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A successful opening day for hunters

Sportsman’s Journal

Mike Joy with a nice 6-point buck taken on Saturday that weighed 165 pounds. Photo by Peg Scanlon.

Opening Day of the regular or firearms big game hunting season was Saturday, and as far as the weather conditions go, it was near perfect. Several trophy-sized bucks were entered at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, located in Dunkirk.

I was busy watching my grand-daughter, Rachel Glowniak, rack up some impressive shots at Broadway Lanes bowling in the newly formed Invitational bowling league. Watching her and her Dunkirk girls bowling teammates is my favorite winter pastime, but my heart is also still out in the woods with the deer hunters. A tip of the hat to Peg Scanlon for snapping a few photos while I was on the road.

Mike Joy was one of the successful hunters who weighed in a deer at the “Con Club.” Joy is one of a dozen or so hunters who routinely enter a nice deer during the annual contest. Joy was up in his tree stand on Saturday and commented that the weather was ideal. It was sunny, crisp and cold, but not bone-numbing cold. The action started pretty quickly, with a couple of does coming into view. Keeping an eye on them, Joy was surprized when another doe came in from his left, followed by a buck. He had the Winchester pump shot gun at a ready noticing the left side of the rack coming into view.

Joy saw it was a “shooter” and did not bother to count points, rather he settled in for the shot. At 30 yards, the buck was hit and traveled about 40 yards before piling up from the lethal shot. With the aid of a tape measure Joy has used for years to estimate the deers weight, he figured it would weigh over 160 pounds. On the scales, it pulled down to an official 165 pounds with a 6-point rack that measured 21 1/2 inches inside spread and 24 inches outside spread. One of the points was broken off from the potential 7-point. Joy intends to have a European mount done, as well as “a lot of tasty venison-based meals.”

In 55 years of deer hunting, Joy figures that this is the third buck he has taken on Opening Day. With a new job offering only weekend hunting trips, Joy will now focus on filling doe tags and a muzzleloader tag. Joy also commented that he estimates that this buck could possibly be the same buck that got away two years ago. It pays to be persistent.

Just a note: If you send in photos and/or emails, please include a phone number so I can get more information on your stories. I intend to use as many photos and stories as possible. Thanks, and as always, hunt safe!

Calendar: The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will once again be hosting a Hunters helping the Hungry Program. Members of the “Con Club” are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the club on Tuesdays during the hunting season. All food and monetary donations will then be turned over to our local charities for distribution to the needy prior to Christmas. Please, help make someone’s holiday a little happier.

The Western New York Safari Club Will host their 25th annual game dinner on Friday, Dec. 13 at Michael’s Banquet Facility located at 4885 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg. The doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. There is a $45 donation. For information call Terry at 472-2380.

Duck Season in our area (Western Zone) is a split season, re-opening Nov. 30 until Jan. 5. Canada Goose season for our area, which is considered the South, is from Oct. 26 to Jan. 13, with a daily bag limit of five geese per day.

Upcoming gun shows include: Dec. 14-15 at the Harbor Creek Fire Dept Social Hall located at 7275 Buffalo Road – US Route 20 (located between North East, PA and Harborcreek, PA. Shows are from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Adults are $5 and children under the age of 12 are free. For more information contact Larry Spicer at (716) 792-9972 or go to LRgunshows@gmail.com or website LRsportingevents.com.

Children of the Stream will present weekly free fly-tying classes every Tuesday from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. in the Costello Room in the Rockefeller Art Center at the State University of New York Fredonia, starting Aug. 27. Children ages 12 and up, including adults are welcome and encouraged to attend. All tools and material will be provided for free.

On Jan. 4, 2020, the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club will be sponsoring free fly tying classes for youths and adults. Theses courses will be absolutely FREE. All materials and equipment will be provided. These FREE classes will continue for the next three Saturdays at the Lakewood Club from 9 a.m. until noon. Free pizzas and beverages will also be provided. Instruction will be provided by the mentors from Kids On the Fly. You are invited.

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or any other outdoors event, and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second Street, Dunkirk, NY 14048, or call the sports department at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.

Note: If you have a big game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000, ext. 5, after 6 p.m. or email sports@observertoday.com.

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