This week’s Buck Tales include hunts for deer, bear and a few Newfoundland moose that came back to New York state with some local hunters.
Until now, many hunters have reported little or no sightings, which may have been due to the warm weather we’ve had. But right now, it looks like that’s quickly changing, and with these colder nights and days, we should be just a few days from the beginning of the rut.
There were nevertheless a number of persistent hunters who still sat in their tree stands or sneaked and peaked their way around the deer woods who got to release an arrow or squeeze a trigger successfully.
Let’s take a look at what they got.
Sixteen-year-old Zack Durling of Hartford shot his first bow-and-arrow whitetail. The four-pointer came in to work a mock scrape Zack had made using Pro Scent Masterbuck Supreme at the edge of a Fort Edward Heartland food plot. The deer was just three yards away when he shot. His dad, J.D., said he was pretty excited when he called him. The buck dressed out at 155 pounds (Zack did the field dressing), and it was estimated to be about 2 1⁄2 years old.
J.D. also had some good luck bowhunting in the Albany deer woods.
He shot his buck, a big eight-pointer, from a tree stand at a distance of 25 yards using a Darton compound bow. J.D.’s buck dressed out at 170 pounds and you can see it on www.adkhunter.com. There are several other deer and bear hunting success photos on this website.
In the first buck category, Ryan Gander, hunting around home in Benson, shot a six-pointer that tipped the scales at 140 pounds, and Jimmer Sherman shot a backyard four-pointer that weighed 114 pounds in Schroon Lake. Also, Scott VanBramer of Nicholas Pond shot a nice male black bear in Essex County. All these were taken with rifles.
The only muzzleloader deer harvest reported this week was a healthy 127-pound Warren County eight-pointer taken by Leland Morehouse of Baker Mills.
Big buck honors this week go to Tim Dyes of Edmeston, who shot a heavily-beamed Otsego County 14-pointer with a bow and arrow. The buck tipped the scales at 196 pounds. This beauty is also on www.adkhunter.com.
Last year, I experienced one of the most exciting and memorable hunts of my life with Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps based in Portland Creek, Newfoundland.
I cannot explain how the adrenaline flows when you’re looking in the eyes of an 800-to 1,000-pound animal that’s not happy to see you. This year, three area hunters went to this same camp and all returned with a moose.
The group included Dick Andrews of Amsterdam, Kevin “Poogie” Eckelman of Tribes Hill and Ken Pemberton of Lisbon. It was Dick’s sixth time there, and it was Dick who recommended Sam’s to me.
To get to the meeting point for the hunt, the group drove to North Sydney, Nova Scotia, where they took a 61⁄2-hour ferry ride across the North Atlantic, and then drove to Deer Lake where they met the outfitter. The next morning, they drove another two hours into the bush, where they boarded a helicopter that took them to their camp in the upper peninsula.
Unfortunately, weather conditions were not good with 30-45 knot high winds and heavy rains which raised the water levels in the ponds and bogs and made walking especially hard. Consequently, the animals all took shelter in the dense brush and woods.
But their persistence was ultimately rewarded.
Poogie was first to shoot at a big 20- to 22-point bull, called in by his guide Hebbert Caines, but a faulty scope foiled that hunt. On Thursday, Ken dropped a nice nine-point bull at 200 yards with his Winchester 300 short mag. That bull was called in by Ralph House, his guide.
On the final day of the hunt, Poogie got another chance, and this time he was right on target, dropping a nice eight-point bull with a 39-inch spread, at about 150 yards. He used a Savage 30.06.
That afternoon, despite the terrible weather, Dick and his guide, Harrison Caines, glassed and chased a four-point bull and a large cow around the hilly bogs and in and out of the dense woods. Their final stalk, which took over an hour to climb the mile up to the dense woodlot, got them on the same level as the cow and bull. But the visibility in the dense woods was very limited, and just as they were about to move to another area, Dick saw the cow facing him, just 40 yards away. One shot from his Mosssberg Model 100 ATR found its mark, and they found the moose in the dense cover, less than 100 yards from where she’d been shot. Then the work began. They had to walk over two miles to the boat and then it was a wet and cold five-mile ride back to camp. The routine there is that all the guides will help with the boning and packing of the meat. His cow moose produced over 400 pounds of meat.
I heard a rumor that there was a piebald doe taken in Saratoga County during the muzzleloading season, but could not get confirmation. A piebald deer is white and brown. If I get confirmation, I’ll include it in the next buck tales. Keep the tales coming. You can send them to me at [email protected]
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