Slow start to shotgun season locally

Submitted Photo Dante Ardillo is pictured with a nice 8-point taken on Nov. 12 with a bow.

Three of the most active days of the firearms portion of deer season have come and gone: Opening Day, which happens to be the first Saturday of the season; the first Sunday; and Thanksgiving Day.

Sportsmens groups like the Chautauqua County Federation had to lobby for hunters to be able to legally hunt deer on Sunday. Senator Pat McGee, while she was still with us, helped make this possible. Changing the date of Opening Day to a Saturday instead of a weekday was also the result of lobbying by sportsmen groups.

After years of petitions, New York state finally lowered the age restriction to allow 12- and 13-year-olds the right to hunt deer during firearm season accompanied by an adult. This is historic and long overdue. I applaud our county for allowing this to happen locally. What I cannot understand is why there has not been one single call or report of some successful youngster in that age group tagging their deer? In fact there were no reports of any youngster tagging deer during the Youth Hunt this year Oct. 9-11. Just wondering why?

It was with great sadness, I read the obituary recently, about the passing of Pat Bailey. I had the pleasure of meeting Bailey while he was working at Walt’s Sporting Goods on Central Avenue in Dunkirk. Pat took the time to introduce me to using quality fishing gear and how it could improve my fishing experience. I was a newly wed husband and soon-to-be father and I was allowed to put a boron fishing rod and new spin cast reel on layaway. My pay from working at the OBSERVER doing the Grape Belt purchased that outfit. Years later, I heard that Bailey was the commodore at the Dunkirk Yacht Club so I approached him for access for our area youth to be able to fish off the Yacht Club facility for a few hours on the first Saturday of the month of June, if accompanied by an adult and wearing a PFD. Pat secured permission from the board of directors and membership for which I (we) are eternally grateful. I will miss you my friend and thanks again for all your help.

I checked with Mark Haines at 12 point Deer Processing (785-3260) for a deer report. Firearms season has been rather slow this year. Archery and crossbow season were pretty steady, but firearms has been on the quiet side.

Dante Ardillo tagged a nice 8-point buck back on Nov. 12. It was around 3:30 p.m. on a cool crisp afternoon when Dante was aloft in his tree stand in the town of Pomfret. Ardillo pulled out all the tricks using Black Widow buck tarsal gland scent, rattling horns and a series of doe bleats followed by buck grunts. Suddenly a buck came charging across the field looking for a fight. The buck came toward the hunter who was 25 feet up in his stand. Working the edge of the woods, the buck entered a narrow shooting lane and the hunter sent a fixed blade G5 Montech broad head on a 33-yard trip into the 170-pound buck. The deer dropped almost instantly. Dante reported that during October he did not see much deer activity. He spied a monster 8-point on Oct. 23, but that deer disappeared. Dante’s buck did not show up on his trail camera until two days before he harvested it. Upon examining his prize, Dante noticed the buck still had bark and “tree stuff” still locked into his rack. After dragging the heavy buck 80 yards, he decided to call his buddy Caleb and use the ATV to finish the job. Dante took a big buck last year with his Hoyt 20/20 compound bow that was featured in this column. Congratulations.

If you have a story and/or photo you would like to share call 366-1772 or 785-3659 and leave a message and a phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000, ext. 1 after 6 p.m.


¯ Free fly tying and fly fishing instruction on Monday evenings at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 6-8 p.m. No registration required. All materials provided. You get to keep your creations. Bring a friend. A great opportunity for scout groups.

¯ There is a pistol permit course on Dec. 1 at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 5:30-10:30 p.m. There is a mandatory fee of $80 for this course. For more information Call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.

¯ There will be a chicken barbecue on Dec. 12 to benefit the Con Club annual Take-A-Kid-Fishing day program. Meals will be ready around noon. Open to the public.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today