Let’s begin this week’s Buck Tales with several of the young guns who have been right on target.
The first is 16-year-old Matt Savarie of Schroon Lake, who jumped off the school bus early last month in the afternoon, put on his hunting clothes and headed into the Essex County woods for a few hours of still hunting. His reward was a big nine-point buck that dressed out at 155 pounds.
Several weeks later, his dad, Chris Savarie, downed an eight-pointer in the same area that tipped the scales at 160 pounds.
Seventeen-year-old Willie Chaney of Hartford joined a group of other Adirondack hunters who braved the freezing rains we had last Sunday to hunt agricultural lands around Fort Ann.
Willie was on watch on a deer drive and had 10 doe come to him. He picked out the biggest and needed just one shot with his .50 caliber muzzleloader to down the doe. It his Willie’s first deer and dressed out at 145 pounds.
In the father-and-son category, 22-year-old Justin Frederick of Rotterdam took the biggest buck ever in the Frederick family while hunting in Berne. However, there were a few anxious moments when the big nine-pointer stepped out in front of Justin and he pulled the trigger on an empty chamber.
Apparently, he forgot to chamber a round in his Model 500 Mossberg 12-gauge and nothing happened, other than a click, when he pulled the trigger. Fortunately, the buck stopped broadside while he racked a live round and at 60 yards he downed the 31⁄2-year-old, 180-pound buck.
The next day, hunting in the same area, his dad, Gary, took a five-pointer with his Browning 12-gauge.
Rotterdam hunter Dean Ronca’s persistence paid off while hunting in Mariaville.
On opening day, Dean and his three friends each went to their stands in the hardwoods and pines and did not see a deer.
On the second day, Ronca again was in his stand early and decided not to use his Deer Management Permit on a doe that walked right underneath his stand. But a bit later, he saw a buck moving and got its attention using a grunt call. Unfortunately, his friends who were coming to pick him up spooked the buck before it got in shooting range.
The following day, he was back in the same stand and let two does pass without shooting. After awakening from a short snooze, he saw a four-pointer feeding about 70 yards away and when the buck stepped into the open, Dean placed the crosshairs just above his shoulder and touched off the 12-gauge Remington 1100, dropping the 125-pound buck.
In the big buck category, Bob Bensinger of Howes Cave shot a big backyard 10-pointer that tipped the scales at 160 pounds. According to Bob, his buck had a 233⁄4-inch outside spread, 27- and 25-inch main beams and carried three sticker points. DEC estimated the age of the buck at 41⁄2 years and the taxidermist rough scored the rack at 173.
Hunting in the bow-only area of Albany County, Saratoga hunter Tony Berben arrowed a big 11-pointer. He was hunting out of a tree stand and shot his trophy at just 10 yards with a Bowtech 101st Airborne compound.
Two Northville hunters also connected on trophies. Scott Fitzgerald shot an eight-pointer that carried a 19-inch spread and tipped the scales at 166 pounds. He was hunting in the Edinburg area using a 35 Whelan. Jay Gander was sitting in the Mayfield woods when his
230-pound black bear got too close to his 30-06 rifle.
Two Mayfield hunters traveled out of the area to get their big whitetail bucks.
Ed Macie hunted St. Lawrence County to get his trophy buck — an eight-pointer with an 181⁄2-inch spread that field dressed at 190 pounds. He used a 7 mm mag rifle to drop his buck.
Dave Allen traveled all the way to western Kansas to get his trophy buck, and it was worth the ride.
He was hunting from a tree stand with his PSE compound bow when a nine-pointer came within 35 yards on the first day of his hunt, and he needed only one arrow to get his deer. The buck dressed out at 170 pounds.
Dave said in Kansas, they hunt food plots and travel routes, and he said he saw seven bucks that week in the 150- to 180-point class.
When Guy Bassi of Rexford received a three-pack of coupons for a drawing for an elk tag to hunt in the public land area of the Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico, he took just one coupon ($30). That’s all he needed because several months later, he received notice that his name had been drawn to hunt Oct. 9- 13. And in early October, he made the 2,200 mile drive.
After a one-day orientation, he was allowed one day to scout the area and he solicited the services of local guide, George Taulman, to help him.
At 6:30 a.m. opening morning, there was bugling all over the mountain, and they saw a number of 5×5 bulls, but not exactly what Guy wanted to shoot. Shortly after starting, George spotted a big bull in a field, but with the heavy brush, Guy could not find the bull in his scope.
“George literally pulled me down the road so I could get a better shot,” Guy said.
His first shot at 200 yards with his 300 Remington magnum missed, but the second one put the bull down. Both men raced to the downed bull and they found he was even bigger than they thought.
The bull was a 6×7 with a 43-inch spread and 58-inch main beams. Guy’s bull, which had an unofficial green score of 376, will be scored shortly by an official measurer of Safari Club International for possible entry into their record book.
Dan Ladd of Fort Ann, creator of Adkhunter.com, recently released his new book, “Well Seasoned in the Adirondacks,” a collection of articles, essays and photos of Dan’s published work in newspapers and magazines which he has organized by seasons, covering a wide variety of topics.
They include hunting for big and small game, fishing, camping, hiking, paddling and XC skiing. The book sells for $17 and can be ordered on www.adkhunter.com.
And it fits nicely into a stocking hung by a fireplace.