stability can be compromised over time, as the tree grows. It’s also important to know the rules that concern hunting from a tree stand in Vermont: On state lands, it is illegal to place nails or other hardware into trees or to build permanent structures. On private lands, you must have landowner permission to erect a tree stand, cut or remove trees or other plants, or to cut limbs. All stands, including ground blinds, must be marked with the owner’s name and address. Hunters can find more rules are on page 24 of the 2012 Fish & Wildlife Regulations book.
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. November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 17
Hunter orange saves lives
mart hunters choose fluorescent hunter orange. They know they are safer and understand it helps preserve Vermont’s hunting heritage because no matter how rare, each huntingrelated shooting reinforces the mistaken perception that hunting is dangerous. “Hunter orange is a choice in Vermont,” said Chris Saunders, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s hunter education coordinator. “But that’s no excuse. In the past 10 years, almost half of the state’s huntingrelated shootings might have been prevented with hunter orange. Every A hunter orange hat and vest provide the minimum coverage recommended by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. one of these tragedies is a black eye Concerns that deer are scared by heavily on their ability to detect for hunters.” Hunters moving into the line of hunter orange are unfounded. A movement over the ability to interpret color variations and fire of other hunters and patterns. mistaking other hunters for “In the past 10 years, almost half of Regardless of how well they game are two of the three most the state’s hunting-related shootings see it, ample anecdotal common causes of the state’s evidence suggests they aren’t accidents. Both types involve might have been prevented with bothered by it. Yearly deer visibility problems, and both hunter orange. Every one of these underscore the need for tragedies is a black eye for hunters.” harvests in many of the states that require hunter orange hunters to be seen, especially exceed the size of Vermont’s during the November rifle and Chris Saunders deer herd. December muzzleloader deer A hunter orange hat and vest seasons as well as the rabbit, provide the minimum coverage hare and upland bird seasons. recommended by the Vermont “Waterfowl, turkey and archery deer are exceptions,” said deer’s vision is based on movement, Fish & Wildlife Department. Remember, hunting in Vermont is Saunders. patterns and color variations. Unlike “But we still recommend hunter humans, deer do not have multiple very safe, but it could be even safer orange when you going to and from color receptors in their eyes. They if all hunters choose hunter orange. your blind, treestand or calling can to see color, but their spectrum Our hunting heritage might be safer is limited. This means deer must rely too. spot.” Page 18 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
Pa. added to CWD list
ermont remains one of the states that has managed to avoid having chronic wasting disease discovered within its borders. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is trying to keep it that way. The Pennsylvania Agriculture Department announced Oct. 11 that chronic wasting disease has been discovered at a captive deer facility in Adams County. Further investigation determined that the CWD positive deer had been exposed to animals from captive facilities in both Lycoming and Dover Counties. All three of these deer farms have been quarantined. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reminds hunters traveling outside Vermont to hunt that the regulation restricting the importation of deer and elk carcasses, which is designed to protect Vermont's wild deer from chronic wasting disease, remains in effect. The white-tailed deer is one of America’s most successful conservation stories. In the early 1900s deer were largely extirpated from the United States. The restoration of deer populations is a true testament to the conservation mindset of sportsmen and women. Howev-
er, the spread of CWD may currently be the biggest threat to North America’s deer hunting culture and tradition. CWD was first detected in deer confined at high densities with
The spread of CWD may currently be the biggest threat to North America’s deer hunting culture and tradition. sheep and cows that had been exposed to non-CWD variants of a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. Over the past decade CWD has been detected in 21 states and two Canadian provinces. Therefore, the Fish & Wildlife Department is taking measures to prevent the introduction of infectious diseases to the state’s deer herd. These measures include an importation ban on carcasses from states where CWD has been detected and educational efforts aimed at informing hunters on the importance of limiting the utilization of urine based scents. Hunters can find information on CWD and Vermont’s carcass importation ban at the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website at www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
“Hunters should be aware of the impacts CWD would have on Vermont’s deer hunting culture and traditions,” said Vermont’s Deer Project Leader Adam Murkowski. “As our understanding of CWD has increased over the last decade the results have reinforced the importance of limiting the distribution of CWD on the landscape. While no strong evidence currently exists to demonstrate other species or humans can contract CWD after coming into contact with a CWD positive deer – given the potential for inter-species transmission, Vermont’s CWD response plan details the steps that would be taken to protect Vermont’s hunting culture, traditions and agricultural industry in the event CWD is detected. These steps properly require the depopulation of deer herds in areas where the disease is spatially distributed.” “Hunters should not alter their plans based on a state’s CWD status, however, hunters bringing deer or elk from any of the CWDlisted states or provinces into or through Vermont simply have to get them processed according to the regulation before doing so.”
