SAO Pages

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

SAO Update and a change of pace.

A view of deer camp before hitting the woods Monday morning.

Since we had the rivers at higher flows to start the week, we decided against guiding "skinny water" which is hardly worth our clients hard earned investments and valuable time, and instead rescheduled for better days later in the month.

Having this brief opportunity in our busy season, I found a way to sneak away for the first couple of days of deer season in PA. Yes I know, the streams are usually open and uncrowded during the hunting season, but when you spend as much time on the water as this staff does, any small break keeps us from turning into fish ourselves.

I made it to our family camp in Warren, PA in the wee hours on Monday morning with enough time to take a short nap before breakfast and heading to my tree stand. It was nice to wake up to the smell of a hot breakfast of bacon & eggs, toast and hash browns, and see the excitement and anticipation of my father, grandfather, and friends get ready for the morning hunt.

An inside view of our deer camp.

It was lightly snowing this morning as I made my way through the Forrest, and with the 20 plus inches of snow covering the ground I hardly needed a flash light to find my way Thur the dark. The temperature was pleasantly in the mid 30's with very little wind and I knew I would need to keep a sharp eye and would be able to see the deer coming from a distance this morning.

As the day light snuck up on me, I was greeted by two chunky gray squirrels digging through the snow and earth in search of hidden acorns and beech nuts. You know the squirrels I am talking about, right? The ones that never seem to leave and run around your stand all morning making you think you hear the deer walking in on you only to realize you have been fooled again...

At about 7:30am the first set of deer started moving up the ridge toward my stand. It was two doe; a mother and her yearling. They kept looking back behind them and eventually as I had hoped a nice buck was moving in. He had his nose tight to the ground and was on a steady pace toward the two does. Where I hunt there are antler restrictions that limit a legal buck in my region to 3 visible points on one side on the rack to be able to harvest a male deer, Well it was pretty hard to determine whether this buck was legal while on the move and also through the thick saplings and dense shrubs and under growth this boy was moving thru. I could only make out a single "y" on him even know he had a tall rack, and slowly watched him fade out of view.

My half rack 4 point from monday's hunt.

Well once again and as always I would not be the notorious first shot heard by hunters around the area and due to my fascination with fly fishing for steelhead I probably never will be. It didn't take long for the next set of deer to move within view. Seven does where quickly pushing out of the valley to the right of me and heading to the top of the mountain. The path they were taking would lead the herd about 90 yards from me and only give me one opportunity for a shot. I kept my scope on them and as fast as possible scanned the deer for any signs of antlers. Following the group of doe was another small 4 point buck and in the distance taking up the rear I could see another deer coming. this deer was really moving and hard to keep in the scope, but as soon as it came into view I saw a heavy rack and could see at least 3 points on his antler. I pain stakingly waited for him to move up the mountain, and as he reached the small opening.....

The woods went silent briefly or maybe it was just my ears from the blast, but my aim was true and I had just harvested my first buck in the past 5 years.( steelhead fishing is highly addictive and may interfere with other outdoor activities) Shortly after I heard another shot and our good friend Skip also had taken a buck, a first for him in some time as well.

Dad taking care of the crew, and always puts together the best meal at the end of the day.

Later that evening we all got together for a fine dinner of a crock pot venison roast, carrots, mash potatoes, sweet corn, and mushroom gravy. We all sat together feeding our faces and reminiscing about today's hunt and past experiences together not only as hunters and outdoors man but as a family!! I can't wait till my son is old enough to experience the traditions I have been fortunate enough to have.

Hot venison roast and all the trimmings after a good hunt!!!

I am proud to have been able to spend my entire life with a sporting traditions family, Living on the Lake Erie tributaries where I have spent more time on the water than most will ever image and to the Allegheny mountains hunting deer, turkey, and bear.. I have always been surrounded by good people and was able to weed the fools and fakes out of my life because of my up bringing in a great community like Girard, PA and a core family and friends that push you and believe in you.

Team Senyo, Grand Dad, Dad, myself and Skip.
My brother Mike also got an 8 point today, his first buck!!! I will update his photo shortly.

I hope you enjoyed this change of pace because now its time to get back at it, and hit the streams for some great winter steelhead fishing.. Stay tuned for our 2009 show schedule in the coming week!!!

Take care and good luck the rest of the season!!!!
Greg Senyo SAO

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