Robert Tannenberger sent some really cool photos to me this week of a deer that met an unfortunate demise on the ice of Lake Champlain. Two coyotes had chased the deer nearly a mile out on the ice of Westport Bay March 10 before killing it. A host of carnivores then took advantage of the free meal - including a group of Bald Eagles which he photographed from afar.
"Over the course of the day, eagles started showing up as the coyotes feasted," Tannenberger said. "After about five or six gathered, they drove the coyotes off and took over."
Tannenberger said it was difficult to determine just how many eagles turned out to dine, but he estimated there could have been as many as 20.
"I'd really like to have someone with birding experience to look at the pictures to confirm how many of the birds are eagles," he said. "Some could have been hawks or crows, or juvenile eagles."
While the photographs he snapped were a bit too far away to reproduce in the paper, I would be glad to share them with anyone interested and pass on the information to Robert. Simply e-mail me at email@example.com and I'll pass it along.
This is the second report I've received of a deer chased down and killed this winter on Westport Bay. You have to feel for the deer when something like ice tips the odds in the coyote's favor. They might be able to fly through the forest on their little hooves, but they flail on hard surfaces like ice and pavement.
Update on Howard Fuller's 17-pointer
Infamous Ticonderoga outdoorsman and marathoner Richard Johndrown - better know in hunting circles as SilverrrrrrrrrrrBulletttttttttttttt - dropped me a line to let me know he had the pleasure of scoring Howard Fuller's monster 17-pointer.
For those who may have missed it, I wrote a column in early January about this buck, which Fuller shot the final day of the late muzzlestuffer season in Hague. Being so late in the season, it weighed just 140 pounds, but the rack scored 161 and 1/8. Had it been typical, it would have made both the New York State Big Buck Club and Boone & Crockett's "awards category," but it was deemed non-typical. The minimum score for a non-typical buck in the New York State Big Buck Club is 165, Johndrow said.
"The rack had over 15 inches of non-typical points and would have had more if a drop tine hadn't been broken off while fighting or possible rubbing on a tree," Johndrow said.
Another large Warren County buck was taken by Chris Lobdell that net scored 149 and 7/8. Johndrow said to date, he hasn't scored any Essex County bucks that were taken last fall.
Johndrow serves as measurer chairman for the New York State Big Buck Club and manages their Web site at www.nys-big-buck.org. He said anyone that has taken a big racker and wants to have it scored should give him a call. He can be reached at 585-4425 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. He does not charge to measure a rack.
There is an entry fee of $15 for the New York State Big Buck Club and $40 for Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young.
The minimum net scores are New York State Big Buck Club: 140 typical and 165 non-typical [rifle]; 120 typical and 145 non-typical [bow].
• Boone & Crockett awards category: 160 typical and 185 non-typical. All time book is 170 typical and 195 non-typical.
• National Muzzleloader Association: 130 typical and 160 non-typical.
• Pope & Young [bow] is 125 typical and 155 non-typical.
John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. His column appears weekly.