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Family, friends mourn loss of Vt. hunting legend - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Family, friends mourn loss of Vt. hunting legend

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Larry Benoit earned the title of best hunter in America and wrote the book on his favorite sport.

He raised nine children, wore signature green flannel and believed in skill over the latest equipment. But now those who loved him the most are learning how to live without him.

"His love for the woods was immense, and I truly think that if I had the ability, I would've thrown him over my shoulders and brought him out in the woods and let him go where he wanted to go," said Lane Benoit, Larry's son.

Larry Benoit died Tuesday at the age of 89 following a long battle with cancer.

His son Lane says he proved to be an even better father than hunter. He'll miss many of his father's mannerisms.

"I don't think Larry Benoit set out to become a legend," Lawrence Pyne said.

Pyne hosts Vermont Public Television's Outdoor Journal and says it's fitting that Benoit entered the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 with the first class of honorees. Pyne says Benoit always aimed for the big game, but not for the acclaim.

"Larry looked for the largest deer he could. Not for its trophy quality, not for its antlers, it was simply more meat on the table," Pyne said.

Hunters from across the country sent condolences to the Benoits, many offering to fly in for a public funeral service. But the family says they'll keep the ceremony private, as Larry would have wanted, and continue the tradition of teaching others how to bag the big one.

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