Early-season archers and young gunners on the first statewide Youth Hunt brought in personal trophies most veteran hunters would happily tag.
During the Youth Hunt held last weekend, three young girls took trophies that will last a lifetime. Archers saw good deer movement and two bow benders logged a personal best on bucks.
Katie Sondericker, 15, of Attica enjoyed hunting with her bow during the 2011 season but did not record a harvest that season.
On the afternoon of the first day of the Youth Hunt, Katie headed out at 5:30 p.m. with her grand aunt Penny Muniak and a .270 rifle from grand uncle Ken Muniak. Just 45 minutes later she got her first deer, Penny Muniak said of a doe that had crossed a field with many others beyond bow-shooting distance during the archer starter.
Shane White has manned the counter and range at Bison Archery for years and got his daughter Savannah White, 15, out for two days of the early bow opener.
“Although unsuccessful from our ground blind, we did see 31 deer over the two afternoons,” Shane wrote.
But on the first day of the Youth Hunt, he waited out the rainfall and headed out with Savannah at 2:30 p.m. in Arcade. While walking to their blind they spotted a buck crossing the field. Savannah took a 220-yard prone shot and dropped the buck where it stood with dad’s new T/C .270 Winchester shortmag rifle.
After the elation and tagging he added, “Yes, she helped to dress out the deer.”
Dad plans to have Savannah’s deer head done in a European (skull) mount.
Chris Rice of Albion coordinates youth shooting events for the Orleans County Clay Crushers team. His daughter, Kerry Rice, 15, missed the first day of the Youth Hunt, committed to cheerleading during a Saturday football game.
Early Sunday morning dad and daughter got out at sunrise for a hunt in the town of Barre. Kerry saw a buck move through at 8 a.m., took a 70-yard shot and got the buck where it stood.
“It is a ‘Buck of a Lifetime,” dad said of the 11-point buck that was green/rough scored at about 140 points when taken to a taxidermist.

Bow harvests

Bow season began early this year, and mixed weather conditions had deer moving more than usual for area archers. Sightings, in general were up, and some impressive kills were made during the first week, but two stood out as significant trophies for longtime archers.
Bill McCallister suffered extensive injuries on July 23, 2011 in a motorcycle mishap. With a pelvis fractured in four places and crushed heel bones, McAllister was confined to a wheelchair and fought hard to get back to his hunting pursuits.
Not only did he recover enough to get out for the Oct. 1 opening-day hunt, he got into a treestand and took a nice 4-pointer on the first day of archery season.
Dennis Semrau of Busti has hunted with his bow for deer on his property and took an 8-pointer he called his “…second largest bow I have harvested.”
He took it with a clean, 20-yard shot.
Good luck this bow and gun season.