Local hunter nabs Wild Turkey Grand Slam

Sportsman’s Journal

Submitted Photo Ray Budniewski completed the Wild Turkey Royal Grand Slam, by taking a Gould’s turkey at Rancho Mababi, Mexico.

Local veteran turkey hunter Ray Budniewski recently fulfilled his quest to complete the Wild Turkey Grand Slam. Ray and his wife, Chris, had been planning a trip to Tucson, Arizona to hunt a Gould’s turkey since the fall of last year. They contacted Ted Jaycox of Tail Tine Outfitters who hooked the Budniewskis and three other hunters up with a Gould’s turkey hunt in Sonora, Mexico. The group stayed at Rancho Mabali for their hunt.

Ray recalled how on the first afternoon, Ray and another hunter traveled for 45 minutes where they were taken to their blind on the 5,000 acre ranch. Using the blind for concealment, the guide then set out decoys. The guide intended to do all the calling, but Ray had brought all his own calls and insisted on doing his own sweet talking. The customer won out and Ray felt confident in his ability. The hunters draw for who gets to shoot first and Ray had first crack at the birds. On the first stroke of his box call, Ray had a positive response from a bird in the distance. Ray had to work that bird for three hours before the bird, followed by two hens, came into the decoys. With one shot at 30 yards, Ray sealed the deal.

When Ray returned to camp, he found that he was the first one to fill his turkey tag with a bird that weighed in at 19.2 pounds, with a 9-inch beard and 1-inch spurs. Over the course of the next few days, all the other hunters successfully filled their turkey tags. The Gould’s turkey filled Ray’s Wild Turkey Grand Slam. Congratulations.

Upon arrival back in New York State, Ray has set his sights on another NYS Spring turkey.

Calendar: Expect County Executive George Borello and the Sport Fishing Advisory Crew to soon start visiting local schools who participated in this year’s essay contest.

The fly tying instruction classes have resumed at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, in Dunkirk. The tyers will also be in action on Saturday, June 1 for the Take-A-Kid Fishing day event. Sign-up sheets for the Con Club annual Take-A-Kid-Fishing Day on June 1, are now available at the Con Club.

Take-A-Kid-Fishing Day at the Con Club is open primarily for club members. However. The “Con Club” has never refused anyone who would like to attend the event and learn how to fish. New attendees receive a brand new fishing rod and reel, as well as a fishing gear. All the kids receive a T-shirt and veteran kids get a tackle grab bag. We meet at the Dunkirk Yacht Club in Memorial park and start fishing at 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. Then, they meet back at the Con Club for a picnic and hands on activities that include one on one archery shooting at 3-D targets, a safe shooing range for the youngsters, how to tie flies course and more. All for $10. Kids must have a parent or guardian in attendance. You can also sign-up by calling 366-1772 before June 1.

Walleye season opened statewide on the first Saturday of May. NYS fishing regulations used to have a lunker bass season that opened up also on the first Saturday in May. That regulation has now changed and opens on Lake Erie and it’s tributaries on December 1 until the third Saturday in June and allows anglers to harvest one 20-inch minimum bass per day. (See page 46 of Rules and Regulations.)

There will be a pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on May 25 from 5:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. There is an $80 fee for this course. Contact Gary at 366-3397 for details.

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

The next State of Lake Erie meeting will be on Wednesday, May 22 at Woodlawn State Park. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 9 p.m. Open to the public. Guest speakers to be announced. This event is Open to the public.

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 sports@observertoday.com.