This week’s Buck Tales begins with a wounded deer that did not get away.
Bob Schnebel of Johnstown was hunting from a tree stand in Fulton County late one afternoon, and saw a nice buck headed his way. Raising his 60-year-old .300 Savage 99 rifle, he waited patiently for a clear shot. And when he touched off the shot, he knew it was a hit.
Climbing down from his stand, he went to where the buck was standing at impact. He searched the area thoroughly for any signs of blood. It was not long before it was too dark to see. He returned in the morning.
It was 6 a.m. when he returned with a friend, and after about 1 1⁄2 hours, they found blood. After looking in the direction he thought the deer had run, they found nothing, and it was then that they called Deer Search Inc. This is an organization of volunteers who seek to reduce the number of wounded deer left in the woods to die during hunting season. They use specially trained tracking dogs to find wounded deer that are impossible to track by eye. You can check them out at www.deersearch.org.
It didn’t take long, once the dog smelled the blood. He took off in the opposite direction the hunter had thought the deer went, and led them to the dead deer about 60 yards away from where it had been shot. And Bob was quite happy with his 10-pointer that tipped the scales at 176 pounds.
Note to all deer hunters: Here are two telephone numbers you should keep in your wallet for contacting the Deer Search organization. If you’re in need of them and hunting in this area, call 872-1779. In other parts of the state, call (845) 227-5099.
In the bow-and-arrow category, four local archers were right on target in the deer woods around Rochester.
Dave Allen of Mayfield shot a big nine-pointer that just missed the Pope & Young record book, but it will make the New York State Big Buck Club. Dave shot his buck with a PSE compound bow from a tree stand. Jim Demming of Northville also shot a nine-pointer. Two Gloversville bowhunters who accompanied them on this hunt also arrowed deer. Bob Bink shot a five-pointer, and Jason Barry shot a doe.
Allen also traveled to Barlow, Ky., with his friend, Ron Smith of Catskill, where they hunted with muzzleloaders with the Deer Haven Outfitters. Dave shot an eight-pointer and Ron a 10-pointer. Both hunters used Thompson Center .50- caliber muzzleloaders, and hunted from tree stands.
HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL
There are a number of hunters in our area who annually travel to other states to hunt whitetail and other big-game animals. Here are several of them who were successful this year.
Jim Bradshaw of Schenectady, hunts private lands in Kansas, and this year, he shot a bruiser buck. He was hunting from a ground blind, and shot a 13-point, non-typical buck that dressed out at 180 pounds. He shot the buck with a 340 Weatherby magnum at 100 yards.
Schenectady hunters Steve Zahurak and Mike Beaver returned to Greybull, Wyo., in search of another mule deer this fall. This year, they hunted with local Larry Estes, but were not able to get within shooting range of the deer. After several days of these “almost” encounters, their luck changed on the final day of the hunt. Spotting deer in a corn field on private property that they had permission to hunt, Vernon, Larry’s brother, hustled Steve and Mike into the truck to take them closer to the deer. Sneaking and peeking, the hunters got within 250 yards. Mike chose not to shoot, but Steve did, and at 231 yards, he dropped the 3×4, 150-pound mule deer with one shot from his borrowed .243 Winchester.
I joined Ron Kolodziej of Fonda and Steve Brzozowski of Mechanicville on a return trip to Texas Bucks & Birds earlier this month to take advantage of the rut that was at its peak.
On his first afternoon in the blind, Ron shot a nice seven-pointer. The next afternoon, he downed a big 10-pointer less than half-hour after getting into the blind. Ron’s 10-pointer tipped the scales at 135 pounds and carried a 15-inch spread.
Steve also connected on the third morning, shooting a 3-year-old, heavy-beamed, eight-pointer that dressed at 140 pounds.
As for me, I saw a number of good deer that included two nice eight-pointers on the last day, but I was determined to get something over 10 points. I did see what I believe was at least a 12-pointer, but he was out about 150 yards and chasing a doe in and out of the cedars and heavy brush. He never did offer me a good shot.
Brzozowski also had quite a year in the Saratoga County deer woods. During the early muzzleloading season, he downed a spike horn at 30 yards, and in the regular big-game season, he used a Buck Bomb scent canister to attract a 160-pound, four-pointer, which he shot at 50 yards with a Marlin .270 rifle.
Getting drawn for a Vermont non-resident moose tag isn’t easy, but luck was with Mike Skelly of Salem, who entered the drawing and was picked. Needing a second (partner) hunter on the tag, he chose his brother-in-law, John Crimi of Lorraine. The month before the hunt, Mike and his son did some scouting on the property he planned to hunt, and was very excited about the amount of sign he found.
On day two of the hunt, Mike did a little calling, which they believe got the bull’s attention. Moving along the trail, Mike peered over a hill and saw part of an antler and part of an ear — a moose. His first shot at 50 yards with his .45-70 Guide Gun was on target, but the big bull turned and headed off, and he took a second shot as it retreated. John also had an open shot and took it at the retreating bull with his .375 Ruger. The bull went down. Mike was very happy, despite the fact that he knew the work was just beginning. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife estimates the bull to be 3 years old. It weighed 700 pounds dressed, and carried a nice 331⁄2-inch palmated rack. And it was all carted out by Mike and John.
And today’s final tale is from Schenectady hunters Bill Zielinski and Joe Kalinowski who traveled to Tioga, Pa., to hunt wild boar.
As is the case on most boar hunts, it was a sneak-and-peek hunt, and they’re always exciting. Joe was the first to get into range of the group of six boar they were stalking, and he took his boar at 50 yards with a 12-gauge slug. Bill, who had to wait for the boar to stop, shot his boar at 100 yards using a .30-06.
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