20 inch 3.9 pound Small Mouth Bass
I spent the better part of a week in the Finger Lakes region of New York last week for my annual fishing trip and family visit! We started our fishing on Monday August 6th, and it was a great start. My girlfriend Jackie and I were on the lake by 7:30 a.m. We decided to fish with our tried and trusty bait - Mooneyes! We were fishing Owasco Lake and were anchored in about 75 feet of water. We had baits suspended at 20, 30, 45 feet and one on the bottom; we had our best luck throughout the week fishing at 40 feet and shallower Jackie started the morning with a catch and release small mouth bass which was 13 inches. She quickly followed it up with a 17 incher that weighed in at 2.9 pounds! Not to be outdone, I finally got one on the line which was 20 inches weighing in at 3.9 pounds! We had a few other small bites with nothing coming into the boat to close out the morning. We were a bit hungry so decided to head to shore for a good lunch with the grandparents and my cousins. Afterwards we took my older cousin Hannah (12 years old) out for an afternoon of fishing and she made the most of it, taking the only fish of the afternoon which was 18 inches long and 2.8 pounds! I've attached all of the photos to this post and have two more days of fishing to tell you about still as this was just the start of what was an awesome few days of fishing. Look for the other recaps over the next couple of days.
As I said in an earlier post, we gave duck hunting another shot. After all, the first attempt was not the most successful one. I know the number of ducks in this area and knew if we could get a better day weather wise we would come close to limiting out. Well, it turns out I was right! The Friday before I came back down to NC I set out for the same spot with my buddy Brian...and my Gramps! We got set up with the same spread of decoys as we did earlier in the week, knowing the ducks would be flying come sunrise. This hunt was one of the best I ever had and turned out the best numbers yet as well! Shoot, we had our first two ducks at first light!
This was one of my favorite hunts of the week as I got to spend some good quality time with my grandfather who loves to hunt! As I said, he already had a deer hunt for the record books killing a buck and two does all in the same day! Also known as his best day of deer hunting in his life! I'm glad I got to share that with him, so I was hoping this duck hunt would be another hunt that would make memories and it was. We ended the day with 11 Mallard ducks - 6 Drakes and 5 hens. With only one duck short of a limit, you can't ask for a better day than that!
Take a look at the photos in our Media section and, as always, enjoy!
Last Wednesday I was able to get out to Owasco Lake and do a morning of duck hunting with my buddy Brian and his younger brother. The morning was a brisk one: heavy rain, 10-15 mile-an-hour winds with 30 mile-an-hour gusts coming from the N/NE and temperatures in the mid to high 30's! Most people would probably have stayed in bed but I've had good luck in the past on rainy, overcast days hunting for ducks, so we decided this morning should be no different.
The morning started around 5:30 a.m. when we got our decoys out in the water and our blind situated on the shore of the lake. By the time legal shooting time rolled around there were a good number of ducks flying down the lake, with a few pairs eying our decoys. But, and this is a big but, the wind speed and direction were working against us in this regard. We were, however, able to harvest one Mallard drake. Once the wind died down by mid-morning, the birds had slowed their flight down the lake, but we did have one more single Mallard come into our decoys and he never made it back out!
I wish I could have gotten a picture of him but unfortunately I only had my cell phone with me and I had dropped it in a puddle at the gas station getting coffee and breakfast for my hunting partners, and since water and technology usually don't mix, it was not functioning most of the day. He had three curls on his tail feathers though and was also a pretty hefty bird with very bright colors, one of the best looking Mallards I've seen in awhile!
Overall it was a great day hunting. Keep an eye out for my next post which will have multiple photos of another more successful Duck hunt last
I also made it out deer hunting on Tuesday, however I only saw three does and none of them gave me a shot (they were quite a ways away from me when I saw them).
The opening weekend of the regular gun season in New York was this past Saturday and Sunday. I had four people in my hunting party on a parcel of private land that we have been hunting for years. Saturday was a very successful day with 5 deer making it to our garage; below is how they got there.
