Outdoor Journal: Turkey hunting season opens

Ed Noonan photo

Ed Noonan photo

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, Sports

As you are reading this column, I am taking advantage of the opening of turkey hunting Thursday in the woods in Saratoga County trying to call in a tom turkey.

To find out what is open now and all the other regions openings, go to https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/29461.html.

There are a number of small-game hunting seasons starting today. To find out all and where go to dec.ny.gov/121410.html.

DID YOU EVER SHOOT A TURKEY WITH A RIFLE?

At a sportsman’s club recently, I was asked if I ever shot a turkey with a rifle and I said yes, but in Florida with a guide.

It was on opening day, and I passed on some smaller toms and were running out of time. My guide said he had been watching a big tom with hens, but they were in a field of heavy brush and the shot would be over at least a 100 yards. That’s not a shotgun distance.

He then said he had a .223 rifle and asked if I wanted to give it a try. I said, “Why not?”

When we got there, the turkeys were way out and would require a lot of crawling. All I was hoping for is not to crawl into a snake. I made it to as far as I could without being seen and sighted in on the biggest one. He carried a 9 6/8-inch beard and weighed in at 28.5 pounds and 5-inch spurs. The shot turned out to be 153 yards.

HATFIELD MAKES IT RIGHT

When Walmart would not take back the .28-caliber semi-automatic the day after I bought it because it did not work. It said there is no returns. It also told me it was a New York State law.

So I contacted the gun maker (Hatfield Gun Company), and it said send it to them. They emailed that the gun shoots and they are sending the gun back to me.

I went on the internet to try and find the law. If there is such a law, I wanted to let hunters know.

Just for kicks, I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods on the internet to see if it was following this law. It said it has a seven-day return policy on most products and returns with an original sales receipt or pack slip will receive a refund based on the initial form of payment.

There will be more information when I receive the Hatfield .28-gauge and take it in the woods.

A VERY EXPENSIVE MOOSE HUNT

The NYS DEC recently announced the sentencing of a Zachary Vaughan of Saranac for poaching a moose last October. He was sentenced to 60 days in county jail and fined $5,525. He was charged with four misdemeanors — taking a moose, possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle and hunting deer with the aid of an artificial light in a vehicle — and three additional Environment Conservation Law violations. The moose is a protected mammal in NYS.

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected]

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