Gun season ends next Sunday for deer and bear hunting with shotgun and rifle, but relatively warm days and good food sources have bear on the move and post-rut deer less active.
The bear count increases and the trophy deer numbers keep creeping up as chills and some snowfall settles in on area hunt sites.
Place Taylor Kacz, 18, of Amherst in the ranks of hard-core hunters. His two older brothers showed passing interest in hunting with dad, Gary Kacz. But Taylor immediately picked up on hunting with dad on public lands open to hunters at the Hanging Bog area near Rushford.
On opening day, Taylor headed into the bog with his 20-gauge in search of deer.
“I saw some does at a distance and then one that was too dark for a deer,” he said of an approaching black bear.
He took a 60-yard shot that downed a 270-pound female bruin DEC officials aged at 2-3 years.
That trophy bear is now at The Buck Stops Here Taxidermy where Jim Block will do a shoulder mount.
During bow season, Taylor took a doe and later in the gun season he downed a 5-point buck to add to the eight deer he has tagged since reaching legal bow- and gun-hunting age.
Wilson hunter Steven Fischer, 19, had yet to get a deer while hunting near home with dad, Joseph Fischer – until this year.
This was Steven’s season to score. Dad writes, “He dropped a respectable doe, at about 140 pounds on the opening day. A few days later a beautiful buck stepped into his view at about 20 yards away.” That 8-point buck was about 210 pounds field dressed.
Previous successful and enduring deer devotees have until next Sunday for the regular gun season; muzzleloader, crossbow and late archery season hunts go from Dec. 10 to 18 this year.
With whichever gear, hunt safely out there.