Musky, Steelhead, Bear & CWD-FREE Deer – the SEASON IS RIGHT in Chautauqua County, NY

  • Big Game Early Archery Season Started Oct. 1, ends Nov. 15, 2019
  • Crossbow Season Opens Nov. 2, runs through Nov. 15
  • Firearm Season (Shotgun, Handgun, Rifle, Crossbow, Bow) Opens Nov. 16, ends Dec. 8
  • Muzzleloader & Late Archery Season Opens Dec. 9, ends Dec. 17
Sweet white oak acorns and beech nuts help to grow big healthy deer in Chautauqua County, NY. Joe Forma Photo

By Forrest Fisher

Chautauqua County is the land of big game hunting opportunities for CWD-free whitetail deer and abundant black bear. There were 9,944 whitetail deer harvested in Chautauqua County last year, including 4,334 adult bucks greater than 1.5 years old – about 4.1 to 5.0 bucks per square mile. Approximately 20 percent of the deer were harvested with a bow. A review of bowhunter logbooks shows that hunters viewed 10 deer for every 10 hours of hunting. There was 28 black bear harvested, 11 during bow season and 17 with firearms. Out of State license cost for big game hunting is a mere $100! 

Nature’s organic health food mix for big strong deer in Chautauqua County includes apple orchards, cornfields, and vineyards. The rolling hills support forests of sweet white oak, beech, and hickory to provide sweet acorns and high protein nut stock for deer. Plentiful wild berry bushes and grape fields provide sweet mealtime for increasing numbers of black bears. High, straight, hardwood trees offer safe support for your ground level tree-mount chair, a fixed ladder stand or a climbing tree stand. Please wear a full-body harness if you are going vertical. The Hunter Safety Lifeline System works great and is inexpensive (under $40). Stay safe.

Chautauqua County is prime with public and private hunting land across more than 1,000 square miles of mostly undisturbed country land. Public access is free to hunt in our 14 State Forests that are specifically managed by the New York State Fish and Wildlife to provide free access to hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing and photography. Handicapped hunters have privileged access to 13,000 acres in eight of those 14 state forests here.

Add the aroma of fresh organic pancakes and hot maple syrup from local trees for breakfast before the hunt, you can understand the welcome feeling that hunters have who travel here from near and far. Big game hunting is very good in Chautauqua County. The deer and bear population is increasing, we need help from hunters in Chautauqua.

Hunters that repeatedly bag a deer with a bow, crossbow, firearm or muzzleloader are usually in the woods and in their stand about one hour before sunrise. The hunting day ends at sunset, by law. The deer and bear are abundant here. With archery or firearms, be sure of your target and beyond. Be safe.

There are SO MANY deer here. Wildlife Mangement Unit 9J.  Motorists here say they need hunter help.  Join in the adventure and excitement of big game hunting in Chautauqua County, NY.

Link to New York State hunting regulations: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28182.html. Link to Chautauqua County Forest Maps: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/22556.html.

Visitors Bureau Travel/Accommodations Contact: R. Andrew Nixon, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 1441, Chautauqua, NY, 14722; Office: 716-357-4569; email: nixon@tourchautauqua.com; web: http://www.tourchautauqua.com; Facebook.com/Tour.Chautauqua

 

After the Fall – Saying Goodbye

Remember to "Hook-Up"

The morning sunrise during a hunt is something special. Every time.

By Larry Whiteley

It sure is getting foggy. I’m not sure I could even see a deer sneaking through the woods in this stuff. Oh well, I just love being out here sitting in my stand, even if I don’t see a deer. It’s a great time to be alone with God and thank Him for the opportunity to be out here in His great outdoors.

I wonder how many sunrises I have seen coming through the trees while sitting in a tree stand? After over 50 years of deer hunting, it has to be a lot. I have watched a lot of sunsets too, while up in a tree, but sunrises are my favorite. There’s just something special about being in the dark watching the sun gradually bring light to the forest.

Hearing the first bird songs of the day is music to my ears. I even love the smell of decaying leaves on the forest floor. The first movement I see is usually a squirrel gathering nuts for the long winter ahead. It’s amazing how much a squirrel sounds like a deer walking through the woods. Then there were the times I have watched a fox, a bobcat or some other animal traveling through and they had no idea I was even there. There was also the time an owl thought the fur trapper’s hat I was wearing on a cold winter day was breakfast and, with claws raised, dived right at my head.
It’s funny how we deer hunters tend to name our tree stands too. Over the years I have sat in stands with names like Northwood’s, Papaw Bear, Dad and Me, 23, Pond, Kelly, Red Neck and even one called No Name. Just thinking of the names brings back a lot of memories.

Most of my years sitting in those tree stands have been by myself, but the absolute best times were the years I shared them with my grandson, Hunter, while my son hunted with my granddaughter Anna. Hunter got old enough to hunt in his own tree stand and I am now once again sitting alone in the deer woods. It won’t be too many more years and he will be hunting with his son or daughter and continuing to pass on the tradition. Just thinking about the good times when it was just him and me brings tears to my eyes.

