Last fall at the New York State Outdoor Writers Conference in Lake George, my friend Dan Ladd of Fort Ann — and author of adkhunter.com — convinced me to write a book about turkey hunting. When I got home, I thought about it, sat down at the computer, and began with my first turkey hunt on May 4, 1992.
I am not done, but I do have more than 50,000 words written. A few days ago, the evening after letting that tom walk on opening day of the fall turkey hunting season, I sat down to review the chapters I had already written and I noticed I have shot a turkey with every shot gauge — except a 16 gauge.
That can’t be.
Had to get a 16 gauge.
So out on gunbroker.com I went. My wife caught me looking at the guns; she just smiled and said: “I know, you have to have it.”
Right there on the first page were several 16s for sale, and the one that caught my eye was a bolt action Mossberg Model 190 with a poly choke. It said this gun was made in the mid-50s.
The opening bid was reasonable, and I noticed the seller lived in Schenectady. Immediately, I emailed him asking to see the shotgun at his shop, the Target Sports Inc. in Glenville. Early the next day I was in the shop, met the owner Carl Borst, picked up the shotgun — and the Mossberg was mine. He even handed me a full box of 2 3/4 No.4 Montgomery Ward shells.
From there, I headed to see a friend who had a shooting range behind his house, set up a turkey target at 25 yards and put the poly choke on full. I was quite happy with the results when I counted 38 pellets in the head and neck. I will be in the turkey woods again this fall, but I am really looking forward to the spring season.
Ed Skorupski, of Stillwater, headed north with both the temperature and snow falling all the way to the Port Henry boat launch on Lake Champlain. Shortly after launching, he had to immediately turn around due to boat problems. Fortunately, he was able to fix the problem and was back in the water.
Down went the lures 100 feet, and he trolled for the next two hours without a bite. He decided to head to Potash Point on the Vermont side, where he found bait and headed north . . . and the action began.
The fish jumped three times, and Ed had his first salmon, a 17-incher, in the boat. While admiring his catch, another hit, and No. 2 was a 16-incher that came aboard and was released. For two more hours, trolling 70 to 100 feet down, he hooked and released two more and headed home.
If I know Ed, he will be headed back several more times.
This Saturday, the crossbow hunters will be able to enter the deer woods in the Southern Zone. The regular bowhunters were able to deer hunt there beginning Oct. 1, and both will end on Nov. 16. That is 47 days hunting for bow and 16 days for crossbow.
I really do not know why the difference. I do not see any major difference between a compound bow and a crossbow. They both shoot arrows at speeds of 300-plus-feet per second and have sights.
For more information, go to nycrossbowcoalition.com.
Here is a bowhunter who found out the laws the hard/costly way.
Environmental Conservation Officers Lucas Palmateer and Jason Smith received a trespassing complaint of a hunter caught on posted property on a trail camera taken by the landowner. When they caught up with the hunter, they showed him the video of him shining a light on the posted sign and carrying a pistol in his belt, and he admitted carrying the pistol while bowhunting. The subject will appear in Shawangunk Town Court.
ECO Jennifer Okonuk received a complaint that a five-point buck had been shot from Akins Road in the town of Dickinson. Okonuk responded to the location and met with a New York State Trooper. Soon after, a slow-driving vehicle pulled into the field with its headlights turned off. The ECO drove into the field and activated her emergency lights. The vehicle attempted to flee, but Okonuk boxed the vehicle in. ECO Kevin Riggs arrived on scene to help interview the two individuals in the vehicle. The pair were charged with misdemeanors for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public highway, and killing a deer except as permitted by law. The deer was given to a local venison donation program.
Now, speaking of deer hunting, the bucks are chasing the doe and it is time to start calling. Now like most deer hunters I have a “lot” of deer calls when I enter the deer woods. Recently, a friend told me about a new call that will call in bucks, doe and fawns. It is an all-in-one-call that weighs just 4.3 ounces. It is called the “Tree Trasher,” and requires no blowing and fits in my pocket. Looking forward to trying it out. Check it out at treethrasher.com/product/tree-thrasher.
Reach Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan at [email protected].
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