Saturday was a very clear and unseasonably warm day with temperatures in the 50's. I arrived to my stand around 6 a.m.; we had our first deer down by mid morning. My grandfather, for the first time in his hunting career, had the pleasure of taking three deer in one day! He shot two does and a 5 point buck by the day's end! He was as excited as I've ever seen him while hunting, as he should have been since it's a great accomplishment to successfully take that many deer in one day. We will not have empty freezers any time soon to say the least!
My step dad Doug was also able to take a nice doe on Saturday. And then there was me. I was successful in taking a 6 point buck as well! Take a look at the attached photos of him while I fill you in on what happened. He came into sight around noon. I missed him on my first shot and he ran closer, presenting another shot to me which I gladly took! The journey ended with the deer laying about 40 yards from my tree stand!
Now that I have my buck tag filled in NY I'm doe hunting for the rest of the time here. I will hopefully not have much trouble filling these tags as I saw many does on opening day, counting 9 deer - including the buck I took - throughout the day.
I'll continue to try and keep our readers updated on my hunts as they occur. I plan to get out tomorrow morning and do some more deer hunting and then have a duck hunt planned for Wednesday!
I hope everyone else is having some success! Please let us know via a comment on this post if you have any stories to share with us, or even some pictures! We'd love to post them and share with others!
I'm currently in the process of preparing for an out of state hunt in New York, heading up there tomorrow night and staying until the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I make this trip every year for the opening week of the regular season and have three permits in hand: two doe permits and a buck permit!
I'm going to be hunting on land I've hunted for many years (it is all private land so a bit different from the usual hunting that Cory and I do in NC). I've had great success over the last couple of years, so be on the lookout for hunt recaps and photos of some great deer (fingers crossed)!
I've also planned a couple of duck hunts on Owasco Lake this year! The spot I'm hunting has been pretty good to me so far and I'm hoping nothing will change that fact this time around.
All that being said, I always forget how hard it is to get all the gear you need together for an out of state hunt. Needless to say I have my hands full right now with work and trying to get everything packed. Wish me luck :)
In celebration of the Eastern NC muzzleloader season starting tomorrow, here is the story of Paul's first buck with his CVA Accura...yea, we know it's a NY buck, but it's still a good story to get you pumped down here in NC!
I bought a CVA Accura muzzleloader in 2008 and hunted with it during the Regular New York Deer season. I headed out on Opening Day in 2008 with only my muzzle loaded I had decided that since I just spent a good chunk of change on this new "toy" I'd better hunt with it! I had spent many hours at the local range sighting this gun in and I was confident out to 200 yards with the Accura.
I was settled into my stand and around mid morning I saw a very large buck come out about 150 yards away in the thick swamp area behind my stand. I scoped the buck and saw that he was in fact very large! He was moving quite fast and would not give me a good shot, the only shot I had due to the thick cover he was in was a head shot which I was not willing to take at that range, there are too many factors that could cause you to miss, especially shooting in the type of cover he was in. I watched as he walked around me and passed all of the other hunters I was with that day, all who were hunting with slug guns and non of them could get a shot either he was just keeping too much distance from us.
About an hour later I had a small doe probably only about a year old come right out from behind me and walk about 10 yards next to me. Although not a shooter, what better to draw in a big buck than a live doe decoy ;) I watched as she feed near me and kept a close eye out behind my stand where she had exited the thick cover hoping a buck would come out. Within about 10 minutes one did! He must have been walking right in the Doe's tracks! I turned around in my stand and got a solid shooting rest thanks to a branch in my tree! When we got within about 25 yards of me I had a great broadside shot and I took it, as the smoke cleared I saw the buck run right past my stand and stop about 50 yards in front of me, the doe was about 30 yards away from the buck and both had just frozen not knowing what had happened.
