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My Vermont: Ryan Sanderson

05/23/08 5:00PM
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Ryan Sanderson poses with his uncle during a hunt.
I grew up in southern Vermont in a town of about 700 people;

a place totally different than Chittenden County. There isn't a whole lot to do there, unless you manage to find yourself in the woods hunting or snowmobiling - then there's endless things to do.

Hunting is something my family has done since my ancestors came here on the boat. Hunting, gardening and cooking have always been a family affair, ever since I was a kid. I've seen these traditions fade.

It bothers me that, what used to be hunting land... is now overgrown "POSTED" land. My father and I, along with my 80-year-old uncle now spend a half a day driving around, trying to find hunting spots. When my father was a kid all he had to do was walk across town, or at worst, drive 10 minutes.

After high school I joined the Army. While I was away, I realized many things about Vermont. That it's a truly great place and there is no other place on earth I'd rather be. It's a place where you have to want to be... because there's nothing easy about it. The taxes are high, the cost of living is crazy, the wages are poor and career paths are few and far between. But, if you love the woods and nature and want a life based upon necessity rather than keeping up with the Joneses, then this is the place for you.

In a way this is the problem. People want that. People who were not born here, did not grow up here and don't understand how we've lived here for the last 100 years. They come here to buy land, to build houses, on the land that many of us have hunted for many generations.

Then these "out-of-staters" put up "no trespassing" signs. But do they ever look at the traditions that are being lost?

Probably not, but I guess all they are trying to do is just live the American dream.

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