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Deer are falling as firearms season opens

Submitted Photo Robert Duhamel shot an 8-year old 10-point buck weighing 425 pounds the same day on Nov. 20.

Big game firearms season opened last Saturday and early indications point to 2020 being a very productive one for the deer hunters.

I stopped by 10 Point deer processors last Saturday around 6 p.m. and Dave Maines indicated that including bow season he had taken in over 120 deer so far. All the deer were in good shape with plenty of fat.

Captain Larry Jones visited Light House deer processing by Chautauqua Lake on Tuesday and they had their daily quota of 25 deer per day already. According to Jones they accept deer from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily with a 25-deer limit.

Three of the busiest days of deer season are history. Those days would be Opening Day, the first Sunday and Thanksgiving Day. Weather was not an issue on Opening Day, but Thanksgiving day was soggy, with more than a few people calling it quits early. There is still plenty of time left and plenty of deer and a lot of big ones too.

Speaking of BIG deer, I got a phone call from Steve Duhamel who hails from Alberta, Canada. Steve contacted us last year with a story and photo from his son who shot a deer with a wide rack and long tines that resembled the infamous “Rumpola buck.” Anyway, The Duhamel boys, 14-year-old Ryan and 13-year-old Robert both shot deer on Friday, Nov. 20. Both deer were 10-pointers or as their father Steve likes to call them 5-by-5s. Ryan shot his around 9:30 a.m. with a 270 short mag at about 300 yards. Ryan passed up that buck last year and had found the shed antlers during the winter. His deer weighed 375 pounds. Later the same day Robert shot his deer another 10 point that weighed 425 pounds. Steve estimates that Robert’s deer was about 8 years old and the rack was going downhill with age. Robert used a 30.06 rifle to take his deer at 150 yards. Steve also harvested another 5-by-5 later in the week. Steve commented that he has been able to shoot a Boone & Crockett buck every year since he was 12 years old and he is currently 36. Duhamel indicated that they had a lot of rain last summer in Alberta and the deer were able to feed well. In his opinion the deer were the largest they have been in 10 years. Fortunately the hunters were able to drive right up to the deer and load them on their pickup. It still takes three guys to do the job. Steve commented that a moose from that area usually weighs around 1,800 pounds. Steve will be hunting elk next week and will send a report. P.S. Very little if any COVID-19 activity where he lives.

Captain Jones commented that the musky fishing has been good in the Upper Niagara Tiver with several fish over 50 inches in length caught and a lot of fish in the mid- to upper 40-inch range. The guys are using crankbaits called Legend perch baits and concentrating their efforts by Motor Island which is below Strawberry Island. Muskie season closes on the Upper Niagara on Monday and on the Lower Niagara on Dec. 15, which is considered Canadian waters.

With duck season opening today, there are lots of ducks on the river and in the Buffalo Small Boat Harbor as well as in the Dunkirk Harbor. Rick Miller commented that steelhead action in the “Catt” has been sporadic. I will be able to publish about two photos per week so keep them coming and we will get them all in eventually.

CALENDAR

Note that the City of Dunkirk docks were pulled last week at the Chadwick Bay Boat Launch.

Duck season’s split season is re-opening today until Jan. 3.

Gun Shows:

¯ Harbor Creek, Pennsylvania. Dec. 12-13 at the Harborcreek Fire Dept. Social Hall, 7275 Buffalo Road–US Route 20. Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

¯ Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania. Jan. 23-24, 2021. Located at 11861 Sportsman Road (off Route 18). Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information contact Larry Spicer at 792-9972 or go to LRgunshows@gmail.com Tables available.

If you have a story or a photo you would like to share call 366-1772, 785-3659 or 366-3000, ext 3 after 6 p.m. Leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached.

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