Buck Tales: Crary ends decades of coming up empty

Tom Crary of Berne has been bowhunting for 30 years without ever launching an arrow at a buck. He’s

Tom Crary of Berne has been bowhunting for 30 years without ever launching an arrow at a buck. He’s done everything right — scouting and carefully placing his tree stand in a downwind pos­ition in obvious deer routes.

He’s seen plenty of deer, but never — until this year — has one offered him a killing shot. But last weekend, everything finally came together.

Tom was in his stand well before daylight. In less than 10 minutes, he heard and saw deer moving through the swamp about 60 yards away. But it wasn’t until 8:15 a.m. that he saw a buck heading his way. Counting the five points, he slowly stood, picked up his bow and got ready. The buck turned and headed into a swampy area, and when he went behind a tree about 24 yards away, Tom drew his bow. As soon as the buck stepped out, Tom launched his arrow and immediately knew it was right on target, passing through both lungs. The buck expired 40 yards from the point of impact. Tom told me that originally, his brother, Chuck, was going to go with him and that he has going to let him sit in that stand, but Chuck had to cancel.

In the backyard buck category, Adam Beecroft of Schaghiticoke is another bowhunter who proved that doing your homework and letting the little ones go is a good idea — he shot a trophy whitetail buck. Periodically this fall, Bee­croft has sent me photos from his trail cam that showed exactly what was roaming around their farm. Adam downed his big eight-point buck at 25 yards with a BowTech compound from a tree stand overlooking a deer trail, and it ran just 80 yards. His dad told me, “It pays to let the small ones go; they do grow up.”

They may call it Camp No Buck in Indian Lake, but two of its members, with a combined hunting experience in those woods of over 100 years were right on target. Generally, they spend the day driving the large tracks of state lands. On this particular Sunday, they began their hunt with four drivers and four watchers. They were about 10 minutes into the drive when the first shot rang out from the direction of where 71-year-old Art Thivierge of Smithville was on watch. The buck was quartering away from him at 50-60 yards, and one shot from his .270 put the deer down. What a beauty it was. The nine-pointer dressed out at 211 pounds, and the rack green scored at 134 1⁄2 inches, a club record. When the hunters went over to help him, he told them he had shot a spike horn.

Before the drive was over, there was one more shot, taken by 70-year-old Al Weils of Smithville, who also was right on target. His five-pointer trotted in and stopped about 70 yards from Al’s new Ruger 7mm 08, which he recently won in a raffle. His deer, which dressed at 129 pounds, was a fighter. It had a broken brow tine on the left side and a broken G-2 on the right.

This was the first time in the history of the club they’d ever shot two bucks on one drive, and it was done by the two oldest members of the camp.

A wife-and-husband team from Hartford arrowed a pair of backyard bucks recently. Jessica Durling shot a four-pointer from her tree stand sitting over a mock scrape at 25 yards with her BowTech. The buck dressed out at 115 pounds. Her husband, John, was videoing a pair of spike bucks chasing does until the five-pointer showed up. He shot the 3 1⁄2-year-old buck, which dressed at 172 pounds, at 12 yards. And that same afternoon, his dad, Paul, shot a fat doe. All three of these deer were taken in food plots. John is now off in Kansas hunting, so chances are good there’ll be another buck tale shortly.

Several members of the Kayderondack Sportsman’s Cub were successful, two during the muzzleloading season and two during the regular season. Josh Priest of Victory took his doe at 30 yards with a Thompson Center 50-caliber >Diamond rifle. The doe dressed out at 130 pounds. Paul’s brother, Gary, also shot a doe with a muzzleloader and a big eight-pointer during the regular season. That one dressed out at 160 pounds.

Adkhunter.com has some nice North County buck photos on its website. Scott Baldwin of Fort Ann shot a 200-pound, Lake George Wild Forest eight-pointer. Todd Mead of Queensbury, author of the book “A Lifetime of Big Woods Hunting Memories,” lived up to his reputation with a big eight-pointer he shot in Hogstown. If you’re a deer hunter/Adirondack woods lover, you’ll enjoy this book.

And in the first buck category, Devin Stockman of West Fort Ann recently got his, a seven-pointer, with a rifle out of the same tree stand frim which he shot a doe with his bow. Chip Mellon of Queensbury also shot a big Indian Lake Adirondack buck, an eight-pointer that field-dressed at 190 pounds. Check these photos out. These are what we’re all seeking.


When you buy a big-game hunting license, it includes deer and bear, and Paul Lawrence took that seriously. While hunting in the Indian Lake area, he shot a black bear and a 10-point buck. Now, that’s a good season.


Tim Blodgett of Gansevoort went out deer hunting with his bow and arrow, but ended up with a bit smaller game. While walking to his tree stand, he shot two squirrels and a woodchuck. I know the squirrels made the pot, I’m but not sure about the chuck.

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