A million thoughts ran through my mind and the first was "Dang how did I miss him!!!!", the second being "Man, I wish I had my slug gun with me so I had a quick follow up shot" and the third being "How am I going to explain missing a deer at 25 yards??!!". I started to reload as fast as I could while both deer just stood there! I got the 777 pellets loaded and the sabot seated onto them and pulled out a primer and then he dropped!!!! Boy was I happy when I saw him go down! I had a double lung shot on him and it just took him a minute to go down! I took a huge sigh of relief as now I could relax and tell everyone on the radio that I had a huge buck down!
I'm not 100% sure if this was the same buck that I saw a bit earlier but it sure looked like it, the left side of his rack was pretty memorable and it looks to be the same deer but I can't ever be sure, but I'd put my money on it as we did not see another buck that large the rest of the year. I unfortunately was leaving to take a job in NC in a few days and was unable to get this deer mounted ( I still take some grief from folks for this ) but I have the memory and that is all that matters to me! I've attached some photos for your viewing pleasure, once of which is the antler mount that I put together that is hanging in my living room!
Soon after this hunt the muzzle loaded started to experience some mechanical problem, the firing pin spring was not working properly so I had to send it in for service. It was low down on my to do list and took me nearly a year and a half to get it sent out, however CVA got it right back to me and I have it in hand and ready for this upcoming season! I can't wait to get out with the Accura again, it's a great gun!
I'd like to share with all of our readers the story behind my first and only bow buck...so far! I had just turned 16 years old and was in my second season of hunting with the bow in New York state. In New York my hunting is a bit different than what Cory and I do here in North Carolina, hunting mostly private land in NY. My family and I have been hunting a large parcel of land that a family friend has owned for over a decade now. We have taken some great deer off of this land but this is still one of my most memorable moments of hunting to this day!
It all started on a morning hunt in late October back in 2000. I headed to my favorite stand and my step father Doug headed to another stand. Our plan was to hunt the morning and leave the woods around 11 a.m. as we had to head to Owasco Lake to help my grandfather take the dock and boat hoists out of the water for the quick approaching winter season!
I got into my stand while it was still dark and got situated, my new PSE Nova bow in hand. I had practiced for the last two summers and was confident I could take a deer this year if one gave me the opportunity to do so. The weather was fair, a cool morning but the skies were clear.
Around 8 a.m. I had two deer come right past my stand, a doe followed by a 4-pt buck. I came to my feet as the deer passed about 20 yards to my right, however I never drew my bow as they were walking at a quick pace. I tried to grunt a few times to get one of them to stop for a moment so I could draw and take the shot but that buck had one thing on his mind...and the doe another (get away!). As the deer went by, I came to the conclusion that I had made the right choice to let them pass. However my "deer fever" took about an hour to come to a rest and for me to stop shaking!
About two hours later, around 10 a.m., right in front of me all I saw was the largest whitetail rack I had ever seen! His nose was to the ground and he was right on the trail of the previous two deer that had passed me a couple of hours earlier. I came to my feet once again and the deer passed within about 15 yards to me. He was walking very slowly and came to the opposite side of my stand that the deer had come to. I drew my bow and placed my pin just behind his shoulder, settled my breathing and squeezed the trigger on my release...the arrow took flight and I saw it connect! A good shot! Right where I wanted it, with any luck the arrow pierced both lungs. I watched with great intensity as the deer ran off with my arrow still in its side. I looked on and noted the path the deer took so that I could track it.
I think this was the most excited I have ever been in my life! I was just standing in my tree in shock, I could not believe what had just happened. About a minute later I heard Doug shout "Hey did you just shoot that buck?!?" I turned around and there was Doug standing only about 75 yards behind my stand! He had watched the whole thing, he was coming to get me so that we could head to the lake and saw that I was standing with my bow drawn so he stopped in his tracks and waited to see what was going on - good thing he did! He said that he saw my shot placement and that it looked promising.
