Outdoor Journal: Missing out on start of turkey hunting season

Outdoors news and notes from Ed Noonan

Categories: Sports

For the first time since I hunted and harvested my first spring New York State wild turkey, I will miss the opening day of our turkey hunting season.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, my wife and I will not be leaving Florida until May 1, which means I will not be in the turkey woods until May 3. But that morning, I will be all dressed in camo from head to toe in the turkey woods waiting for sunup and legal shooting time.

You may hunt with a bow or crossbow, but you may not hunt turkey with a crossbow in the fall in the Northern Zone if you are using dogs. The crossbow cannot be used in Westchester or Suffolk counties. And don’t forget to fill out your tag on the turkey you shoot. There is good chance that I might be hunting my spring turkey with a crossbow.

Recently I was asked by several readers what I thought about using a life-like display of a tom decoy to hide behind while trying to get closer to the real tom. Every year, I read about hunters shooting hunters using these so-called decoys.

My response: There is no law against stupid.


On the weekend, Eva and Bruce Raymer of Niskayuna decided to go to Burden Lake to catch some crappie and perch. They didn’t have much luck in the deeper water, so they headed into the shallows near some downed timber.

Eva tossed in a 3-inch Gulp minnow on a small jig in towards the shore and hooked a monster northern pike on 4-pound test line. Eva played the fish for around 25 minutes and flipped the 38-inch fish. But it wasn’t over yet.

Ten minutes later, Eva hooked up a bigger pike and, after another battle, they got it. It was estimated to be 48 inches. Bruce took a picture of this one and released it. Bruce told me he did not catch anything.

However, their net was too small, but they did get the pike part way into the canoe and then flopped it in, took a picture and returned it to the water.


The state has officially opened the turkey hunting season, including the special season for youth on April 25 and April 26.

Our popular Annual Youth Turkey Hunt is still on for April 25. We will accept entries up through April 24. As usual, all aspects are free to the participants and family.
We will have the weigh-in portion outside the Carnesville Fire Department for those who harvest a bird. We encourage those who do so to come during the noon-to-1:30 p.m. period and observe social distancing when they do so.

We encourage people to sign up and to hunt. Even if the team chooses not to, or is unable to hunt, they will still be able to attend our banquet with awards and prizes to each youth that attends. There they will be able to talk with us, their peers and other hunters to get helpful suggestions and be able to receive prizes on a blind draw basis. We will also feature a presentation by Brian Rush of Rush Custom Callers and a NYS Hunting Education Instructor.

We will hold the barbecue after the coronavirus has run its course and the state lifts its restrictions. In the meantime, good luck and safe hunting, practice social distancing and stay safe and healthy. Looking forward to seeing everybody when the time comes.

I am going to miss this one, but i will get in the turkey woods before the turkey season is over.

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].

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