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September 25, 2018

Deer Season’s Opening Weekend


By Spider Rybaak

Scott Timmerman and sons (l to r) Logan and Brandon pose with his monster 8-pointer, taken in the southern zone, just east of NY 3.

The Southern Zone’s Deer season dawned on Oswego County in spectacular fashion. The beasts were plentiful; hunters were, too; and the weather was as deer-hunter-friendly as you could hope for.

As in the past, areas containing a good mix of farmland, forest and marsh were most productive.

The NY 3 corridor was especially so.

The reason: “Last winter’s mild weather was gentle on the local deer population,” says David Ouellette, part-owner of Deer Creek Motel and Pheasant Shooting Preserve (315) 298-3730. 

“In addition, our close proximity to Lake Ontario gives us a lot of moisture, which translated into good crop growth on local farms last summer. Finally, we have a lot of state parks in the area where gun hunting for deer ain’t legal; and numerous wildlife management areas loaded with dynamite deer habitat. Combine these factors and you come up with one of the best deer hunting areas in the state,” he adds.

Two guests of Deer Creek Motel and Pheasant Hunting Preserve had the carcasses to prove it.

On opening day, Roger Babeu dropped a nice buck on property leased by the motel in the southern zone, near Grindstone Creek. The farmland he was hunting is gently rolling. What’s more, it’s a short distance from Selkirk Shores State Park, a spot notorious for ideal deer habitat.

Pete Surette, on the other hand, took a nice four-pointer right behind the motel, in the northern zone. The area he was hunting was also gently rolling and watered by Deer Creek.

But Oswego County ain’t just for opening day. Scott Timmerman proved it by shooting a massive eight-pointer on Sunday, the morning after, when deer that survived the first day are notoriously super paranoid.

That’s another plus Oswego County has going for it. You see, world class fisheries like the Salmon River and Grindstone Creek draw lots of anglers. The same goes for spectacularly scenic Selkirk Shores State Park which gets loads of campers, picnickers and hikers. 

As a result, our deer are a lot more comfortable with human scent wafting through the woods than they are in other regions of the state and that makes them a little more careless…often just enough to help a competent hunter fill the freezer with delicious, corn-fed venison.

Roger Babeu, Groveland, MA, with a nice buck he took with a 7 mm last Saturday.
Pete Surette of Middleton, MA with a crotch-horn he took behind Deer Creek Motel on Opening day.

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