Joe Lawrence grew up in the Town of Batavia countryside where the Tonawanda Creek flowed along the edge of the family property. As might be expected, he became a fisherman at an early age. It was in that same time frame, and under the watchful eye of his father, Bob Lawrence, when the hunting phase of his life began.
Much of what Joe learned from his father has been passed on. Expeditions to Black Lake and the pursuit of bass, walleye and crappie have become yearly events for the Lawrence family and their friends.
Taking to the outdoors since the fifties, Joe Lawrence has no doubt stashed away plenty of fond memories, a good number being of the father & son variety.
The younger Lawrence, son John, has developed into quite an outdoor tactician. Be it fly-rod, shot gun, or bow, John obviously paid attention during early years afield with his father. With the elder Lawrence as his mentor, John Lawrence mastered trap shooting relatively early in life, garnering All American honors by the age of fifteen. He would duplicate the feat three years later.
While there have been many high points for the father and son tandem over the years, in speaking with John recently, it seems this autumn will be ranked among his favorites.
John put venison in the freezer early on in the bow season, bagging a very nice 8 pt. in October. For those who know John, that’s not so much of a surprise as it is his custom. Filling an archery tag early on enabled him hunt waterfowl and pursue pheasants with Kaylee, his two year old Vizsla.
And while John doesn’t take outdoor moments for granted, it was the season finale which had him buzzing. John and Joe Lawrence were deer hunting with friends Andy Webster and the Ficarella brothers, Billy and Jimmy. It was the tail end of the muzzle loader season and the group was hunting a parcel of land they own in north central Genesee County.
It seems fitting that, while in the company of his son and good friends, Joe Lawrence closed out the deer season in grand fashion. His hunting and fishing adventures have spanned six decades, yet it was on this outing last week when Joe took the biggest deer of his life, a brute whitetail sporting nine points, an inside spread topping 22 inches and main beams stretching 27inches. Early estimates put the deer well over 140 points on the Boone & Crockett scoring system. If so, Joe Lawrence will be listed in the annals of the New York State Big Buck Club.
Being able to share such a moment with his son and friends only enhanced the experience. What a great way to wrap up the season.