Generations share a love of hunting in Adirondacks

Paul Giardino kneels beside the 10-point buck he shot Nov. 19 while his son, Justin Giardino, proudly displays the 9-pointer he shot the same day. (Photo courtesy of Paul Giardino)

The 2017 deer season was upon us and pictures of a few nice bucks had registered on the trail cameras. My hopes of shooting a bruiser this year were heightened by what I had seen. It had been three or four years/seasons since I downed a nice buck, but I anticipated a banner season, this year.

My interest in hunting began when I was a youngster, when I used to hunt small game with my father, Dr. Joseph P. Giardino, and grandfather, Paul Giardino. I started hunting deer in the mid ’60s with the Avery crew in the Adirondack Mountains of Arietta, and occasionally reflect on many successful hunts of deer and bear. After the hunt, the men would celebrate at Avery’s Hotel with a family-style meal and drinks. The hotel no longer stands. Most recently I spend the majority of my hunts in Speculator, Oppenheim or Caroga Lake.

This season was a special one for me, as my son had invited me to hunt the rut on his land in Tennessee, as things looked promising. As we deer hunters know, you have to hunt very hard and put in lots of time to be successful — and you need to be vigilant and patient.

The Giardino gang was very fortunate this fall, as this season was a real “dream season” for them. Starting on Oct. 29, while on a youth hunt, 10-year-old grandson, Hunter Giardino, downed his first buck, an awesome 8-pointer with his Remington 243.

When November rolled along, I made the two-day drive down to my son, Justin’s ranch in Tennessee for the hunt-of-a-lifetime. We hunted many long hours without seeing a deer to shoot at for the first several days — but as fate would have it, the scenario was soon to change in our favor.

Paul Giardino's grandfathers's Antonio Petralia, left, and Paul Giardino are pictured. (Photo courtesy of Paul Giardino)

On Nov. 19, we set out to hunt opposite areas of the property and at 2:45 I heard a shot from his Ruger custom 7 mmMag rifle and soon thereafter he called to let me know he had a buck down. Within minutes, a large doe trotted near my blind, I shot and missed — but the next chain of events will be etched in my mind forever. Minutes later, a heavily racked bruiser came into view. When he put his head down, to catch the scent of the doe he was trailing, I finally got my chance. As he bent his head, a well placed shot from my Winchester Model 70, .270 landed in the bread basket and he keeled over. He was a dandy 10-point and my son’s buck turned out to be a real big 9-point. After the hunt, we celebrated with a tasty turkey dinner that night with the family.

Over the years — through five generations of a hunting family — we have learned to appreciate the outdoors and what “Mother Nature” has offered for us to pass on, and nurture in our young, as wildlife conservationists.

Paul Giardino's grandson, Hunter Giardino, shows the antlers of the 8-pointer he shot Oct. 29 when he was just 10 years old. (Photo courtesy of Paul Giardino)

Paul Giardino poses next to the 10-point buck he shot Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of Paul Giardino)