When you sit there waiting for a deer to come by your secret hiding place thinking of all these things, you see them in your mind. Speaking of tears, as I sit here this day, for some strange reason I am seeing my wife crying. The fog is lifting enough that I can now also see my sons, daughters-in-law, and grandkids crying. What’s going on?

Honey, I love you. Why are you crying, I say to my wife? Can’t you hear me? Hunter, I know you have always had a tender heart, but what’s the matter Bub? Don’t cry Sis, your Papaw’s here. Ty, Sam…come here and give your Papaw our secret hand -squeeze and let me wipe away the tears. Kids, I am right over here!

I love my kids, grandkids, my family. All their smiling faces.

Hey, I also see some of my cousins and friends from church. There’s Pastor Scotty too! What are they all doing here? I try talking to them and they act like they can’t hear me or see me. Why is this room filled with all these flowers and pictures of me with my wife, kids and grandkids plus pictures of me with fish and deer?

I hear someone ask my son how it happened. How what happened? My son Kelly chokes back a tear as my son Daron puts his arm around him to comfort him and he says, “Dad was always telling us to wear our harness and attach our lifeline when we got into a tree stand. He was hunting out of a ladder stand and for some reason, I guess he thought he didn’t need to do what he always told us to do. He even wrote articles and did radio shows telling other people how important it was to do it, but that day he didn’t. A ratchet strap broke; the stand slipped and he fell out.”

Was I dreaming during in a nasty storm?

Did I fall out of my tree stand? I’m dead?! You’ve got to be kidding! I have hunted that stand for years. My harness and lifeline were in my truck. I guess like most hunters, I thought this could never happen to me. I made a bad decision.
I say I am sorry to my wife for the times I have hurt her, tell her I love her one more time and that the boys will watch over her, but she doesn’t hear me. I want to hug and kiss her but I can’t.

I stand right in front of my sons and tell them how proud I am of them for being the good husbands and fathers they are, but they don’t see or hear me. I reach out to touch each of my grandkids, tell them I love them and I am sorry I won’t be there to watch them grow up and have families of their own, but they don’t hear or see me either. I pray they won’t forget their Papaw. I hope they tell their kids about the memories we made together.

I feel a hand gently on my shoulder and a voice says, “I know this is hard Larry, but they will be alright. God will watch over all of them for you. It’s time to go to a better place. There are other people waiting for you when we get there and I bet you have a bunch of fishing, hunting, kids and grandkids stories to tell them.”

We turn to go, but I look back over my shoulder at my friends and family one last time and say goodbye.

Friends, especially while using a ladder stand, don’t forget to hook up. Get a very inexpensive Hunter Safety System (HSS) Lifeline. About $30. Don’t wait, do it today, see your loved ones again.

Take the Kids Hunting from a Tree Stand, but don’t go up without a Lil’ Treestalker Youth Harness!

  • Hunter Safety System youth models also available in “Fistful of Dirt” Mossy Oak® Bottomland®

The Lil’ Treestalker harness is made to keep your youth hunter safe when you take the kids upstairs in a tree. The youth harness also features ElimiShield® Hunt Scent control technology, just like the adult models. ElimiShield utilizes a proprietary nanotechnology that kills over 99.99% of odor-causing bacteria at the cellular level and forms a bond with the treated article that lasts for more than 50 commercial washes. By treating the Lil’ Treestalker with the ElimiShield in the manufacturing process, the harness is forever protected from mildew and odors after being exposed to sweat and moisture, so it’s protected while it is packed away in storage during the off-season.

Hunter Safety System has partnered with Mossy Oak to offer its Lil’ Treestalker youth harness in the very popular Bottomland camouflage pattern. Although this “fistful of dirt” pattern isn’t new, it has been extremely popular since Toxey Haas introduced it more than 30 years ago. Featuring bark, sticks and leaves, Bottomland features a legendary outline-breaking ability that helps hunters become virtually invisible in treestand environments.

“Bottomland has been a favorite pattern of bowhunters for decades,” said Jerry Wydner, HSS owner and president. “Bottomland has proven to be very effective in the field. We listen to our customers and aim to please them with the very best, safest products in the patterns that they want.”

Comfortable standing or sitting, the Lil’ Treestalker is designed with smart fabrics to stay cool and dry all season and features soft touch binding to resist abrasion around the neck and arms. Weighing a mere 1.5 lbs., this harness will keep aspiring and/or smaller hunters safe and comfortable in the field.

Available at retailers nationwide or conveniently online at www.hssvest.com, the Lil’ Treestalker in Mossy Oak Bottomland retails for under $85.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Danville, Ala., Hunter Safety System is a leading designer/manufacturer of innovative deer hunting gear and hunting equipment for the serious hunter. The company has exclusive rights for use of ElimiShield in the hunting industry. For additional information, write to: The Hunter Safety System, 8237 Danville Road, Danville, AL 35619; call toll-free 877-296-3528; or visit www.hssvest.com.