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conservation chatter corner

with ron schroder

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YOUR IN ON THE OUTDOORS FOR WESTERN NEW YORK
www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com

 

2 - 24 - 17

Welcome to this week's Conservation Chatter Corner - little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT ON FISH CREEK UNIT MANAGEMENT PLAN:  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is beginning the process of developing the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for 3,464 acres of State Forest land in the Kasoag, Klondike, Orton Hollow, and Stone Hill State Forests. The lands are located in the Oswego County towns of Amboy and Williamstown. UMPs assess the natural, physical, social, and recreational resources of the landscape and provide a solid foundation for the development of long-term land management goals, objectives, and actions.

The public is invited to share ideas about plan development during the scoping period, which runs from February 15 - March 15, 2017. The public is invited and encouraged to provide feedback in a number of ways, including:

In person: Two public input sessions at Williamstown Community Center located at 2910 County Route 17, Williamstown, NY 13493, are scheduled for:
Tuesday, February 28 (snow date Tuesday, March 7) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 2 (snow date Tuesday, March 7) from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The public is encouraged to visit either session at any time during these hours. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodation in advance to DEC at (315) 298-7467. These sessions provide an opportunity for the public to meet with DEC staff and share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions regarding the management of lands in these forests. These sessions are the first of many opportunities for the public to be involved in the planning process.

By mail: Written comments/ideas for the draft UMP development should be mailed by March 15 to:

NYS DEC
Attn: Erin Jennings, Forester and Land Manager
Division of Lands and Forests
2133 County Route 22
Altmar, NY 13302

By email: Comments and ideas can be emailed to R7.UMP@dec.ny.gov by March 15.

By Phone: Questions and comments can also be directed by phone to DEC Forester and Land Manager Erin Jennings at (315) 298-7467.

Additional information on the State Forests found on the Fish Creek Unit is available on the following web pages on DEC's website:

Kasoag State Forest

Klondike State Forest

Orton Hollow State Forest

Stone Hill State Forest

 

BILL ON REQUIRING INSURANCE FOR GUNS INTRODUCED IN ASSEMBLY: An act, A2260, has been introduced by Assemblyman Ortiz to amend the insurance law, in relation to requiring owners of firearms to obtain liability insurance. It was read once and referred to the Committee on Insurance.

Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section  2353

to read as follows:

  S  2353.  FIREARM  OWNERS  INSURANCE POLICIES. 1. ANY PERSON IN THIS

STATE WHO SHALL OWN A FIREARM SHALL, PRIOR TO SUCH OWNERSHIP, OBTAIN AND CONTINUOUSLY MAINTAIN A POLICY OF LIABILITY INSURANCE IN AN  AMOUNT  NOT LESS  THAN  TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS SPECIFICALLY COVERING ANY DAMAGES RESULTING FROM ANY NEGLIGENT ACTS  INVOLVING  THE USE  OF  SUCH FIREARM  WHILE  IT  IS  OWNED  BY  SUCH PERSON. FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SUCH INSURANCE SHALL RESULT IN  THE  IMMEDIATE  REVOCATION  OF  SUCH  OWNER'S REGISTRATION, LICENSE AND ANY OTHER PRIVILEGE TO OWN SUCH FIREARM.

  2.  FOR  PURPOSES  OF THIS SECTION, A PERSON SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE THE

OWNER OF A FIREARM IF SUCH FIREARM IS LOST OR STOLEN UNTIL SUCH LOSS  OR

THEFT  IS  REPORTED TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OR SHERIFF WHICH HAS JURIS-

DICTION IN THE COUNTY,  TOWN,  CITY  OR  VILLAGE  IN  WHICH  SUCH  OWNER

RESIDES.

  3. ANY PERSON WHO OWNS A FIREARM ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION

SHALL  OBTAIN  THE INSURANCE REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION WITHIN THIRTY DAYS

OF SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE.

  4. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY PEACE OFFICER

WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO CARRY A FIREARM.

  5. THE DEPARTMENT IS HEREBY  AUTHORIZED  AND  DIRECTED  TO  PROMULGATE

RULES  AND  REGULATIONS  NECESSARY  TO  CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS

SECTION.

  S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall

have  become  a  law, provided, however, that effective immediately, the

addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule  or  regulation  necessary

for  the  implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized

to be made and completed on or before such date.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets

                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.

 

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR AND LET HIM/HER KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS.

 

LETTERS OF SUPPORT FOR A479 AND S1386 NEEDED!: The 2017 Legislative Session is well underway. Crossbow Bills A479 (Gunther) and S1386 (Gallivan) were introduced in early January and currently are sitting in the Environmental Conservation Committees in both the Assembly and Senate.

Support letters have been addressed to the Governor acknowledging his support for crossbow inclusion in the 2014 budget that got the current season, and asking for his support going forward in 2017. To date we have delivered over 1500 of those letters to his office.

With the introduction of the crossbow bills A479 and S1386 we are now asking that you submit a new letter of support that will be delivered to your legislators and the bill sponsors to show the widespread support that exists for crossbow inclusion across the state. Over the last 3 weekends we have collected more than 400 of these letters at sport shows and have recently placed the letter online for you to fill out. Follow this link to submit one. Legislator Support Letter.

Submitting the letters through NYCC, allows us to sort them by legislators and keep a running total of what has been recorded and delivered. If you have not already done so, please take the time to fill one out today, and then send the link to the online letter submission page to your family, friends, and hunting companions. However, you may also contact your Senator and Assemblymember directly to express your support.

The more letters submitted, the better our chances of having these bills acted upon this legislative session.

(Provided by the New York Crossbow Coalition)

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.

In 2016, the 286 ECOs across the state responded to 26,400 calls and issued 22,150 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

Venison for Sale on Craigslist - Chemung County: In late January, ECOs Shea Mathis and Erik Dalecki began an investigation after finding an ad on Craigslist offering venison for sale in Elmira. ECO Mathis set up a meeting with the seller, posing as a potential buyer. The subject knew that selling venison in New York State was illegal, but said he did it because he "needed the money." When the subject was confronted with the statutes of the law, he claimed he thought only restaurants couldn't sell the meat. The subject was issued a ticket for illegally selling venison, returnable to the Town of Elmira Court.

Illegal Doe Taken Out of Season - Herkimer County: On Feb. 3, ECO Darryl Lucas and Lt. Matthew Jacoby were investigating complaints of a recent string of deer jackings in the town of Danube. A tip came in describing a white, four-door sedan poaching deer between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 am. On patrol at 4:35 a.m., the officers noticed the suspect's vehicle slowly driving down a road and a passenger shining the fields with a spotlight. As the officers pulled out of a hiding spot to follow, a shot rang out from the vehicle. The officers immediately stopped the vehicle and found it occupied by three men. The ECOs noticed fresh deer hair sticking out of the trunk. Inside was a recently killed doe deer and a shotgun, which had been hidden in the trunk via a trapdoor in the backseat. The three suspects admitted that they had shot the deer in the trunk earlier that night in the town of Frankfort. The suspects provided additional information that they had taken more deer illegally on prior dates. ECOs Steven Lakeman and Ricardo Grisolini went to the Utica residence of one of the subjects where they recovered two more deer capes from the garage. ECO Corey Schoonover and K-9 Jake were called to the scene of the two shootings to help gather further evidence. The three men were each charged with taking deer with the aid of an artificial light (deer jacking), possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, spotlighting deer while possessing a firearm, and shooting from a public highway. The subjects were arraigned and are due back in Danube Town Court on Feb. 20.

 

PUBLIC INFORMATION SESSION ON HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLANS FOR HELMER CREEK AND WEST CAMERON WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public information session to provide information and answer questions about recently completed habitat management plans for Helmer Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in the town of Rathbone and the West Cameron WMA located in the town of Cameron, Steuben County.

The session will take place on Tuesday, February 28, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria at the Valley School located at 6786 County Route 119, in Cameron Mills. An open house will take place from 6:30 - 7 p.m., followed by a formal presentation at 7 p.m.

These WMAs are currently managed to provide a diversity of wildlife habitats, including hardwood and conifer forests, early-successional grasslands and shrublands, and several small ponds. DEC will continue active management on both Helmer Creek and West Cameron WMAs to benefit wildlife abundance and diversity, promote best management practices for targeted wildlife and habitats, and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation, such as hunting and bird watching. Planned management activities include timber harvests to manipulate forest habitat diversity, mowing and prescribed burning to maintain fields, and the control of invasive plant species.

The meeting will include a presentation about the history of management on these WMAs, specific activities and locations for the planned management actions, a brief overview of DEC's Young Forest Initiative, and a question and answer period.

The habitat management plan for Helmer Creek WMA can be found on DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/24438.html and the habitat management plan for West Cameron WMA can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/24447.html. For more information about this event please contact DEC Biologist Michael Palermo at (585) 226-5383.

 

STATEMENT ON SALMON CREEK AND CAYUGA LAKE WATER QUALITY IMPACTS:  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Tompkins County Health Department officials are responding to a manure spill that is currently impacting Salmon Creek and Cayuga Lake.

As a result of a structural issue with a satellite manure storage lagoon at Sunnyside Farm, emergency applications of manure were made to fields beginning Thursday, February 16th. Rapidly warming temperatures resulted in increased snowmelt that is now causing runoff of manure from several fields to enter Salmon Creek. A portion of the discharge has reached Cayuga Lake, but is not threatening municipal water supplies.

DEC continues to work directly with the farm owner and Tompkins County to address this issue. The county advises anyone on a beach well or using lake water in that area to avoid consumption until more information is available.

