Deer still being taken by local hunters

Snow is a four letter word and it can be a deer hunter/tracker’s best friend, but too much of a good thing can also be brutal.

For Gary Pleva, and his family, There was just enough snow on the ground Monday in Forestville, to help them tag a nice 7-point buck, but it wasn’t easy. Pleva is a veteran deer hunter who has a number of trophy bucks to his credit, but now that he is retired, and with three children still in school, deer hunting is a means to put meat on the table.

Pleva put his two of his children on post attempting to push a deer in the direction of his daughter, Kayla, or son, Adam. As luck would have it, the buck jumped up to the left of Gary who placed a disabling shot with his 30/30 rifle into the lower section of the buck. Rounding up his team, he and Adam picked up the trail and placed Kayla in an area which they felt would intercept the deer, but the deer had already moved beyond that point. The tracks and blood left the trail tale.

Gary then decided to let the buck bed down and resume the search after lunch. The team again attempted to push the deer toward Kayla out of some nasty undergrowth, but the deer popped up once again in front of Gary and Adam, and Gary placed the final shot, preserving as much venison as possible. The family affair was a success.

Later in the week, the snow was so deep it was too hard to move in most cases, especially for out of shape older guys like myself. It’s Western New York, the weather will probably change again any minute now.

Al Forbes sent photos and a brief story about two hunters. Gary Nichols, of Sinclairville, tagged a nice black bear in the Randolph area while bow hunting on Nov. 2, and Andrew Forbes, of Cassadaga, tagged a nice 7-point buck on opening day of firearms season in the Town of Villenova.

Peter T. Smith, of Arkwright, sent a photo of his 9-point buck that he took on his property last Sunday while hunting with his family and friends. The 73-year-old hunter reported that the buck was close to 100 yards away when he took the shot with his 300 Weatherby rifle. The veteran big-game hunter also reported that he was using Killbuck scent and has never missed a hunting season in his life, which includes hunting bear around North America.

Don Hall of Fredonia also reported tagging a nice 10-point buck on Nov. 16, while hunting in Arkwright. The deer was reportedly taken at 11:30 a.m., and weighed 160 pounds.


If you missed it, make sure you check out the Thanksgiving Day edition of the Sportsman’s Journal, that was published in the OBSERVER, for information on how to possibly win a free lifetime sporting license if you are a resident of Chautauqua County and are 16 years of age or younger. Details and forms, as well as how to become a sponsor of this neat event, can be obtained by calling Zen Olow at 640-2776

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will continue its non-perishable food collection “Hunters Helping the Hungry”until Tuesday, Dec. 2. Club members are reminded to bring their canned goods to the club for donations to be distributed during the upcoming holiday season. Times are hard and the need is greater than in years past.

Free fly-tying and fly-fishing classes have resumed on Monday evenings at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, from 6-8 p.m. Fly tyers at all stages are invited to attend. The Monday night tyers will provide fly tying vises and all materials for anyone who would like to learn how to tie a fly or how to start fly fishing. Ken Hollander and Willie Fedrick, along with guest tyers, will provide the know-how in a safe, enjoyable facility located at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, on Mullet Street, in Dunkirk. Note: Participants will get to keep what they tie and will receive one-on-one attention. No registration is required, so just show up!

The Forestville Fire Department is offering a ‘Deer Hunters’ breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes, hash-browned potatoes, coffee and juice for a friendly price, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Proceeds will be used to purchase firefighting equipment and gear. This breakfast special will be available for take-out, or dine in, on every second Sunday of each month. You don’t have to be a deer hunter to stop in and enjoy.

If your club is hosting a shooting event, or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar.

The Federation of Sportsmen from Sullivan County are hosting a three-day Coyote hunt from Feb. 7-9. They offer a $2,000 grand prize for the heaviest coyote weighed-in for the three-day hunt, a $200 daily prize for the heaviest coyote in each of the three days of the hunt, a $100 prize for the heaviest coyote taken by a youth (12-15 years old) and a $100 prize for the heaviest coyote taken by a female hunter during the three-day event. $100 will be awarded for all other coyotes weighed in during the three-day event. Early registration, post marked by Jan. 27, will be $30 per hunter, which will include the three-day hunt, a weigh-in dinner held at the White Sulphur Springs Fire House, located on Route 52 (exit 100 off Route 17). After Jan. 27, the entry fee is $40 with the deadline of 7 p.m. sharp on Feb. 3. For details, visit the website at

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to