Program 9: Hunting Companions

In this program, hunters talk about hunting alone or in groups. Some discuss why they hunt by themselves, and others talk about why they choose their hunting companions very carefully.

Transcript:

The LaRocks

The LaRocks

Gregory L. Sharrow
Deer Stories is a documentary series from Vermont Folklife Center Media. The series explores hunting from an insider’s point of view and is drawn from interviews with hunters from around Vermont. Some hunters will only hunt alone, while others choose their companions very carefully. Here they talk about why.

Rupe LaRock
Sometimes people would almost think that we don’t enjoy deer hunting because we’re kind of like, until we get a deer, it might not be fun around camp.

Joe LaRock
Real hard, so hard.

Rupe LaRock
We work real hard and the camp rules are 8:00 to 4:00. We’re in bed at 8:00.

Joe LaRock
We don’t drink beers.

Rupe LaRock
No drinking.

Joe LaRock
You know, it’s different.

Rupe LaRock
There’s nothing. You go to bed at 8:00, you get up at 4:00, we get our brown bag lunches and get our coffee and stuff and let’s get out and get our deer. We can drink any other time of year, we can party any other time of year, but we’ve only got one month for whitetail deer.

Joe LaRock
I think, for Dad and I, I mean, I know the happiest times in my life are when him and I, together, are standing over a beautiful buck. I mean, him and I grab each other, literally grab each other and hug each other. [LAUGHTER.]

Rupe LaRock
You’d think that we were something crazy. Oh, boy. These boys are crazy.

The Benoit

The Benoit

Frank Kurant

Always hunted alone. I’d love to hunt alone. If you have a partner, unless he’s a real good hunter, right? You say to him: Now, I got at daybreak. I’m on the mountain before day breaks. I’m five miles on the mountain. That’s the way we used to hunt. Walk up there in the dark. And say I’ll meet you at a certain place that we are both familiar with at 9:00 or 10:00. You go there and he’s not there and that messes up your day. You don’t know whether to wait for him, you don’t know whether he got hurt. He should have been there, but he isn’t. So, you hunt alone, you can do as you please, you can go where you want, you can sit as long as you want. You know, you’re completely free. And that’s the way to hunt.

Nellie Staves
Well, I like to hunt alone or with one other person. Mostly, I like to hunt alone because other people, they walk so fast, they’re so noisy walking in the woods, and I walk very, very slow, take my time, walk a little, listen a little, stand a little, sit a little, whatever. And then walk on a little bit more.

Ray Keyser

Terry & Mary VanVeghto

Terry & Mary VanVeghto

It’s a lot easier to go with the people you’ve gone with for years, you know. You know, you can say, well, you know that rock up there on the King Lot, I think that you ought to be up there, and you don’t have to go with a vehicle and get him up there and then go back, kind of a thing. [LAUGHING.] You choose your hunting companions almost as closely as you choose your wife. [LAUGHS.]

James Ehlers
There wasn’t too much time left in the day and I had to find my way out of the woods to get back to the rest of the fellows I was with and find a ride. They had an idea of where I had gone off and by the time I was done I’d probably finished five or six miles from where we started, but when I came out of the woods on this road one of the fellas in the party was coming down the road in the truck to pick me up. And seeing a familiar face come down the road after you’ve been plugging through the woods in the snow and you’re dead tired, exhausted, and seeing that familiar face come down the road in the truck to pick you up when you have no prearranged plan to get picked up and you’re not anywhere near you started is a really cool feeling. [LAUGHING.]

Gregory L. Sharrow
You’ve been listening to Vermonters Rupe LaRock of Sudbury, Joe LaRock of Whiting, Frank Current of Pittsford, Nellie Staves of Tupper Lake, New York, Ray Keiser of Proctor, and James {Ellers} of Colchester. Deer Stories was produced by Erica Heilman and Gregory Sharrow for the Vermont Folklife Center of Middlebury, Vermont. I’m Gregory Sharrow.