Residents that drink water from Southern Cayuga Lake Inter-municipal Water Commission (SCLIWC or Bolton Point) should not be affected. The treatment process at the Bolton Point plant should disinfect any contamination. Further protection is provided by the location of their intake - about 400 feet off shore and 60 feet deep.

Information on how to disinfect contaminated water can be found on the Tompkins County website.

State and county officials also advise avoiding direct contact with waters in Salmon Creek or on Cayuga Lake's shore near the Salmon Creek inlet.

Additional updates will be provided as they become available. For questions regarding drinking water please contact Tompkins County at 607-274-6688.

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

25 – 2nd Annual Sportsman’s Trade Show at the Locke Fire Department, 1050 State Route 38, Locke, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) Free. (For information call Joyce Ward 315-730-9730)         

25 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Twin Tiers Local Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at The Watson Homestead, 9620 Dry Run Road, Painted Post, NY (6:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Bill Spaulding   ccatering@stny.rr.com   607-962-2106)

25 - Chautauqua County Friends of NRA Banquet at the Samuel Derby Post 556 American Legion, 9 Meadow Lane, Frewsburg, NY (5:00 pm) (Cost: $35.00) (For information contact Charlie Cardinale at 716-267-7875 or email chazcardy@windstream.net)

25 - South Towns Chapter (Hamburg) 39th Annual DU Dinner at Kloc's Grove, 1245 Seneca Creek Road, West Seneca, New York (6:00 – 10:00 pm) (Cost: Single $60.00/Couple $80.00) (For information call Ron Sheldon  716 - 674 - 3075 or George Rockey  716 - 674 – 3075)

25 – Sap Seekers and Maple Munchers at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Search for signs of birds, squirrels and other animals that enjoy the sweet flavor of maple on this guided walk. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

25 – Birding 101: Class #2 at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (2:30 pm) Join us for a bird identification adventure. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

25 - Friends of NRA Event at the Samuel Derby Post 556 American Legion, 9 Meadow Lane, Frewsburg NY. (5:00 pm) (Cost: $35.00) (For information contact Charlie Cardinale   716-267-7875     chazcardy@windstream.net)

25 - Owl Night Hike at the Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum, 443 Coleman Avenue, Elmira, NY  (8:00 – 9:00 pm) Join Laine for a night hike to call in some of our native owls. She’ll begin the evening with some basics about owl habitats, diets, and behavior, and introduce you to Lucy and Sophie, our resident non-releasable owls. Then hit the trail! Dress for the weather, wear sturdy boots, and bring your own flashlight or headlamp. (Cost: Free) (For information call 607-732-6060)

25 - Spring Season Fly Tying at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (12:00 - 1:00 pm) Head over to our Fly-Fishing department where one of our expert Outfitters will be showing how to tie the best flies to catch big trout during this spring season! We’ll go over the importance of being able to match the hatch and set you up with everything you need to tie some killer flies! You can also test your skills at tying your own flies right here in the store! (For information call 716-608-4770)

25 - Steelhead Fishing Basics at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (1:00 - 2:00 pm) There’s nothing like the squeal of a tight drag while a giant steelhead bullets through the water! Stop by our Fishing department where one of our Outfitters will show you the ropes of how to increase your odds of landing a steelhead. From float fishing to jigging, we know all the techniques and gear necessary to turn you into a successful steelhead angler! (For information call 716-608-4770)

25 - Safety on the Water at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (2:00 - 3:00 pm) It’s always a fun time to hit the boat and spend the day on the water! What’s not so fun is running into a dangerous situation while away from shore. It’s time to get prepared and be ready for anything that might try and ruin your perfect day. Head over to our Marine department where we’ll show you everything you’ll need to be more than ready for your next outing! (For information call 716-608-4770)

25-26 - Niagara Frontier – Medina Gun Show at the Ridgeway V.F.D., 11392 Ridge Road  (Route 104, Medina, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 65 tables. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com)

28 - End of Hunting Seasons for Squirrels, Grouse, Cottontail Rabbits, Pheasant (in the Southern Tier Portion of Western New York) & Varying Hare (Snowshoe Rabbit) (in Central and Eastern New York)

MARCH 2017

1 – Start of Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on North McMillan Creek and Conesus Inlet WMA from Conesus Lake South to the Dam (Livingston County) except the canal west of the inlet and that portion of the north of the canal. (>5/5)

1 - National Wild Turkey Federation – The Forest Kings Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at Sean Patrick's "Emerald Isle", 3480 Millersport Hwy, Amherst, NY (6:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Sam Troup  716-631-3500)

1 -  Cayuga Lake Birding Tour meeting at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (1:00 – 4:00 pm) Cayuga Lake is an Audubon designated Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that use the lake during winter and migration seasons.  Hop in the Montezuma Audubon Center van for an excursion to the northern part of the lake where up to 30 species of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Bald Eagles and Snowy Owls are a possibility too! Participants are encouraged to bring their camera. (Fee: $8/child, $15.00/adult.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

4 - Start of Canada Goose Season - Part 4 - in the South Zone (>3/10/17)

4 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Lake Country Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Clifton Springs Country Club, 2721 Hopewell-Townline Road, Clifton Springs, NY (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Michael Marvin   585-738-8031

4 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Southern Tier Local Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Owego Treadway, Route 17C, Owego, NY (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Andrew Munson   amunson@stny.rr.com   607-722-0572)

4 - 26TH Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Owego Treadway Inn, Route. 17C, Owego, NY (5:00 – 10:00 pm) Games, Silent Auction, Live Auction, Raffles, Buffet dinner. (No contact listed.)

4 - Whitetails Unlimited – Broome County Chapter Hunters Night Out at the Double Tree by Hilton, 225 Water Street, Binghamton, NY. Deadline for ticket sales – 2-25-17. (Cost: Adult - $50.00/Spouse - $30.00/Youth - $30.00) Through our Grassroots Program, WTU provides grants to local projects and activities that advance our mission. Proceeds from this event will benefit youth conservation and training event. (For information call Adam Hall at, 607-279-0227 or go to http://www.whitetailsunlimited.com/events/banquets/)

4 - Wyoming, Genesee County Pheasants Forever Banquet at the Alexander Fire Hall, Alexander, NY. (5:30 pm) (For information call Tom Kelsey at 585-591-0609.)

4 – Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet at Burgundy Basin Inn, Pittsford. (5:00 pm) (For information call Peter Castronovo at 585-889-8599.)

4 - Sugaring at Sprague’s at Sprague’s Maple Farms, 1048 Route 305, Portville, NY (10:00 – 11:30 am) The Creation of maple syrup has been around for some 300 years and has a very interesting history. Join us for a guided tour through the maple trees and sugaring operation at Sprague’s Maple Farms and learn the art of sugaring from our local experts. Remain past the tour and sample the syrup during a delicious breakfast at the restaurant. The tour is free and open to the public but the cost of breakfast is the responsibility of each participant. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required and can be done through Pfeiffer Nature Center by 4 pm, Thursday, March 2nd, 2017. Sign up on the programs Calendar on our website at www.pfeiffernaturecenter.org or contact the office at 716-933-0187.

4-5 - Twin Tiers Outdoor Expo at the First Arena, 155 N. Main Street, Elmira, NY (Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am - 4:00 pm) Event features many seminars and a sales area. (For information go to www.twintiersoutdoorexpo.com)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for B AYour In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

 

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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2 - 17 - 17

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

NO LICENSE FISHING THIS WEEKEND - FEBRUARY 18 & 19: The first of several free fishing days in New York State for 2017 will take place next weekend on Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19. During these designated days, New York residents and non-residents are permitted to fish for free without a fishing license. Anglers are reminded that fishing regulations remain in effect during these days.

Free fishing days are the perfect opportunity for both beginning anglers that want to learn more about fishing and also those interested in getting back into the sport. Of New York’s 7,500 lakes and ponds and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, exceptional fishing opportunities aren’t far away!

Additional free fishing days slated for 2017 include:

June 24-25

September 23 (National Hunting and Fishing Day)

November 11 (Veterans Day)

Those new to ice fishing are encouraged to download the Introduction to Ice Fishing chapter of DEC’s new I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing for information on how to get started with ice fishing. Additional information, including tips on ice fishing safety and a list of waters open to ice fishing, can be found at DEC’s ice fishing web page.

 

DEC ANNOUNCES STATE OF LAKE ONTARIO MEETINGS: The public will have the opportunity to learn about the state of Lake Ontario fisheries at public meetings held in Niagara, Monroe, and Oswego counties in March, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Lake Ontario and its embayments and tributaries support thriving populations of fish, including a variety of trout and salmon, bass, walleye, yellow perch, and panfish. New York's Lake Ontario waters comprise more than 2.7 million acres. A recent statewide angler survey estimated that more than 2.6 million angler days were spent on Lake Ontario and its major tributaries. The estimated value of these fisheries exceeded $112 million annually for local economies.

The meeting dates and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, March 7: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport, Niagara County. The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.

Thursday, March 9: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus (Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) - Carlson Auditorium), Rochester, Monroe County. The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board.

Monday, March 13: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski, Oswego County. The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association. In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 14.

Staff from DEC, the United States Geological Survey, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will share presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries in the lake and its tributaries, forage fish, and stocking programs. The meetings will provide ample time at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters.

Information about DEC's Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs can be found on DEC's website. For additional information contact Steven LaPan, New York Great Lakes Fisheries Section Head at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station, (315) 654-2147.

