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Hunting New York - NY Hunting, Deer, Bow Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, Predator News and Forums

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Everything posted by wolc123

  1. wolc123


    A little spot in the clouds thinned out enough for us to see it pretty good at work in North Tonawanda on Monday: I thought it was pretty cool. With the clouds, we didn’t need the eclipse glasses.
  2. The recipe that my wife uses came from my grandmother who always used it on beef hearts and tongues. The absolute best tasting wild game that I ever had was moose tongue picked with that recipe: I’ve always liked the tongue better than the heart but deer tongues are too small to mess with. Moose tongues are bigger than beef tongues though. I almost always mix in a beef tongue or two with the deer hearts that my pickles for me every Valentine’s Day.
  3. That’s actually the PA chest girth chart method, first introduced on this sight by G-man. As it turned out, that chart was a bit conservative, when it came to estimating the field dressed weight of a WNY deer. Several members here, myself included, checked it against scales (the one I used was a “legal for trade” butcher’s scale, while the others used those cheap Asian dial ones from Harbor freight, Bass Pro or whatever). All of them showed that the real weights were significantly heavier than that predicted by the PA chest girth chart. I’m guessing that the reason for that, is because the further north in the whitetail deer’s range, the heavier their average body weight. The largest chest girth I ever measured on one was this stout 6 pointer, back in 2017, at 43-1/2”. With a WNY correction applied to the PA chrart, the field dressed weight would have broke 200 lbs. I was never real big on weight because more than half of that field dressed weight consists of water, which has no nutritional value. Also, the weight of a field dressed deer is highly dependent on how fast it is weighed after it is killed. They start to dehydrate and lose water weight very fast . My biggest concert is always meat volume, not weight. The chest girth method allows for a more accurate estimate of that. I know about how many quarts of meat I need to feed my family, and how much my freezer holds, and how many bags to buy.
  4. Looks like we got one guy here that hunts 99 % for big antlers and 1 % for meat. On the opposite end is me and I hunt 99 % for meat and 1 % for big antlers. Most everyone else has some other primary driver(s) and/or is somewhere in the middle on those two. The math seems pretty easy.
  5. Mid April will less black fly activity, but May will be more fish activity. I usually hit a small Adirondack lake (near NW corner of the park) both of those times every year, and just about every other month (in-laws live on it so we get free food and lodging). A boat is your friend, as it seems that the black flies don’t often venture out far over the water, on the lake. Fishing from shore could be especially tough in May. I rarely fish from shore, but I have tried turkey hunting up there in May a few times, when I heard gobbles on the surounding hilltops. It usually doesn’t take too many black flies, to drive me back out onto the lake fishing. I’d at least take up a 2-man canoe, for you and your son, so that you can get out and away from the black flies if they become an issue. I prefer a rowboat, because they are more stable for fishing. I only use the outboard to get back when it’s windy. Mostly, I just row along and cast towards the shoreline in April, May, and October. During the summer months, the smallmouth bass suspend out over the center of this lake. The nice thing about that is, I can usually fish for days, on a single bucktail jig. I go thru dozens in the spring and fall, due to snags on rocks and sunken branches. I did fish Long Lake (near the center of the park) from my canoe one summer. That “lake” (really just a wide spot on the Racquett River) is pretty shallow out on the middle, and the smallmouth bass were hitting the bucktail jigs pretty good out there, drifted on the bottom. I had much more success out in the middle, than I did working the shorelines there. I think that was mostly because there was a lot less fishing pressure out in the center. Lots of bass-boats ply the shorelines of that highly pressured lake. On the smaller, deeper, less-pressured lake up on the NW corner of the park, the bass move out over the deep center in the summer, to follow schools of baitfish and to get oxygen. I usually watch for surface activity out there on calm mornings and evenings, row towards it, and fish the bucktail jig just below the surface (or a surface bait like a Zara puppy). These pics were from last Memorial Day weekend up there. There were no other boats on the lake, and I only had to share it with beavers and loons most mornings. I was trying for perch (no luck there) but caught and released lots of smallmouth (by accident).
