Hunters take aim

First day of season for guns draws just about everyone (even grandma)


Photos by Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Scott Guy of Scott secures his eight-point buck to the back carrying rack of an SUV on Saturday, the opening day of deer season for gun hunters.

Staff Reporter

Everyone from grandchildren to grandma heads out in the woods to hunt in Scott Guy’s family.
The tradition continued Saturday for the Homer clan.
Guy made one of the first kills of the season with an eight-point 180-pound buck. Guy said he has been hunting for 25 years.
Although the buck is significantly smaller than his biggest, a 15-point buck, Guy and his family were thrilled.
“We were all real excited,” said Mariane Guy, Scott Guy’s mother. “We are going to eat him.”
The Guys were among hundreds of other hunters in the woods Saturday on the area’s first day of deer season for gun hunters, which runs through Dec. 10.
Lori O’Connell, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said this morning that she had not heard of any injuries or accidental shootings during the first weekend of deer hunting season. No incidents were reported to the Cortland County emergency services dispatch center.
When asked Saturday why he hunts, Guy answered, “I love hunting. The deer need to be harvested.”
In a news release, DEC Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan said deer hunters “provide a public service.”
“By harvesting female deer, hunters help control the deer population and reduce the negative impacts of overabundant deer,” he said.
Scott Guy said the deer would feed him and his family for three to four months.
“We eat venison pretty exclusively,” Mariane Guy said. She added that they clean and process the deer themselves.
Unlike the Guys, Andrew Clark went hunting alone.
“I always go alone,” Clark said. “It’s better that way.”
At 6:30 a.m., Clark settled himself in his tree stand and waited patiently for two and half hours before he got his first shot.
“It was standing behind two trees,” Clark said. “I thought I had enough room to shoot it between the trees.”
Clark missed. After having a breakfast of sausages and pancakes at the Spafford Fire House, Clark went back out to find his deer.
Clark has been hunting for 20 years and for him, deer season means “putting food on the table,” and “time to have fun.”
“Twice a year I get to do something manly,” said Dale Ostrander, of Manlius.
For Ostrander, hunting is more of a bonding experience than a need to get food.
“Honestly, I don’t know if I could shoot something if it ran by me,” Ostrander said.
Ostrander said he went out with his brother, but got nothing.
“I will hunt all day today and not see anything,” Ostrander said. “But tomorrow, there will be one outside my kitchen window.”
Last year was the safest hunting season on record with 29 injuries, according to Sheehan, with 15 occurring during deer hunting season. The DEC said three of the 15 were fatal.
People who wish to obtain a hunter’s license must take a minimum 10-hour hunters education course, be at least 12 years of age and a state resident.
Long after the Guys’ deer is cleaned and eaten, the family may still have a memento from another successful season.
“We might mount it,” Mariane Guy said. “We have several mounted.”


60-year hunting career ends with success

Staff Reporter

BLODGETT MILLS — After 60 years of hunting, Bob Bennett retired from the sport Saturday by taking home a 140-pound deer.
“I can’t complain a bit, you know,” he said. “It put the icing on the cake, so to speak.”
Bennett, 83, of Blodgett Mills, said he shot the eight-point buck in Moravia after his son alerted him over a walkie-talkie it was in nearby brush. After about five minutes of waiting with his gun, the animal appeared.
Saturday’s opening day of hunting season was Bennett’s 60th straight opening day. He said he will miss the sport’s thrill and outdoor setting.
Bennett said he decided to stop hunting as a result of his age. Although he can still get around pretty well while hunting, he doesn’t want to take a risk, he said.
Bennett said he started hunting after he got out of the military in 1945. It just made sense, he said.
“Well, I had a lot of friends that were hunting and they got me into it,” he said. “Of course, I had been hunting a long time in the service.”
Bennett said the service took him all over Europe and North Africa, including England, Normandy and Berlin. He learned how to shoot well and adapt to different surroundings, he said.
“You learn how to deal with different temperatures and everything else,” he said. “From the Sahara to icebergs.”
Bennett, who was born just outside of Lansing, moved to Gee Hill Road upon his return from the service. He worked at Smith Corona in Groton and South Cortland from 1948 until 1984, he said. He also served in the Army Reserve from 1954 to 1976.
He now lives on Maple Street in Blodgett Mills.
Bennett said his favorite place to hunt is in Moravia on land near the Cayuga Correctional Facility. That’s where he shot the deer Saturday, he said. He said he also likes to hunt at Red Hill off Potter and Elwood roads in Taylor, in the Adirondacks and in Delaware.
Bennett said that over the last 60 years, he has shot deer, partridge, ducks, turkey, woodchucks and geese. Bennett said the biggest animal he has shot was a nine-point buck that weighed 160 pounds.
His most challenging experience was shooting a turkey with a bow and arrow, he said. The combination of the turkey’s keen eyesight and the movement of pulling back a bow made it very difficult, he said.
“They got eyesight out of this world,” he said. “You have to barely move when you pull back the bow.”



Dryden considers $3 million building project

Staff Reporter

DRYDEN — The Board of Education is taking advantage of a new state aid program that will enable it to complete a $3 million project that would repair roofs and infrastructure in the district.
The Dryden Central School District is eligible for $578,430 of Expanding our Children’s Education and Learning aid for the project. EXCEL aid was added this year in the state budget in response to a court order for more-equitable distribution of state education funds.
The EXCEL aid would cover taxpayers’ portion of the capital project in Dryden, said district Business Manager Teresa Carnrike.
“We are looking to do a $3 million project,” Carnrike said. “We are throwing things on the table, prioritizing.”
Dryden school board President Andy Young said the majority of the EXCEL aid would be used at Dryden Middle School. EXCEL aid would also be used at the high school, but the “emphasis” would be on the middle school.
“It is a 40-plus-year-old building,” Young said.
The board is looking at the roof, windows doors, plumbing, security, heating, ventilation and air circulating issues at the middle school, Young said.
The district has $500,000 left over from recent elementary school renovations and $75,000 was put aside over five years ago for security systems, Young said.
He said the $500,000 would fund repair of the roofs at Cassavant, Dryden and Freeville elementary schools.
The money would also go toward replacing intercom systems and security card systems, among other things.