 

2016 BEAR HARVEST RESULTS: Bear hunters in New York State took 1,539 black bears during the 2016 hunting seasons.

 

                2015 File Photo

Hunters took a total of 1,025 black bears in the Southern Zone, about 10 percent fewer than in 2015, but slightly more than the recent five-year average. Nearly equal numbers of bears were taken during the bow season, 379 bears, and regular season, 398 bears. The early season, which occurs only in a handful of management units in the Catskill region, yielded 228 bears.

In the Northern Zone, 514 bears were harvested, approximately 12 percent fewer than in 2015, but on par with the historical average. Bear harvest in the Northern Zone tends to alternate between strong harvests during the early season one year, followed by strong harvests during the regular season the next year, based primarily on cycles of food availability. In 2016, hunters were most successful during the early season, taking 238 bears, while the regular season produced 167 bears.

New in 2016, junior hunters were allowed to take black bears during the Youth Firearms Big Game Hunt over Columbus Day weekend. That hunt overlapped with the early bear season in the Northern Zone. Ten junior hunters in the Southern Zone were able to take advantage of the new opportunity and harvest a bear.

2016 Black Bear Harvest & Recent Trend Comparison

                                          2016                    2015                    Recent 5 Year Average

Northern Zone                 514                      583                      472

Southern Zone              1,025                   1,132                   987

Statewide                        1,539                   1,715                   1,459

 

Notable Numbers

One bear per 3.3 square miles --- by Wildlife Management Unit (WMU), the greatest bear harvest density occurred in WMU 3K, which includes portions of Sullivan and Orange counties. However, the town of Minisink in Orange County (WMU 3M) produced one bear for every 1.9 square miles.

107 --- the greatest number of bears reported taken on any one day, the opening day of the regular firearms season in the Southern Zone.

555 pounds --- the heaviest dressed weight bear reported to DEC in 2016, taken in the town of Brandon, Franklin County. A 540-pound dressed weight bear was reportedly taken in the town of Walton in Delaware County, and seven bears were reported with dressed weights between 400-500 pounds. Scaled weights of dressed bears were submitted for 22 percent of the bears taken in 2016.

25 --- the number of tagged bears reported in the 2016 harvest. These included six bears originally tagged in Pennsylvania, five from New Jersey, and one from Vermont. The remainder were originally tagged in New York for a variety of reasons including research, nuisance response, relocated urban bears, or released rehabilitated bears.

A complete summary of the 2016 bear harvest with results and maps by county, town, and WMU is available at DEC's website.

 

ECO AND FOREST RANGER RECRUITS START TRAINING ACADEMY: The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) opened the 21st Basic School for Uniformed Officers, the 28-week training academy in Pulaski that will prepare the new class of recruits for careers as Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and Forest Rangers. The academy began Sunday, Feb. 12, with 34 ECO and 11 Ranger candidates reporting for duty. The recruits hail from 28 counties across New York State and range in age from 22 to 44 years old. Graduation is tentatively scheduled for August 25.

Throughout the academy, which runs during the week from Sunday evenings to Friday afternoons, recruits will log 1288 hours of training. While the first few weeks focus primarily on basic police skills such as physical training, drill and ceremony, and computer skills, recruits will later delve into intensive instruction, like firearms training, swiftwater rescues, wildland fire suppression, and emergency vehicle operation.

An ECO's job duties are centered on the 71 chapters of New York State Environmental Conservation Law and can range from investigating deer poaching to conducting surveillance on a company suspected of dumping chemical waste to checking fishing licenses on a local waterway. In 2016, ECOs responded to more than 26,400 calls and issued more than 22,150 tickets.

"Since 1880, but now more than ever, the mission of the Division of Law Enforcement is vital to the protection of New York's abundant natural resources," said Division of Law Enforcement Director Joseph Schneider. "From Montauk Point to the City of Buffalo to deep in the Adirondack wilderness, ECOs are the Thin Green Line protecting New Yorkers from environmental damage and exploitation, whether enforcing clean air and water regulations, supporting fish and wildlife laws, investigating large scale environmental crimes, or ensuring solid waste management."

Forest Rangers' duties focus on the public's use of DEC-administered state lands and forests and can span from patrolling state properties to conducting search and rescue operations to fighting forest fires.

In 2016, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 356 search and rescue missions, extinguished 185 wildfires that burned a total of 4,191 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in nearly 3,000 tickets or arrests.

ECOs and Forest Rangers are full-fledged State Police officers and are often called upon to assist in some of New York's most important police work. These officers were among the first responders on the scene to help in the aftermath of Sept. 11, they assisted in Superstorm Sandy response, and helped in the 2015 search for two escaped felons from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.

The first Forest Rangers, originally known as Fire Wardens, were put into service in 1885 when the New York State Legislature established the Forest Preserve of New York State.

ECOs originally called Game Protectors, were first appointed for service in 1880, when there were just eight.

"I want, as game protectors, men of courage, resolution and hardihood who can handle the rifle, axe and paddle; who can camp out in summer or winter; who can go on snowshoes, if necessary; who can go through the woods by day or by night without regard to trails." - New York Gov. Teddy Roosevelt, 1899

The recruits in this newest class were selected from an eligible list of qualifications and passing scores generated from the most recent Civil Service exam, which was given in 2013. To view job qualifications for ECOs, visit the Environmental Conservation Officer job description web page and for Forest Rangers, visit the Forest Ranger job description web page.

For an inside look into what it takes to be an ECO or a Forest Ranger, watch a 4-minute clip from last year's Basic School for Uniformed Officers available on YouTube.

Upon graduation, recruits will be assigned patrol areas, typically consisting of one or two counties. They will join the ranks of 286 ECOs and 132 Forest Rangers currently serving across the state.

 

SPORTSMEN’S ALLIANCE LEGISLATIVE ACTION CENTER ALERT: New York Senator Brad M. Holyman (Manhattan) has introduced legislation that would prevent hunters from bringing trophies of the African “Big Five” animals through the New York and New Jersey Port Authority, closing off access to several of the nation’s most popular airports. Senate Bill 120 would stop trophies at major airports such as JFK International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia Airport, Stewart International Airport, Teterboro Airport and Atlantic City International Airport.

New Jersey approved similar legislation in 2016; however, the New York bill would apply to people from any state, whereas the New Jersey statute only applies to residents of that state. Meaning that even connecting flights destined for any other place in the U.S. would be banned from importing the animals through those major international hubs. 

Senate Bill 120 is just the latest overreaction to the “Cecil” the lion saga. Rather than provide protection for Africa’s Big Five, bills like SB 120 actually threaten the iconic species. Hunters who purchase permits to hunt the Big Five overseas generate significant revenue that fund many studies and anti-poaching efforts. If hunters are deterred from participating in these highly regulated hunts, a decline in revenue used by African countries and conservation organizations to protect these animals has been the result.

Take Action! Stop Senate Bill 120! Members of the hunting community should contact their elected officials and let them know that Senate Bill 120 will actually do harm to the populations of Big 5 wildlife. New York members can locate and contact their elected official by using the

Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

16-19 – Central New York (CNY) Winter Boat Show at the NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Wed., Thur. & Fri 1:00 – 9:00 pm/Sat. 10:00 am – 9:00 pm/Sun. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm) This event will showcase hundreds of new models of power and sail boats, including cruisers, sport boats, pontoon boats, personal watercraft, and docks. Also: Fishing guides, charter captains, water destinations, marine law enforcement agencies, Suddenly-In-Command water safety demonstrations with NY Sea Grant and USCGA. Come see the largest Upstate selection of boats on display in three huge buildings at the New York State Fairgrounds. (Cost: Adult $10.00/Children 13 and under FREE/Parking is FREE) (For information go to http://cnyboatshow.com/WINTER/A_bs_home.html)

17-18 - 18th Annual Northeast Wildlife Management Seminar at the Embassy Suites, 6646 Old Collamer Rd S, East Syracuse, NY. (8:00 am – 5:00 pm both days) Sponsored by the New York State Wildlife Management Association. This is your chance to learn the latest research and techniques from experts in the field of Wildlife Damage Management.  Tentative Topics: Accounting forNWCO’s; Chipmunk Control; Vole Control; Writing Contracts and Much More!! (Cost: $250-Members) (For information go to go to http://www.nyswma.org/seminar.php)

17-3/5 - Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic at the Bass Pro Shop store, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY. Bass Pro Shops’ Spring Fishing Classic offers sportsmen and women, kids, and families interested in fishing the opportunity to enjoy 17 days filled with the latest fishing gear, tips, outdoor celebrities, giveaways, and more. The Spring Fishing Classic provides opportunities for novice and experienced anglers to learn from the pros while kids can attend a fishing workshop, participate in the casting challenge, win prizes, and more during the Next Generation weekend. Customers that donate used rods and reels can receive trade-in savings and instant bonus offers up to $100. The used fishing equipment will be donated to local nonprofit organizations. (To see pros, seminars, topics, and times visit www.basspro.com/classic. For information call 315-258-2700 or email Manager_Finger_Lakes_NY@basspro.com)
18 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Cayuga County Longbeards Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Union Springs Hose & Engine Co., Cayuga Street (Route 90), Union Springs, NY (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Jason Barnes   frontenacfowlers@yahoo.com   315-406-4763)

18 - The 2017 Almost-Annual Crappie Derby on the Whitney Point Reservoir is Canceled. (For information go to nyscrappiederby@aol.com)

18 - #9 Late Ice Perch & Pike Derby 2017 sponsored by  Romigs Tavern, Bennington Drive, Rochester NY (Sunrise – 2:00 pm/Weigh in ends at 3:00 pm) (Entry Fee: $20.00) (For information call Kurt Hannabach 585-703-0349, Mike McCormick 585-944-0498, Mark Toomey 585-281-0526 or Mike Knittel 585-935-1407)

18 – Bluebird and Bat Houses sponsored by the Pfeiffer Nature Center, 1974 Lillibridge Road, Portville NY, (10:00-11:00 am or 11:00 am-Noon) Spring is just around the corner which means our wild friends will soon be looking for a place to roost and raise a family. Give them a helping hand by building a bat box, a bluebird box OR BOTH! These can be taken home or left with Pfeiffer Nature Center to be placed at the Lillibridge or Eshelman properties. Birding expert Tim Baird and Wildlife Biologist Mike Ermer will be on hand to answer questions about these amazing animals. Craftsmen Joe Leo and Craig Myers will lead the construction activities. This program will take place at the Home Depot, Olean. Pre-registration is required and can be done through Pfeiffer Nature Center by 4 pm, Thursday, February 16th. Reservations are limited and are on a “first come first serve basis”. (Program fee: $10 per box and group of builders (1-3 participants per group). Children must be accompanied by adults. Sign up on the programs Calendar on our website www.pfeiffernaturecenter.org or contact the office at 716-933-0187. (For informatio/register call 716-933-0187 or email naturalist@pfeiffernaturecenter.org)

18 - Rabbit Hunting Contest sponsored by the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY. Signup/entry is $5 per contestant. Non-members are allowed to participate, provided they are accompanied by a Con Club member. Weigh-in is from 2-3 p.m. sharp. Prizes and free food will be available. Stop at the Con Club for details.

