Extraordinary Friends Help Keep Hunters Young

Then at 11:05, I saw another coming up the hill in my direction, I quickly saw it was a buck, got ready, and when I had a clear opening around 70 yards out, the .280 Remington barked. Joe Forma Photo

  • Shoot When Your Target is in Range
  • Respect for Opening Day 
  • Can Deer See Colors?
Then at 11:05, I saw another coming up the hill in my direction, I quickly saw it was a buck, got ready, and when I had a clear opening around 70 yards out, the .280 Remington barked. Joe Forma Photo
Then at 11:05, I saw another coming up the hill in my direction, I quickly saw it was a buck, got ready, and when I had a clear opening around 70 yards out, the .280 Remington barked. Joe Forma Photo

By Joe Forma

Editor Note: This is a touching story of a Dad’s exciting e-message to his son, sharing the fun he found hunting with a friend and his family on one special opening day of big game firearms season this fall of 2016 in New York State.  There are honest lessons here for all hunters.  Joe Forma is retired as a well-respected New York State Supreme Court Judge, he loves the outdoors, he is a family man and an award winning outdoor photographer.  He is 74 years young.

Hi Andy,

Congrats on your big doe in Penfield!  I was sad you could not do our annual opening day hunt in the swamp with Angelo, but then I got invited to hunt with my old friend, Roger, down at Bliss, New York.  I usually don’t hunt where the landowners family will hunt on Opening Day, but Roger said it was ok and he had lots of room on his property Open Day was just perfect weather-wise and with a strong south wind, I could go way up to the northwest corner, well away from Roger and his family.

Jason got a spike at the start hour and Roger got a doe for meat.  I didn’t see a deer until 9:00 a.m. and that was just the butt end of a big one.  Likely a buck, but I couldn’t see the head, so I didn’t shoot.

Per my old own rule I always stay in a spot if I see deer for one more hour.  At 9:30, three does came thru and almost ran me over.  Don’t know what spooked them, but not a rut crazed buck as I hoped.

Maybe some of the most fun is just seeing deer come toward you on opening day, but choosing to take a doe early or not, especially during the rut, is a tough call. Joe Forma Photo
Maybe some of the most fun is just seeing deer come toward you on opening day, but choosing to take a doe early or not, especially during the rut, is a tough call. Joe Forma Photo

About 10:30, three more toward me, but does came up the old lead doe must have spotted me at 75 yards and they spooked. I was in complete tree leaf camo save my blaze orange hat and hidden in a blow down – they say deer don’t see red/orange? I reversed the hat to camo immediately.

I was happy seeing some deer and then at 11:05, I saw another coming up the hill in my direction. I quickly saw it was a buck, got ready and when I had a clear opening around 70 yards out, the .280 Remington barked and the buck ran about 80 yards and folded.

Though he was coming nonchalantly straight at me, I always shoot as soon as I get the open shot. I don’t wait, been there.

The 7-Point went down near Roger’s west boundary, so after I gutted it.  He came up in this ATV with Jason and they got the buck down to the house.  It couldn’t be more perfect.  No sooner we got the buck in the Tahoe for the ride home, the wind, rain and sleet hit.

I so appreciate Roger’s hospitality in sharing his fine property with me for deer and turkey hunting.  It was a most memorable opener, especially for an older hunter.

Dad