Frank Miskey on New York’s 15-Day Doe Harvests
Editor’s Note: Avid hunter Frank Miskey from Lancaster, New York, has been a member of the Mossy Oak ProStaff for 5 years. “I'm still a fan of Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity, because it’s so versatile. Regardless of the season or terrain, Break-Up Infinity seems to fit into all my hunting situations.”
Often when I tell someone I live in New York, they equate the word New York with Manhattan, Broadway and the World Trade Center. But I live 450 miles from Manhattan, where there are a lot of great hunting opportunities. In the northern section of the state, I hunt deer in hardwoods and apple orchards. From Lake Ontario down to the Pennsylvania border, we hunt high plateaus, valleys in big hardwoods and the edges of agricultural fields. Although I primarily bowhunt, I also hunt with black powder and a rifle.
New York’s bow season started on October 1 and runs through November 21 until the opening of our shotgun season, which runs for 21 days. At the end of shotgun season, we have muzzleloader season for an additional 11 days. For the first 15 days of bow season, archers only can harvest does to reduce the number of antlerless deer. So, I’ll be out hunting does on properties that I hunt close to home. I usually try to harvest at least two does in the early season to have fresh deer meat for October and November. Like many areas of the country, we have an overpopulation of deer in some sections of the state. Bowhunters can harvest up to 11 does per season where I hunt.
I hunt about 260 acres with two other hunters on land where I've planted food plots and hardwoods. The three of us usually will take 10 does off the property during the early season/antlerless harvest. For the early season, we plant food plots with Mossy Oak BioLogic Clover Plus and Winter Peas. Then for late season hunting, we plant BioLogic’s Deer Radish and Winter Bulbs & Sugar Beets. We have three food plots on our 260 acres with the smallest about 3 acres. Our biggest food plot is 5 acres. We don’t hunt right on our food plots, but instead hunt the travel routes that the deer take from the food plots to their bedding areas. This way, our food plots are sanctuaries for deer, as are the bedding regions, which are often 100-200 yards away from the food plots.
During the early season, we spot a lot of young bucks 1-1/2- to 2-1/2-years old, but rarely see a mature buck during daylight hours until about November. We have three trail cameras that we put out before and during hunting season. I set my cameras up to only take daytime pictures, because I’ve discovered that the flash on my camera spooks my older-age class bucks. To learn this information, I realized we might get one or two pictures of mature bucks at night. Then, we wouldn’t see those bucks again for about 40 days. The only constant with all three cameras was the flash going off at night. So, we decided that if the flash was spooking our mature bucks, we only should be running our cameras during daylight hours.
To learn more about hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ new eBook and print book, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows.” You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or Smartphone.
For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from http://johninthewild.com/free-books.