DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos recently announced a new system for sale of fishing, hunting and trapping licenses – an Automated License Decals system. It is very friendly information to help the users locate vendors, receive instant copies of a license, enter and view harvest information and more. It will make it simpler for New Yorkers to purchase fishing, hunting and trapping licenses from home, either over the phone or online.
The decal system is one of the many ways New York will continue to meet the needs of our sporting communities, enabling them to enjoy the fishing, hunting and trapping opportunities throughout our state. It includes an events calendar with upcoming season dates, youth hunts, free fishing days, clinics and more. For more information go to: https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/120760.html.
BEST BASS FISHING LAKES
Bassmaster Magazine has chosen its best of the decade in the country and four of them are in New York: Lake Erie, Lake Champlain, St. Lawrence and Oneida Lake. That’s no surprise to us bass anglers. My choice is Lake Champlain where, when I was fishing bass tournaments seriously, I won several club and open contests.
Recently I was asked by a farmer if I could help him with his pest problem with woodchucks in his orchard. Woodchucks are one of the few unprotected species that also include porcupine, red squirrel, English sparrow, starling, rock pigeon and monk parakeet. These unprotected species can be taken at any time. Every year I get a few calls for help on the damage woodchucks are doing. Usually once or twice I help. As a burrowing animal, a growing population can weaken roadways, retaining walls, patios and slabs under homes, creating expensive repair work that needs to be taken care of. It isn’t unusual for these pests to quickly decimate a vegetable garden when hungry.
It was back in 1968 when my bride-to-be introduced me to her friend Jacky Nalley. He handed me a .22 rifle and took me woodchuck hunting in an orchard in Columbia County. Several days after that, I got my NYS hunting permit and headed to the local gun shop and left with a .22 bolt action rifle. It was the beginning of my hunting career. In addition to summertime woodchuck hunting, in the fall I added a deer rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun.
One of my most memorable hunts was when I first moved to Saratoga, where I helped a farmer with not only woodchucks, but rock pigeons — which used his barn roof for a toilet. I would set up by the barns with my shotgun. I also got a helper on these barn hunts — a black three-legged cat. On my first trip to the farm to hunt he retrieved the pigeon and would then run back under the barn with it. Eventually, as soon as he saw my truck pull in, he would run out and sit with me. But I only once got to pet him.
‘GUNSMOKE’ MADE ME DO IT
While in Florida this year each evening we would watch the reruns of “Gunsmoke” drawing and shooting the bad guys. As a kid I had a belt, holster and cap gun revolver. Never could outdraw him. Well right now I am awaiting the real thing — a Heritage Rough Rider that has 22 mag cylinders. There will be a little targeting at the range and then some woodchuck hunting to help a local farmer with chucks in the orchard. Come small game season I will be doing a bit of rabbit hunting, which is going to be a challenge.
LOCAL BASS FISHING
The Tuesday afternoon Saratoga Tackle and Archery bass tournament attracted 50 anglers. Leading the way with 15.05 pounds was the Indian Lake team of John Paraso and Bill Belmore. They received $995, that’s almost $200 per fish. Finishing second was the Saratoga team of John Grapo and Jeff Aldi, who received $660 for the five-bass catch of 14.49 pounds and an additional $490 for their largemouth bass. Will Deck and Bob Wentworth (Saratoga) received $330 for third. And for the first there was a fourth-place cash prize of $220 won by the Schuylerville team of Bill Goodermote and James Sausville with 12.49 pounds.
The South Shore Marina Saratoga team bass tournament Thursday afternoon also had some good catches. The first-place winning team was Saratoga’s Dave Munger and John Jenkins, who received $500 with a five-bass haul weighing 12.30 pounds.
Saratoga anglers Jeff Russell and Paul O’Neil placed second with 12.12 pounds worth $320. In third place was Bill Goodermote and Jim Pacucci (Scotia) with 10.99 pounds worth $260 and additional $190 for the 3.86-pound lunker. Low to cash was David Paquette (Stillwater) with 10.88 pounds worth $220.