Viewer Photos and Stories

got your deer? An Outdoor Journal Special

November 20, 2014


Carter Abell

Please find attached a picture of 9 year old Carter Abell's first deer he shot on opening morning of youth weekend. A 95lb 5 pointer shot in South Hero, Vermont.

Colin Tindall

From Waitsfield, VT. Bizzy, age 7, and Willie, age 5, can't wait to hunt with their dad, Colin, who got this buck before 7 am on opening day.

Ben Masure

I shot this 158lb 8 pointer on Saturday morning at 0725 in rockingham vt. I'm 19 years old and this is my ninth deer. I love deer hunting and just being out in the woods. He came down off the bank behind me head high searching for a doe. I shot him with my grandfathers 7mm-08. Hope this makes the show on Thursday night!
Thanks, Ben Masure

Stephen Moreau

I took this 5 point 139 lb buck just about 7 am on the rifle season opener in Fairfax. The rut is on and he was out cruising. 

Mary Diego

This is a picture of my 6 pointer shot on opening morning. I am only a second year hunter and this is the first deer that I have ever harvested. It was shot in Orange and weighed 129lbs.

Lane Eddy

Hear is a photo of my youngest son’s 2014 youth season buck. Opening morning around 9:20 am I grunted this beauty in for a 60 yard shot. My son’s name is Lane Eddy and he is 11 years old. We live in Brandon, VT. The buck is an 8 point and weighed 201 pounds.What is ironic is that both my boys shot their bucks on opening youth weekend day. Same gun, same blind, 4 years and 50 minutes apart. When I was 17 I shot my first deer, a 180 pound 8 pointer, with that same gun.

Steve Mason

I have been deer hunting for over 50 years and I have been lucky every one of those years.  Not because I managed to bag a buck every year, but because not one of those years was I disappointed by not seeing so many important things that exist it the woods and fields of Vermont.  From animals to scenery to fellow hunters and everything in between.  Hunting is a gift because of the act of getting out and seeing our natural environment. This year on opening day I came within feet of a cow moose and its two young ones.  We stared at each other for about 30 seconds and they trotted away leaving me with a catch that is a trophy.

Josh Jerome

Sending along a pic of my buck I harvested on Sunday and a little story. I hiked up this mountain in the dark with my headlight as to give myself the greatest amount of hunting time in one section I had seen a lot of buck activity in the year before. I was seeing a lot of tracks....some fresh, but it began to snow hard and continued for almost an hour an a half. I was working my way down this ridge when I started running into a lot of moose sign and a lot of deer then the snow had stopped.

As I approached a plateau I spotted what appeared to be a moose bedded down on another ridge about 100 yards away. It was looking down the mountain and away from me. The wind was going across my face. I leaned my rifle against a tree and just kept starring at the animal, when finally it moved its head and I saw the antlers! I picked up my rifle and verified it was a legal buck...gathered myself and shot. It was not a great first shot and the buck headed for the top of the mountain.

I followed his tracks with consistent blood spotting up the mountain until he got to the top and started to go back down. By this time, he was getting tired and wanting to lay down. I kept getting closer and closer to him and managed to get a few more shots off and connected a couple more times before he expired. It was a great hunt by myself and even though I had to drag him two miles to my truck by myself I had a smile on my face the whole time!


Brian Connaughton

It was opening day and I woke up at the crack of dawn like other hunters across Vermont.  Not having the time to go to the spot in nearby Ira that I had scouted earlier in the year, I quickly grabbed my gear and walked out into the woods near my house in Pittsford, VT.  Not having scouted, I decided to slow hunt along a hill side logging road.  It was before dawn when I had my first encounter; a doe running along the hill being followed by a rather rugged looking coyote.  I decided to let my fellow hunter go about his morning as  he passed within 30 feet of me too focused on the chase to notice me kneeling in the middle of the logging road.

Having felt fortunate to have had the encounter, I walked on another 20 minutes and saw another deer, this time a spike horn buck on the move.  This deer knew something was amiss and stopped about 40 yards away and walked off with a nervous gait.  Having had seen two deer in less than an hour I thought it would be best to sit amongst the rock strewn hillside and see if a legal buck would come along the same trail that the other deer used. 

