By RON KOLODZIEJ
For the Recorder
According to figures released recently by the Department of Environmental Conservation, hunters harvested some 242,957 deer during the 2012 deer season, about 6 percent more than were taken the previous year. Here in Montgomery County we recorded a total take of 1,391 deer, including 867 bucks. A total of 145 deer, including 65 bucks, were recorded in the Town of Amsterdam; Canajoharie gave up 179 deer including 104 bucks; Charleston 193 deer with 129 bucks; Florida 150 deer with 113 bucks; Glen 150 deer with 103 bucks; Minden 169 deer with 113 bucks; Mohawk 62 deer with 35 bucks; Palatine 85 deer with 40 bucks; Root 207 deer with 136 bucks; and St. Johnsville 51 deer with 29 bucks.
Fulton County gave up a total of 1,031 deer, including 704 bucks and to our south, Schoharie County gave up 2,713 deer, including 1,440 bucks. Saratoga County tallied 3,399 deer, including 1,545 bucks and Hamilton County recorded a total take of 1,022 deer including 867 bucks. The top five counties in total take in New York State during the 2012 season were: Steuben with 11.524; Chautauqua County with 9,208; Cattaraugus County with 8,931; Wyoming County with 8,626; and Orleans County with 8,297.
It's interesting to note that of the 242,957 deer taken last season, 94,367 deer were taken on Deer Management Permits (out of 605,105 issued); 16,104 were taken by muzzleloaders; 36,208 by bowhunters; and 438 by crossbows. Incidentally, legislation has passed authorizing the use of crossbows next season, so if you invested in one of those weapons you'll be able to use it. DEC is currently working on the dates and parameters for that season.
Statewide, the Youth Deer Hunt, held over the Columbus Day weekend, yielded a total of 1,411 deer -- 744 bucks and 667 antlerless. During this special hunt, 14 and 15 year olds could take one deer, antlered or antlerless, with a firearm if accompanied by a licensed, experienced mentor.
YOUTH TURKEY HUNT
A total of 48 youngsters participated in the Fourth Annual Youth Turkey Hunting Contest sponsored by the Mohawk Valley Sharp Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation on Saturday, April 20, the first day of the annual Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend. The first such local event, conducted in 2010 attracted 12 participants; the following year, in 2011, it drew 27 youngsters; and the third edition of the event conducted in 2012 drew 28 young hunters. The fact that this fourth annual edition attracted almost 50 youngsters shows that the word is out and that it's a fun event and not to be missed. Of the 48 participants, 15 of them bagged birds, for a commendable success rate of about 31 percent, with the largest bird taken tipping the scales at 23 pounds 3 ounces. Several others also neared or exceeded the 20 pound mark.
Successful young hunters, are pictured with their birds and callers are in the attached photo: Left to right: T.J. Karbowski, 14 pounds, 3 ounce; Scott Moore, Jr., 20 pounds 3 ounces; Hunter McCumber, 18 pounds; Brock Nelson, 11 pounds; Luciano Alonzi, 17 pounds 2 ounces; Jared Rotunda, 14 pounds; Kaitlyn Holt 14 pounds 5 ounces; Trevor Brownell, 14 pounds 10 ounces; Andrew Weldon 21 pounds 12 ounces; Nicolai Mosher, 15 pounds 15 ounces; Nicole Baker, 21 pounds 12 ounces; Connor Hogan, 13 pounds 13 ounces; William Parrino, 23 pounds 3 ounces and Dalton Havlick, 15 pounds 1 ounce. Callers (second row) included Joe Benanto, Rick Delos, Mitch Monini, Vince Monini, Chris Lubrant, John Loucks, Mike Auriemma, Ted Bell, Scott Baker, Todd Hogan, Charles Parrino, Chuck Brownell, Jarrod Vila and Paul Kowalczyk. Missing from the photo are Breck Breen, Frank Havlick and Ed Noonan.
Other youngsters who participated in the hunt included: Shane Porter, Jake Hinke, Timmy Brisley, Dylan Sweet, James Mosher, Jr., Nicolaus Clayton, Austin Countryman, John Hart, Rebecca Bornt, Cody Lambert, Tucker Damato, Brandon Oathout, Hallie Hogan, Ty Earley, Ryan Lambert, Matt Dingman, Joe Mallozzi, Justin Gillen, Sam Phetteplace, Emma Lee Baker and Gianluca Alonzi.
