Danny Botelho takes a big deer in memory of his father Lou

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DIGHTON – Danny Botelho’s face fills with emotion as he tells the story of a huge buck harvesting from a hunt in honor of his father.

“I felt like my dad was there,” Botelho said, describing the early morning moment on November 29 when a 9 point buck appeared.

Botelho took his time pulling the trigger, just like his father, Lou Botelho, had taught him. And using his father’s Belgian-made Browning Light 12 shotgun, he took down the giant 188-pound buck with a slug that was also his father’s.

“I couldn’t even speak,” Botelho said in a recent interview at Dunkin ‘on County Street in Taunton, near Route 24.

Botelho, an avid hunter and longtime Dighton resident who now lives in Swansea, cherishes the fall days of deer season.

The money is in the taxidermist now. The points on a male are the individual teeth of the male’s antlers.

Botelho said he plans to hang the trophy in a place of honor at his family’s cabin in Vermont, nicknamed Pappa’s Ridge. It is on the land where the elder Botelho used to go hunting, said the son.

Lou Botelho died in May 2021 of cancer, his son said.

“It was pretty amazing,” Botelho said. “The dollar I pulled stood in front of me 80 yards, like a gift.”

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State wildlife experts confirm how special this deer was. The male was in the 99th percentile for the weight of deer caught in Bay State each year, according to Martin Feehan, head of the Deer and Moose project at MassWildlife.

On the morning of the successful hunt, which took place in Swansea, Botelho was with his family and friends. Among them was Stevie Adams, who featured in the Gazette previously for his own deer hunts. Botelho and Adams have hunted together for decades. Adams said hunting traditions are an important part of their lives.

A well-managed deer hunt keeps forests healthy, an expert from the state’s Fisheries and Wildlife Division told MetroWest Daily News.

MassWildlife says hunters play a key role in keeping deer at desired population density statewide. A recent Boston Globe report noted that suburban deer populations have increased well above 18 deer per square mile. This is the threshold at which the browsing of young trees and seedlings by deer harms the forest.

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