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Not all big-game hunt reports come from deer hunters during the start of the bow and deer-rut season in Western New York.

Kalei Brautlacht, 14, of Colden headed to New Mexico with dad, Jim Brautlacht, on an Oct. 5 to 10 youth hunt for elk at Royal Trophy Outfitters owned and run by Andre Galenda, a Derby taxidermist.

Kalei, shooting a .50 caliber Ultimate muzzleloader, had a shot on her first day of the hunt and scored the second day, Oct. 6, on a 6x6 bull elk that sported more than 300 inches of antler mass.

Her grandparents, John and Linda Kotlarsz, were at camp to see and cheer Kalei’s trophy; granddad John went out after the Youth Hunt and took a 5x7 bull elk Oct. 16 during the regular gun season.

Both granddad’s bull and Kalei’s massive elk will be mounted at Galenda Taxidermy.

Lancaster hunter Scott Emser had been setting up stands on his property in Humphrey for deer from the Oct. 1 start of the bow season and heard of bear activity in the area.

On Oct. 20, he got a shooting opportunity at one of those bears and downed a bruin believed to be 2.5 years old that dressed out at more than 200 pounds.

The bear count has been on par, according to senior wildlife biologist Tim Spierto, who has checked 34 bruins so far this archery season. Firearms season for bears begins with the deer-season opener on Nov. 17.

New pistol course needs

For years, pistol owners and shooters in New York State have expanded their use privileges by taking non-resident conceal-carry classes for Utah, Arizona and Florida. These certifications are recognized in many states.

In September, the Florida Division of Licensing announced that for a non-resident to obtain a conceal carry permit in that state, the applicant must now provide proof that an instructor has seen that a student can “safely handle and discharge a firearm.”

Hence, conceal-carry pistol classes must now include a “live fire” session along with class instruction. If a student does not yet have a pistol permit, the range shooting can be completed with a long gun.

For details on how this requirement will change pistol permit instruction, check with Jim Carr of Carr Personal Safety Consulting at 778-9431 or Jim Emmick at Firearms Training of WNY (903-2558).

Fall feathers photos

Photographers will have changes to focus on as many as nine birds of prey during a Braddock Bay Raptor Research “Feathers in the Fall Photography Session” on Saturday.

Braddock Bay Park on East Manitou Road in Greece will be the setting for two sessions, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. New this year will be shoots at two barn owls of differing plumage. For registration and details, call (585) BOP-LIVE (267-5483) or go to bbrr.org.

Deer-vehicle collisions

An insurance company yearly survey shows that car-deer collisions have steadily increased during the past decade and have remained high in recent years.

Every hunter wants to get a deer, but not while driving to and from hunting camp. Jeremy Hurst, Department of Environmental Conservation Big Game Biologist, reminds all drivers to be alert, particularly during the rut period of the fall hunting season.

Deer tend to cross roadways more often each autumn, especially during morning and evening change-of-light hours.

A Cornell University Cooperative Extension publication “Reducing Deer-Vehicle Crashes, is available at: wildlifecontrol.info/pubs/Documents/Deer/Deer-Vehicle_factsheet1.pdf.

email: odrswill@gmail.com