At one time or another that day, depending upon where they hunted, participants in the Mohawk Valley Sharp Spurs event braved rain, sleet, cold and -- seemingly our constant companion this month -- brisk winds. We did have a few breaks of sun but for the most part, the aforementioned conditions prevailed for much of the morning.
Kudos to Mike and Michele Auriemma, Dick Andrews and their helpers and volunteers for providing a superb barbecue and feast that day. Also, there were plenty of door prizes to go around the list at least twice. Any youngster who participated in the event, whether or not they were fortunate enough to take a bird, was presented with door prizes of some sort, including turkey calls and related equipment from Quaker Boy Game Calls, Cappie's, Quandts, Dick Andrews, Beard Bustin' Custom Calls, Sue Knapik, Primos Game Calls, Pet Zone, Dave's Bait and Tackle, Joe Benanto, Jay Affinito, Ron Kolodziej, Mike McNamara, Jr., Mike McNamara, Sr., Dana Keller, Rob and Lynn Hisert, NWTF, John Loucks, Nick Auriemma and Ed Noonan. It should also be noted that the Sharp Spurs Chapter and Sue Knapik, in memory of her late husband, Marshall Knapik, also presented each participant with a Jakes membership.
NEW START FOR
The National Rifle Association has become the new promoter of the annual outdoors show at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa. replacing the now-cancelled Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show.
The announcement was made at a press event last Tuesday. The NRA is dubbing the event the "Great American Outdoor Show," and it'll run Feb. 1-9, 2014.
The NRA says it aims to make the event a national show and will offer country concerts as well.
The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show was canceled this year after its promoter, Reed Exhibitions, banned the sale or display of assault-style rifles and their accoutrements and many vendors then proceeded to boycott it.
The Harrisburg Regional Chamber said the NRA's involvement could offer an even larger economic impact than the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, which had been a decades-long tradition. The old show had an estimated impact of $88 million to the local and area economy.
The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitor's Bureau had said there was potential to make the show a much more appealing event throughout the region. Of several bidders, the NRA had the strongest proposal to build the brand of the show, the visitor's bureau said via Twitter.
SPRING FISHING CONTEST
The statewide walleye, pickerel, northern pike and tiger muskie seasons open on Saturday, May 4 and that's the day of the 16th Annual Spring Fishing Contest of the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation. That event is just a week away so here are some details to refresh your memory. It will be headquartered at Sport Island Pub, Sacandaga Park, and the contest fishing hours will be 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., with prizes being awarded soon after the conclusion of the event. Prizes of $300, $150 and $50 will be awarded in the northern pike, walleye and trout divisions and winners will be determined by the length of the entry. If you have a cell phone with you, or are at least near a landline during the event, you can also learn the up-to-the-moment status of the prize board by calling the measuring station at 227-8298.
The entry fee for this event is only $15 and contest application forms can be obtained online by going to www.gslff.com or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also get and submit contest entry forms at: Sport Island Pub in Sacandaga Park, Ross' Bait Shop in Hagaman, Dave's Bait & Tackle Shop in Mayfield, LaPort's Bait Shop in Edinburg, Jim's Bait Shop in Mayfield, Frank's Bait Shop in Vails Mills and the Fuel & Food Store in Mayfield. For information or additional details you can call Jack Smith at 863-1062 or Randy Gardinier at 843-6329.
ONE DAY TURKEY HUNTING CONTEST
The next day, on Sunday, May 5, Tuman's Tavern on Forest Avenue in Amsterdam, will conduct its second annual One-Day Turkey Hunting Contest. The basic rules are as follows: Two persons on a team but they needn't hunt together; entry fee is $20 per team but you can be on more than one team provided the additional entry fee is paid for each team; winners will be determined by the combined weight of their two birds (one bird per team member); all birds must be legally tagged and brought in to Tuman's Tavern for weigh-in between noon and 3 p.m. that day; birds taken in an illegal or unethical manner will be disqualified; entry forms are available at Tuman's Tavern and must be submitted by Saturday, May 4. The number and value of the prizes to be distributed will be dependent upon the number of persons registered in the event.
Tuman's Tavern will also be conducting a season-long turkey contest May 1-31. The entry fee is $10 per person and the deadline for registrations is Thursday, April 30, just a few days from now. Registration forms for that event are also available at Tuman's Tavern.