Steve Piatt

New York hunting buddies connect on multi-bearded gobblers [photo]

Amsterdam, N.Y. — Eric Lawler and longtime hunting buddy Jerrod Vila had a goal in mind this spring: to double up on spring gobblers. Not just on the same day, but at the same time using the popular – and often failed – “1, 2, shoot!” method. When it works, it’s memorable. The hunting duo had no idea just how…

New York callmaker gobbles up awards at NWTF competition

Lockport, N.Y. — Scott Witter didn’t even hunt turkeys until the spring of 2009. How, then, has the Lockport (Niagara County) man soared from a neophyte turkey hunter nearly 10 years ago to one of the top turkey callmakers in the country? There are several reasons, actually. A lengthy history as a talented woodworker, a good ear for sound, a…

In the invasive pest world, looks can be deceiving

Perhaps nowhere is the phrase “looks can be deceiving” more appropriate than when applied to the mute swan. Yes, they are beautiful. But they are much different than the trumpeter swan, despite the physical similarities. The non-native, invasive species displace native wildlife species, degrade water quality, destroy submerged aquatic vegetation, are troublesome in the area of airports, and can even be aggressive toward humans. Yes,…

A beech bonanza may make for tough hunting

This encounter with an incredible supply of beech nuts was amazing.I hunted fall turkeys one day last week in Tioga County, visiting Pete Clare at his storied Turkey Trot Acres hunting lodge, where fall turkey hunting with dogs has emerged as an autumn tradition, albeit a shortened one given New York state’s fairly brief fall turkey hunting season. It was an enjoyable…