We decided to let the deer sit for about a half hour and then we started tracking. The buck was leaving a very small blood trail as the arrow had not passed all the way through. We came to a rough conclusion for me. "Lets go to the lake, take the dock out and let this deer sit for the afternoon. We'll come back and finish tracking later." We found the half of the arrow that broke off while the deer was running and marked the last blood with some orange trail tape. We headed to the lake and informed everyone that we needed to make the dock a quick job so that we could go find my buck!
We returned to the woods around 3 p.m. and started tracking where we left off. We found ourselves in the swamp that borders the North end of the property and the blood was very scarce. I stood at the last spot while Doug and my grandfather started making circles around me getting on spots of higher ground and scanning the forest floor looking for the deer. All of a sudden I hear Doug say "THERE HE IS!" I'm not sure if my feet ever hit the ground! I ran to the spot and saw my buck; he was larger than I thought he was! A beautiful 9-pt! I did my first field dressing and drag of a deer! Hey if you shoot it you have to be ready to do all of the work that follows! Of course, given my small stature I needed some help to get that deer out as he had run a couple hundred yards from where I had shot him.
After multiple stops to show off my first buck we were back at the house and I was still pumped up! We gave our friend a call to see if we could get the cape right in to get mounted! About three months later the mount was ready and currently resides above the fireplace at my parents' house. I've attached a couple of photos of the mount as well as one from the field. Please forgive the quality of the picture from the field, I think this was still taken on a 35mm camera, digital cameras were still a thing of the future, at least one that was affordable ;).
And that my friends is the story of my first and only bbow uck...so far!
My last day of fishing on Owasco Lake was this past Friday. My buddy Brian and I got out on the lake around 7 a.m. and we fished until around 1 p.m. We had a very successful day, catching 7 Smallmouth bass. We finally broke the 20-inch mark with one weighing in over 4 pounds! On this day we caught all of our fish using live bait (Mooneyes).
I've attached pictures for your viewing pleasure, we captured all but one of the bass in a photo. The fish we did not capture in a photo was 19 inches and weighed in at 3-lb, 2-oz.
I started the day the usual way: Getting bait at the South end of the lake. My buddy Brian and I were set up on the water by around 7:30 a.m. and we had the first of many fish on by 8:00 a.m. We were fishing in about 70 feet of water with minnows suspended at 20, 30, 45 and then one just off the bottom. One Lake Trout hit at 45 feet and the other at 30 which is a bit unusual as they tend to suspend deeper in the water or lay on the bottom. The Smallies were caught mostly between 15 and 30 feet. After a whole lot of laughing, high fives, and reeling in fish we ended the day with 2 Lake Trout, 3 Small mouth Bass and 1 Yellow Perch. I've included a bunch of photos and weight / length of each fish in our "On The Water Media" section which can be found here. I'll also attach the photos to this post for easy viewing :)
I arrived at Owasco lake for my first fishing outing in a couple of years up here in New York on Monday night. My Grandfather picked up some Mooneyes and we decided to try our luck out where we usually fish. We fished the evening and had no luck....not even one bite! Oh well, that's fishing! You won't catch anything if you let one evening deter you, so we decided to try again Tuesday morning. We started fishing around 8 am and around noon we finally had some activity! We had three bites, only one of which led to a fish in the boat: A decent smallmouth bass that I landed. The bass measured 17 inches and weighed-in at 2 pounds 2 ounces.
My buddy Brian came out with me after work around 5 pm and we decided to just cast some spinnerbaits over rock and weed beds. We had a successful couple of hours, with Brian landing another nice bass about an inch shorter and one ounce smaller. I caught a small Northern Pike (21.5 inches / 1 pound 8 ounces) which we released. We also got a couple of good-sized Yellow Perch and some other panfish.
I've included some photos of the bass and the pike that we caught. We are fishing the rest of the week as well and I'll keep everyone posted with our catches!
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