Outdoor Journal: The latest from the outdoors

Ed Noonan's weekly outdoor column

This year’s Shot Show introduced quite a number of new items for shooters/hunters. As I was reviewing a number of them, I came up with my “best of show.” 

Being a carry-gun permit holder, the one that really caught my eye was the Standard Manufacturing’s S333 Thunderstruck .22 WMP revolver. It definitely has a very different look. It has two barrels and fires two rounds simultaneously. It is a compact revolver that holds eight rounds in the cylinder.

The trigger guard is not like the normal, as it has a partial guard with a shallow W-shaped trigger. As for the safety, it is Glock-like. The barrels are steel measure 1.25 inches each and the frame is 7075 anodized aluminum. Total weight is 18 ounces. Check it out at stdgun.com/s333-1.


On Feb. 3, ECOs Rob Higgins and Steve Shaw responded to a complaint that someone was keeping fish from the catch-and-release section of the Hudson River near Coveville.

Higgins and Shaw walked down to the river to check the fisherman, who was inside a portable shanty. Once the man realized the two ECOs were on scene, he began throwing fish down a hole into the water. After unsuccessfully attempting to get rid of the evidence, the fisherman was found to be in possession of 22 black crappie and 33 bluegills.

Higgins then asked the fisherman if he had more fish inside his sled, to which he replied, “Yeah, I’m done,” while producing two more bags full of fish that brought the total to 55 black crappie and 48 bluegills.

Fish that were still alive were released back into the river, and the man was issued tickets for taking fish in a catch-and-release area, taking fish over the limit, and taking undersized crappies. The case is pending in Saratoga Town Court. 

Erie County ranger John Kennedy was recently contacted by a Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve volunteer informing him that two male deer were entangled by their antlers and unable to free themselves.

Kennedy notified ECO Scott Marshall for assistance. As Kennedy arrived on scene, he spotted six people with cameras taking photos of the two bucks. To ensure the bystanders’ safety, Kennedy advised the onlookers to back away to a safe distance.

The two bucks were both standing and moving left to right, trying to free themselves, but to no avail. With the help of a reach pole, the officers separated the two animals. Although exhausted, both deer ran away in opposite directions and appeared to be in good health.


The free-fishing-days program is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, and the upcoming free fishing days are the first of several planned for 2019, including June 29-30, Sept. 28 (National Hunting and Fishing Day) and Nov. 11 (Veterans Day).

The free fishing days program began in 1991 to give people who might not fish a chance to try the rewarding sport at no cost, introduce people to a new hobby and encourage people to support the sport by purchasing a state fishing license.

The DEC reminds anglers to put safety first when ice fishing. This is particularly important during periods of freezing and thawing that most areas of New York have been experiencing lately. Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers accessing ice on foot.

However, ice thickness can vary on every waterbody or even within the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water, and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be taken as evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots. 

Those who are new to ice fishing are encouraged to download the state’s informative I FISH NY Guide to Ice Fishing, and the Ice Fishing Chapter of the DEC’s I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing for information on how to get started ice fishing. 

Additional information, including a list of waters open to ice fishing, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Public Lakes and Ponds map.


Why would a Texan want to ice fish in New York? 

Well Paul Hale of Atlanta, Texas, had made it a goal after his retirement to fish in every state. Hale has already fished in 46 states, and recently fished at Saratoga Lake.
He got hooked up with Stillwater’s Ed Skorupski, one of my weekly column readers, and Tim Blodget of Saratoga Tackle. On Feb. 10, Hale met Skorupski at 
7:30 a.m., drove down to Fitch Road, loaded the sled and out they went. 

Having done well a few days before, Skorupski headed out to his Way Point No. 142. Skorupski cut a hole and got Hale set up with a jig rod and flasher, gave him a quick lesson and started cutting holes for tip ups . . . and, for the next two hours, Hale was catching fish, seven of which were keepers. 

The first flag went off around 9:30 a.m., and Hale pulled up a pickerel measuring 15 inches. At one point, they caught eight bluegills in a row (all keepers). At around 11 a.m., the wind came up and by 12:30 p.m., they ended fishing — and left with 17 delicious fillet-sized bluegills to take back to Texas. 

Paul’s next fishing stop will be Scranton, Pa.

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].

Categories: Sports

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