One of the most anticipated dates in the outdoors-focused calendar has finally arrived: the opening day of the deer season.
Stick and rope / cable hunters have been hunting NYS ‘favorite big game since October, and gun season has finally arrived. NYS Deer management assure us that there should be plenty of opportunities to tag a healthy whitetail deer this year, but as always, Mother Nature will play a role in that decision. There has been plenty of precipitation and wind over the past two months and it looks like the opening day will be far from ideal, at least when it comes to the weather.
Archery hunters reported seeing a lot of deer movement in early November and the rut should have been well advanced by now. Depending on which post you’re reading, males and females should be on the move or travel together, weather permitting. According to recent reports, the opening weekend of the crossbow season from November 6 to 7 was “the day” to be far. The weather was clear with little wind and the deer were on the move.
Jamie Wallschlaeger was in his tree before November 7. While hunting on a clearcut in Eden, Jamie thought he had noticed the silhouette of a male in the distance. It was 26 degrees that morning and the ground was frozen there. The deer crossed in front of him and he let the 6 points pass. Jamie smelled like doe estrus and refreshed his fake scraping with a dominant lure before soaring into the air. Wallschlaeger and his brother have a video show so Jamie sets up his camera anticipating some action. Doe activity alerted the hunter and he hoped his target buck would be in sight. Using the growl tube with a doe bleat followed by a series of aggressive sniffing whistles, the male stood up in his sleeping area. Positioning the Cameras Jamie watched the male 30 yards approach the fake scratch. The male was 10 meters away and a slight noise alerted the male as the hunter reached full draw, sending him to deviate 25 meters. Using lighted arrow notches, Jamie watched his arrow hit home. The male took off and stopped 50 meters away, panting and shaking his tail. All the signs of a successful coup.
Jamie was able to see the location of the arrow, the deer then lay down. Jamie waited two hours before leaving his tree stand. Jamie and his pals gathered at his house and set off together to follow the deer. At first there were only a few drops of sign, but at 30 yards the evidence indicated a successful death blow. The 185-pound 11-point buck will be ridden and the hunt will be on you tube under Deer Tippn ‘the second year of filming. Jamie and his family hunt big game and process their deer, enjoying a variety of meat products including deer hot dogs made by Wilson Farms. Jamie used Elite Hunters compound carbon express arrows and Thunder Head Fixed 3-blade broadheads.
Robbie Gloff also had a successful deer hunt last Sunday around 8:30 am He was hunting the Van Buren area in his stand of trees. He attributed his success to location, location, location. He watched his 8 point male come out of the vineyard and head straight for him. At close range, the crossbow knocked the buck down in no time. You readers may remember the big penny with droopy teeth that Gloff knocked down about three years ago. Congratulations.
There will be plenty of opportunities to score a stag this season. Be careful and be sure of your target and what lies beyond. When dressing your deer in the field, be sure to remove all internal organs, including the heart and lungs, and being careful not to puncture the bladder or intestines. Good handling of your game will increase the quality of the meat.
Strong winds have precluded any possibility of offshore fishing this week, but all the recent precipitation has brought in plenty of fresh steel heads. Jim Markham of the Dunkirk-based DEC fishing station said there had been good trout fishing at Chautauqua Creek, Upper Cayuga Creek and Buffalo. Cattaraugus stream was washed away for some time by a high, swift, muddy current. Anglers continue to find success off the pier in the town of Dunkirk on walleye, trout and an occasional flurry of perch. This is the time of year when lake trout arrive in the shallows. There is a lot of lake trout activity in the lower Niagara River, according to my contact, Captain Larry Jones.
Timetable: Note that the docks were recently removed from the City of Hanover, Dunkirk and State ramp to Irving. DEC’s research vessel, ARGO, was also moved to its location in Buffalo for the winter.
A pistol license course is offered at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Wednesday, December 1 from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm There is a fee of $ 80 for this course. Call Gary at 366-3397 for details.
There is a chicken barbecue at the Con Club on Sunday December 12 around noon. Proceeds will be donated to the Con Club’s Take-a-Kid-Fishing program. Open to the public.
If you have a story / photo you would like to share, call 366-1772, 785-3659 or 366-3000, ext. 1 after 6 p.m. I may not be able to use all the photos at once, but I will save them for a later date. Thank you.