Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

CARMINE RUFRANO, LEFT, receives his $100 check from Sullivan County Democrat Publisher Emeritus Fred Stabbert Jr. recently. Rufrano’s 19-point buck was taken in the Town of Tusten.

Hunters Find
Season Not So Bad

By Rob Potter
CALLICOON — January 4, 2005 – While some hunters viewed the 2004 deer hunting season here in Sullivan County as disappointing, others were very happy with the way the season went.
Among the hunters who were pleased with the deer they shot was Carmine Rufrano of Narrowsburg. While hunting on Thursday, December 9 on his property in the Town of Tusten, Rufrano spotted a huge buck in a field with some does.
From about 175 yards away, Rufrano aimed his 257 Weatherby Magnum rifle, which was loaded with 100-grain spiral point bullets, and pulled the trigger once.
“He dropped from that one shot,” Rufrano said.
Upon reaching the buck, Rufrano, who is a court bailiff for the Town of Tusten, discovered just how large the deer was. Rufrano noted that the buck had 21 points on his rack and took him to Tom’s Bait and Tackle in Narrowsburg to enter the buck in the Democrat’s 31st Annual Big Buck Contest.
Two of the buck’s 21 points failed to meet the contest’s minimum height requirement of 1-inch, but the other 19 points definitely qualified. Those 19 points, combined with beam lengths of 21 and 23 inches, respectively, and a 21-inch spread added up to an official score of 84.
That total of 84 was enough for Rufrano to win the 2004 Big Buck Contest. In fact, Rufrano’s winning buck was slightly larger than the 2003 Big Buck Contest winner. That 10-point buck, which was shot in the Town of Forestburgh by Charles DeHart Jr. of Staten Island, had a total score of 82.
For taking first place in the Big Buck Contest, Rufrano received $100 and a free mounting courtesy of Rod’s Taxidermy in Callicoon.
“I saw him last year and he was pretty big then,” Rufrano said of his prize-winning buck. “But I couldn’t get a good, clear shot at him last season.”
Jeff McLaughlin of Windsor finished second in the Big Buck Contest. McLaughlin shot an 8-point buck on Saturday, December 4 while hunting in the Pennsylvania State Gamelands near Pine Mill, Pa. The buck scored 78.25 in the Democrat system.
He received the second-place prize of $50.
In addition to the Biggest Rack Contest, several area hunters entered the Democrat’s Heaviest Deer Contest.
The winner of that contest, which was open to both bucks and does, was Mike Neenan of New Paltz. On opening day of the regular firearm deer hunting season here in Sullivan County, which was Monday, November 22, Neenan shot a 176-pound buck in the Town of Forestburgh.
Neenan will receive $100 plus a free mounting courtesy of Neves Taxidermy in Bethel.
Incidentally, Neenan’s buck finished tied for 10th place in the Biggest Rack contest. The 8-point buck had beams that measured 21.5 inches and 20 inches, respectively, and a 19.5-inch spread for a total score of 69.

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