Archery deer hunting, fishing seasons heat up
Big-game archery season will arrive on Thursday. Where did the summer go?
Just a reminder: you still cannot use a crossbow until Nov. 7-20. You can also use a crossbow during the Northern and Southern Zone regular seasons, which run from Nov. 21 through Dec. 13, but you cannot use a crossbow during the Youth Hunt. The Youth Hunt for ages 12-15 will be held Oct. 10-12 in the Western Zone. The Youth Waterfowl hunt is Oct. 3-4 and the Youth Pheasant season is Oct. 10-11 in the Western Zone.
Offshore fishing is still popular whenever the wind and weather allows. Rick Miller in Irving reports that walleye anglers continue to head out to the 80-plus region west of Cattaraugus Creek. Limit catches are getting harder to come by, but you can still connect with enough fish for a decent day. Scratching the bottom still seems to be the way to go.
Captain Larry Jones reports that anglers fishing closer to Buffalo are finding success in shallower water by using bottom bouncers in 25 feet of water. Yellow perch activity is increasing as reports indicate that active perch are in 52-to 54 feet of water off the “Catt” and some anglers are having better luck fishing deeper, anywhere from 70 to 80 feet deep. Use your electronics. Live minnows are almost always the preferred bait, when you can find them. Miller reports having fatheads in supply and Lee Weber in Derby has Golden shiners, while they last.
On the plus side, I spoke with a couple of anglers fishing off the Dunkirk Pier and found out that the perch have been biting during the daytime, and even better as evening approaches. The plus side to pier fishing is you don’t have to deal with an anchor or sea sickness. The guys report using red worms for bait. You can find a generous supply of these critters by turning over any damp cardboard, log or plywood. You can even get some worms by asking someone who has a vegetable garden. Speaking of asking, be sure to ask permission before hunting, fishing or trapping on someone’s property.
The mouth of Canadaway Creek as of Thursday is filled in with wind-and-wave action. Any trout attempting to run upstream is out of luck for now.
This time of year, you can try wading offshore and casting spoons at low light. Don’t be surprised if you hook up with a walleye or two. As the temperature drops, the native walleye tend to return to their springtime haunts to go on the feed for the winter. I spoke with several anglers who commented that they had success with walleye in the shallows all summer long, casting Erie Dearies (weight forward spinners) tipped with a worm, along rock piles and structure in 12 to 20 feet of water. These fish tend to be in the 16-inch range, but you can encounter a bonus catfish, or smallmouth bass in the process. The walleye tend to school up tight in an area they like, so concentrate on where you encounter success.
Anne Rothrock the Regional Wildlife manager, sent a DEC Wildlife Report for WNYEF on Sept. 13. There is a proposal for a “holiday” deer hunt, for the NY southern zone only. The proposal would affect muzzleloading and bow hunting opportunities only, from Dec. 26 until Jan. 1. Hunters would have to purchase the muzzleloading or bow hunting carcass tags valid during those late seasons. They would be able to use all carcass tags valid during the late seasons. The proposal will not impact when snowmobile trails may open. Public comments are accepted until Nov. 8 and may be submitted by email or writing to: Jeremy Hurst, NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4754.
The early-goose season, also called the nuisance goose season, ended Friday. The Western New York Youth hunt is scheduled for October 3-4. If you or your organization(s) are planning an outdoors-related event and would like the information to appear in the calendar section, contact me at 366-1772 or 785-3659.