April 1 trout season opener? More like a May 1 opener.
With the mercury barely breaking the freezing point as Iwrite this and more frigid weather in the forecast, it appears the opening of this year's trout season is more symbolic than anything else.
What a difference a year makes.
Last year at this time we were hitting the links and trolling open water on back ponds. This year I'd need snowshoes to get to the Radisson behind my garage.
In the meantime, I made the mistake of uncovering my big boat last weekend. I bought a newer 24-footer to chase lakers and salmon with but have yet to outfit it with the equipment I salvaged from my old boat - the Laker Taker II.
So, I decided to get a jump on that tedious task and accomplished a great deal last Sunday before crashing in my recliner next to the woodstove with a can of Genessee river water.
But before I could enjoy the first sip, smiling Tom the ever-effervescent weatherman came on the tube and happily predicted half a foot of snow on the horizon.
I peaked out the window at the sun setting behind my fully exposed boat, and slowly pulled my soggy boots back on.
Trudging back out into the cold to cover the boat for the second time this winter, all I could think about was knocking out one of Tom's pearly whites. I know the poor guy can't control the weather - but does he have to be so dang perky about it?
Update on ol' split ear
Infamous Ticonderoga outdoorsman and marathoner Richard Johndrown - better known in hunting circles as SilverrrrrrrrrrrBulletttttttttttttt - dropped me a line recently to let me know he had the pleasure of scoring Robert Lavergne's 20-point buck shot last season.
For those who may have missed it, I wrote a column in November about this buck, which Lavergne shot Nov. 6 on land along the Cedar River outside Indian Lake.
The deer had become quite well known in the area, by residents who had spotted him wandering near town after deer season. He was easily identified by a split he had in one ear, presumably from fighting for dominance. His shed antlers had also been found, and local hunters were aware of the significant antler growth he possessed.
Johndrow, who serves as measurer chairman for the New York State Big Buck Club, Lavergne's non-typical sported 20 countable points with 10 non-typical points totaling 37 1/8 inches resulting in a final score of 179 2/8. The gross score of the rack is 191-1/8. That is enough to make it the fifth largest non-typical on record taken in Essex County.
Other notable racks from last season included a 16-point taken by Dave Edwards in Cortland County. The buck net scored 182-0 and grossed 206-0. It is the fourth largest typical buck ever shot in New York. The largest non-typical buck measured this year is a 15-pointer taken by Brandon Peters in Niagara County, Johndrow said. That buck net scored 194-0 with a gross score of 203.
Hunters have until May 1 to have their bucks scored for inclusion in the New York State Big Buck Club.
Johndrow is always more than happy to score a buck taken during last season or prior years and does not charge for the service. He can be reached at 585-4425 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is an entry fee of $15 for the New York State Big Buck Club and $40 for Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young.
The minimum net scores are New York State Big Buck Club: 140 typical and 165 non-typical [rifle]; 120 typical and 145 non-typical [bow].
• Boone & Crockett awards category: 160 typical and 185 non-typical. All time book is 170 typical and 195 non-typical.
• National Muzzleloader Association: 130 typical and 160 non-typical.
• Pope & Young [bow] is 125 typical and 155 non-typical.
John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. His column appears regularly.