Record archery bull killed
By DARREN MARCY
STAFF WRITER | October 13,2013
A pair of hunters from West Virginia and Kentucky arrowed a bull moose that should turn out to be the largest ever killed in Vermont with archery equipment.
Brad Thornsberry of Kenthucky and David Blankenship of West Virginia killed the big bull moose the first day of the season in Island Pond.
Guided by Cory Curtis the pair killed a 797-pound bull field dressed that sported a rack that measured 180 3/8.
After the 60-day drying period, the bull should end up being the new Vermont archery record bull.
Thornsberry is a Kentucky elk guide. He met Blankenship when he guided him on an elk hunt.
The two soon became good friends. When Thornsberry drew his Vermont moose tag he knew who he was going to ask to be his co-hunter.
As it turned out, having a second hunter proved to be critical.
Thornsberry and Blankenship were in the woods at dawn and as legal shooting light revealed the Northeast Kingdom, Curtis went to work.
One early bull Curtis called in couldn’t be seen in the early-morning darkness.
Their big moment came not long after.
While on a small road, the two hunters positioned themselves on each side of the road whle Curtis called from behind.
As the bull approached, Thornsberry could hear it coming, but couldn’t see it.
Blankenship, however, could and tried to let Thornsberry know what a monster was heading toward them.
The first time Thornsberry saw it, however, was at 20 yards.
The bull never presented a broadside shot, so, just as the bull was about to move into their scent stream, the Kentucky hunter let an arrow fly.
But Thornsberry’s arrow hit the shoulder bone and as the bull dropped from the impact and rolled, Blankenship’s arrow missed, just grazing the animal’s side.
Still, the impacts were enough to draw blood and the animal raced off.
The hunters trailed the moose for about an hour and a half before they again got close enought to get a shot off through the brush.
The final shot came when Blankenship, who had run to try to get an open shot, found himself 20 feet and face to face with an animal that outweighed him more than four times.
Blankenship put an arrow through both lungs and the bull crashed 30 yards away.
That’s when the real work began.
The men were able to hire a horse to pull the moose to where they could load it into their pick up truck where they took it to R&B Custom Meat Cutting where it was turned into about 550 pounds of meat, which Thornsberry and Blankenship split.