18-19 - FREE FISHING WEEKEND in New York State. No license required.

18-19 – 3rd Annual Conesus Lake Frostbite Ice Derby headquartered at Ted’s Tackle, Lakeville, NY and sponsored by Ted’s and Critter Taxidermy. This is a multiple species contest -pike (4 prizes), bass (3 prizes), panfish (lot of 10/3 prizes), walleye (1 prize) and tiger muskies (1 prize). All profits from this derby will go to the Ronald McDonald House and the Myers Memorial Fund. Weigh in is by 1:00 pm, on the 19th at the Conesus Lake Sportsmen’s Club in Lakeville, NY. (For information call 585-429-0587 or email: ted.decker@yahoo.com.)

18-19 - Catteraugus County Sportsman Show at Seneca Allegany Event Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Hosted by York-Penn Shows of New York. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. 400 tables. (For information call James Buck at 716-569-6810 or email  topdrake@yahoo.com)

19 - Genesee Valley Trappers Association Fur Auction at the Clubhouse, 4462 County Road 32 (3 miles east of Honeoye, south of 20A), Honeoye, NY (6:30 am fur checkin/10:00 am auction) ($10.00 charge for non-members) (For information call Tom Miller, 585-229-4759)

19 - Pistol Permit Course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY. (5:30 - 10:30 pm) (Cost: $75.00) (For information contact Gary Dudek at 716-366-3397.)- The IA

20/21 C Wheatfield Gun Show at the Iroquois Arms Collectors of Western New York, 2176 Liberty Drive, Wheatfield, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. (Cost: $5.00) (For information call John Scozzafava at 716-694-7443 or email  janscozz12@gmail.com)

21-3/28 - Beginner Fly Tying Class offered by The Lake Erie Chapter of the International Federation of Fly Fishers at the Charles F. Burchfield Nature and Art Center, 2001 Union Road, West Seneca, NY (6:30 - 9:30 pm each Tuesday) (Cost: Lab fee is $30) If you have a tying vise, bring it along. If not, one will be provided. Download an application from www.lake-erie-fff.org. (For information call 716-875-4766)

22 - Learn to Cross-Country Ski at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:00 am) Learn the basics of cross-country skiing before going on a guided ski tour. (Ski rental $8/person; $5/Friends of Reinstein members.) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

24 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Niagara Falls Thundering Toms Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at The Como Restaurant, 2220 Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY (6:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Kenneth Young   kenyoung@kenyoungpaving.com   716-745-1239)

24 - Webster-Penfield 36th Annual DU Dinner at the Webster Golf Club, 440 Salt Road, Webster, New York (5:00 – 10:00 pm) (Cost: $75.00 single/$105 couple/$40.00 Greenwing) (For information call Gabe Speranza  585-313-1643)

24 - Montezuma Raptor Tour from the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (3:00 – 5:00 pm) Raptors have invaded the Montezuma Wetlands Complex and now is a great time to see them! Hop in the Montezuma Audubon Center van for an excursion to Montezuma’s premier birding locations to encounter snowy owls, short-eared owls, bald eagles, rough-legged hawks and more! Participants are encouraged to bring their camera. Binoculars and field guides will be provided.  (Fee: $8/child; $13.50/adult) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

25 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Twin Tiers Local Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at The Watson Homestead, 9620 Dry Run Road, Painted Post, NY (6:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Bill Spaulding   ccatering@stny.rr.com   607-962-2106)

25 - Chautauqua County Friends of NRA Banquet at the Samuel Derby Post 556 American Legion, 9 Meadow Lane, Frewsburg, NY (5:00 pm) (Cost: $35.00) (For information contact Charlie Cardinale at 716-267-7875 or email chazcardy@windstream.net)

25 - South Towns Chapter (Hamburg) 39th Annual DU Dinner at Kloc's Grove, 1245 Seneca Creek Road, West Seneca, New York (6:00 – 10:00 pm) (Cost: Single $60.00/Couple $80.00) (For information call Ron Sheldon  716 - 674 - 3075 or George Rockey  716 - 674 – 3075)

25 – Sap Seekers and Maple Munchers at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Search for signs of birds, squirrels and other animals that enjoy the sweet flavor of maple on this guided walk. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

25 – Birding 101: Class #2 at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (2:30 pm) Join us for a bird identification adventure. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

25 - Friends of NRA Event at the Samuel Derby Post 556 American Legion, 9 Meadow Lane, Frewsburg NY. (5:00 pm) (Cost: $35.00) (For information contact Charlie Cardinale   716-267-7875     chazcardy@windstream.net)

25 - Owl Night Hike at the Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum, 443 Coleman Avenue, Elmira, NY  (8:00 – 9:00 pm) Join Laine for a night hike to call in some of our native owls. She’ll begin the evening with some basics about owl habitats, diets, and behavior, and introduce you to Lucy and Sophie, our resident non-releasable owls. Then hit the trail! Dress for the weather, wear sturdy boots, and bring your own flashlight or headlamp. (Cost: Free) (For information call 607-732-6060)

25 - Spring Season Fly Tying at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (12:00 - 1:00 pm) Head over to our Fly-Fishing department where one of our expert Outfitters will be showing how to tie the best flies to catch big trout during this spring season! We’ll go over the importance of being able to match the hatch and set you up with everything you need to tie some killer flies! You can also test your skills at tying your own flies right here in the store! (For information call 716-608-4770)

25 - Steelhead Fishing Basics at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (1:00 - 2:00 pm) There’s nothing like the squeal of a tight drag while a giant steelhead bullets through the water! Stop by our Fishing department where one of our Outfitters will show you the ropes of how to increase your odds of landing a steelhead. From float fishing to jigging, we know all the techniques and gear necessary to turn you into a successful steelhead angler! (For information call 716-608-4770)

25 - Safety on the Water at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (2:00 - 3:00 pm) It’s always a fun time to hit the boat and spend the day on the water! What’s not so fun is running into a dangerous situation while away from shore. It’s time to get prepared and be ready for anything that might try and ruin your perfect day. Head over to our Marine department where we’ll show you everything you’ll need to be more than ready for your next outing! (For information call 716-608-4770)

25-26 - Niagara Frontier – Medina Gun Show at the Ridgeway V.F.D., 11392 Ridge Road  (Route 104, Medina, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 65 tables. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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2 - 10 - 17

Welcome to this week's Conservation Chatter Corner, little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

DEC'S TREE NURSERY OFFERS VARIETY OF SEEDLINGS: More than 50 species of trees and shrubs from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Saratoga Tree Nursery are now available to public and private landowners and schools, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. Winter winds often cause blowing and drifting snow that can create hazardous road conditions, reduced visibility and other safety issues. Strong, cold winds may also reduce home heating efficiency, increase winter energy bills, and even impact unsheltered livestock herds. By planting rows of trees and shrubs at right angles to prevailing winds, an effective natural windbreak can be created.

"Living windbreaks can improve road conditions, protect livestock, create wildlife habitat, and save New Yorkers money on their utility bills," Commissioner Seggos said. "DEC's state tree nursery has a variety of seedling species for creating windbreaks. I encourage all New Yorkers to take advantage of this great resource and to work with our foresters and experts at the nursery to maximize the conservation benefits of your plantings."

Spruces, pines, shrub willows, dogwoods, high bush cranberry, winged sumac, white cedar, and wetland rose are among the 50 species available. The seedlings from the State's Saratoga Tree Nursery can also help landowners create wildlife habitat and improve air and water quality in their backyard. In addition, many types of trees and shrubs provide important food sources for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, which have declined over recent years.

The seedling sale provides low-cost, native planting materials from New York seed sources to encourage landowners to enhance the state's environment for future generations. Mixed species packets are also available. Enhancing habitat in your backyard is made easy with packets of trees and shrubs for your specific planting goals including enhancement of ruffed grouse habitat, Long Island habitat, and riparian and streamside habitat. All packets also include plant species that attract pollinators.

For more information, visit the Spring Seedling Sale web page on DEC's website.

Schools Can Complete Conservation Planting for Free

Schools across New York are eligible to receive free seedlings for spring planting through the DEC School Seedling Program, which provides 50 tree seedlings or a mixed packet of 30 wildlife shrubs to any public or private school that would like to participate. The seedlings can be planted on school grounds or other community spaces, and offer teachers a great resource to enhance environmental lessons.

