Noonan: Anticipation building for spring turkey hunting season

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I know we have 20 days before the opening of the spring turkey season, but it is not too early to get ready. 

I have been paging through catalogs looking at new camo, decoys and even a new shotgun. Since I shot my first turkey in 1992 with a single-shot 10-guage, I have shot them with every gauge and also with rifles in other states where it is allowed.

I haven’t shot one with a 20-gauge, but come May 1, I will be carrying a single-shot backpack shotgun that folds up to 26 inches. I am also sure that this little shotgun will become my favorite small-game gun, and it could even end up hunting for hogs next March.

If you go to my blog at noonanpics.blogspot.com, you can see both my Florida hog and turkey and check out the 20-gauge. And as a reminder, the turkeys are moving right now, so get out there and pick one for opening day.

DEC REPORT

According to Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Basil Seggos, the 2017 estimated deer take was 203,427, with 95,623 being antlerless deer and 107,804 being antlered bucks. Hunters in the Northern Zone took 25,351 deer, which included 18,074 adult bucks, and the Southern Zone produced 178,076 that included 89,730 adult bucks.

Commissioner Seggos said: “This is great news for New Yorkers. Many hunters are choosing to voluntarily let the young bucks go and watch them grow, and all hunters are now having greater opportunity to see and take older, larger bucks.” 

Also, it’s good news that hunters who reported their harvest increased from 44 percent to 50 percent in 2017.

Wildlife biologists noted two important and encouraging items that emerged from the 2017 deer harvest. First, 53.3 percent of the adult bucks averaged 2.5 years or older, and hunters took an estimated 57,494 bucks, which set a record in total number and greatest percentage of older bucks in the harvest.

STRIPER SEASON

Now that the striper season has opened, here are a few regulations to remember. When striper fishing in the Hudson River and all tributaries north of the George Washington Bridge, the legal size limit is 18 to 28 inches, or larger than 40 inches to be kept, and only one can be kept per day. South of the George Washington Bridge, you can keep only one, and it has to be 28 inches or larger.

As for the herring, which are a favorite bait of the stripers, you can only have 10 (any size) per angler, or a maximum boat limit of 50 per day for a group of anglers.

Late last month, Environmental Conservation Officer Dustin Dainack was patrolling the Hudson River from Peekskill to Croton, looking for striped bass violations prior to the April 1 opening. Dainack encountered four fishermen throughout his patrols who were in possession of five to seven striped bass each. They had hidden the fish in the rocks or tied them on a stringer in the water.

Dainack issued a total of four tickets for possession of striped bass out of season and one ticket for no marine registry. The 25 illegal striped bass were also seized.

I found some information recently on the current River Basin Striper Fishing Reports. They have been catching striper between Coxsackie and Saugerties, with the largest being 28 inches.

Water temperatures in the Albany area vary from 41 to 43 degrees, and in Kingston they have been seeing some herring. The locals have been trying artificial lures with very little result. Bloodworms are the recommended bait. As a reminder, you need a marine registry license. You can get one by phone at 1-886-933-225 or go to decals.dec.ny.gov/DECALSCitizenWeb.

BOWHUNTING SIGHTING LOG

I recently received a 2017 Bowhunter Sighting Log from the New York DEC. Unfortunately, I did not have anything for the survey. I used to be a very anxious and avid bowhunter, but I can no longer draw a hunting bow back. I know I am not the only one who has this problem. I solved my problem with a crossbow. But what I really miss is climbing into my tree stand in the Northern Zone on Sept. 27; I can’t hunt with my crossbow until Oct. 11. And in the Southern Zone, it is even worse. The bow hunters can begin on Oct. 1, whereas the crossbow hunters have to wait until Nov. 4. My question is “Why?”

I did some research on what other states are doing for their bow and crossbow hunters, and there are over 30 states that allow crossbow hunters and regular bowhunters to hunt at the same time. They also have regulations that allow crossbow hunting for seniors and those with physical disabilities.

FLEA MARKET

The Clearwater Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting a Fisherman’s Flea market this Saturday at the Joseph E. Zaloga American Legion Post at 4 Everette Road, Albany, from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. Everything related to fishing will be up for sale at bargain prices.

Admission is $3 for adults, and 16 and under accompanied by an adult are free. This a fund raiser for their conservation projects to restore cold water fisheries habitats.

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

 





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