Almost two dozen Capital Region schools are set to participate in the New York State High School Clay Target League, which is part of the non-profit USA Clay Target League.
The league totes itself on the premises of “Safety, Fun, and Marksmanship,” specifically in that order. As a matter of fact, it is the only 100% school-approved clay target shooting sport program in America, offering high school and college programs in 35 states.
Overall, 47,000 students took part in high school shooting sports throughout the shooting league during the 2022-23 school year. The New York portion of the league saw 2,546 athletes competing from 144 schools. Given those huge numbers, there has not been one single injury ever reported since the league’s inception in 2001 making the clay target league the safest sport in all of high school sports. That is cold-hard data that cannot be ignored.
Additionally, the league is fully Title IX compliant, with males and females competing on the same team. It is also considered an adaptive sport, which allows students with physical disabilities to partake. These factors make it rather appealing to many schools across New York State and the nation.
Saturday and Sunday will be the days for the trap shooting portion of the NYSHSCTL at Bridgeport Rod and Gun Club in Bridgeport. A total of 1,505 students from 123 schools will be represented at this shoot. The skeet portion of the shoot will be held at The DeWitt Fish and Game Club in Jamesville on the same dates. Both of these fish and game clubs are located within the Syracuse vicinity.
The Capital Region Section 2 schools participating in NYSHSCTL tournaments are Argyle, Berlin, Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Bolton, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Coxsackie-Athens, Fort Ann, Galway, Granville, Hoosick Falls, Hudson Falls, Johnsburg, Lansingburgh, Mohonasen, Sharon Springs, South Glens Falls, Taconic Hills, Tamarac, Voorheesville, Warrensburg and Whitehall.
Best of luck to all of our local youth competitors heading West.
TURKEY NUMBERS ON THE DECLINE
After a full synopsis of this past turkey season, including personally talking to many turkey hunters, it just seems like it was a rather difficult season across the board in general.
I was fortunate to harvest a pair of longbeards this season, both of which were 3 years old or better birds, as well. Both came right down to the wire, which is rather unusual for me, as I am typically tagged out by the second week. I felt as though it was a bit more difficult hunting, for sure.
Well, let me rephrase that. The hunting was similar, locating and getting on toms was the hard part. The numbers of mature gobblers seemed to be severely lacking. Over the course of the season, I was personally on scene for seven longbeards that ultimately ended up on the grill or in the freezer.
It was a good season as it always is, just maybe a bit more stressful given the overall lack of mature birds. Typically, it is nothing to “make the rounds” and find at least four or five toms to attempt to roost for the next morning. This season, we were lucky to find one or two. Many roosting adventures saw the sun set with zero sightings, as well.
On a positive note, the number of jakes, or immature gobblers, on the radar seems to be rather promising. This would mean last year’s spring produced a healthy survival rate of poults, which, in turn, means that next season, the spring of 2024 should have some solid numbers of 2-year-old toms. Again, this spring, being rather warm and dry should be a productive nesting year, as well. I personally only saw a dozen or so poults so far this spring, but that really means nothing in the overall picture. The annual turkey survey debuts every August once the poults are about chicken-size and easily distinguishable, and I encourage everyone to take part.
Until then, that is a wrap on the 2023 turkey season.
Musky season kicked off on June 1 for inland waters, and will begin June 15 for Great Lakes waterways.
The ever elusive “Fish of 10,000 Casts” muskies can be found in 13 lakes and 19 rivers, with the most renowned fisheries being the St. Lawrence River, Upper Niagara River and Chautauqua Lake. Other quality muskie waters include Waneta, Greenwood, Bear and Cassadaga lakes and the Susquehanna, Chenango and Great Chazy rivers.
Great Lakes muskies have a size limit of 54 inches, and all other inland locations have a 40-inch minimum-size limit. Both areas are one fish per angler per day, harvest limit. However, almost all anglers practice catch and release on this tremendous sportfish.