  6. I’ve got to plead guilty here on both counts. First off, my life and that of my family and friends, does depend on hunting. None of us can survive without food. Personally, I much prefer wild game, to any other food. I am not a big fan of most vegetables or of meat from domestically raised livestock. My wife and kids could probably get by without my hunting and fishing, but I am not so sure that I could. I am not big into catch and release when it comes to fishing, so I draw no distinction between those two “hobbies” , which combine to produce much of the protein that my family consumes. As far as the preaching goes, I recognize that the fate of all living things is determined by one individual, and that is Jesus Christ Himself. If He puts the fish or game before me and allows me to move it to the top level (mankind’s food supply), then He gets all of the credit. I ain’t all that good on my own. I do appreciate the antlers but they matter very little to me, compared to the meat. Also, I find mature does more challenging to hunt than mature bucks, for multiple reasons. First off, they don’t have that one weakness, which God gave the males of all species, specifically to make them easier to kill than the females. It don’t take much skill or know-how to kill a rut-crazed mature buck.
  7. I found a handful of earthworms under an old timber as I was cleaning up remains from my great great grandads old barn on Saturday. I decided to drown them back in my pond and picked up 6-7 bluegills in the process, with a “Pocket Fisherman”. A few were almost good eating sized, while others would be nice bass food. I’ve got to catch a few of those out in the big lakes this summer and throw them in there to take advantage of my pond’s forage base. First time I tried the Pocket Fisherman. I’m going to take it up to the in-laws place in the Adirondacks this weekend. Probably a slim chance of safe ice up there, but that thing is a lot better suited for ice fishing than open water.
  8. He was a stout little guy, probably had close to 60 pounds of boneless on him anyhow:
  9. You left one out: Wolc, 2-7/8” Northern Erie, dmp buck
  10. Our daughter’s boyfriend has expressed some interest, maybe grandkids some day. Preparing some tasty meals with the meat is always a good way to generate interest. The overemphasis on big antlers has done more harm than anything else, in my humble opinion. Nobody needs that, but we all got to eat.
  11. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve killed a legally antlered deer with less than 3 points on a side. I aim to do something about that this year. Hopefully, a 3-1/8” spike will wander into range, before something bigger does. No more passes for me. I’d rather leave those big antlers for the folks who appreciate them more. Its all about the meat for me. I used to pass 1.5 year old bucks for two reasons, both of which are no longer a concern. First, prior to 2021, it was nearly impossible to fill antlerless tags around here after October first, because the local farmers picked off so many on their nuisance permits. Now, it’s a lot easier because I can have at them with guns in September. I can no longer use the excuse of holding out for a larger bodied buck, with my buck tag, to get more meat. Second, I always wanted to save my gun buck tag until Thanksgiving weekend, so that I could hunt the Northern zone then. Last year was the first of 12 seasons up there that I didn’t even see a deer, and I hunted (12) days. No sense saving a buck tag for that. I’ll be content with grouse and bear hunting up there from here on out. I will save my antlerless only bow/ML tag for up there though. That’s easy to do because I can always get (4) dmps for my home dmu.
  12. In a single word, MEAT. I like eating it and I can’t think of a better way to get it than hunting. It’s a lot more fun than raising domestic animals or shopping in a grocery store. It’s also cheaper, now that the local deer population has exploded, NY state has loosened up on the antlerless tags, and hunter numbers have declined. A better question would be, Why don’t you hunt ? It certainly doesn’t make sense to me why anyone wouldn’t.
  13. The closest I’ve done to winter camping, was mid-October in my truck campers, up in the Adirondacks. I’m on my third one now, and each of them had propane heaters in them. The first one lacked a thermostat and many other modern conveniences. It had numbers one thru five on a dial. With that, it was always a little too hot or a little too cold, when I woke up to go hunting in the morning. The current one has a roof-top air conditioner, so it’s real nice for super hot weather summer camping. I’ve done plenty enough of it, to cure myself of any further desire to camp in cool weather, without a thermostat controlled heating system. That’s something best left to the folks who don’t know no better. For me, the best thing about “the good old days” is that they are over.
  14. It’s a Ruger 10/22 carbine with a 4x Simmons .22 mag scope. I just missed a grey with it at about 50 yards over at my parents place. I aimed a little low and I guess maybe a I shouldn’t have. Hopefully, another one will come out a little closer before I got to go. Most likely, just deer will come out again. I seen quite a few of their tracks on my walk back and my parents have been seeing them come out in the turnip and clover plots again. It’s amazing how they seem to always know when the coast is clear and hunting season is over. I’m in the upper deck of my truck cap blind. I hunted the lower part one time during last deer season, on a rainy day, but have not hunted it here up on the ladder rack, until today. The bearings are froze or seized up on the swivel chair. Looks like I’ll need to replace or rework that during the off-season . I usually leave the chairs up until squirrel season closes. I’ve never taken a deer from the lower, enclosed part of this two story truck cap blind, but I did take what might have been my largest ever body buck from up top about 6 years ago. That was the year that I put a 3 ft barnwood wall around the upper deck.
