With all the TV, radio and printed advertisement featuring the Black Friday sales, I thought I might get a jump on some of the outdoors equipment sales I found in the Bass Pro Shop inserts in my mailbox. Here are three items — half-priced — I need and hope to find under my Christmas tree on Dec. 25.
I could use the Ridge Hunter TERRA spring-steel ground blind for deer, turkey, coyote and even waterfowl hunting. Made of rugged, quiet, 1,50D non-glare material and measuring 58 inches square, it has a center height of 60 inches. Other features include shoot-through mesh windows, a black interior to conceal movement, ground stakes and guy ropes. This is the way to stay warm, dry and concealed. Cost is $50.
Those who’ve followed this column know I’m a wacky worm fisherman, and for a long time have been using Bass Pro Shop Stik-O-Worms both for my fishing and guiding. Last summer, I used more than 1,000. Right now, Bass Pro Shop is offering the 53⁄8-inch, 50-worm pack (eight color choices) for $9.
Also for the angler, there is the Bionic Plus/XPS Bionic Baitcast Combo. The rod has a graphite blank with Pacific Bay Hialoy guides, cork foregrip and full-contact reel seat. The reel has a light aluminum frame with graphite side covers, double-anodized forged aluminum spool, six ball bearings with instant reverse and a dual braking system for $80.
If you hunt or fish, I suggest cutting this out and taping it on the refrigerator.
Two of our young hunters recently took nice bucks. The first is 17-year-old Val DeCesare of Burnt Hills, who took down a trophy buck from a ground blind (dad’s favorite spot) in Charlton. What makes this a family hunt was that both mom and dad were with him. He shot the buck with a scoped 30.06 at 75 yards. The buck carried 11 points with a 16-inch spread.
Fourteen-year-old John Gannon, who lives on a farm in Stillwater, has been looking forward to when he would be old enough to hunt. He had tagged along a number of times on adult hunts with his uncle.
His mother and father bought him a lifetime license and after asking for advice from the adult hunters on gun selection, he chose a Ruger American (my choice, too) 30.06 and put one on lay-away at Beecroft’s Gun Shop and began making payments.
The night before the Columbus Day Youth Hunt, neither John nor his uncle, Paul Kipp, could sleep. Luck was with them because a big 8-pointer stepped into a cut in a soybean field. John was shaking while they waited for a good shot. His uncle told him to “not” look at the rack and when he did pull the trigger, the 3 1⁄2-year-old buck went down.
When Nick Auriemma of Amsterdam lost his grandfather, he wanted to shoot a big buck with “Pop’s” .308 caliber Winchester model 100 semi auto. It wasn’t until the third time out, after passing up 20 deer, that the one he wanted stepped out while Nick was hunting with his dad and Johnny Loucks. Nick’s wish came true. The 6-pointer had an 18-inch spread and weighed 165 pounds. I’m sure grandpa was smiling down on him.
Deer hunting requires a lot of equipment and scouting preparation, but sometimes, it also requires luck. Steve Zahurak of Schenectady is one of those who recently had some good luck. While hunting in Sharon Springs, a doe stepped out on a hillside 185 yards from him. He waited, hoping the deer would come closer, but it didn’t. Sighting was a bit tricky as the high winds were actually shaking the pine tree his treestand was in, and when he squeezed the trigger all he got was CLICK.
Fifteen minutes later, he chambered another round, sighted in on the deer and again — CLICK — but the deer didn’t run. Bullet number three went BANG! and the deer went down.
Getting to the deer required some uphill climbing and then a long drag back. Fortunately, the 6-8 inches of snow on the ground made it a bit easier and with his hunting companion and neighbor Mel Carter’s help, they got it done. Steve told me it was the longest shot he ever made.