Deer Dynasty

By on September 11, 2017

Look out Duck Dynasty’s Robertson clan … the Angelo family is coming for you. There is a family in Honeoye Falls that is the ultimate example of a family that hunts together stays together. Between them they have harvested well over 100 whitetail deer and that’s not counting Grandpa Ralph, Sr. Add in his deer harvest and you are well over 200 whitetails.

Angelo family (l to r) Drew, Ralph, Megan, Luke and Shaye. Provided photo

Angelo family (l to r) Drew, Ralph, Megan, Luke and Shaye. Provided photo

I haven’t met many people in my life who can talk non-stop on the topic of hunting longer than I can; I admit I have a problem. I’ve been known to talk about it during wedding ceremonies and even worse, at funerals. My volume knob gets louder and louder as the story heats up. It usually takes a certain look from my wife to snap me out of it and remember my surroundings. But that being said, when it comes to an energetic discussion on hunting, Ralph Angelo makes me seem like a Trappist monk. The only difference between Ralph and myself is that his stories are interesting. The man has a passion!

Ralph Angelo has built up an extremely successful investment business, Angelo Planning Group, so you would think that his mind would be on said business 24/7. But when his feet hit the floor in the morning his first thoughts go straight to deer hunting. Where can he hang another tree stand or put in another ground blind so his wife Megan can score another buck, or where can he put a redneck blind so his son Drew, age 11, or daughter Shaye, age 9, can sit with him while he hunts deer. Ralph would rather see someone in his family kill a deer than shoot a dozen himself. The deer predators in the Angelo family are: Ralph, age 44, wife Megan (younger), son Drew, age 11, and daughter Shaye, age 9.  Oldest son Dillon at 18 is off to college and the youngest, Luke age 3, is too young to hunt … but not by much for this crew.

Ralph’s wife, Megan, is a great deer hunter in her own right. She is strictly a bow hunter and has harvested eight bucks in the seven years she has hunted in New York, her best a 130-inch Godzilla. Megan has got the patience of a saint raising this family of hunters, but she has grown to love the outdoor lifestyle as much as her obsessed husband.

Ralph and Megan started Drew and Shaye out early, traveling to Texas where there is no age restriction to hunt deer; as long as they are with a licensed adult they can start at any age. Drew for example has already harvested … get this … 18 whitetails, his first buck at the age of seven. Drew’s best Texas buck so far is a 150-inch ten point. This young gun has also taken a Texas dull, a black buck, an axis buck and a Russian boar. Cute little Shaye, believe it or not, harvested her first whitetail at age six. She has also killed a red lechwe antelope and a white fallow deer. See what I mean … these Angelos are some serious hunters.

My favorite story about the Angelos really exemplifies their passion for whitetails. Two seasons ago Ralph sat home taking care of little Luke while Megan was bow hunting in her redneck haybale blind located in the field directly behind their home. Ralph and Megan take turns watching toddler Luke while the other deer hunts. This particular afternoon it was Ralph’s turn to watch Luke, so Megan was in her blind and Ralph was watching her through a spotting scope in the back window. He had one eye on the field and the other watching Luke.

There was a doe in the field closing in on Megan’s blind, so she texted Ralph to see if he wanted her to harvest the doe. Just as Ralph was answering her to go ahead and take the doe … he saw a large buck come out in the field. He quickly texted her back not to shoot the doe as there was a large buck in the field moving her way. Just as that text went out he saw an even bigger buck come into the same field. This second buck was a monster, obviously the dominant buck in the area and he wanted a piece of the other buck muscling in on his territory. A fight was lining up to take place twenty yards in front of Megan’s blind. As Ralph watched all this unfolding, his adrenaline was pumping as if he was in blind himself, probably even more so. Ralph fired another text off to Megan to shoot the buck on the left, followed by five exclamation points. At this point I’d bet that little Luke could have started the family car and driven off and Ralph wouldn’t have noticed … he was so intent on what was going down in the field. Five minutes went by as the two bucks postured like Mayweather and MacGregor. Finally, the two big boys closed in on Megan.

Just as the moment of truth was about to go down little Luke crashed down a high tower of Jengo blocks. Ralph was so keyed up he jumped a foot and turned from the spotting scope to see what had happened. When he had confirmed that Luke wasn’t bleeding, he quickly turned back to the scope to see deer scattering out of the field. What the…?  Something had cleared the field. Another text to Megan and he learned that she was just as surprised as he was. Just then Ralph’s phone rang. It was Ralph, Sr. informing his son that it was too bad Megan wasn’t in her blind because there were a bunch of deer in the field behind the house. Apparently, Senior had pulled into the driveway not thinking anyone was home and got out of his truck while trying to see if there were any deer in the field; spooking the two bucks seconds before Megan was about to draw her bow. He still hasn’t heard the end of that mishap.

But when all is said and done, it was Ralph, Sr. who lit the spark that ignited this Deer Dynasty. He helped young Ralph start a trapline that he ran before school each day, teaching the boy the value of hard work at a very early age. Ralph says, “All I knew growing up was trapping, racing coon hounds, deer, turkey, rabbit and coon hunting. This was all I did besides basketball. My Dad, along with my four uncles, lived and breathed the outdoors and sports. They instilled that love of hunting and the outdoors into me on a daily basis while I was growing up. It was a good, clean upbringing and I want the same for my kids.”

This Angelo posse is the real deal. They chase whitetails like they owe them money  and are living proof that the family that hunts together stays together.

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