This week’s buck tales begins with a longtime hunter and the buck he encountered in the Saratoga County deer woods this past Sunday.
He left the house before sunup in the rain, and it was dark when he entered the woods. He settled in on the edge of some pines facing a swampy area where he had seen deer before. At sunup, it was still raining, but a bit harder. It was 8:45 a.m. when, out of the swamp, stepped a 4-pointer walking the edge of the swamp. The buck was no more than 40 yards away when the hunter put the crosshairs just behind the buck’s shoulder and clicked off the safety. But for some reason “I” did not pull the trigger. I left the woods soaking wet and calling myself a few nasty names. I know what you are thinking – “you can’t eat the antlers.”
In the successful deer hunter category, Rotterdam's Chris Ralston took an 8-pointer in Essex County that weighed 135 pounds.
Also taken in Essex County was an 8-pointer by Joe Russell of Burnt Hills. It was his first Adirondack buck.
Rachael Flickinger of Wilton shot a 5-pointer that weighed in at 125.
And on opening day of the bowhunting season (Sept. 27), Warren County hunter Luke Beadnell shot an 18-pointed buck.
ECO Anthony Glorioso was contacted by a concerned citizen regarding a deer stranded on a rock in the middle of a frozen pond in the town of Jewett. The deer had attempted to leave the island, but was unable to swim through the ice and returned to the rock island.
Glorioso and the citizen used a rowboat to break a path out to the stranded deer, and as they approached the deer jumped into the water. From the rowboat, Glorioso used a catch pole to capture and hold the deer while the officer and the man quickly moved the boat back to shore. The deer was released and quickly ran off into the woods in good health.
ECOs Paul Pasciak and Shane Manns received a tip of two untagged bucks hanging behind a house in the village of Northville. Pasciak and Manns arrived at the residence to find the two untagged bucks being butchered by two men.
One of the hunters stated that the tags for the deer were inside the house, but after a brief search, he could not produce them. Conversations with the second man resulted in conflicting statements about how the deer were taken. After being confronted with the evidence and conflicting statements, the first man admitted to shooting both bucks. Five tickets were issued.
Robert Higgins and Steve Shaw were on patrol when they observed ATV tracks and blood trails on posted property. Several inches of fresh snow had fallen the previous day, and the ECOs knew that the property owner had not given permission for anyone to hunt there.
The ECOs followed the blood trail and located evidence of a deer being harvested, along with evidence of a second deer being shot. Higgins and Shaw followed the ATV tracks up the road a short distance and found additional blood tracks leading behind a nearby residence. The property owner admitted to having two deer hanging in a back shed. The ECOs examined the deer, noticing that one of the tags belonged to the man’s father.
After a brief interview, the man admitted to shooting both deer on the posted property and shooting a third deer he couldn’t locate. The hunter was issued tickets for trespassing, possessing hunting tags of another, failure to properly tag a deer and taking deer except as permitted by the Fish and Wildlife Law. As the ECOs were leaving, the man stated, “I never thought I would be reading about myself in those conservation law publications.” All of the charges are pending in the Town of Galway Court.
GROWING AND STILL FIGHTING
Since the founding of the New York Crossbow Coalition in 2012, it has successfully achieved a partial crossbow season. Led by its president and founder, Rick McDermott, the coalition has grown to 1,100 members.
I am one of the members, and our goal is for those who want to be able to enjoy all of the hunting days that the bowhunters have. If you just take the time and go to the “New York Hunting & Trapping 2018-2019 Laws and Regulations Guide,” you can compare the bowhunting hunter’s day to those of the crossbow hunters.
Thus, the coalition is looking for and needs more members to grow our voice in Albany. As an incentive, those who apply for membership will be added to an “Exclusive Member Only Raffle for a CAMX X330 crossbow package. To join, go to nycrossbowcoalition.com/membership/.
Friday, I will be going on a deer hunt that I have never done before.
I have been asked to use a Deer Damage Permit (DDP) for a land owner in Colombia County. The DDP may be issued in situations where hunting does not reduce deer populations sufficiently to alleviate the negative impacts of high deer densities. These impacts include agricultural, horticultural and silvicultural damage, impacts to biodiversity and native plant communities; and threats to human health and safety.
Under most circumstances, deer populations in rural areas are maintained through hunting at levels that minimize extensive deer-related damage. However, damage may still occur to native vegetation especially attractive to deer; to lands being managed for agricultural, horticultural or silvicultural purposes -- these lands are especially likely to experience impacts if they are in close proximity to seasonal deer concentrations or adjacent to areas with low or no hunting pressure, and in urban and suburban environments where deer population management through hunting is constrained by local laws and limited hunter access -- in these areas, deer-vehicle collisions, damage to native vegetation and ornamental plantings and concerns about tick-borne diseases associated with deer can create a need for population reduction. It should be interesting.
I recently saw a response to my coyote hunt in The Daily Gazette's Dec. 4 Your Voice column that I do not understand the role of the coyote and should have someone from DEC explain it to me.
As for the DEC, it has a coyote hunting season (from Oct. 1-March 31), and there is no limit to how many you can take. For a good understanding of this predator, go to wideopenspaces.com/7-benefits-hunting-coyotes/.
Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].