I was sitting in the morning sun for less than 30 minutes, when I saw movement to my left. I quickly realized it was a deer and brought my rifle to the shoulder to find it in the scope.  All I could see was small sapling trees.  I brought the gun down and strained to study the approaching deer to determine if it was a legal buck. I again brought the scope to the eye, but couldn’t find the deer due to the brushy vegetation. Upon bringing the rifle down to scan the area, I saw a good sized buck standing 50 feet in front of me in a small clearing.  I quickly checked for legal horns, and harvested the animal with a shot.  I was so excited that I ran up to the downed deer and was pleased to see it was a six point buck.  After field dressing the deer, the long drag began, which was hampered by a forgotten drag rope.  After dragging the 140 pound deer through the woods for about three quarters of a mile, I called my wife to meet me at a nearby log landing with the SUV to bring the deer the rest of the way home.  She came to the call with two of my three boys in tow (my oldest was at a friends’ house).  The boys were just as excited as I was and we quickly worked as a family deer drag team to get the final 200 feet out of the woods. 

It has been years since I harvested a buck in Vermont, which was my first deer and the memory of my second buck will be a special memory that I will cherish as it the experience had the added bonus of the help of my wonderful wife and two of my young sons that are eager to become deer hunters themselves.

Austin Martinka

Here's a picture of my deer I harvested on Saturday, November 15, 2014 while hunting with my dad. We were sitting in my dad's favorite spot when around 8:30am we saw a deer below us. We were watching it closely when all of a sudden we heard a crunch behind us!! This buck stepped into the trail 40 yds away. I barely got the gun around to take the shot ! It weighed 139 lbs dressed and was aged at 4 1/2 years old. It's got cool non-typical antlers also. It was a great day hunting with my dad.

Sincerely , 
Austin Martinka
14 years old
Shaftsbury, Vermont


Tim Gagnant

We got our deer yet!! Here is a pic of our crew of youths, some just starting their youth hunting lives, and some enjoying their last year as a youth hunter! It is and has been an amazing 7years of youth hunting with my son at this camp with friends and family! We adults have personally seen and helped 8 different youths over the past 11 years! We have a 100% success rate and that is to say that each and every youth has taken at least one deer during their years at camp but most have been more successful!!  Rustic cabin no electricity, gas lights, early to bed early to rise, quality time with parent and friends! Each of these young people come back from camp with such excitement and pride for the efforts and patience taken to be successful coupled with very proud parents that helped to mold the character of each of our children.

Mike McKnight

175 lbs 8 point Shot in Johnson, VT

Adam Piche

Killed in Essex County, 2014 rifle season.

Austin Buttle

The best way to end all of my youth weekends, with a 178.5 pound, 8 pointer. I was sitting in my spot, my dad behind me, and this big boy just was walking through, like he had all the time in the world and nowhere to be, so I let him walk closer, until he was about 60-70 yards. I had him in the sights of my old little four power scope, I whistled to get him to stop, then a second later, he got a hot lead injection through the top of his heart. He staggered, fell over, got up, ran in a tight circle and dropped right there; no more than five yards from where he was originally hit.

Josh Raftery

This is my second deer it was 151 pound spike horn. And I shot it in East Fairfield VT. And if you look close you can see where I shot it in the head.

Matt Ennis

Gabriel Gaetz & Joshua Gaetz

My son Gabriel got his first deer Sunday at 10am youth weekend. 118 pound spikehorn. We picked up the meat this evening, and of course had venison for dinner tonight. The other picture is of my deer 2 years ago. 167 pound 12 pointer.

Lori Anne Weston

My first deer ever....Age 42 hunting since age 15 years old. A 7 Pointer at 184 lbs. He's a Beauty :)

These two are on the same photo

Todd Weston- First day 8 Pointer @ 150 lbs
Lori Anne Weston - Second day 7 Pointer @ 184 lbs
(First Deer Ever) Happy Tail Gate :)


Joseph Gonyaw

My youngest son Joseph getting his first buck on youth weekend. 162 lbs. 8 pointer. His papa was proud that Joe was continuing the tradition of hunting. Our family hunts in Stowe.  It is a special time when the family heads to the woods to enjoy nature, hunting and one another.  Katie Gonyaw city mama

Lucas Livingston

Lizzy Peck

Age 12

8 Pointer 185.3 lbs  Shot with a Ruger .260 compact. "Thanks for the help dragging Dad and Mr. Hoisington!"


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