Outdoor Journal: DEC offers hunter safety online course

The latest Ed Noonan outdoors column
Michael Harvey Mitchell Jr. displays a pike he caught in Scotia’s Collins Lake.
Michael Harvey Mitchell Jr. displays a pike he caught in Scotia’s Collins Lake.

Categories: Sports

According to an email from New York State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the Department of Environmental Conservation is offering for a limited time, an online hunter safety certification course.

The course is until June 30. It can be taken by anyone 11 years or older and licenses may be purchased by anyone over the age of 12. The cost is $19.95. For more information or to sign up, visit https://www.hunter-ed.com/newyork/.

This online course is a great opportunity for parents and grandparents to teach future hunters’ safe practices and maintain the tradition of outdoor recreation within their family and across Western New York.


According to my friend Ed Skorupski of Stillwater, who fishes for Hudson River stripers almost every day, he hooked up with a lot of smaller (26-inch) stripers.
Getting herring is virtually impossible, and bloodworms are selling at a premium, if you can find them. Also, the thunderstorms have messed up the river for a few days. Hang in there, it will change.

Those of you who catch stripers, send me a photo to [email protected]. Tell me where, size, your name and city where you live. 


For the past 10 years, my wife and I are snow bunnies in Flagler County Florida. Every morning, I fish off one of the 80 docks in the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway. My best year was in 2018 when I caught 142. But this year, my total was 200.  

Hopefully, I will be able to increase that number a little more before we leave Florida on April 30.


Who says there is no trophy fish caught in Scotia’s Collins Lake?

While fishing, Michael Harvey Mitchell Jr. and his friend Andrew Palombo, who are both from Schenectady, were fishing and catching and releasing. And then Michael’s 6 1/2-medium action rod bent in half and 10-pound test was going off the spool very fast.

The battle was on. Finally, the big pike was in the net. The pike measured 40 inches and weighed 20 pounds.

When Michael removed the Rattle Trap, he saw a smaller pike in its mouth. He then released the big fish. Good job Michael.


We expect to be leaving Florida early April 30, which means I will not be in the turkey woods until probably no sooner than May 2.

Obviously, I will have to do my hunting without any scouting. As of right now, I will have to go to some of my spots that I went to last year.

This year, I did not turkey hunt in Florida.


Shortly after I got to Florida one night, I was seeing what’s on the TV and on channel 227, I came across Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke.” I saw the first TV show in 1955 and watched it until 1975, when it went off the air.

Most evenings now we are eating while watching Matt and his six-shooter and Chester get the bad guys. The more I saw his gun, the more I want one.

It didn’t take me long to find one. Heritage firearms has just what I want, and I will be getting the .22/.22mag rough rider. My plinking days are here again, and there will be squirrels and rabbit hunting in the fall.

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].

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