The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reported record sales for big-game hunting and trapping licenses, which nearly tripled 2019 opening-day sales.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos also reported in-person hunter bowhunter and trapper education courses have resumed with appropriate social distancing and other precautions to limit the community spread of COVID-19 to offer online certification to the traditional in-person courses, resulting in a dramatic 105% increase in participants completing the course compared to the traditional in-person courses offer in 2019.
For a full look at these records and hunter education, go to https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/121334.html.
The early bear hunting opened last Saturday in portions of the Southeastern Zone. For more information, go to https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/118117.html.
And for you bowhunters and muzzleloaders, there are opportunities proposed for the Southern Zone between Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information, go to https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/121333.html.
It looks like I will be adding another gun to my cabinet, a muzzleloader.
Earlier this month, Paul Harwick of Souderton, Pa., went to Long Lake, and on the first day, while waiting on the dock of the Shamrock Motel for his two buddies to bring up the boat, he decided to test his new rod.
On his first cast, he hooked a big northern pike, and the battle began. When his buddies, Ed Surrey and Mike Pastori, netted the pike on their first try, the fish went right through it. But on the next try, with a new net, brought in a 43-inch northern pike. The fish hit a 1/2 ounce red eye daredevil wiggler on a 7-foot rod and spooled with 20-pound test line. Harwick said, “I’ll be back.”
I was unable to fish in the Capital District Bassmasters club tournament last weekend. They were to fish a two-day tournament on Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh.
However, the winds and waves on Saturday made fishing dangerous, and Day 2 was eliminated. It was a smart move.
On Sunday afternoon, my wife and I decided to take a box lunch and eat it at the Saratoga Lake boat launch, where we could watch the boats. When be drove to the edge of the water, what do you think we saw? Eight Capital District Bassmasters weighing in fish. The combined weight of Champlain and Saratoga top-3 anglers were Marty Migliori of Wilton (13.80 pounds), Dave Beamer of Averill Park (13.79 pounds) and Paul Stachowski of Ballston Lake (10.60 pounds).
Its final tournament will be on the Mohawk River on Oct. 11.
On Sunday, a Make-A-Wish event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at 6 Mile Waterworks in Albany. This is a “Draw A Fish Kids Contest,” so come with your very best drawing of a fish from a minnow to a whale. You can get creative if you like.
When you are done, write a message of encouragement on the back. They will be delivered to sick kids at our local hospitals to give them a boost during this extra stressful time. To give online, go to site.wish.org/goto/Fishing Tournament.
I will see you there.
MORE DEER HUNTING IN SOUTHERN ZONE
The DEC released a proposal to potentially expand deer hunting opportunities in the Southern Zone in the future. The proposed regulations would create additional bowhunting and muzzleloader hunting opportunities from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, and would only apply to New York’s Southern Zone.
Hunters must purchase the bowhunting or muzzle loading privilege to participate in the late bowhunting or muzzleloader seasons and may use all deer carcass tags valid during those seasons.
In the Northern Zone, deer may already be moving to wintering areas by late December. Hunting seasons that occur when deer are migrating or are already concentrated in wintering areas could result in localized overharvest.
This proposed, additional hunting opportunity does not impact when snowmobile trails may open. Snowmobile trails are opened after the end of the regular big game hunting season, subject to adequate snow cover and local agreements.
Details of the proposal are published in the Sept. 9 New York State Register. DEC encourages the public to comment on the proposed regulations through Nov. 8. Comments may be submitted by email or in writing to Jeremy Hurst, NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, N.Y., 12233-4754.
Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected]