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What you need to know for 12/13/2017

On Lake Champlain, the pike were plentiful

On Lake Champlain, the pike were plentiful

Also: DEC drones, deer hunting
On Lake Champlain, the pike were plentiful
Paul Galcik with one of the day’s many catches.
Photographer: Provided

Mike Galcik of Schuylerville decided to take his dad Paul bass fishing on Lake Champlain last week. They launched early in the morning at Ticonderoga and headed north about a half-mile and started fishing. Mike was pitching plastic baits to the holes in the weeds and dad decided to cast a Chatterbait. It wasn’t too many casts when dad’s rod bent in half and rewarded him with a 28 -inch northern pike — which the beginning of a “LOT” of pike action.

After dad caught and photographed five big pike, Mike, too, tied on chatterbait. Now old-timers like Paul and I always used wire leaders when fishing for these toothy critters; and after losing a few $6 lures, Mike asked dad for a wire leader. They also did catch a few pike on spinner baits and also a few bass; but the main action was pike. All were good-sized, and dad hooked and released the biggest — 30 inches.

DEC DRONES ARE UP

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has deployed a fleet of 22 unmanned drones across the state to enhance the state’s environmental management, conservation and emergency response efforts. The use of the drones has already improved the ability to monitor and protect the state’s lands, water and wildlife while ensuring environmental quality and safety for residents. The use of this technology will help DEC with petroleum spills, wildlife surveys to search and rescue missions, forest fires and natural disasters. Fourteen DEC pilots spent several months in training at the test site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome. Currently the DEC drones are in Regions 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9. Most of the DEC drones will be piloted by certified UAS-certified Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers.

THIS OLD GUN

Soon, our small game group will be following a pack of howling beagle in and out of the heavy brush and woods chasing cottontail rabbits. Over the winter we lost some of the old beagles, but we also have a group that is trained to sniff them out. As the oldest hunter of the group, I have watched both beagles and boys grow up in these woods; and there are others who have boys/girls that are now a part of our weekend hunts.

For most of my rabbit hunting career I have used a 12-gauge shotgun, but this year I am going to be giving up a few pellets by using a .410. Why? (Which is what my wife asked, too.) My answer is that it will be a bit more of a challenge, especially because it is a single shot. I found the gun on GunBroker.com among about 100 others for sale. There were many choices, but I wanted something unique and something old. Old men like old guns.

This gun is a Stevens Model 944 single shot with a 26-inch barrel. I haven’t found out when exactly it was made, but I have been told it was in the late ’60s or early ’70s. While you are reading this, I should have received the gun, registered it with my FFL dealer, range-tested its pattern and taken a slow walk through one of pheasant release sights in Saratoga and/or Washington counties.  Should I jump a rabbit or squirrel they, too, may be introduced to my new old 410. I am sure I will get more enjoyment out of the $100 I paid for this old scatter gun.

DEER HUNTING

Last weekend the youth firearms deer season opened, and I would like you who participated in it and were successful to send me all the information. I need the young hunter’s full name and city where the young hunter lives and all the details of the hunt. I would like to see the photo but they will not be published in the Gazette. However, if you want I can pass them on to ADKHUNTER.Com.

Also this Saturday is the opening of the muzzleloading season in the Northern Zone. Be sure to check the Wildlife Management Unit regulations on page 25 of the New York Hunting & Trapping 2017-2018 hunting guide.

Only one bow and arrow buck tale reported this week. Joe Luliano of Wilton shot a nice six-pointer with an 18-inch antler spread on the second day of the bow season. He was hunting with a Mathews Drenalin 70-pound draw bow from his treestand 15 feet above the ground. He used a four-blade Muzzy arrow head and the deer went down at just 40 yards.

BOOK SIGNING

Tomorrow, well-known firearms, hunting commentator, outdoor sports writer and outdoors author Jim Zumbo will be attending the four-day New York State Outdoor Writers 50th Conference Anniversary’s Breakout day at the Docksider Restaurant in Lake George. Zumbo, who was born in Newburgh and holds degrees in forestry and wildlife biology, will be there at 10 a.m. for a book signing for the public. The Dockside is located on Glen Lake at 298 Glen Lake Road.

Reach Daily Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan at enoonan@nycap.rr.com.

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