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Deer hunters have been spending time on the big bucks early this archery season in New York State.

Tom Kaczmarek from Batavia hunted in Orleans County last Saturday, bow hunting with Northern Whitetail Scents' new Doe Heat formula to draw in and draw on an 11-point buck that weighed 276 pounds before being dressed.

Kaczmarek's buck gross scored at 176 points, with a net count of 161. Its inside-antler spread measures 20 inches with a neck girth of 33 1/2 inches. To view this and other trophies taken so far, go to:

The doctor is in on a big buck kill again this season. Mark "Doc" Irlbacher, from Doc's Archery in North Tonawanda, took a top state archery entry in 2002 and fared well in 2003.

This season, Irlbacher, hunting the same morning as Kaczmarek, got a 28-yard shot at a big 10-pointer. His bruiser went 244 pounds on the hoof, with a green score of 145 5/8 gross and 140 net and a chest girth of 44 inches.

Too often, tree stand hunting can be a long waiting game just to see a deer or two. Not for Brent Franklin.

Franklin traveled from home in the City of Tonawanda on Halloween day to hunt with bow and arrow in South Valley, south of Randolph. He watched a doe bed near his stand that morning and got sight of a buck that showed no interest in his stand area.

The seven-point buck stopped 2 yards beyond his 40-yard marker in a slight opening for a shot. The doe moved even closer upon hearing the bowstring twang.

"That second shot (at the doe) was less than 10 yards. The buck went about 150 yards and the doe went about 60 yards," he said, noting a span of less than 20 seconds between both kill shots.

Bow hunters in general have seen fewer signs of either scrapes or rubs, despite a full moon on Halloween and the Harvest Moon in early November. But hunters have seen fair numbers of both does and bigger bucks.

Hunting for dollars

Deer hunters have until Sunday evening before the Nov. 22 shotgun deer season opener to enter Gander Mountain's Big Buck Contest. Hunters must register at the service desk at the store, showing a valid, New York State big game license when submitting the $5 entry fee.

The six top scoring bucks win shopping sprees for hunters at Gander Mountain. First place gets $200, a shoulder mount from Buck Stops Here Taxidermy and processing at Black Angus. Second takes $100; third gets $50 and fourth to sixth receive a shopping certificate for $25. For complete entry details, call 743-2300.

Plastic posted posters

Property owners this time of year should think about replacing weather-worn, illegible posted signs.

Henry Lewandowski at Moldcraft Inc. in Depew produces a newly designed, UV-resistant, polypropylene posted sign available in various colors. Durable and vividly displayed on a post -- with no need for a plywood backing -- these sturdy plastic signs outlast paper or cloth signs.

Lewandowski can also imprint a name, address and phone number free with quantity purchases. For more details check with him at 684-1126 or go to:

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