November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 19
Recipients of antlerless deer hunting permits will soon receive a post card that looks like this.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says antlerless deer hunting permits for the Dec. 1-9 muzzleloader deer season will be mailed to recipients in early November. The department cautions, however, that the permits are in the form of a postcard -- so if you receive one, but sure to put it in a safe place until December. Hunters who will be receiving the muzzleloader season antlerless deer permits are listed on the department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). The Fish and Wildlife Board approved the number of December muzzleloader permits at 12,425 for 15 of the state’s 24 Wildlife Management Units. “The antlerless permit allocation represents a conservative approach to antlerless deer hunting this fall,” said Murkowski. “Deer herds throughout the state are at or below population objectives. Thus, the number of muzzleloader season antlerless permits for this year will allow for slow growth in the deer herd throughout much of the state.” Biologists expect hunters who receive the permits will take about 2,200 antlerless deer in the muzzleloader season. “The winter of 2011-2012 was the mildest recorded in recent decades,” said Murkowski. “It will be important for hunters to continue to manage their local deer herds for deer herd health to ensure the number of deer remains appropriate for the available habitat.”
Vermont rules on importing and possession of deer or elk from areas with chronic wasting disease and captive hunt areas or farms: ● It is illegal to import or possess deer or elk, or parts of deer or elk, from states and Canadian provinces that have had chronic wasting disease, or from captive hunt or farm facilities with the following exceptions: ● Meat that is cut up, packaged and labeled with hunting license information and not mixed with other deer or elk during processing; ● Meat that is boneless; ● Hides or capes with no part of the head attached; ● Clean skull-cap with antlers attached; ● Antlers with no other meat or tissue attached; ● Finished taxidermy heads; ● Upper canine teeth with no tissue attached. Vermont's CWD importation regulations apply to hunters bringing in deer or elk carcasses from the following states and provinces, which now includes Pennsylvania: Alberta, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. A fine of up to $1,000 and loss of hunting and fishing licenses for one year are applicable for each deer or elk imported illegally.
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Page 20 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
Fantastic fall fishing Lake Champlain anglers who fish in the late fall will often catch fewer fish, but those fish will be healthy and wellfed as they prepare for the long Vermont winter.
This fat 5-pound, 10-ounce smallmouth bass is a perfect example of the healthy, well-fed fish anglers might catch on Lake Champlain in the fall. This bronzeback was caught on a short-sleeve Indian Summer day on Oct. 20.
November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 21
hile most anglers have put the gear away for the year in anticipation of colder weather, a few die-hard anglers on Lake Champlain are hooking some of the best fish of the year. When the lake’s warmweather patterns fade away and cold water becomes the norm, many fish start feeding in preparation for the long Vermont winter. This fall fishing phenomenon on Champlain is only for the diehard anglers who can withstand the conditions in order for the chance to land quality salmon, big fall pike, and fat, healthy smallmouth. Lake Champlain Angler Fishing Charters is one of the boats on the lake every time the weather and lake conditions allow. U.S. Coast Guard Captain Mickey Maynard has more than 40 years of experience fishing and guiding on Lake Champlain and his clients know “Capt. Mick” as a guide who can find the fish and knows how to catch them. Maynard says the anglers are willing to put up with the less-than-ideal conditions for a chance at some great fall fishing. It doesn’t start out bad.
A pair of matching landlocked Atlantic salmon were caught Nov. 22 last year showing the late fall action can be hot. Both salmon were in the 8½ to 9 pound range.
Early fall angling can be start to pop and the fish go pike. These toothy predators some of the best of the year. on a feeding frenzy. start feeding in preparation Temperatures have One species that fall for winter and when the days mellowed out, the fall colors anglers target is the northern
Page 22 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
Big northern pike, like this 36-inch, 10-plus pounder, are out there for anglers who can put up with the colder late fall weather.
Champlain grow shorter will move into shallow, weedy areas. Maynard said an erratic swimming bait like a spinnerbait, stickbait or inline spinner retrieved quickly will often draw a strike. And the numbers can be impressive. “In August and September you can catch 80 even 100
fish a day, for a party of four,” he said. “You can catch 30 fish a day in a full day. I’ve had days where you’ll see 50-plus fish.” But one thing about the fall is the chance to catch a bigger pike as the action slows. “It slows down in numbers but the fish are bigger,” Maynard said. Maynard had an 8-yearold catch a 16-pound pike this fall and November is a
great month for catching a big pike. One of the bigger draws for anglers on Champlain is a chance to catch a quality bass. While the largemouth bite fades with the warm temperatures, smallmouth can be caught in the 5- and 6-pound range in the late fall. “The smallmouth runs right into November,” Maynard said. “Those fish in the fall are on the feed. They’re really fattened up.
