Old-time Vermonter Roy Hines tells of tracking, shooting, and retrieving a 278-pound, 10-point buck–a once-in-a-lifetime event for even the most seasoned hunter.
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. In this show Roy Hines tells a story about tracking a 278-pound buck up Middlebury Mountain.
Gee, I was here on the farm and my wife took me that morning up to the foot of Middlebury Mountain. You know, Middlebury College? And the foot of the mountain and let me out there about 7 o’clock. And that old deer was in a herd. There was about six or seven does with him, so I says: My gosh, that’s an awful big deer track. I’m gonna follow it. And I did. I started right in following and I had to, of course, watch out not to spook ‘em ‘cause they’d go like that, you know. [LAUGHS.] So I followed ‘em up the mountain and I got way up on what they call Brown Mountain and I still was after ‘em. I hadn’t scared ‘em. They were still feeding along. So I just wandered around. I says, I’ve got to be like an Indian, I’ve gotta have that buck. [LAUGHS.]
So I wandered around and come up over a ridge. Still, of course, you know, and looked down over careful. Why, that was an old big buck. My gosh! He was laying down right there, right in plain sight, and he hadn’t even knew I was there. The other five or six doe, they was just standing around. They hadn’t been scared. So, by gosh, I says, now is the only chance I’ll have ‘cause they’ll go any minute, so I used just a .40 and I fired one shot. And, by gosh, he jumped right up onto his feet and I thought, well, I guess he’s going, but he didn’t. He dropped right back down dead. I had hit him right through the heart. The rest of ‘em, boy, they were gone just like a flash, so I had to go down and take a look. There’s the horns right there, hanging on the, just right there, them lower horns, the horns of that deer. Yeah. ‘Cause I didn’t get it mounted. I should have got it mounted. Well, I put it there just below my little grandson’s picture. [LAUGHS.] But that, it’s a 10-pointer and he weighed 278 pounds. [LAUGHS.] Boy! I dragged him all alone, but, of course, I was up on this Brown Mountain, I had it all downhill to get back onto the highway. And I turned him around, you know, and started dragging him down the mountain and a fella come along by me and he was from Connecticut. And, boy, he says, “Ah!,” he says, “that was quite a deer,” he says. “I wish I could get one like that.” Well, I thought to myself: Well, I wish you could. But he didn’t offer to help me! [LAUGHS.] I dragged that deer clear down to, almost to the road. And the Game Warden and two other fellas come along in a truck and, by gosh, they helped me load him into the truck and got him down the mountain and here home. Boy, never forget it. Well, everybody don’t have such an experience as that, but I was just a lucky one. Yeah, there’s some awful deer stories, you know. I could talk all day and all night. [LAUGHS.]
Gregory L. Sharrow
You’ve been listening to the late Roy Hines of Hinesburg, Vermont. Deer Stories was produced by Erica Heilman and Gregory Sharrow for the Vermont Folklife Center of Middlebury, Vermont. I’m Gregory Sharrow.