Outdoor Journal: Florida fun is over

The latest on the outdoors from Ed Noonan
The Flagler Beach Intercoastal Waterway.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
The Flagler Beach Intercoastal Waterway.

Categories: Sports

When you wake up Thursday, my wife and I will be heading from Flagler Beach, Florida, up Interstate 95 and headed home after three months of sunshine.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we chose to stay in Florida an extra month. The weather was great and gave us more time visiting with our snowbird friends. As for the fishing, it continued to be good. My total catch was 259 fish. Definitely my best fishing in the 10 years we have gone to Florida in the winter.

I did not turkey hunt this year with a guide, but I did sneak up on a big tom and a hen with six chicks. However, I could not get close enough to take a photo.

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My New York State spring turkey hunt will begin with me sneaking into the woods before sunup on Sunday, making my way to one of my favorite turkey hunting areas. I will put out two hens and a jake decoy on the edge of a small ravine and then move off about 25 yards and sit down in bushes with my 12-gauge benelli.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to scout, but I will see what happens. Just 5-10 minutes before sunup, I will begin to call with my Quaker Boy call button box. 
Now since you can only hunt turkeys until noon, I will be spending some time on Saratoga and Sacandaga Lake looking to hook up with a pike and/or walleye. Also, I am going to try to find someone to teach me how to fly fish for trout. Come June, most of my fishing will be with the wacky worm catching and releasing bass — I don’t eat fish.

If you have some big fish catches (especially with the kids) send me information and photos to [email protected]. Be sure you add name(s), where you live, etc. 

KIDS TURKEY HUNT

The 11th Annual Youth Turkey Hunt last Saturday attracted 55 young hunters, 10 of whom weighed in turkeys. The winners were Brayden Ketchum of Johnstown (22 pounds, 10 ounces), Dan Turnbull of Wells (20-13), Arlan Wright of Berne (20-7), Jonathan Hollenbeck of Johnstown (20-7), Jayden Johnson of Sprakers (20-7), Riley Montanye of Canajoharie (20-2), Luke Phetteplace of Amsterdam (19-13), Sam Phillips of Little Falls (18-10), Graceland Douglas of Esperance (15-1) and Colton Dowgielewicz of Amsterdam (13-10). 

Mike Auriema and Dick Andrews want to remind you that they will announce the banquet after coronavirus pandemic guidelines are fully lifted. Good job guys.

Also, I received information from 12-year-old Keelin Noyes of Schenectady, who was accompanied by her dad. Keelin shot a tom carrying a 3.75-inch beard with an encore 20 gauge at 42 yards in Schenectady County woods.

WILDERNESS RESCUE

On April 19 at 8:51 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch, reporting two lost men on Hadley Mountain. The coordinates provided by 911 placed the hikers about a half-mile off the trail.

The 28-year-old and 24-year-old from Saratoga and Glenville did not have equipment other than their cell phones. Forest Rangers Joe Hess and Tony Goetke responded to their location.

At 10:20 p.m., Ranger Hess started in from the trailhead and was able to make verbal contact with the hikers. Once located, Ranger Hess escorted the pair back to the trail and out to the parking lot. The hikers declined further assistance, and Rangers cleared the scene.

VERMONT MOOSE HUNT

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board have 55 moose hunting permits awarded this year in their Wildlife Management Unit (E) that is located in the northeastern corner of the state. The moose high density in this unit is more than any other part of the state.

Lottery applications for hunting permits are $10 for residents and $125 for non-residents. The deadline is July 8. Winners of the permits will purchase resident hunting permits for $100 and non-residents hunting permits for $350.

Non-resident applicants are cautioned that although the current “Stay Home, Stay Safe” directive and other travel restrictions, which includes self-quarantine requirements for non-residents, are currently in place until May 15.

For further information, go to www.vtfishandwildlife.com

By law, five permits will be available to Vermont military veterans, up to three permits will be available for “special opportunity” recipients with life-threating illnesses and three permits will be auctioned in accordance with regulations. 

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].

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