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Outdoor Journal: Setting my sights on small game

Outdoor Journal: Setting my sights on small game

It was a wet three-plus hours for the 28 teams that fished the Saratoga Challenge on July 29, but the fish were biting.
Outdoor Journal: Setting my sights on small game
Doug Woodley with big bass.
Photographer: Provided photo

I know it is a little early to start talking about hunting, but whenever I get together with my friend Paul Galcik we end up talking “guns.”

Paul, a Schuylerville resident, is a licensed FFL firearms dealer, and he “knows guns.” While there, I mentioned to him that I wanted to do a column on small game hunting with an air gun. He got up, walked into another room and returned with a .22 caliber scoped air rifle and said, “This is what you need.” He took me out to his back field, where he had a target set up.

All I needed was three shots to convince me. It was a Benjamin by Crosman, and its accuracy and distance were excellent. That evening on the Crosman website (www.crosman.com), I found what I wanted – the Thrasher Nitro Piston Elite break-action .22 caliber rifle with a scope. The .22 caliber alloy pellets leave the barrel at 1,400 feet per second; this definitely would take down the small game I plan on hunting.

Most New York State small game hunting does not start until October. In the meantime, I will be visiting my farmer friend to help him with his woodchuck problem. And when I go to Florida this winter, the Thrasher will be with me for hunting both squirrels and rabbits.


It was a wet three-plus hours for the 28 teams that fished the Saratoga Challenge on July 29, but the fish were biting. The winners, all from Saratoga, were John Wentworth and Will Beck with 14.07 pounds worth $630, followed by Mike Grabo and Mike Martino with 13.62 pounds ($378) and Alan Aldi and Jay Pompelio with 13.29 pounds for $252. Grabo and Martino also had lunker, a 4.80 largemouth worth $280.

The Thursday afternoon South Shore Saratoga Lake bass contest attracted 11 teams on July 31. The winners with 12.25 pounds was Saratoga team Dave Munger and John Jenkins with 12.25 pounds that included the tournament lunker of 3.38 pounds. They received $340 for the win and $110 for big bass. In second place with 11.12 pounds was the Perth team of Jessica Moore and John Buchell, who received $180. Third place went to the Clifton Park team of Jim Bubb and Mike Marnard with 10.13 pounds worth $100.

The shore fishing in Saratoga Lake was very good for Doug Woodley, who lives on Saratoga Lake. He was going through some old tackle and found a flat black rubber jig from the '90s that's not made any more. He tied it on his rod and walked out behind his house to make a few casts. Five minutes later, he hooked up with a 3 1/2-pound largemouth on his eighth flip. His wife took the photo and he released the fish. I’ll be over with my wacky worm, Doug.


DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos is asking New Yorkers to participate in the state’s annual survey of wild turkeys. This will help DEC biologists to monitor and manage this “great bird” and sustain it for the future. This survey will track the turkey populations and estimate the number of wild turkey poults per hen statewide. Weather, predation and habitat conditions during breeding and brood-rearing seasons can significantly impact nest successes, hen survival and poult survival.

This index will allow DEC to gauge reproductive success and predict fall harvest potential. During the August survey, participants will record the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkey observed during normal travel. For more information go to www.dec.ny.gov/press/110847.html.


On Saturday, Sept. 7, Guan-Ho-Ha Fish and Game Club, in partnership with the Kids & Clays Foundation, is hosting a sporting clay event and pig roast. Proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities through Kids & Clays.

This is open to the public and pre-registration is required. It begins at 9 a.m. for registration with 100 rounds of sporting clays followed by a silent auction, demo guns, rifles and archery fun shoots and more. Guan Ho Ha Fish and Game Club is an 1,100-member private club located in the hills of Scotia. For more information, contact Matt Goss at [email protected] or 518-847-9614.

Reach Ed Noonan at enoonan.nycap.rr.com.

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