It was time for my annual trip to Clingerman Taxidermy in North Rose. After checking my records, I found out that I had been visiting Stewart and featured him in the Finger Lakes Times for 14 years. Add another six years for other posts, and it’s been a couple of decades.
Decade, to me, doesn’t seem like a powerful enough word for a timeline, so it’s been 20 years. It’s long.
As I got older, Stewart’s appearance leads me to believe that he defied this process. It looks like 20 years ago.
We sat in the back room and, after discussing everything under the sun, it was time to talk deer.
The regular season in the southern part of the state opened today and continues through December 12. I asked my benchmark taxidermist for his predictions based on the deer brought to Clingerman during bow season.
âMy numbers are great and the archery season has been crazy,â he told me. “I have the same numbers as last year, and with crossbow season I have seen more female clients.”
Stewart also welcomed more youth mounts, which he credits to the many promotions statewide.
âWhat I hear from archery hunters is that the rutting peak hasn’t reached yet, so the regular season should be great,â said Stewart. “Temperatures should be in the 40’s which is perfect for deer hunting.”
Stewart has collected some awesome Arc Season mounts, and we agreed that’s probably because they hunt their own land.
âDuring archery season, more of my clients are hunting their own property,â he said. âThey have cameras, plots of food and they know the movements of the deer.
âThe dollars score high. Currently I have four that mark 140 inches.
Like every year, Stewart and I talked about chronic wasting disease and the importance of knowing the legal process if you are hunting out of state. The deadly deer disease is under control in New York City, but that could change if hunters bring back infected white deer from a trip.
âBefore you hunt in Ohio or Pennsylvania, go see your taxidermist and let him teach you how to remove the skin from your deer’s skull,â Stewart advised. “Then you can cut the horns off the skull and stay legal by bringing your deer back to New York State.”
There have also been concerns about epizootic hemorrhagic disease, which is caused by mites that infect deer. Stewart said he had not heard of this problem in our area.
According to the State Department of Environmental Conservation, EHD outbreaks do not have a significant long-term impact on regional deer populations, but deer mortality can be significant in small geographic areas. .
EHD is endemic in southern states, which report annual outbreaks, so some southern deer have developed immunity. In the northeast, epidemics of EHD occur sporadically; New York deer have no immunity to this virus. Therefore, most deer infected with EHD in New York City are expected to die.
The first hard frost usually kills the midges that transmit the disease, ending a possible outbreak of EHD.
We’re fortunate that in our New York area deer hunters shouldn’t have to worry about EHD or CWD, so let’s focus on the quality dollars that are being taken – like the ones Randy Stewart received in his business.
Although he looks young, he certainly has the taxidermy skills that come with longevity. He has been in his trade for 35 years, having purchased Clingerman Taxidermy 29 years ago.
Want your trophy mounted? Clingerman Taxidermy is located at 4995 Brick Schoolhouse Road in North Rose, or call Stewart at (315) 587-2259.
Big game reminders
With the big game hunting seasons opening today, take a moment to visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7857.html for new deer and bear opportunities and to learn about the requirements.
The remaining deer management licenses are available in person only from all licensing officers. See www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/6399.html for wildlife management units that have permits available.
Do not forget to declare your harvests of deer, bears and turkeys. Declaring a harvest is faster and easier than ever and is required by law within seven days of being taken. Report your harvest by visiting https://decals.licensing.east.kalkomey.com/ and clicking the âRegister for HIP / Report Your Harvestâ link at the top, or download the HuntFishNY app from your Apple store or Google Play today. . Use your DECALS ID online to access your account.
The HuntFishNY app provides an electronic version of your sporting licenses and privileges and offers a fast and effortless way to report your game harvests immediately while you are in the field.
For those who prefer more traditional methods, call the Automated Crop Reporting Line at 1-866-426-3778. You will need your carcass tag number to complete the report.
Call the deer management hotline at 1-866-472-4332 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays for assistance.
The Southern Zone regular season is New York’s most popular hunting season, and 85% of New York’s 550,000 licensed hunters participate. The harvest in this season accounts for 60% of the total state-wide deer harvest and 30% to 60% of the state-wide bear harvest.
Following the regular deer and bear seasons in the southern zone, the late bow hunting and muzzle loading seasons run from December 13 to 21, and again from December 26 to January 1, the latter being an extension of previous years. Hunters participating in these special seasons must have a hunting license and bow or muzzleloading privileges.
As reported in the Nov. 18 edition of The Times, a temporary road closure limited access to deer hunting on Howland Island in the Montezuma Wildlife Management Area in Wayne and Cayuga Counties.
The state Department of Environmental Protection said flooding of the Seneca River resulted in the temporary closure of Carncross Road, which provides the only vehicle access to Howland Island in the city of Savannah, in Wayne County. Deer hunters are advised that this closure may extend until the start of the Southern Zone gun season, which begins today.
The road provides the only western access to the northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area.
Currently, non-motorized access to Howland Island is available via the bridge over Howland Island Road in Port Byron or by crossing the Seneca River by boat.
There are also high water levels in other neighboring areas to the south, along the Seneca River near the hamlet of Montezuma.
Chris Kenyon’s “Outdoors” appears in every other weekend edition.