The New York state deer-hunting season — with the exception of Westchester and Suffolk counties — has come to an end, and I’m hearing stories and complaints about the lack of deer sightings.
Although I didn’t hunt in New York as much as I did last year, I still had a good season, and saw deer that I could have shot every day that I was out in Allegany County. We won’t know how good or bad the season really was until the Department of Environmental Conservation releases harvest numbers.
Several local hunters, however, had great success. Here are Buck Tales about some of them.
A fascinating tale comes from the Albany County deer woods.
Bob and Rich Cooper, both from Albany, hunt together regularly on Bob’s land, and this year, Rich downed a nice four-pointer.
After they made sure the deer was down, Rich headed out to get the ATV while Bob continued to hunt. When Rich returned to where the deer had been downed, it was gone, and there were no drag marks.
But there were tracks — bear tracks — that led to a large pine tree about 30 yards away, where the deer carcass was located.
Apparently, the bear had picked up the deer and moved it, and was scared off by the ATV when it
You know you’re having a good hunting day when you fill both your buck and doe tags just 15 minutes apart. And that’s exactly what Mike Ryan of Albany did recently on his last trip to the farm he was hunting in Columbia County.
While sitting in his blind, he saw the outline of a big deer moving in the woods, and when it stepped out, it ran right toward him. Seeing the horns, Mike whistled loudly, and the buck stopped for just a few seconds, but it was enough time for him to place the crosshairs on its shoulder and the Remington 300 Ultra Mag did the rest. Gathering his equipment, he climbed out of the blind, and when he turned, there was what he thought was a doe standing about 50 yards from his downed buck.
Cycling a round into the chamber, he quickly added the antlerless deer to his take for the day. It was a good day, but he had two deer to clean and drag back to his truck.
In the first deer category, Jim McDonald’s first was a backyard buck, and it was a beauty. He was sitting in his stand near Amsterdam, when two does appeared, moving his way. Hoping a rutting buck would not be too far behind, he waited patiently and let them pass.
It was worth the wait, because shortly thereafter, a buck appeared following the same path. Taking a deep breath, he raised his Ruger M77–.30-06, took careful aim and with one shot downed his first whitetail deer. The buck was a
10-pointer with a 17-inch spread and dressed out at 160 pounds. It was his first deer after three years of hunting — definitely worth the wait.
Several area women were right on target this year in the deer woods.
Retired school teacher Jean Perillo
of Rotterdam has been hunting about 12 years, and this season, she filled two doe tags in the Albany
County deer woods. Hunting from her elevated blind, Jean shot both of her deer with a Remington
20-gauge, scoped shotgun. One was at 45 yards, and the other at 100 yards.
Sixteen-year-old Shanelle Wilms of Central Bridge found a pleasant surprise under her tree stand when she arrived there last Sunday morning — a nine-point buck. Shanelle was hunting the Walnut Hill Farm in Root with Liz Reinhart, her guide. Fortunately, she saw the buck before he saw her. She was able to slip into a hedgerow and take the 30-yard shot with her borrowed .30-06, and the 168-pound buck, her first deer, was history.
Both women were quite happy, and they dressed out the deer and got it out of the woods without any assistance.
Reinhart is the longtime president of the Schoharie Ridge Runners, a chapter of the National Wildlife Turkey Federation which also introduces young hunters to turkey hunting in the spring and fall.
Another Schoharie County youth, 15-year-old Greydon Marlow, got his first deer near his home in Carlisle while sitting with his dad, Russ. They were watching a brush lot on the farm when the eight-pointer
appeared, and at 60 yards, Greydon needed just one shot from his .270 Mossberg to collect his first whitetail trophy. The buck’s antlers had a 16-inch spread, and it tipped the scales at 150 pounds.
Another young hunter, 14-year-old Mitchell Monini of Schenectady, also got his first deer this season. He was sitting with his dad, Vince, in the North Blenheim area when the deer walked out. Using his great-grandfather’s 300 Savage Model 99, which hadn’t killed a deer since 1975, he was right on target, and downed the 150-pound doe. Mitchell has been shooting with the Schenectady County Trap League since he was 12, and is the Schenectady County junior champion, averaging 38.9 clay bird hits out of 50. His best rounds were 45 of 50 and 24 of 25. He could definitely help me with my clay bird shooting.
Jared Davis of Clifton Park found his first bowhunting trip to be very discouraging when he missed two does just several minutes apart with his new Martin Sabre compound. Then, his rifle season didn’t start off well, either, when he never clicked the safety off his Remington .30-06 during the first three weeks.
However, his friend, Mike Ryan of Albany, took him to a spot in Columbia County and set him up where he knew there were deer moving. That afternoon, just as Ryan had predicted, a doe came out and headed toward Jared. Three shots later, he had his doe.
After a trip to the rifle range to re-sight his rifle, he headed out to Kinderhook with a friend, and this time, it was a one-shot hunt. At 60 yards, a spike horn stepped out, and Jared collected his first whitetail buck.
Steve Presti of Albany was sneaking and peeking around a woodlot in Saratoga County when he saw the horns, and one shot with his Model 700 Remington .35-caliber rewarded him with a healthy four-pointer that dressed out at 130 pounds.
The final tale of the year is a doe shot by Paul Roman of Rotterdam, who was hunting in the Altamont area. Paul was sitting on watch at the end of a deer drive when the doe stepped out, and he put
her down with his Thompson Center, .50-caliber Omega muzzleloader.
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