For the most part deer hunters had a productive opening day of firearms season this year, with cool temperatures and zero precipitation combined with gentle winds from the south.
Many of the deer hunters I interviewed had at least seen deer and reported the early morning going was like walking on corn flakes, with the frost-covered leaves being extra crunchy.
One group of hunters decided to set up a deer drive on private property in Pomfret they had access to first thing in the morning. Robbie Gloff, his son Nick, and Don Merckle were going to put on a deer drive for the old guys, Bob Gloff, Jules Thurn, Robert Babcock and John Babcock. While the guys on post were getting ready to set up in position, two bucks decided to change the plan and stepped out in front of the deer drivers. A nice pie bald 8-point buck came head on at Rob Gloff presenting a 20-yard shot while it nibbled on a leaf. Merckle's deer presented a further shot, but also went down with well-placed slugs. Both deer were 8-pointers.
Photo by Gene Pauszek
Robbie Gloff (left) displays his pie bald 8-point buck while his father Bob displays a nice 8-point taken by Don Merckle on Opening Day. Note the white markings on Robbie’s buck, especially on the legs.
A report from Panama from another group of deer drivers reported a couple of nice does were taken on what might have been a frustrating day. When the hunters went to their usual stands they found other hunters close to their positions. They made a few adjustments and ended up tagging a few deer while the outsiders did nothing.
Bob Gloff put things into perspective. While he and his group of hunters were heading for their vehicles after securing their deer, they heard sirens and emergency response vehicles going by. Bob remarked that he hoped it wasn't a hunter related accident. When his cell phone went off, it was from his daughter, who phoned to tell dad that she was driving with her daughter when they hit some black ice and lost control of their car, causing it to roll over numerous times. Both females walked away from the totaled car.
Bob Gloff remarked that the granddaughter was distraught over the condition of the car, but grandpa hugged her and said, "You can always get another car, but we can't ever replace you!"
Steve Hurst, the chief of the Bureau of Fish & Wildlife has re-released the warning on Chronic Wasting Disease. Taxidermists and deer processors are asked to report to ENCON any illegal head or carcass that may come to their place of business. The state of NY is trying to stop any potential spread of CWD, especially from Pennsylvania where there recently was a confirmed case of CWD.
Pennsylvania's archery season is in progress and the firearms season starts on Nov. 24. An illegally imported deer or elk carcass or trophy head has the potential to be infected and bring the disease into the state. An infected deer could contaminate the facility, equipment and another customers product. Deer hunters are asked to dispose of potentially CWD infected deer or elk parts in a landfill. Potentially CWD infected deer, elk or moose carcasses should not be rendered, burned, or placed in the landscape. Doing so will allow scavengers like coyotes and crows to spread CWD over greater areas where it can remain infective in the soil for years and put future generations of deer at risk.
Prohibited parts of deer from CWD states are: The head, which would include the brain, tonsils, eyes and lymph nodes in the neck; spinal cord/backbone spleen and the intestinal tract.
Don't feed wild deer in NYS. It concentrates deer and increases the likelihood of infection. If you discover that parts of deer were brought into our state illegally call an environmental conservation officer. Report sick deer or deer behaving abnormally also.
Do you have a story you would like to share or a photo? Call 366-1772 or 467-2079 or 366-3000 ext. 5 after 5 p.m.
The SAREP Youth Fly Fishing Program will begins its 14th season of free fly tying and fly fishing classes on Monday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m., at the Fredonia Middle School Cafeteria. Field trips will occur shortly afterwards. Classes are free and are open to children and community members. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The classes will continue to meet every Monday until early summer.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club also will host free fly tying instruction compliments of Willie Fedrick, Jeffrey Rasmus, Ken Hollander and Monte Kennedy on Monday evenings starting at 6 p.m. All are welcome.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will resume its annual Hunters Helping the Hungry program. On Tuesdays, Con Club members are urged to bring a non-perishable food item with them. All donations will be distributed to the needy in the community through the efforts of the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Youth Organization during the Christmas season.
Fly tying classes have resumed on Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m., at the Sinclairville Free Library. Classes will continue until May. All tools and materials are provided free. For more information, call 962-3635 or 485-3919 or log on www.countrykidsonthefly.blogspot.com.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.