Vermont is home to more than 80,000 hunters and many folks are taking advantage of rifle season.
This week on destination recreation, we're taking you into the woods with a hunter who has a whole lot of experience.
Rob Borowske of the Barre Fish & Game Club has been a hunter for 45 years, for numerous reasons.
"There's so many different passions. It's tradition. It's family. It's ties to a place," said Borowske.
Borowske says they're feelings shared throughout the hunting community.
"The hunters have such a passion for the animal, for the woods, for the habitat. It's not just the animal I want to kill but it's the animal that we all enjoy seeing," he said.
Rifle season began back on November 16 and runs through December 1; Hunters can take down antlered bucks with at least a 3 point rack.
"We have a main beam and then a point; It has to have at least 1 point at 1 inch."
Borowske takes safety seriously-- He wears bright clothing, typically orange -- and always knows his target.
"It's knowing what you're shooting at and making sure you understand where the bullet is going."
Borowske says he averages taking down a buck every other year.
He took Nick Borelli out to one of his favorite spots. On their way to Borowske's tree stand, there were all sorts of signs that deer were in the area.
"There's some fresh tracks where there's no snow in here."
Bucks usually scrape the ground and urinate to establish their territory.
"This was kind of a pre-scrape, so it was probably a young buck, it wasn't quite ready," Borowske explained. "But see, he broke this...they get their antlers and they rattle them in."
Bucks also use their antlers to create rubs in trees primarily to remove velvet.
"You can still see where the bark is bruised, but this is a month or more ago, certainly this year."
Before too long Borelli made it to Borowske's favorite tree stand.
"We have to bring in 3 or 4 steps," said Borowske.
Reporter Nick Borelli: "So this is the trick to getting up there?"
Borowske: "This is how I get up there."
Often Borowske spends hours in his stand.
"After a while you just loose yourself, you get to identify every normal sound out here," Borowske.
"Every noise is slightly different, you have to focus on it and identify it."
Even with all of the time spent on his tree stand, as of our visit, Borowske still hadn't landed a buck this season. But that really doesn't bother him too much.
"It's fun it's just fun," he said.
If he doesn't get himself a buck, his hunting friends might help him out.
NB: Is venison usually on your holiday table?
RB: "Absolutely, one way or the other."
A reminder that for many hunters, it's more about the sport and comradery than anything else.
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