Pain still fresh for son of deer hunting great
By DARREN MARCY
STAFF WRITER | March 23,2014
The pain for Lane Benoit is still fresh.
The son of the greatest deer hunter on earth misses his dad.
Many people — deer hunters and others who knew him — miss Larry Benoit who died this past October. just a month before the Vermont deer season.
“He just touched so many people,” Lane said. “Right now, it’s still really hard to talk about it.”
A week ago at the Vermont Outdoor Show in Rutland, Lane was there with his Mountain Man Adventures booth.
But as he fully expected, in addition to talking about deer, hunting, and tracking big bucks, many folks wanted to talk about his dad.
The two guys who walked away from his booth before I walked up and driven up from Pennsylvania to listen to him talk about Larry Benoit.
Two weeks prior in New Hampshire, Lane had held one of his seminars that always draws a crowd, but he had another special topic to tackle.
Lane wanted to honor his father and began talking about his dad when it all came pouring out.
The emotions suddenly flooded out of him and he spoke passionately of the man most people refer to as one of the greatest hunters to ever take up the track of a white-tailed deer.
But Lane was talking about dad.
When he was done the room rose and gave him a standing ovation — the first he’s ever had, he said.
It was a special moment.
“The emotions just came out,” Lane said. “It was a very proud moment for me. It was heart lifting.”
Lane accompanied Larry on his last deer hunt, a trip to Wisconsin.
For a long time before that hunt, Lane said his dad would look at a trailcam photo of a special drop-tine buck and Larry would talk about how he’d love to add that buck to his long and storied resume.
“Every day he’d look at the picture and say, ‘man, I’d like to shoot that deer.’”
In the field, however, Larry’s days of tracking bucks for days had gone by. He had to sit on stand and await whatever came by.
The man who was widely considered the best deer tracker who ever walked in the woods, was now limited to about a half mile or so.
Lane had to find spots where his dad had a good chance of putting his open sighted Remington 7600 on a buck’s vitals.
The master also became the student as the man who had tracked bucks all his life learned new techniques.
“He was a very good student.”
When Lane squeezed the trigger and buck fell, it was one of Larry’s favorite moments in a lifetime of favorite moments, Lane said.
Lane said his dad told him it was his favorite deer.
With Larry gone, Lane said it’s been a constant stream of people who all have a story about his dad.
“There’s not a day goes by ...” Lane said. “All I can hope is he’s seeing it now. It’s been a pretty incredible thing for me. All I can do is thank people.”
Lane knows how lucky his is to have been born into the nation’s first family of deer hunting. He knows he’s even luckier to have grown up with Larry Benoit as a father.
He plans to continue that legacy with his brothers.
“The impact he made in the hunting world was huge,” Lane said. “I’m just carrying on the legacy.”