November 3, 2013

Steve Solloway: Maine deer season opens with success

(Continued from page 1)

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Sylvana Jaramillo, a Unity College wildlife and fisheries student, takes blood from a deer at the Freedom General Store tagging station on Saturday. She and four other Unity students were at the station as part of their studies.

Photos by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

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Ryan Taylor, 7, takes a closer look at an 11-point buck shot by his father, Ross Taylor of Yarmouth, at the Freedom tagging station Saturday.

Additional Photos Below

Flynn was a banker in another life, on the fast track to more responsibilities, bigger pay and increased stress. “I’m a country banker. I didn’t want to move my family to Portland or to Boston.”

In 1999 he bought the country store. For 15 years he’s tagged deer and moose and turkeys and whatever else is harvested with a permit or license. The banker in him keeps track of the numbers. He posts them near the beer coolers.

His office is an old machinist’s swivel chair. He bought it for $2 at a yard sale. The nameplate from his last job in banking is attached to the chair: Mr. Flynn.

He knows Butch Clark as a steady customer. He remembers when Josh Thornhill was born. When Nathan Carter of the small town of Waldo came in to register his moose, Flynn double-checked the name and the birth date.

“I signed the financing for your grandfather’s skidder. That was before you were born.”

When Flynn checked Taylor’s buck, his eyebrows went up. Fifteen years of tagging deer gave him the perspective to say, with some authority, this was a big buck. Gutted, it weighed in at about 220 pounds. The 11-point rack of antlers had been well used.

Taylor listened to the comments and compliments quietly. He had taken his son out behind their camp in Montville. He sat Ryan in an old, metal chair, brushing the leaves away so Ryan could swing his legs. The buck came up behind them.

“His head was down,” said Taylor. “He looked up and it was like he was thinking, oh, no. I fired. He ran about 80 yards downhill before he fell.

“I think I saw him last year. Or his brother. I couldn’t get a shot off.”

Someone will have to explain to young Ryan that the first day of hunting season isn’t always so productive.

By 7 p.m., 14 deer and one moose were registered at the Freedom General Store. A good count for the first day. Hunting ceased before sundown. The day’s number was not expected to increase.

Only the retelling of stories.

Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

Twitter: SteveSolloway

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Additional Photos

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The buck Ross Taylor shot in Montville on Saturday is weighed outside the Freedom General Store in Freedom on opening day of deer hunting.

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Seven-year-old Ryan Taylor sits on the tailgate next to his dad’s trophy buck.


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