This guy got away. I know that because George and I saw it just of Rt. 12 outside of Worcester heading north, back to our office in Morrisville. I don’t know of anyone who got in on the Moose raffle this year, but hunting season has started and Turkeys were open game over the weekend.
Bill Snow is one of the guys on our team. He covers the Eastern half of Vermont and his home base is in the Berlin office. Bill was a 4-H Agent and a County Agent in Orange, back in the day. He has also been a dairy farmer and we are simply lucky to have him on our team. Being that Bill has been with UVM Extension for over 40 years, he has gathered up a whole bunch of colleagues and friends and has shared stories of victories and loses over what has become known in Extension as the “Government Hunt”.
It started in 1988 with Bill and another Extension buddy heading out from Bill’s place in West Fairlee. Bill tells this story.
We had walked across one 5 acre field when I told Phil we should load our guns. Immediately after loading we saw a deer and I said it was a buck and fired. The deer ran off, so we stared looking for it. Phil found it and yelled to me: “How do you tell if it is legal?” I hollered back, “You fold a dollar bill in half and if the horns are longer it is legal.”
At the deer checking station the lady called it a 4 pointer. After we started back, Phil responded, ” the horns were 3.25 inches with two little nubs on them, and she had the gall to call it a 4 pointer! ”
Other participants to the hunting party have been mostly farmers, Extension agents, legislators and the occasional DHIA Supervisor. So when these boys all broke for lunch and gathered ’round, the topic of conversation generally turned to agriculture and the like. This is when the locals began calling it the Government Hunt.
One would think that with all that collective wisdom, identification of game would be simple. However, once during a hunting break, near the top of a wooded hill, the group heard a swishing noise. Associate Extension Dean, Rick LeVitre asked, ” What was that noise?” Bill responded, ” It was a buck snorting. ”
A few minutes later a hot air balloon appeared around the corner of the mountain top. Luckily this group knew not to shoot until they positively identified the target. Or that balloon would would have gone BOOM!
Knowing that you must always positively identify the game before taking a shot, no harm will be done. Remember, Now is the season when the woods are busy with farmers and loggers, hunters and hikers. Don’t forget your Blaze Orange . Take a few minutes to dig out the hat and vest and enjoy the woods.