Their bellies are real firm. They're nice, robust fish.” Maynard said 15 to 30 fish per day for three anglers is a good bet and many will be in the 3- to 4-pound range. It’s all catch-and-release bass fishing in the fall. A few smallies, however, will cause a bass anglers blood pressure to spike. Catching these big bronzebacks requires special
November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 23
One of the biggest draws of late fall fishing are big, fat, healthy smallmouth bass. These bronzebacks were caught this fall.
Champlain techniques in water that is often in the mid-40 degree range. Capt. Mick was willing to share most details, but said he had to save a few of his tricks for clients. Many of the fish, he said, were caught on jigs and dropshotting. He said a slow, intheir-face presentation was key, or a slow drift or retrieve. Typically, those feeding smallmouth are quite deep –
deeper than most people are accustomed to fishing for smallmouth bass. “Anywhere from 15 to 30 and sometimes 40 feet of water,” Maynard said. “We’ve caught fish as deep as 70 feet of water.” And Maynard said to look for relatively calm days for this type of light-line finesse fishing. If you can’t find smallmouth willing to bite, you might try chasing trout, salmon or lake trout.
Fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon picks up around the beginning of November and lasts until the ice prevents trolling. The fish average 2 to 3 pounds, Maynard said but he said he’s had some salmon up to 10 pounds. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department said there are more salmon being caught and they are trending bigger thanks to an aggressive sea lamprey control program.
A recent survey conducted by Fish & Wildlife reported a lot of 4- to 6-pound salmon and many in the 8- to 10pound range. The added benefit to trolling for salmon is the chance to also catch a rainbow or brown trout, or a lake trout. The lake trout season is also ready to kick off in November with the spawn usually taking place around Thanksgiving if not a little earlier.
Page 24 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
Jeb Monier was just one day short of his 9th birthday when he caught this 39-inch, 16-pound northern pike on Oct. 1 on Lake Champlain with Capt. Mickey Maynard. The huge pike, the largest of the season for Maynard, was successfully released after this photo.
Champlain While most lake trout during the summer are caught in deep water – sometimes 100 feet or better deep – anglers may not have to go so deep with cooler temperatures in water columns closer to the surface. And it’s better for the fish to not be drug up from that deep.
Maynard said lake trout can be caught jigging with spoons, or trolling. Late fall fishing on Champlain isn’t for everybody. It requires a boat that can handle rougher water and the temperatures can be brutal on some days. It’s imperative that all anglers wear a personal flotation device on the lake at this time of the year and
always let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back so help can be summoned if you don’t return on schedule. Anglers willing to take some precautions and head
in if the weather gets rough can still fish until the ice takes over with the possibility of some of the nicest fish of the year as the reward for for putting up with a few hardships.
Contact Captain Mickey Maynard Phone: (518) 578-9273 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.LakeChamplainAngler.com
November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 25
Out & About:
My Life in the Outdoors
y story in the outdoors begins as far back as the memory reaches. I really don’t remember a time that my family wasn’t involved in hunting, fishing, camping or other outdoor fun. I’ve spent my life on lakes, along rivers, in fields and forests, and sitting next to a campfire. I did find girls more interesting for a few years in my teens, but I eventually returned and got into skiing, hiking, backpacking, fourwheeling and photography, as well as dabbling in other pursuits. So, wild critters and wild places have been flowing through my veins since I was barely old enough to tag along with adults. And long before I could carry a gun afield, I was a heck of a bird dog for hunters, retrieving downed birds and tromping through weed patches to dislodge a pheasant. I was always welcome in camp because I could start a fire and help set up or tear down a camp with the best of them, even as a youngster. When I became a father, my outdoor experiences took on a new focus. I no longer define the success of a trip by meat in a cooler, as much as having fun and teaching my kids about the outdoors and conservation as it relates to wildlife and public lands. But who am I? What do I stand for? I’m a firm believer in the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and that wildlife belongs
to the public. I’m convinced that wildlife laws are critical to the success of management of both game and nongame species of wildlife. I believe the rest of society, while most don’t realize it, are lucky to have hunters and anglers who pay the share of the load for wildlife conservation. I believe in Leave No Trace and the idea of taking only photos and leaving only boot prints. I believe in staying on trails when there are trails and dispersed camping. I believe in picking up your litter and that of others. I think you should always leave an area a little bit nicer than when you found it. I believe in giving back. My ethic is best defined by those who created the most successful outdoor legacy the world has ever seen about a century ago. I write these words with the utmost gratitude for folks like Teddy Roosevelt, George Bird Grinnell, John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, John James Audubon, Aldo Leopold, and others who formed what most people would admit is the envy of the world when it comes to protection and conservation of land and wildlife.
