When Saratoga Springs passed its gun storage law April 6, I received a number of emails asking my opinion. The law requires gun owners to keep their firearms under lock and key when not in their possession.
This new law was passed due to the tragic death of
12-year-old Nicholas Naumkin, who was accidentally shot by a friend with a gun and ammo taken from an unlocked dresser. Naumkin’s death was a needed wake-up call to adult gun owners to be more responsible with their guns, and I hope it works.
I question “how” this law will be enforced before a firearm related incident? I’d like to see more teaching of firearms safety by gun owners to kids. I think that gun safety should be a part of grammar school’s curriculum. It’s extremely important when you see what youngsters are watching on TV and in theaters every day. I also believe sportsman clubs could be very helpful with this teaching.
I also would like to pass on something I received, “Too few people now understand why self protection is important. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently announced a near-record black bear harvest for 2015 — 1,715 were taken during the season, the second highest recorded in New York.
The Northern Zone took 583, 436 of which were taken with firearms, 53 with bow, and 94 with muzzleloader. Of 1,132 taken in the Southern zone, 788 were with firearms, 327 with bow, and 17 with muzzleloader. The largest takes by county were, 129 in St. Lawrence and 199 in Sullivan.
The heaviest dressed bear was a male taken in the Town of Forestburg, tipped the scales at 520 pounds, and was taken with a bow. There were eight more taken, all dressing out at 400-plus pounds. There were 17 tagged bears taken, five of which were originally tagged in Pennsylvania.
NO HUNTING FATALITIES
DEC also has released some very good news — 2015 is the first year without a hunting-related shooting fatality since the 1950s. The 2015 hunting season had 23 “hunting incidents,” the third lowest on record. Ten were self-inflicted and there were 13, two-party incidents. Of the 23, 13 were while deer hunting, one during spring turkey; three, squirrels; one, upland bird; two raccoons; one, waterfowl, and two, other. In terms of implements 10 were rifle; nine, shotgun; one, handgun; two, muzzleloader, and one, crossbow.
I spoke with a couple of anglers at the Saratoga Lake state boat launch who had caught a few panfish last Sunday, but they said the bite was very slow. Saratoga Tackle reported bass were biting in the south end by Stony Point. Apparently, the shallow rocks and warmer water are attracting bass. Just remember, catch-and-careful release and lures only.
At Lake Lonely, the panfish bite has slowed, but they’ve been catching a few pickerel, pike and bass, all of which have to be released immediately.
Striper reports all say that it is still tough fishing, especially in the creeks where there’s been a lot of runoff due to the snow and rain, but I saw a photo of a 36 incher that was photographed and released.
Rumors have it that the trout are biting in the upper areas of the Kayaderosseras Creek. They’re catching browns on live bait (fatheads), lures and flies.