I only had two responses for youth hunting bucktails, but they were both very exciting.
The first was a father-and-son team who actually got two chances. Fourteen-year-old Caden Crossett and his dad, Lance, were hunting the family farm in Herkimer County, where they set up in a hedgerow between two fields.
They were watching the upwind side of the field, where they expected the deer to come from. However a small buck came up from the other direction.
Slowly, father and son turned around to face the deer, but at 75 yards, it stopped, lifted his nose into the wind, and dad knew they would soon be busted. Dad told Caden to take the shot, which he did, and the buck never moved.
“Shoot again” was the father’s command — another miss. It was then that they noticed that both shots had hit a branch a few feet in front of the rifle barrel.
Several weeks later, Caden and his dad had much better luck. They set up in a different field, and with legal shooting time running out, a small buck appeared and the young hunter raised his Remington 750 30.06, but dad noticed the buck was looking back and told Caden to wait. And sure enough, out stepped another small spike horn.
When the first buck turned broadside, Caden squeezed the trigger, but nothing happened, the action hadn’t closed completely forward. The duo quickly switched guns, and Caden was right on target, downing his first buck. I know by reading Lance’s, email he was quite happy and proud of this son.
The next young gun successful deer hunt was a grandson-and-grandfather hunt with 15-year-old Jim Cook and Earl Cook, both of Middleburg. Their hunt took place in Albany County’s Rensselaerville deer woods, where Jim dropped an eight-pointer with one shot from his Remington 12-gauge at 50 yards.
Jim’s buck carried an eight-point rack with a 14-inch spread, and tipped the scales at 150 pounds. Rumor has it that Jim watched grandpa field-dress his buck and drag it out of the woods. I guarantee you, grandpa didn’t mind doing either of these chores.
I took another peek at the www.adkhunter.com site, and there were several area hunters who bagged some big Adirondack bucks. Ballston Spa hunter Ryan Kelley took a 190-pound, 10-pointer in Greenfield, and not far away in the Saratoga County town of Day, Justin Hayes also took a 10-pointer that weighed in at 185 pounds.
Mark Viscosi of Gloverville started his Thanksgiving Day off with a bang that brought down an 11-pointer in the Edinburg woods. Waterford hunter Mike Julian traveled to the Schroon Lake area woods, where he used a doe bleat to lure in a nine-pointer that dressed at 165 pounds. Jeff Zakrzewski of Greenfield shot a Saratoga County eight-pointer that tipped the scales at 145 pounds.
And if you want to see what the famous Salerno family shot this season in the Adirondacks, go to this site.
It was minus-1 degree on the first day of this new year when I left a warm bed early in the morning and headed out to meet the other hunters that were participating in the 16th annual Bunny Bowl.
This year, we hunted cottontail on a large farm in Washington County. Joining me on that very cold morning were Tim and Jamie Guy, Aaron Weils and young guns Donte Guy and William “Bubba” Allen, all from Glens Falls. And the real workers on these hunts, the beagle brigade of Ben, Hunter, Bailey and Brewster.
The area we were hunting had 10-12 inches of crusty snow which was hard going and noisy, but the dogs went right to work, barking up the first rabbit less than 10 minutes after we started in the heavy cover. Aaron scored first with one shot, and the Bunny Bowl had officially started. Ten minutes later, the beagles were hot on the trail of another, and this one took them on a long run. But as always, the rabbit, if it doesn’t hole up, will circle back, and Donte got his first rabbit with Grandpa Tim’s new 20-gauge.
Tim was next to get a bunny, and Jamie followed up with another. And that’s how the morning went. When it was over at noon, there were a total of eight cottontails headed for the crock pot and a tasty rabbit stew. As for me, I took one shot at a rabbit moving through some heavy brush and missed, but Bubba didn’t, and he shot his first rabbit. I told everyone I missed on purpose.
The fifth annual Sacandaga Sportsmen’s Day will be held Saturday at the Bible Conference & Retreat Center, 191 Lakeview Road, Broadalbin. It will be a full day of opportunities and adventure for sportsmen and outdoor lovers.
Activities include workshops, vendors, door prizes, displays, a silent auction and sportsmen’s buffet.
Headlining the event is Randy Flannery, master Maine guide and owner of Wilderness Escape Outfitters in Danforth, Maine, where he offers deer, bear, moose, snowshoe hare and game birds hunts, fishing and family vacationing/canoeing. I’ve hunted with Randy, and he offers first-class hunts, accommodations and you will eat well. Check it out at, www.wilderness-escape.com.
Admission is $20 per person. Tickets are available by phone at 883-3713, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates will host an Arms Fair & Militaria Exposition at the Saratoga Springs City Center on Broadway in Saratoga Springs Saturday and Sunday.
Show times are Saturday, 9 a.m-5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and free for children
under 14 when accompanied by an adult.
There will be educational displays, guns, knives, swords, Civil War to World War II, and items can be brought to sell or trade with collectors. All firearms sales at the Arms Fair must go through an FBI NICS check.