The government has contributed as well. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and various state and federal wildlife protection laws. Perhaps the No. 1 issue I see in the outdoor world right now is that of getting our kids involved and interested in nature and wild things. Too many people are too busy these days to ensure their kids get outdoors to hike, fish, camp, bike or whatever. I’m a parent of two young girls. I get it. I understand the pressures and stresses life brings. I have many of those same issues trying to steal my time. Not only is there a need to earn a living, but chores around the house are enough to keep your average adult busy. Throw in soccer practice, band concerts, school events, trips to the vet, visits by the inlaws ... The list continues to grow until suddenly finding time to cast to a rising trout just isn’t in the cards. But we need to make the time. It’s not only healthy for ourselves to get away, it’s good for our kids, the outdoor pursuits we love and even the future of conservation. Hunters have seen this issue first hand as older hunters drop from the ranks of the hunting license buying population with fewer kids taking their place.
Page 26 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • November 2012
Out & About: Out & About
But really, who am I? I’d like to portray the image of a guy who makes delicate, perfectly timed casts upstream of rising trout and who rarely misses a strike. I like to If we don’t get our kids into the think of myself as a shooter adept at sports that are important to us and doubling on pairs of rising birds. I’m a ensure that the next generation of guy who always starts a campfire with conservationists are coming along to take care of things, wild places could a single match. But the reality is that I’m a guy who be in big trouble within a single enjoys thoroughly thrashing good trout generation. water until every self-respecting trout When I’m not worrying about the future, I love to spend time on a trout within a quarter mile packs it in for the stream or sit next to a campfire late at day. I’m the guy who misses easy straight-away shots. I’ve been known night with a cup of coffee. to go overboard when trying to start a I grew up reading the big three sporting publications of Outdoor Life, fire, and I once got lost and spent the Sports Afield and Field & Stream that night in the woods just 10 minutes from my vehicle after walking for I found on the table next to my dad’s hours the day before – most likely chair, or at my grandparents house. Later, I discovered Fur-Fish-Game at wandering in circles considering the distance I covered. my junior high library and read the I have eaten cold hotdogs after cover off it. In high school, my Algebra teacher was a bass fisherman forgetting the charcoal fluid, went over the handlebars on my bike and and had a pile of BassMaster squished an orange into juice in my magazines in the classroom. I’d grab one when he wasn’t looking and rarely backpack and once got so hot while bass fishing I stripped out of my paid attention to math. clothes and jumped in much to the I read many others and at times in my life have read as many as a dozen shock of my angling partners. My gear isn’t too highfalutin either. outdoor publications a month. Don’t Oh, how I wish I hunted with a believe me? Send me an email and I’ll fancy double gun -- maybe something send you a list. For the last 20 years, I’ve published from England, Italy or Austria. But the my words in magazines, newspapers, reality is I pull an off-the-rack, run-ofand more recently, on the Internet. It’s the-mill pump gun from the sleeve once I hit the field. been a labor of love and my writing And my fly rods have nothing in has been a way to express the common with a fancy bamboo model appreciation I have for the animals I that cost as much as my vehicle saw or hunted, places I’ve been, experiences I’ve had and people who (which isn’t much). One was purchased off of eBay and carries no have filled my life along the way. brand identifying marks. Another I Some of my best memories are picked up to carry in my vehicle to related to the outdoors and some of catch sunfish and perch and the like the best people I’ve met were came from the Redneck Co-op because of the outdoors. I hope this (Walmart). Others have similar magazine contributes to that and pedigrees. All of my fly rods are maybe even spurs you on in some embarrassed I own them. small way.
The rest of my gear tends to be equally blue-collar. I like to buy things on sale and off the bargain shelf. I’m not averse to a garage sale or pawn shop either. That’s who I am. As much as I’d like to pretend I’m something I’m not, I won’t do it. In this space, you’ll get to know the real me as I write about my life and adventures outdoors. My two favorite things are trout fishing and bird hunting. Even if I don’t get to do either nearly as often as I’d like to. One of the things I miss the most in New England are my annual trips with family to hunt pheasants in Kansas. I look forward to developing an appreciating for hunting grouse – err, excuse me – partridge. I hear there are a couple birds left, although their location is a highly guarded secret. And I’m eager to get out on Lake Champlain. Despite living here for nearly a decade, I’ve still not cast a line into that big lake. I love just about anything that takes me outdoors, and I’ve tried most outdoor pursuits at one time or another. I’m eager to tick off the rest of those things I’ve not had a chance to try. On these pages, I will do just that. And I’ll bring you along for the ride. Just promise not to laugh at my casting or missed birds. Although it really won’t matter much. I’m pretty used to my shortcomings at this point and quit letting them bother me some time ago. So, there you have it. Just a little bit about who I am. I look forward to meeting you and hope you’ll introduce yourself if we run into each other, whether it’s on the trail, on the water or at a public event. (Darren Marcy is editor and publisher of Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine.)
November 2012 • Vermont’s Great Outdoors Magazine • Page 27