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Outdoor Journal: Sight of rattlesnake is scary

Outdoor Journal: Sight of rattlesnake is scary

Outdoor Journal: Sight of rattlesnake is scary

 

I recently received an email asking me what was my most exciting hunt. My answer: I have been chased by a buffalo in Wyoming while deer hunting and an alligator while hunting wild hogs in Florida.

But my most exciting and scared hunt was turkey hunting in Texas. On the day before the hunt, my guide said he had found a flock of turkey with several nice toms and took me out where they were and set up a chair in some large bushes about 50 yards from where they were roosting. He also set out several decoys.

I was quite anxious the next morning and settled in on the chair with my 10-gauge H&R shotgun across my lap. At daylight, two hens flew down heading my way and just a few minutes later two toms, and one of them was big and both were headed for the decoys. Time to get ready, but when I looked down, right next to my chair and feet was a rattlesnake. I froze. I did not take my eyes off of him and, fortunately, he started to slither away and with shaking hands, Henry 10 ended his life.

My guide got close to me and he said “you missed.” And then I pointed and he looked and said, “Holy [bleep], you are shaking.” I made sure it was dead, and then I cut off his rattle. There were 13 rattles, and they are now hanging in my gun cabinet.

‘GUNSMOKE’

When I was a kid, I had a cowboy outfit and a 6-shooter cap gun and holster. Every week, I would watch “Gunsmoke.”

At the beginning of show, I would stand facing the TV and see if I could draw as fast as Matt Dillon (played by James Arness). Several weeks ago, I was going through channels, and there on channel 81 was Matt drawing and putting another bad guy up on Boot Hill with his big 6-shooter.

That evening, I went on the Internet to see what revolvers there were like the one he had. After carefully looking at all of the different ones, I decided I needed a .22, and on the Internet, I found just what I needed, the Heritage Rough Rider, which comes with both a .22- and a .22-mag cylinders.

With this pistol, I will be able to plink as well and hunt small game and, next year, turkeys in Florida.

ICE FISHING

My friend Ed Skorupski of Stillwater said that the bluegills on Saratoga Lake are biting on the north end of the lake just off of Fitch Road. The average size is 8-10 inches. The bite was best between 7 and 9 a.m., and then the bite slowed.

Ed also caught a 12-inch crappie and hooked up with quite a few golden shiners that are suspended. If you can catch a few of these on tip-ups, try and hook up with a pike or walleye. He also said if you are going to fish local lakes, watch out. With the warm weather, the thickness may have gotten thinner. 

ICE FISHING DERBY

The Albany County Conservation Alliance will hold an Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m. at Warner’s Lake. Registration cost will be $5 and all proceeds will be used to send youth to the DEC Summer Conservation Camp. Registration will be from 7 to 
8 a.m. All registrants will be eligible for door prize drawings.

For more information, call Kevin Busch at 518-495-4396, or email [email protected] Also, if you never ice fished, they will have all equipment to get you fishing. 

SPORTSMAN BANQUET

The Upper Hudson River Valley Branch of the QDMA will hold their annual banquet on March 7 at the Christ the King Spiritual Life Center at 575 Burton Road in Greenwich. Doors open at 4 p.m., and dinner is at 5:45 p.m. They will have both a live and silent auction, Chinese raffles, games, guns and everything in between.

Cost for one membership and one mean is $35 for youth 17-and-under, $75 for a single and $100 for a couple. Cost for a sponsor is $250 for one membership and two meals. There is an early-bird raffle specials. Get $300 worth of raffle tickets for $100.

For more information, call Dave Collins 518-860-2733.

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].

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