The following article, submitted by member Ed Noonan, originally ran in the Oct. 15 issue of The Daily Gazette.
Last week the NYS Outdoor Writers Association held their annual Fall Safari in the Lyons Falls Tug Hill area of the Lewis County Adirondacks and it was definitely the perfect time to be there. The foliage had already begun showing its colors and the weather was very cooperative. There were 17 writers from all parts of the state who participated in this “no business” just outdoor fun gathering. Home base was the rustic and very comfortable Edge Hotel and we had 175,000 acres of public land within this county to “play in;” and play we did.
The Black River attracted a number of the writers to its fishing waters, all with volunteer guides arranged by Scott Locorini, the president of the NYS Outdoor Guides Assoc. Within this river swims just about every species of fish which includes pike, walleye, bass, trout and panfish. And all those who fished were not disappointed. There were also members who brought their kayak and fished several lakes and rivers; mostly in search of trout; and there were others that were also successful fishing from shore.
On Friday morning at 5 a.m. I joined Bill Hollister, Valatie and Mike Joyner, McGraw on a turkey/grouse hunt. We were given directions to a high country trail through a thick forest that had both birds. When we split up I found an overgrown apple orchard and set up my decoys and did a little calling. I did not get any answers however I had a big doe walk within 10 yards of my hiding spot. I did bring my bow and had I not forgotten my arrows I would have had venison in the freezer right now. Bill and Mike didn’t see turkeys but they did kick up a few grouse.
That afternoon all of us were invited to Otis Technologies, known worldwide for their gun cleaning kits and hearing protection. After a “too much to eat” lunch their Marketing Manager, Heather Bennett took us on the tour of their factory which was definitely state-of-the-art. You might want to go to their web site and see some of their new additions.
Dinner that evening was also a treat. Guy Case of the Great Lot Sportsman Club had prepared a number of different game dishes. These included venison, several types of salmon, roast duck, etc. and all kinds of homemade pies. Everything was good and we all ate too much.
Ironically at this dinner I met Chris Kryzak, Altamont who was a member of this club. He knew where there were some turkeys and offered to take our turkey hunting trio to it in the morning. I am sure Mike and Bill felt the same way when that alarm went off the next morning at 4 a.m. It was tough getting out of bed but at 5 a.m. we were headed along the edge of a recently cut corn field. Chris showed Mike and me where to set up; and then he and Bill headed up to an adjoining field.
It was about 10:30 a.m. when I saw movement several hundred yards down the field and they were headed for me. When I glassed them I was very excited because it was a flock of 6 toms headed my way. I made some calls and like to think that my calling kept them coming; but at about 100 yards they all stopped, looked back and ran into the woods. Shortly thereafter Mike and I met up at where I had last seen the turkey and there, on the ground was a fresh pile of coyote droppings; it must have been hidden in the tall grass. Bill and Chris also had some excitement when they walked up on a bear and its cubs.
While we were chasing turkeys that morning local Ben Roggie took writers Leon Archer and Charlie Witex to his secret spot on the Black River where they both limited out on wood ducks and even got a few mallards.
That afternoon we decided to skip lunch and ventured back into this same area; but no turkeys showed. I did however enjoy the sunshine and colorful surrounding and, a really great nap. We found out later that we had missed an excellent luncheon curtesy of Anne Merrill of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce. I am told there were 20 plus turkeys in those fields the next day. I’ll be back.
THANK YOU LEWIS COUNTY