Last year, Joyce Galcik of Schuylerville sat in her favorite chair blind and shot a big six-pointer from her hedgerow overlooking a field and woodlot edge in Saratoga County.
This year, she did it again from the same spot, only this time, it was big doe. She used her customized Kimber M96 Swedish Mauser loaded with 120-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets that were loaded by her husband, Paul. She shot the doe in the neck at 180 yards. This was her eighth deer taken with this rifle.
When Paul arrived to help her and saw the deer, he asked her why the neck shot. She smiled and replied: “So you wouldn’t have to go into the pricker bushes.”
Come to think of it, Paul and I have hunted this area the last two seasons and haven’t shot a buck or a doe there, or anywhere in New York state in the last two years. Perhaps we should follow Joyce next year.
Steve Zahurak of Schenectady, Mel Cater of Rotterdam and Dick Carman of Sharon Springs spent an entire day hunting in Wildlife Management Unit 4F in Schoharie County with only a few long-range doe sightings. In the afternoon, they separated to sit until dark. Steve chose to climb into a ladder stand in some heavy brush at the bottom of a hill, and at 3:20 p.m., he watched a parade of seven deer moving down the hill slowly toward his stand. He watched them for awhile, but really could not determine if any had horns.
Fortunately, just 10 minutes before legal shooting time ended, he identified one as a buck, and at 25 yards placed the BSA RGB red dot sight on the deer, squeezed the trigger of the Mossberg Slugster and ended the hunt. The buck was a hefty 125-pound four-pointer.
Tim Breen of Wilton and Vince Hill of Saratoga Springs were sitting in an enclosed blind they had built several years ago in Washington County. The blind was situated at the bottom of a grassy hill, about one hundred yards from a wood line. They had been there several hours when they spotted a spike horn sneaking through the brush and waited for him to come out to the open field.
When he did, Tim was ready, and at about 100 yards, he shouldered his Kimber 7mm08 scoped rifle, and it was a one shot-one deer hunt ending.
The father-and-son team of Walt and Nick Chandler of Greenfield traveled to Oklahoma this fall in search of big bucks, and they definitely found a pair. They were hunting a 6,000-acre cattle ranch that permitted bow hunting only, and the weather conditions were ideal, 60-degree temperatures during the day, dropping into the 20s at night.
Nick was first to score when what he thought was a 12-pointer came in about 10 minutes before dark. When he took the shot, he believed he had made a good hit. However, he contacted his dad and waited for him to help do the tracking. It was not much of a search because they found the dead buck only about 70 yards from where Nick had shot him. However, he did make one mistake, it was not a 12 pointer, it was a 16-pointer.
The next morning, Walt was in a tree stand several miles from where Nick had shot his buck. He saw a number of bucks, but decided to wait, and shortly thereafter, a big doe appeared and began feeding right in front of the hunter — live bait. It didn’t take long for a buck to find her, and the 15-pointer walked in. According to Walt, there were about 13 very anxious minutes of waiting for just the right shot, and when it came, he made it happen, downing the big buck. Two bucks, 31 total points, and all in two days.
I have not received any tales from the late muzzleloading season, but I did see some of the big trophy Adirondack buck harvests this deer hunting season posted on Dan Ladd’s www.adkhunter.com website. Take a look for yourself and see what quality of deer we have running around in the North Country woods.
Did You Know?
I recently received a deer hunt report of an 8-year-old girl shooting her first buck while hunting with her dad on the family farm in Pennsylvania. It also said that her 11-year-old brother had taken three bucks in the past four years. I found out that in 2006, the Pennsylvania Game Commission instituted a mentor system that allows properly licensed mentors 21 and older to accompany an unlicensed individual under 12 to engage in hunting-related activities.
Speaking of Pennsylvania, I was unable to accept an invitation to hunt black bears there this year, and just received information that they had harvested 1,320 bear just on the first day of the season. The top 10 bears taken weighed in at 555 pounds or more. I’m going to make it next year.
The crossbow use issue in New York has been quiet, but we still have those who are tirelessly continuing to fight for it, with the New York Crossbow Coalition at the forefront. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed legislation that creates a crossbow hunting season that allows hunters with disabilities and those over 65 to hunt deer with a crossbow. Also, the crossbow season will run concurrently with their archery season. It passed in the Senate, and received a 91-0 vote in the Assembly.
The New York Senate passed a bill allowing crossbow hunting, but the Assembly never got a chance to vote on it because it got hung up by Robert K. Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), chairman of the Committee on Environmental Conservation. I wonder what he has against crossbow hunting.