Applications to participate are available at DEC's School Seedling Program website, or by contacting the Saratoga Tree Nursery at (518) 581-1439.

Interested schools can also contact the nearest DEC regional forestry office to request a "School Seedlings" brochure, which contains all the information necessary to place an order. Applications must be received at the nursery by March 31, 2017.

Order Your Saratoga Tree Nursery Bareroot Seedlings

Since the opening of the Saratoga Tree Nursery in 1911, more than 1.6 billion seedlings have been produced to enhance and protect New York's environment. For more information on the history and benefits of this program, visit the Saratoga Tree Nursery web page.

The Saratoga Tree Nursery primarily sells bare-root stock for direct plantings, but a few species are available as containerized stock. Landowners can receive planting advice from their nearest DEC forestry office or private forestry consultant. The 2017 Tree and Shrub brochure (PDF, 170 KB) can be found on DEC's Saratoga Tree Nursery Background web page, or by calling the Saratoga Tree Nursery at (518) 581-1439. Some species sell out quickly.

To order seedlings by phone, contact the nursery on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at (518) 587-1120. Mail orders are also accepted and can be sent to the NYSDEC Saratoga Tree Nursery, 2369 Route 50, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Orders may be placed through mid-May. Seedlings are shipped from mid-April to mid-May.

 

SNOWMOBILERS URGED TO FOLLOW DESIGNATED TRAILS AND AVOID FROZEN BODIES OF WATER: The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) are reminding snowmobilers to ride responsibly and put safety first as they enjoy the state's abundant snowmobiling opportunities.

"With recent tragedies in mind, DEC is encouraging snowmobilers to follow common sense safety recommendations. In addition to wearing a helmet, snowmobilers are encouraged to stick to designated trails," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Given the warmer temperatures we've had this winter, lakes and ponds that appear to be frozen over may be deceiving. Venturing out on ice that is not thick enough can lead to tragedy and we want to ensure that snowmobilers have an enjoyable time while also taking proper precautions to stay safe."

Four inches of ice is usually safe for accessing ice on foot. Double that thickness for snowmobile traveling on white ice. Ice thickness can vary on every body of water or even within the same body of water. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be considered evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Everyone operating a snowmobile should be familiar with safe riding practices and all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. The best way to learn is by taking a snowmobile safety course. To find a course, go to NYS Parks Snowmobile Education (leaves DEC's website) web page. A safety certificate is required for youth between ages 10 and 18.

Before heading out, riders are reminded to check trail conditions with local snowmobile clubs. To find a club, visit the New York State Snowmobile Association (leaves DEC's website) website.

Top safety recommendations include:

*Check over the snowmobile to make sure it is in good working order and carry emergency supplies.

*Always wear a helmet and make sure to wear the proper snowmobile gear including bibs, jackets, boots, and gloves.

*Always ride with a buddy or at least one other person.

*Ride responsibly. Ride within your ability, ride to the right, and operate at a safe and prudent speed at all times. Respect landowners, obey posted signs, and stay on the marked trail.

*Frozen bodies of water are not designated trails. If planning to ride on ice, proceed with caution and be aware of potential hazards under the snow. Wear a snowmobile suit with flotation built-in and carry a set of ice picks as a precaution.

*Never drink alcohol or use drugs and ride.

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) oversees the development, maintenance and oversight of a statewide snowmobile program, which features approximately 10,500 miles of state-designated snowmobile trails. For more information on snowmobiling in New York, visit the NYS Parks Snowmobiles (leaves DEC's website) web page.

 

PENNSYLVANIA 2015 BEAR HARVEST RANKS FIFTH ALL-TIME: Pennsylvania hunters harvested 3,529 bears in 2016, the fifth-highest tally in state history. To top it off, 60 of those bears weighed 500 pounds or more – 17 exceeded 600 pounds. The 2016 overall bear harvest was similar to 2015, when 3,748 bears, including 68 weighing 500 pounds or more, were taken.
The all-time bear harvest high was recorded in 2011, when 4,350 bears were harvested. Hunters in 2016 harvested bears in 58 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, an increase of one county compared to 2015. Bears again were taken in 20 of the state's 23 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). The Northwest Region was the only one of the Game Commission's six regions that had a harvest increase in 2016, compared to the previous year.
The largest bear taken in the harvest weighed an estimated 740 pounds. It was taken in Rayne Township, Indiana County, on Nov. 18 during the archery bear season by Dustin R. Learn, of Home, Pa. It was one of three bears taken by hunters that exceeded 700 pounds in the 2016 seasons.

 

SEMI-AUTOMATIC FIREARMS FOR HUNTING IN PA:  The Pennsylvania Game Commission has unanimously approved the use of semi-automatic firearms for hunting, including deer and bear. Originally, it was expected that the use of semi-automatic guns would be allowed for only small game and varmints, such as coyotes, to start. But the Commission took it a step further to include the fall turkey season, as well as bear, elk and deer.

The board will meet again on March 27 and 28, where the move will need to get final approval. It will also include a sunset provision which will expire on June 30, 2020, to allow the board to review the new measure.

 

INTERSTATE WILDLIFE VIOLATOR COMPACT HELPS DETER POACHERS: Anyone thinking of violating fish and wildlife laws needs to keep in mind that they cannot just hunt, fish or trap in another state if their licenses are revoked here. New York is one of 45 states belonging to the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC), which recognizes fish and wildlife related license suspensions of member states. Any person whose license privileges are suspended in one compact member state will have his or her licenses suspended in all other compact member states. The IWVC assures that in participating states, nonresident violators will receive the same treatment as resident violators.
A violator who fails to comply with the terms of a citation issued in a participating state also faces the possibility of suspension of their wildlife license privileges in the other member states until the terms of the citation are met. The goal of the IWVC is to improve enforcement of hunting, fishing and trapping laws through the cooperation of law enforcement units in member states.
The current (45) IWVC member states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. (http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/1486416328ap7sjwkrsp5)

 

BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY DUCKS UNLIMITED: On January 29, 2017, Ducks Unlimited Inc. celebrated 80 years of conservation success. There can be little doubt that when Joseph Knapp, Arthur Bartley, John Huntington, and Ray Benson gathered at Knapp's cabin on the Beaverkill River, they could not have imagined the impact their decision would make on North America's wetlands and waterfowl. Benson, who had been on the staff of the More Game Birds in America Foundation, threw his full support behind the evolution of More Game Birds into Ducks Unlimited. 

It had begun in earnest in the early 1930s in the midst of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Not only were millions of Americans out of work with more than 25 percent unemployment, but farms were literally "blowing away" as horrific dust storms extended all the way to the East Coast. There was no question that something had to be done to stabilize the soils and halt the devastating erosion that was occurring across the continent. At that time of overwhelming challenges, duck hunters asked Congress to make them buy a stamp in order to hunt waterfowl, but the earnings from the stamp had to be dedicated to wetlands and waterfowl habitat conservation. As a result, the 1934 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act (Duck Stamp) was born, and since then it has conserved more than 6 million acres of habitat. At the same time, science was emerging that indicated the importance of habitat conservation on the nesting grounds. Ducks Unlimited would address that issue.

From our inception until 1984, Ducks Unlimited Inc. raised funds and sent them to our sister organization, Ducks Unlimited Canada (formed in 1938), to do habitat conservation work in Canada. Initially, funds were contributed by a small number of large donors. Then, when veterans returned from World War II, there emerged a ground swell of rank-and-file members who wanted to make a positive difference in the world they had seen so viciously ravaged by war. Through efforts such as the "Duk-A-Nikel" program, individual hunting camps would raise money and contribute it to DU. Fundraising took a huge step forward in the 1960s with the serious advent of chapters and fundraising dinners. Prior to 1965, DU had never achieved the $1 million mark in annual fundraising. They surpassed that goal in 1966 and by 1976 had reached the $10 million target! This had been accomplished by hiring full-time staff to recruit and work with the rapidly increasing network of DU volunteers, who have become the shining examples of Aldo Leopold's "citizen conservationists." Today, DU proudly recognizes a volunteer support base of more than 56,000! In 1974, Ducks Unlimited de Mexico was incorporated to finish out the effort for a North American DU presence. 

In 1984, DU broke ground on the first project in the United States, and President Peter Coors announced that all states were now eligible for habitat conservation projects. This expansion of focus resulted from new science that strongly indicated the importance of migration and wintering habitat on the success of nesting birds, and also recognized the contribution of U.S. nesting grounds to North American waterfowl populations. As of June 30, 2016, the three DUs have conserved more than 13.8 million acres of wetlands and waterfowl habitat across the continent!

The success of Ducks Unlimited is a testament to the foresight, courage, and passion of generations of waterfowl hunter-conservationists and all those who care about the wonderful natural resource treasures we have been given to steward. So, congratulations to Ducks Unlimited for 80 years of selfless contributions to future generations. 

Happy Birthday, Ducks Unlimited!

