Outdoor Journal: Notes on turkey hunting, fishing

The latest on outdoors from Ed Noonan
Dave Berdar of Waterford shows off the 34-inch, 22-pound striper he recently caught.
Dave Berdar of Waterford shows off the 34-inch, 22-pound striper he recently caught.

Categories: Sports

After spending two days turkey hunting with his uncle, recently retired New York State Trooper Mike Galcik of Schuylerville, 14-year-old Michael Schwerd, also from Schuylerville, decided to take a day off.

But the next day, they put out three decoys just off a wood line. After a short while, a hen entered the field and stayed for a while. When the tom spotted the decoy, he went into full strut, and at 25 yards, Mikey put him down. The tom weighed in at 21-pounds, carried a 9-inch beard and 7/8-inch spurs. Congratulation Mikey.

On the opening day of the regular adult spring turkey season, NYS Trooper Erin Mulcahy asked Mike to take her on a turkey hunt. Before daylight, Erin and Mike were in a ground blind, and the turkeys were gobbling. After getting their attention, they saw the decoys. 

They were coming now, following a real hen, and the toms walked right up to the set up. When the tom was about 10 yards from the blind, Erin eased the Mossberg 835 out the window, took aim and a sharp call caused the toms to raise their heads. Erin got her first tom turkey. He weighed in at 18.6 pounds, had 9-inch beard and 3/4-inch spurs. It was all over by 7:15 a.m.

Now it was Mike’s turn, and he returned to the same place. It didn’t take him long to get the toms talking. He got the tom within 58 yards. That provided the time necessary for a clean shot.

The 3-inch Winchester Longbeard 12-gauge once again did its job. And this ended Mike’s successful spring turkey hunt. The tom weighed 20 pounds, 13 ounces with a 9-inch beard and 1-inch spurs. Hey Mike, take me turkey hunting!


Now with my tom turkey on opening day, I have continued every day to get a second tom. As of now, I have passed on three Jakes.

I’m waiting for a big one with a good beard. I know, you can’t eat the beard. However, I did see a woodchuck come out of his hole about 25 yards from where I was sitting.


Earlier this week, my Stoeger S-E .22 with advanced ergonomics arrived. It delivers a .22 pellet at 1,200 feet per second, well in the range of that wood chuck. Also, it has a suppressor, pro attractive checkering and multi-grips system. Look out Mr. Woodchuck. 

NYSDEC’s small game regulation say air guns may be used to hunt squirrels, rabbits, hares, ruffed grouse and furbearers such as raccoons and coyotes and unprotected species. However, the air gun must be no smaller than 17 caliber and have a velocity of at least 600 feet per second.

My Stoeger leaves the barrel at twice that. Check it out at usa.stoegerairguns.com.

Note: At 23 yards, the .22 caliber went through a 1-inch piece of pine.


I received an email from Ed Skorupski of Stillwater that most of the early stripers have been males 20 to 24 inches, and a few big ones. He said that most of the early fish caught were males “schoolies.”

In seven days, Ed and Captain Justin Cockx caught seven stripers and 12 channel cats. All were keepers.

Several days later, the herring returned for a few days between Albany and Troy and were followed by bigger stripers. Ed said it was like the old days.

Last Wednesday, his friend Gary Funck of Hoosick caught a 36-inch, 18-pound striper below the dam and hooked five of them, the best being a 40-incher weighing 37 pounds.

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].

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