If hunters missed seeing signs of the rut late week, the chase is definitely on for buck deer in search of mating-minded does. Archers and any hunter afield during daylight hours see signs of the mating procession (run) in progress.
In midst of all this deer hype during the early-November rut run, the fall turkey season continues in Western New York until Friday, the day before firearms season opens statewide.
Most turkey talk keys on the spring wild turkey season, but some diehard gobbler getters get out each autumn to see if the right call can bring in a bird. Fall season allows hunters to take one hen or a tom turkey in our area.
The Jusiak family in Colden will be celebrating Thanksgiving with a bit more personal pride and input during this upcoming holiday.
Joel Jusiak, an avid archer and gun hunter, has a studious daughter as a hunting partner. Abigail Jusiak, 13, hunted with dad during the spring turkey season and missed a tom during the Youth Hunt, but the fall season was a bonanza for both Abigail and dad.
Both had hunted two days earlier in the fall season with no success.
“We went hunting near home on Nov. 1 before school and the birds came in to a kee kee call,” Joel said of a call imitating a lone or lost turkey.
Dad humbly reported how Abigail took one of four hens that came in early that morning and how dad missed. Dad then discovered his gun had jammed, so he had to use Abigail’s 20-gauge 870 Remington pump shotgun to get a hen moments later.
Dad was able to put gear and harvests together and get back in time for Abigail’s seventh grade classes at Immaculate Conception in East Aurora.
Dad had a bit of redemption at 4 p.m. on Nov. 3. While bow hunting the first day of daylight savings time, he took a 6-point buck.
Nevin Larson of Amherst hunts a group-camp property in Sinclairville with his son Brett Larson of Wheatfield, close friend Wade Dellow of Westfield and others.
Nevin, at age 71, has been hunting since childhood and shot his first deer at age 11 in Centre County, Pa. While gun hunting regularly for more than 60 years, he had not taken a buck with a bow.
Son Brett, an involved archery hunter, got dad interested in bow hunting five years earlier.
“I’m out there all the time and dad finally got interested,” he said of dad’s hunting efforts.
Good thing. At 4 p.m., an hour before sunset on Nov. 3, Nevin Larson successfully tagged his first archery deer, a 7-point buck.
Dad had been the inspiration for son Brett, friend Wade and many young boys that grew up learning the ways and enjoyment of hunting before he got his first archery deer.
“Things have gone well at hunting camp this season,” Brett said. He has tagged a small buck and a doe this bow season.
While bow hunting near home in Colden, Joe Jemiolo had good news/odd news results on hunting deer this archery season.
Jemiolo saw a big-bodied 8-pointer come into range, took a killing shot and saw the deer fall at a short distance. Suffering back problems, Jemiolo decided to call a friend for help hauling this buck out of the bush.
While on his cell phone calling for help, he watched a trophy-size 12-pointer he knew was out there walk directly under his tree stand ... and he was helpless to do anything about it.
“Since I had a kill shot on the 8-pointer, I had to just watch the big one walk by,” he said of his successful but frustrating hunt that day.
A few cold-snap nights, high winds to defoliate trees and brush, more doe deer entering into the estrus (breeding) phase and farmers able to get out and cut corn fields on higher ground all combine to make this a peak period to hunt wild turkeys and whitetail deer.
President Harry Truman once said something to the effect that “it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts” – or language to that effect. Sightings have been exciting for both their inconsistent frequency and odd rut behavior views so far this bow season.
One morning, 10 deer were seen before 8:30 a.m.; the next morning a doe and fawn fed on brassica leaves before sunrise and the rest of the morning was reduced to watching a red squirrel chase a gray squirrel.
Soap opera script writers might come up with even more colorful plots if they spent some time observing animal behaviors from a deer stand.
The most unusual sighting/behavior viewed that 10-deer morning was a 10 pointer working a doe in nice little mating circles for 10 to 15 minutes well out of bow-shooting range.
Then, when she decided to head off into a tractor lane, the 10-pointer followed and a voyeur 8-pointer sporting mule deer-like high tines popped out of the brush and chased after the mating pair.
It’s crazy out there; good luck on the gun opener.