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

10 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Cohocton Valley Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Friends Of Howard Building, Hopkins Road, Hornell, NY (6:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Jim Mcglynn  at  elkmcg@wildblue.net  607-776-6263)

10 - Home School Nature Series:  Mysteries of Ice at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) Homeschoolers ages 5-12 will learn about the amazing properties of water and how wetlands depend on it throughout the year.  We will strap on snowshoes and find out how birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians are surviving the winter. Be prepared to spend this session outside; winter hats, gloves, scarves, jackets and snow pants are a must! (Fee with snowshoe rental: $10/student, $5/adult. Fee without snowshoe rental: $8/student.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

10-12 - 10th Annual Federation Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County  3-Day Coyote Contest. Heaviest coyote $2000, $100 for every coyote entered.  Hunter registration $35,  includes free banquet dinner and gun raffle ticket.  Coyotes must be taken in New York State & the following Pennsylvania counties (Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, Lackawanna & Monroe) coyotes may be taken by legal means of the NYS & PA hunting & trapping rules & regulations. The hunter who makes the kill must present the coyote at weigh-in. (For information call Jack at 845- 482-4987)  

11 - NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Sodus Bay -  Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple Crown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete)Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

11 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Catharine Valley Long Spurs Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Watkins Glen Community Center, Route 414, Watkins Glen, NY (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Wally Wasson  wasson3970@aol.com   607-546-4859)

11 - Whitetails Unlimited – Pinnacle S3DA Chapter Hunters Night Out at the Pinnacle Athletic Campus, 7600 Pinnacle Drive, Victor, NY. Deadline for ticket sales – 2-6-17. (Cost: Adult - $45.00/Spouse - $30.00/Youth - $30.00) Through our Grassroots Program, WTU provides grants to local projects and activities that advance our mission. Proceeds from this event will benefit youth conservation and training event. (For information call Jason Minnamon, 585-433-2930 or go to http://www.whitetailsunlimited.com/events/banquets/)

11 - Nature of Montezuma Lecture Series – Bird Banding with Dr. John Van Niel at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 12:003:30 pm) Dr. Van Niel, a Professor of Environmental Conservation at Finger Lakes Community College, will demonstrate how to safely capture and handle songbirds, explain the scientific reasons for placing bands on birds and what information researchers can obtain from a bird "in the hand".  (Fee: $4/child, $6/adult, $20/family, free for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

11-12 - Niagara Frontier – Clarence Gun Show at 11177 Main Street, Clarence, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 100 tables. Buy, sell and trade, new and used, antique to modern firearms and ammunition. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (100 Tables) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email nfgshows@aol.com)

11-12 - Second Amendment Weekend Seminars at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (11:00 am - 2:00 pm) Seminars include:

11:00 am - Gun Cleaning Tips: Protect your firearms with regular cleaning done the right way. Let our outfitters show you the proper way to clean your handgun, rifle or shotgun and get acquainted with cleaning kits that make the process easier.

12:00 pm - Firearms Responsibility: Make sure you're doing everything possible to keep your firearm from ending up in the wrong hands. We'll break down the basics and help you stay up to speed with safety tips and help you explore your options when it comes to firearms storage.

12:00 pm - Purchasing Your First Firearm- Where to Start?: Are you looking into purchasing your first firearm? Stop by and let our outfitters share some tips and show some beginners firearms to help you make the right choice when making your first purchase. (For information call 716-608-4770)

15 - End of Hunting & Trapping Seasons for Weasel, Skunk, Opossum, Raccoon & Fox.

15 - End of Trapping Seasons for Coyote, Mink and Muskrat.

15 - End of Trapping Seasons for Beaver in most of Western New York

16-19 – Central New York (CNY) Winter Boat Show at the NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Wed., Thur. & Fri 1:00 – 9:00 pm/Sat. 10:00 am – 9:00 pm/Sun. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm) This event will showcase hundreds of new models of power and sail boats, including cruisers, sport boats, pontoon boats, personal watercraft, and docks. Also: Fishing guides, charter captains, water destinations, marine law enforcement agencies, Suddenly-In-Command water safety demonstrations with NY Sea Grant and USCGA. Come see the largest Upstate selection of boats on display in three huge buildings at the New York State Fairgrounds. (Cost: Adult $10.00/Children 13 and under FREE/Parking is FREE) (For information go to http://cnyboatshow.com/WINTER/A_bs_home.html)

17-18 - 18th Annual Northeast Wildlife Management Seminar at the Embassy Suites, 6646 Old Collamer Rd S, East Syracuse, NY. (8:00 am – 5:00 pm both days) Sponsored by the New York State Wildlife Management Association. This is your chance to learn the latest research and techniques from experts in the field of Wildlife Damage Management.  Tentative Topics: Accounting forNWCO’s; Chipmunk Control; Vole Control; Writing Contracts and Much More!! (Cost: $250-Members) (For information go to go to http://www.nyswma.org/seminar.php)

17-3/5 - Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic at the Bass Pro Shop store, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY. Bass Pro Shops’ Spring Fishing Classic offers sportsmen and women, kids, and families interested in fishing the opportunity to enjoy 17 days filled with the latest fishing gear, tips, outdoor celebrities, giveaways, and more. The Spring Fishing Classic provides opportunities for novice and experienced anglers to learn from the pros while kids can attend a fishing workshop, participate in the casting challenge, win prizes, and more during the Next Generation weekend. Customers that donate used rods and reels can receive trade-in savings and instant bonus offers up to $100. The used fishing equipment will be donated to local nonprofit organizations. (To see pros, seminars, topics, and times visit www.basspro.com/classic. For information call 315-258-2700 or email Manager_Finger_Lakes_NY@basspro.com)
18 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Cayuga County Longbeards Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Union Springs Hose & Engine Co., Cayuga Street (Route 90), Union Springs, NY (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Jason Barnes   frontenacfowlers@yahoo.com   315-406-4763)

18 - The 2017 Almost-Annual Crappie Derby on the Whitney Point Reservoir. This year it’s  tied into NYS’s Free Fishing weekend. It will include education, such as seminars and/or demonstrations along with this. (For information go to nyscrappiederby@aol.com)

18 - #9 Late Ice Perch & Pike Derby 2017 sponsored by  Romigs Tavern, Bennington Drive, Rochester NY (Sunrise – 2:00 pm/Weigh in ends at 3:00 pm) (Entry Fee: $20.00) (For information call Kurt Hannabach 585-703-0349, Mike McCormick 585-944-0498, Mark Toomey 585-281-0526 or Mike Knittel 585-935-1407)

18 Bluebird and Bat Houses sponsored by the Pfeiffer Nature Center, 1974 Lillibridge Road, Portville NY, (10:00-11:00 am or 11:00 am-Noon) Spring is just around the corner which means our wild friends will soon be looking for a place to roost and raise a family. Give them a helping hand by building a bat box, a bluebird box OR BOTH! These can be taken home or left with Pfeiffer Nature Center to be placed at the Lillibridge or Eshelman properties. Birding expert Tim Baird and Wildlife Biologist Mike Ermer will be on hand to answer questions about these amazing animals. Craftsmen Joe Leo and Craig Myers will lead the construction activities. This program will take place at the Home Depot, Olean. Pre-registration is required and can be done through Pfeiffer Nature Center by 4 pm, Thursday, February 16th. Reservations are limited and are on a “first come first serve basis”. (Program fee: $10 per box and group of builders (1-3 participants per group). Children must be accompanied by adults. Sign up on the programs Calendar on our website www.pfeiffernaturecenter.org or contact the office at 716-933-0187. (For informatio/register call 716-933-0187 or email naturalist@pfeiffernaturecenter.org)

18-19 - FREE FISHING WEEKEND in New York State. No license required.

18-19 3rd Annual Conesus Lake Frostbite Ice Derby headquartered at Ted’s Tackle, Lakeville, NY and sponsored by Ted’s and Critter Taxidermy. This is a multiple species contest -pike (4 prizes), bass (3 prizes), panfish (lot of 10/3 prizes), walleye (1 prize) and tiger muskies (1 prize). All profits from this derby will go to the Ronald McDonald House and the Myers Memorial Fund. Weigh in is by 1:00 pm, on the 19th at the Conesus Lake Sportsmen’s Club in Lakeville, NY. (For information call 585-429-0587 or email: ted.decker@yahoo.com.)

18-19 - Catteraugus County Sportsman Show at Seneca Allegany Event Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Hosted by York-Penn Shows of New York. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. 400 tables. (For information call James Buck at 716-569-6810 or email  topdrake@yahoo.com)

19 - Genesee Valley Trappers Association Fur Auction at the Clubhouse, 4462 County Road 32 (3 miles east of Honeoye, south of 20A), Honeoye, NY (6:30 am fur checkin/10:00 am auction) ($10.00 charge for non-members) (For information call Tom Miller, 585-229-4759)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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2 - 3 - 17

Welcome to this week's Conservation Chatter Corner, little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

 

2017 CROSSBOW BILLS FILED:

The 2017 Legislative Session began January 4th. "Same-As" Crossbow Bills have been submitted into the Senate and Assembly and were referred to their respective Environmental Conservation Committees awaiting action.

The 2017 Bill numbers are Senate Bill S1386 (Gallivan) and Assembly Bill Number A479 (Gunther). The purpose of the Bills is to clarify that the taking of deer, bear, small game, fish and wild upland game birds by crossbow is akin to the taking of such game by a longbow; removes restrictions related to the maximum peak draw weight and minimum limb width; establishes parity in relation to the minimum distance with which a crossbow could be discharged from an occupied structure consistent with that of a longbow; clarifies use of a crossbow in relation to the hunter safety course be presented as part of the bow hunter education course; and permits the use of a crossbow by youth hunters 12 and 13 years of age.

These bills are the same ones that were submitted in 2016, only with new numbers for 2017.

Contact your legislators and voice your support.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Illegal Piranha Possession - Onondaga County: ECO Don Damrath had been following a Facebook post from a 23-year-old Skaneateles man attempting to sell a red-bellied Piranha and a venomous Yellow Leaf Scorpion Fish for several weeks when, on Jan. 14, the ECO contacted the seller. During the subsequent interview, the man indicated that he had been unable to sell the fish but had left the piranha at a tropical fish store. The subject was charged with having unlawfully possessed the illegal fish.

