Search Sponsored by:
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Speculator, NY ,

Hamilton County Outdoors -- 08/20/2014 Hunters can now field train their dogs By Dick Nelson

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - Updated: 2:23 PM

Unless you were celebrating a birthday or wedding anniversary Aug. 15, the date was of little or no significance. But if you own a hunting dog and enjoy running that dog on rabbits and/or upland birds you were definitely aware it was the day you could legally start field training.

It's no secret the reason most sportsmen purchase a hunting dog is to locate more game. But after the first few days of the season, many of them come to the shocking conclusion they would have been better off had they left the pooch at home. That doesn't necessarily mean the hunter bought a poor dog; all it means is the owner didn't take the time to properly train the animal.

You don't have to tell anyone who has hunted over a poorly trained dog how frustrating it can be, myself included. But if you take the time, hunting over a properly trained dog is not only a pleasure, it's a rewarding experience. In fact half the fun of the hunt is watching the dog work.

One key element in training a hunting dog is to give it as much field time as possible. But Conservation Law prohibits the training of dogs afield during April, May, June and July except in designated dog-training areas. That only leaves about six weeks until the small-game season opens and unfortunately too many dog owners write off August as too hot.

This is foolish, because training should begin with obedience, which can be done at any time and in any place, even if it is just teaching them to sit quietly until you give the command to move.

A dog that will not respond to basic commands at home cannot be expected to be an enjoyable and cooperative hunting companion. That said, August is not too hot if you confine your efforts to the early morning hours. This is when pheasants, grouse and cottontails are out for their morning feed.


Considering how wet it's been throughout the year there is a strong possibility that pointing and flushing breeds will lock onto woodcock, especially since New York woodcock hunters had the highest harvest along the eastern seaboard. According to the 2013 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service wing-collection survey, of the 3,900 hunters who actively pursue timberdoodles the total harvest was 11,700, providing an average return of three birds per hunter.

The survey is administered as a cooperative effort among woodcock hunters, the FWS, and state wildlife agencies. Participants in the 2013 survey included hunters who either participated in past surveys; were a subset of hunters that indicated on the Harvest Information Program survey that they hunt woodcock, or contacted the FWS to volunteer for the survey.

New York's woodcock hunting season runs from Oct. 1 through Nov.14. And, should you be wondering, a federal migratory bird stamp is not required.


The Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation is gearing up for its annual Fall Fishing Contest. Headquartered at Sport Island Pub in Northampton Saturday, Sept. 6, the entry fee (pre-registration only) is $30 each, which includes a 2015 GSLFF membership. Fishing hours will be 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A total of $5,600 in cash prizes is up for grabs -- $2,600 in cash paybacks plus $3,000 in tagged trout. Each of the 10 tagged trout is worth $300. The tag must be attached to the fish.

Prizes of $300 for first, $200 for second, $100 for third, and $50 for fourth will be awarded in each of four categories: bass, walleye, northern pike and trout. The winning fish will be determined by length.

Applications can be downloaded from the GSLFF website at, or sign up at Ross' Bait Shop, Hagaman; Dave's Bait & Tackle, Mayfield; LaPort's Bait, Edinburg; Jim's Bait Shop, Mayfield; Frank's Bait Shop, Vail Mills; Sport Island Pub, Sacandaga Park; and Fuel N' Food, Mayfield. The deadline is Sept. 5.

For more information call Jack Smith at (518) 0863-4271 or Randy Gardinier at (518) 848-7248.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the details for the I FISH NY Challenge, a statewide fishing contest that calls on anglers to show off their prize largemouth and striped bass catches by using the New York Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife smartphone app ( It runs Aug. 11 through Sept. 1.

Winners will receive a free lifetime fishing license for both the longest largemouth bass and longest striped bass. Runners-up in each of DEC's seven Watchable Wildlife Regions -- Long Island, New York City, Catskills, Hudson Valley, Adirondacks, Central New York and Western New York -- will be awarded other prizes. The rules are on the DEC webpage at


Early season bear hunters no longer have to wait for the early bear season to open in the Northern Zone, now that the DEC has opened an early bear hunt in Wildlife Management Units 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 3M, 3R, 3P, 4R and 4P. That season runs Sept. 6-21.

Hunters that submit a premolar tooth from the bear for DEC to determine the bruin's age will receive a commemorative patch recognizing them as a NYS Black Bear Management Cooperator. For more information go to

Dropping anchor 'til next time.

To contact Dick Nelson email


Aug. 23-24 - Arms Fair and Sportsmen's Expo, Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. / 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Aug. 28-30 -- NYS Trappers Association Convention and Sportsman Show, Herkimer County Fairgrounds, 135 Cemetery St., Frankfort. Wayne Jones (716) 772-1059 or


Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article


Copyright © McClary Media, Inc.

Privacy Policies: Hamilton County Express

Contact Us