Call her "Danielle Boone"

A few hunting pals of Phyllis Campbell of East Middlebury have started calling her Danielle Boone, a tip of the coonskin hat to American trailblazer Daniel Boone. While Campbell thinks its cute to be compared to the popular frontier hero, shes more comfortable just being herself. And being herself means being one of Vermonts most accomplished women hunters. In Campbells case, 2007 was the kind of year that big game hunter Papa Hemingway would kill for. Starting with nabbing a difficult-to-come-by Vermont moose-hunting permit back in July, Campbell had Lady Luckor should we say Lady Artemis, the ancient Greek goddess and patroness of the hunton her side. On Oct. 13 Campbell, an IBM laboratory technician, nabbed a 200-lb. black bear in the Adirondacks after spending more than 8 hours alone in a tree stand. Next, on Oct. 22, while hunting for wild turkey in New Haven, Vt., Campbell got herself a whopper of an American gobbler just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Then, on Oct. 28, with a Vermont moose permit burning a hole in her Cabelas hunting jacket pocket, she set out to the wilds around remote South America Pond, located off Route 105, to fell a 1,600 lb. behemoth. It then took 7 hours for Campbell to singlehandedly drag the big alces 1/3 mile, using a handwinch, to her Chevy pickup truck. It was a lot work, she said, but worth every moment. I do my own butchering, I now have 280 lbs. of delicious Vermont moose meat in my freezerfour gallons of the meat are from the shoulder alone! But no hunting C.V. is complete without an elusive Vermont deer on the resume And just such a critter completed Campbells very lucky autumn hunt checklist. With a high-tech, single-shot blackpowder rifle, the East Middlebury hunter shot a large deer near the St. Lawrence River, northwest of Plattsburgh, N.Y. This fall was my grand slam year for hunting, she said. Now my freezer runneth over with fresh, organic meat from Gods free-ranging animals. Campbell began hunting in high school with her late father Harold Campbell. She has fond memories of a 1971 father and daughter hunt where she learned a lot about the sport. In fact, she still uses dads classic Winchester 30.06 ion some hunts. Subsequent hunting safaris took her to New York and Pennsylvania, and then on to Quebec and Newfoundland. In Canada, she successfully shot black bear and moose. Like many male hunters, Campbell also has a soft spot for fishing. A few years ago she trekked to the wilds of Alaska to fish. There, she hooked a 55.5 lb. King Salmon in a river on the Kenai peninsula. She had wanted to see Alaska for herself after her brother climbed to the frigid summit of Mt. McKinley, the continents tallest peak. According to Campbell, a Christian, she identifies with the wisdom of Native Americans who showed deep respect for the game animals they killed. These are Gods creatures, she said, and while its not pleasant to snuff out a life, the animals are akin to treesthey are a renewable resource that have put here for our benefit, just as the Indians believed. While many people pay a lot of money for organically fed beef or foul, these wild animals are far healthier to consume. You can sample Campbells own moose, bear and venison steaks this coming March during the Victory Game Supper held in Vergennes. The annual wild-cuisine event is held at Victory Baptist Church. When questioned about the need for hunting in the 21st century, Campbell said while the numbers of hunters are in decline nationwideand the average age of hunters is rising (now at age 55)there are still more animals slaughtered in one day commercially then in all hunting seasons. Hunters are still an important aspect of wildlife conservation. Whats next for the Artemis of Addison County? Who knows? she said. Ive seen caribou in Canada but never shot one. Im also have some interest in learning more about trapping. Id especially like to meet more women hunters to go hunting.

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