Over-limit Duck Hunter caught by Off Duty ECOs - Cayuga County: On Jan. 15, off duty ECOs Scott Angotti and Josh Crain were waterfowl hunting on Owasco Lake in the town of Scipio when they observed three individuals shoot a large group of Redhead ducks swimming into the men's decoy spread. The three subjects all emptied their shotguns into the flock, killing a total of 35 Redhead ducks and possibly wounding several others. ECOs Angotti and Crain immediately contacted local ECO Scott Sincebaugh, approached the three hunters, and identified themselves as ECOs. ECO Sincebaugh arrived a short time later and issued the hunters tickets for taking over the aggregate limit of ducks, as well as taking over the daily limit of Redheads. One of the hunters was also charged with possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, hunting without a license, and not participating in the Harvest Information Program.

A Little Bit of Everything in That Fire - Erie County: On Jan. 15, while on patrol, ECO Chuck Wilson observed a man standing next to a large pile of smoking debris. By the time ECO Wilson turned around and returned to the residence, the pile was fully engulfed in flames. It was immediately apparent that the fire contained construction and demolition debris, including cabinets, plastics, linoleum flooring, cardboard, and painted lumber. The man tending the fire admitted that he owned a small construction company and the debris was brought in from one of his job sites, stating, "There's a little bit of everything in there." The subject was issued appearance tickets for unlawfully disposing of solid waste at other than an approved facility and unlawful open burning.

 

2016 HUNTING SAFETY STATISTICS: Reports on the number of hunting-related shooting incidents indicate that 2016 had the lowest number on record in New York with just 13 personal injury incidents. Starting with 2013, the last four years were the top four safest in New York. Unfortunately in 2016, despite the lowest number of hunter-related shooting incidents on record, there were four fatalities.

Type                                 2016                    Past 5-year average

Total Incidents                 13                        20.2

Fatal                                  4                          1.8

Non-fatal                           9                          18.4

Self-Inflicted                      7                          10.4

Two-Party                         6                          13.4

SPECIES HUNTED

Big Game: Bear                0                          0.4

                     Deer              8                          10.4

Turkey: Spring                   1                          0.8

                Fall                     0                          0.4

Upland/Furbearer:

     Rabbits                         0                          0.4

     Squirrels                       1                          2.2

     Upland Birds                0                          0.4

     Raccoon                      0                          0.6

     Fox & Coyote               0                          0.8

     Waterfowl                    1                          1.8

Other:

     Woodchuck                 0                          0.4

     Other                           2                          1.4

     Unknown                     0                          0.2

Type of Implement

     Shotgun                      4                          7.8

     Rifle                            9                          9.4

     Handgun                     0                          1.2

     Muzzleloader              0                          0.8

     Crossbow                   0                          0.2

     Bow                            0                          0.4

     Air Gun                       0                          0.4

 

The Stories behind the Statistics: Hunting-Related Shooting Incidents 2016: Preliminary descriptions of incidents as of 1/20/17. Many of the incidents reported here are still under investigation by NYS DEC Division of Law Enforcement.

Small Game & NonGame

4/3 - Lewis. Self-inflicted - The victim sustained an injury to the left foot when he discharged one round while loading the magazine of his shotgun during a pigeon hunt.

7/2 - Clinton. Self-inflicted - The victim was attempting to shoot a beaver under a nuisance permit when the third shot from the firearm discharged causing severe damage to the victim’s hand.

11/2 - Fulton. Self-inflicted - The victim was hunting squirrels from his tree stand, and when he pulled his rifle into the stand with a rope tied around the trigger, the rifle discharged one round into his leg.

Waterfowl Hunting

2/21 - Ontario. Self-inflicted - The victim shot himself in the left foot while hunting geese.

Turkey Hunting

5/21 – Otsego. The victim sustained several pellet wounds to the shoulder and upper torso. He was calling turkeys from a hedgerow when a shooter discharged one round at movement in the brush.

Big Game Hunting

10/24 - Oneida. Self-inflicted - The victim sustained a fatal wound to the head/neck area while hunting deer.

11/19 - Schuyler. The victim was setting up a deer decoy by his hunting blind when he was struck in the upper right thigh by a rifle bullet.

11/24 - Albany. After completing the day’s hunt the shooter was unloading his rifle and discharged one round resulting in bullet fragments striking the victim in the shoulder.

11/24 - Oswego. The victim sustained a fatal wound to the chest when he was mistaken for a deer while deer hunting.

11/27 – Livingston. The victim sustained a fatal wound to the abdomen when another member of the hunting party unslung his shotgun, which caused it to discharge.

11/28 - Chautauqua. Self-inflicted. The victim sustained a fatal wound to the chest at the base of his tree stand.

11/29 - Columbia. The victim sustained a wound to the lower torso/hip while walking in a field.

12/6 - Chenango. Self-inflicted. The victim sustained a wound to the right hand resulting in the loss of four fingers.

 

CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY YOUNG BIRDERS EVENT:  The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is excited to host our annual Young Birders Event, which will be held July 6 – 9, 2017 in Ithaca, New York. The Young Birders Event aims to bring together teenagers (students who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors) with a passion for birds who are interested in pursuing a career with birds. The participants will meet people who have successful careers that involve birds in a variety of ways from ornithological researchers to tour leaders, to audio specialists and computer scientists. To apply fill out the application form and return it by 15 March. Sixteen young birders will be selected and notified in mid-April. Please share this information with any young birders you know! Thanks to our sponsors of the Young Birders Event: Carl Zeiss Sport Optics, Princeton University Press and the Wild Birds Unlimited at Sapsucker Woods.

The Young Birder's Event will feature: two days of field trips; presentations by Cornell Lab of Ornithology staff including professors, researchers, and students who will share various ways to incorporate birds into a career; eBird and field notes workshop; sound recording workshop

tour of the Cornell Lab including the Macaulay Library and Museum of Vertebrates and dinner with Cornell Lab Directors and Staff.
In order to provide the best possible experience, the event is limited to sixteen students. Students are selected on the basis of their application answers. Admission is very competitive and we encourage thoughtful responses to each question (limited to 300 words per question).
Application Deadline: 15 March 2016
Tuition: $600 - Travel expenses to and from Ithaca are not covered in the tuition.
More at:
http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/yb2017/
For additional information please contact Jessie Barry:
jb794@cornell.edu.

 

PENNSYLVANIA ENDS PHEASANT CHICK AND EGG PROGRAMS: Two long-running programs that enabled groups and individuals to raise pheasants for release in their local areas have come to an end due to financially driven changes to the Game Commission's pheasant propagation program. The Pheasant Chick Program, started in 1933, provided day-old pheasant chicks free of charge to sportsmen's organizations with approved propagation facilities. And the Day-Old Pheasant Hen Chick and Surplus Egg Programs enabled properly permitted organizations and individuals to buy chicks and eggs to raise and release. Each of the programs served to augment the pheasant releases the Game Commission conducts each year before and during the pheasant hunting season. The birds that went to sportsmen's organizations were released on lands open to public hunting.
In an effort to cut costs, however, the Game Commission is implementing changes to its pheasant propagation program. The agency recently announced the closure of two pheasant farms, and will rely on the remaining two farms for all production. In closing the farms, the agency has also released birds that would have been kept as breeding stock. Rather than raising chicks from the eggs laid by these birds, the agency will purchase day-old chicks from a privately owned breeder, and raise those birds for release. Purchasing chicks is more cost-effective. And in making the switch and eliminating 14 positions that had been held by game-farm workers, the agency expects to save $1.5 million in the coming year.
The Board of Game Commissioners also is discussing creation of a $25 permit that would be required for all adult pheasant hunters, and would further help pay for Pennsylvania's propagation program.
Unlike most state agencies, the Pennsylvania Game Commission in not funded by tax dollars. It relies primarily on revenue generated through the purchase of hunting and furtaker licenses – the fees for which are set by the General Assembly and have not been adjusted for inflation in nearly two decades.

l

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

4 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Niagara Frontier Chapter Banquet at Banchetti's Banquet Facility, 550 N. French Road, Amherst, NY (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Albert Gai at  tilliesg2001@yahoo.com   716-937-3271)

4 - 2017 NYS Ice Pro-Am Tournament Team-Only Event on Oneida Lake. All IPA events (Pro-Am Division) will be limited to the 1st 100 teams that register. All teams must register via mail-in entry form and payment of tournament fees by December 13th. (Entry fee: $100/team) Full IPA events will allow OPEN anglers only to bring fish to weigh-in locations via ice or vehicle to accomodate all anglers. Fish must be caught on event waterway the day of the event. Information regarding the NYS Ice Pro-Am (NYS IPA) can be found at: www.NYSiceproam.com or you can call Tim Thomas at 585-330-0494)

4 - Learn to Cross-Country Ski at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:00 am) Learn the basics of cross-country skiing before going on a guided ski tour. (Ski rental $8/person; $5/Friends of Reinstein members.) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

4 - NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Oneida Lake - Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple Crown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete)
Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

4 - The Annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Association (Sunrise – 2:00 pm) Tournament boundaries include Lake Ontario and its tributaries, as well as the Lower Niagara River. Fish can be caught from boat or shore. Sign up at Lewiston Landing at the launch ramp starting at 5:30 a.m. Awards ceremony and after party will be held at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall, 145-6th Street, Lewiston starting at 3 p.m. Cost is $20 for entry plus $20 for NRAA membership. An optional $5 cost is available for anyone looking to compete for the biggest brown trout. For more information check out www.niagarariveranglers.com or call Paul Jackson at 731-4780. Entry forms should also be available at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston and The Slippery Sinker in Olcott.

