Youth turkey hunting weekend underway

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Jim Shutt (left) and Jake Frost (right) show off Jake’s first turkey of the year. Jake shot the bird on Saturday, during the NYS youth turkey hunting weekend, which began on Saturday.

The 2019 spring turkey season opened this weekend, with the NYS youth turkey hunting weekend for 12 to 15 year old hunters. These young turkey hunters are allowed to harvest one male turkey which will count toward their two gobbler season limit. 14 year old Jake Frost is counting the days when the season opens on May 1, so he can try to get his next gobbler. Jim Shutt, Jake’s mentor, said earlier during the week that Jake was eagerly anticipating going out this weekend. Jake has tried before unsuccessfully to bag a bearded bird, but his hopes were high that this would be the year.

The two hunters went out before sunrise to one spot, but the woods were silent. Shutt had another area in mind, and the duo left for greener pastures. On the outskirts of Fredonia, while traveling along a dirt road, Shutt spied a hen turkey moving through the brush line. The two hunters grabbed their gear and set up with a tree to their backs. Shutt did some sweet talking on several of his turkey calls, and finally got a favorable response on his old reliable box call. They could hear the gobbler coming up out of a gully and Jim whispered to Jake, “He’s coming. When he walks between those two trees about 35 yards in front of us, shoot!”

You have to love it when a plan comes together. The bird was all fanned out in full strut, and after a short moment that must have felt like an eternity, the bird turned towards the hunters between the two trees. Jake raised the 20 gauge shotgun loaded with No. 5 shot and hit the bird in the chest breaking its wing. The young hunter was on him in a hurry and finished him off. Both hunters were happy with the way the 19-pound bird with a 10-inch beard responded to Shutt’s calling. You might say its was “purrr-fect.”

Jake has to wait at least 11 days before he can get another bird, but Jim reminded him that he wants to get a bird too. Jake is also looking forward to fishing for walleye this year. Send those stories in so we can share them with the readers. Let’s get more kids involved with the outdoors.

Calendar: The Chautauqua County Sportsmen Federation Banquet will be held on Monday, April 22 at Lake Wood Rod & Gun Club For tickets or information call 640-2776 or 499-8346.

There is a pistol course this Wednesday at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 5:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. There is a $85 fee for this course. Contact Gary Dudek for registration and information at 366-3397.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will host a chicken barbecue on Sunday, April 28. Cost is $10.

The Greater Lewiston Smelt Festival will be held on May 3, at the Lewiston Landing starting at 5 p.m. Go to for details.

On May 5, The Chautauqua Lake Walleye OPEN Tournament, Chautauqua Bassmasters at Long Point Park. Contact Mike Russo at (716) 640-6915 for details.

On May 11, Bison City Tackle Swap-flea Market from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Contact Willie Sieber at 626-0660 for details.

May 18 is The Southtowns Walleye Association Perch Tournament from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Must be a member. Call 649-8202 for details.

May 19 is the Crappie Team OPEN at Chautauqua Lake. Contact Mike Russo at 640-6915 for info.

From May 10-19, Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby. Info call 1-888-REEL-2-IN. or

Free Monday night fly tying instruction is held at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, located at Mullet Street in Dunkirk. Classes are for all levels of fly tying, but especially for beginners. No equipment is necessary. All participants get to keep their productions. Classes are from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The classes are open to the public. Sometimes they even have homemade cookies! Note that The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program have changed the dates to their program to Mondays from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia. This program is in its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 410-7003 or

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or any other outdoors event, and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second Street, Dunkirk, NY 14048, or call the sports department at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.

Note: If you have a big game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000, ext. 5, after 6 p.m. or email