  15. I saw a black 3-4 times back in my woods while deer hunting over the last (3) months. Naturally, all I saw back there tonight was (2) antlerless deer at under 15 yards. I did pick up a fine “target of opportunity” on the walk back home though. Hippity Hoppity Easter’s on its way. Im going to try for squirrels again tomorrow evening over at my parents. There are a lot more greys over there but I never seen a black. Hopefully I’ll pick at least one up, then I’ll be able to do the crock pot bunny squirrel taste test. Squirrels usually win that battle but it takes more of them to make a meal.
  16. I save all the hearts, but usually only save the livers from deer that are 1.5 years old or younger. They tend to be a little tough on the older deer. There’s not much better tating, than those from the 6 month olds, which are so tender that they almost melt in your mouth. The ones from 1.5’s are quite good also, but a bit chewier. The buddy at work threw in (3) 2 pound packs of beef liver along with the tongue, with the swap for the venison roast. I’ll be having some of that for dinner tonight. It’s not quite as tasty as whitetail button buck liver, but beef liver is usually very tender and pretty good.
  17. I can relate to that, having gone thru a brief “trophy” stage myself, back before I was married and had kids. I bought a piece of land that was a smidge over 5 acres, about 1/2 way between our farm and my grandparents farm. It was in an area known for producing large antlered bucks. All went well for a few years, and it was especially nice having that other place, so that I could reduce the hunting pressure on the hundred acres on the other two farms where I had hunted all my life. Up until the year that I killed (2) “trophies” on it, one on opening day of bow and the other on opening day of gun. It was a narrow slice of land, that cut into a large hardwood forrest. Word got out, and the following season, neighbors put up (3) stands in sight of (and within 100 yards or so) of mine. I didn’t see a single antlered deer there the following year, but usually at least one hunter, every time I went. That’s the trouble with small pieces, no matter how good they might seem at first. Fortunately, the property had roughly doubled in value in the few years that I owned it and I was able to dump it for much more than I paid. I used that cash to buy a new tractor and to make improvements on our home farm. With a few extra hungry mouths to feed, deer hunting has been mostly about the meat for me, for quite a few years now.
  18. Yes, apple cider vinegar. I am really looking forward to Valentine’s Day this year. I will only have (3) deer hearts but I just traded a vacuum sealed butt roast, from a big old buck to a buddy at work, for a fresh beef tongue. I found (3) other beef tongues in the freezer, while I was rearranging it last year, but I’m not sure how long they have been in there. I’ll toss them on my carcass pile out back for the coyotes, and I’ll get my wife to use the fresh one for this years mix. She don’t mind working with the deer hearts at all (boiling, slicing, pickling, etc.), but (1) beef tongue a year is about all I can get out of her. Even with that, there is always some complaining. Some times she has even gotten me to do the slicing.
  19. My nephew (who has never hunted in the US) has done (2) South African Safari hunts. He said that the zebra was very good. The only thing he liked better was some small, antelope looking thing (maybe a “springbuck”). He didn’t especially care for the wildebeast. Unfortunately, they were not able to bring any meat home. They could only bring the mounted heads home. I have always wanted to try horse, which I bet tastes very similar to zebra, but it is illegal to serve in the US. If I ever get to Canada or Mexico again, I’m goin to try some.
  20. Yes, in fact I’ve never pickled one that was not frozen first. I save them up all season and my wife pickles them for me every Valentine’s Day.
  21. It’s even better with beef tongues. I only got three deer hearts this year, so there will be (3) beef tongues going in with them, on Valentine’s Day. We usually take it up North with us to the in-laws, when we go to there ice fishing on President’s weekend. They won’t eat the tongue, which means more for me. They do love the deer heart though. Too bad deer tongues were not a little bigger. I’ve pulled a few, but not worth the effort due to the few bites that you get out of them. Pickled moose tongue, using that recipe, was hands-down the best wild game meat that I ever sampled. Their tongues are even bigger than beef tongues.
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