4-5 - S-VE Sportsman’s Club Sportsman Days at the Spencer-Van Etten High School, S-VE High School, 16 Darts Cross Road, Spencer, NY (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Sponsored by the Spencer-Van Etten High School Sportsman’s Club. From hunting with dogs to hunting with guides. Artists, taxidermists, wood carvers, archery shops, fishing experts and guides. Archery range and fly casting area for kids. Free venison samples. Youth 3D archery tournament. Youth game calling contest. National Guard, seminars, Book Signing, DEC officers and Cornell deer researchers. Bring your deer mounts to hang in our “hall of Horns”. Food and drinks available for sale by our student council. Free! (For information call Doug 607-589-6512 or email @ cheveefann@aol.com)

4-12 - The Great American Outdoor Show at the State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, PA. The show features over 1,100 exhibitors ranging from shooting manufacturers to outfitters to fishing boats and RVs, and archery to art covering 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space! Not to mention a jam packed schedule including country concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations and much more! (Cost: $35.00) (For information go to greatamericanoutdoorshow.org )

5 - Niagara Frontier - Alexander Gun Show at the Alexander Fireman’s Rec Hall, 10708 Alexander Road (Route 98)  Alexander, NY (8:00 am – 3:00pm) 100 tables. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com

10 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Cohocton Valley Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Friends Of Howard Building, Hopkins Road, Hornell, NY (6:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Jim Mcglynn  at  elkmcg@wildblue.net  607-776-6263)

10 - Home School Nature Series:  Mysteries of Ice at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) Homeschoolers ages 5-12 will learn about the amazing properties of water and how wetlands depend on it throughout the year.  We will strap on snowshoes and find out how birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians are surviving the winter. Be prepared to spend this session outside; winter hats, gloves, scarves, jackets and snow pants are a must! (Fee with snowshoe rental: $10/student, $5/adult. Fee without snowshoe rental: $8/student.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

10-12 - 10th Annual Federation Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County  3-Day Coyote Contest. Heaviest coyote $2000, $100 for every coyote entered.  Hunter registration $35,  includes free banquet dinner and gun raffle ticket.  Coyotes must be taken in New York State & the following Pennsylvania counties (Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, Lackawanna & Monroe) coyotes may be taken by legal means of the NYS & PA hunting & trapping rules & regulations. The hunter who makes the kill must present the coyote at weigh-in. (For information call Jack at 845- 482-4987)  

11 - NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Sodus Bay -  Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple Crown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete)Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

11 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Catharine Valley Long Spurs Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Watkins Glen Community Center, Route 414, Watkins Glen, NY (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Wally Wasson  wasson3970@aol.com   607-546-4859)

11 - Whitetails Unlimited – Pinnacle S3DA Chapter Hunters Night Out at the Pinnacle Athletic Campus, 7600 Pinnacle Drive, Victor, NY. Deadline for ticket sales – 2-6-17. (Cost: Adult - $45.00/Spouse - $30.00/Youth - $30.00) Through our Grassroots Program, WTU provides grants to local projects and activities that advance our mission. Proceeds from this event will benefit youth conservation and training event. (For information call Jason Minnamon, 585-433-2930 or go to http://www.whitetailsunlimited.com/events/banquets/)

11 - Nature of Montezuma Lecture Series – Bird Banding with Dr. John Van Niel at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 12:003:30 pm) Dr. Van Niel, a Professor of Environmental Conservation at Finger Lakes Community College, will demonstrate how to safely capture and handle songbirds, explain the scientific reasons for placing bands on birds and what information researchers can obtain from a bird "in the hand".  (Fee: $4/child, $6/adult, $20/family, free for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

11-12 - Niagara Frontier – Clarence Gun Show at 11177 Main Street, Clarence, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 100 tables. Buy, sell and trade, new and used, antique to modern firearms and ammunition. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (100 Tables) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email nfgshows@aol.com)

11-12 -  Second Amendment Weekend Seminars at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (11:00 am - 2:00 pm) Seminars include:

11:00 am - Gun Cleaning Tips: Protect your firearms with regular cleaning done the right way. Let our outfitters show you the proper way to clean your handgun, rifle or shotgun and get acquainted with cleaning kits that make the process easier.

12:00 pm - Firearms Responsibility: Make sure you're doing everything possible to keep your firearm from ending up in the wrong hands. We'll break down the basics and help you stay up to speed with safety tips and help you explore your options when it comes to firearms storage.

12:00 pm - Purchasing Your First Firearm- Where to Start?: Are you looking into purchasing your first firearm? Stop by and let our outfitters share some tips and show some beginners firearms to help you make the right choice when making your first purchase. (For information call 716-608-4770) 

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

OHIO ICE FISHERMEN DROWN: The bodies of two men who fell through the ice while ice fishing on Sandy Pond in Oswego, last Monday, were recovered following a search by the Coast Guard and first responders from partnering agencies. Shortly after 11 a.m., a watchstander at Coast Guard Station Oswego received a call from 911 dispatch stating that a good Samaritan reported seeing individuals in the water about one-quarter of a mile offshore in Sandy Pond. An ice rescue team from Coast Guard Station Oswego responded. Rescue personnel from Sandy Creek Fire Department, the State Police, Oswego County Sheriff's Department, and local EMS also responded. When rescuers arrived on scene, one of the fishermen had already gone under water, while the other man was clinging to the edge of the ice. During the attempt to reach the man, he slipped under water and did not resurface. After searching more than four hours, members of the Sandy Creek Fire Department Dive Team recovered the two fishermen near the area where they fell through the ice.
Earlier in the search, the Coast Guard requested assistance from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Ontario, Canada. Rescue crews aboard a Griffin helicopter and a C-130 assisted in the search. The Coast Guard also launched a rescue crew aboard a Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit. However, they were instructed to return to base after the two fishermen were recovered.
The Coast Guard is reminding those who recreate outdoors to be aware of weakening ice as a result of recent warm temperatures. Ice is unpredictable and can be extremely dangerous.

(http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/148529561755yfn3zkky1)

 

HUNTER INPUT SOUGHT ON FALL 2017 WATERFOWL SEASONS: Hunters are invited to submit recommendations to regional Waterfowl Hunter Task Forces to help set the dates of the fall 2017 duck hunting seasons for each of the state's waterfowl hunting zones by Feb. 19, 2017.

DEC evaluates Waterfowl Hunter Task Force recommendations in setting waterfowl seasons, which must comply with federal rules. New York is divided into five waterfowl hunting zones: Western, Southeastern, Northeastern, Lake Champlain, and Long Island. DEC appointed task forces for each zone (except Lake Champlain) are soliciting recommendations for the fall 2017 hunting seasons, including opening and closing dates, split seasons, and a special hunting weekend for junior hunters (hunters ages 12-15).

Each task force includes representatives from the New York State Conservation Council, established waterfowl hunting organizations, and individual waterfowl hunters who provide input representing diverse points of view.

Waterfowl seasons in the Lake Champlain Zone will continue to be set by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Management Board with input from DEC and waterfowl hunters in New York and Vermont. Although there is no formal task force for this zone, hunters can send their suggestions to any DEC season-setting Task Force member (see below).

The recommended season dates must be within federal guidelines established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). For fall 2017, DEC expects the USFWS to allow a 60-day duck season, split into no more than two segments per zone, opening no earlier than Sept. 23, 2017, and closing no later than Jan. 28, 2018.

In an effort to encourage input from the public, DEC developed an on-line input tool for hunters to provide opinions on waterfowl seasons. The feedback received will be summarized and shared with the task forces at their annual meetings in March. The task force uses this feedback, as well as feedback received from other sources to develop season date recommendations.

There are three ways for interested hunters to provide their opinions on future waterfowl seasons:

*Via DEC's on-line hunter input tool.

*Directly contacting one of the Task Force members in the hunter's zone. The list of members can be found online at the Waterfowl Season Input web page on DEC's website.

*Sending an e-mail to the Waterfowl Season Input mailbox (seasonwaterfowl@dec.ny.gov). Suggestions sent to this mailbox will be forwarded to all of the task force members in the zone.

Descriptions of New York State's waterfowl hunting zones can be found on the DEC website and are listed in the annual New York Hunting and Trapping Guide. The final waterfowl hunting season dates will be posted on DEC's website and announced by news release in mid-summer.

 

NEW YORK SENATOR WANTS GUN OWNERS TO FUND VIOLENCE RESEARCH: A New York City Senator wants to tax gun purchases to fund research on violence in the state. Senator Brad Holyman (D-Manhattan) introduced Senate Bill 63, which would add an additional fee of five dollars to each firearm purchase by the University of New York and the state Department of Health. The fee would be used to fund gun-violence research. SB 63 is still waiting to be heard in the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee. 

Senate Bill 63 follows an alarming trend in which gun owners and sportsmen are held financially responsible for the actions of criminals. Crime and violence prevention is a concern for all citizens, and funding programs aimed at these issues should be borne by all citizens rather than scapegoating a certain segment of those law-abiding citizens.  

SB 63 leaves the tax open ended, and does not specify when the need for the research funding will come to an end. 

Contact your state senators and tell them to vote “NO on SB 63.” Let your senator know that it is unfair to target hunters and legal gun owners to fund criminal justice research. New York members can contact their state legislator by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.

 

APPLICATIONS FOR COOPERATIVE "RAISE AND RELEASE" PROGRAM DUE BY MARCH 25:  Applications for Cooperative "Raise and Release" Program Due by March 25

The opening of the application period for the cooperative Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program to enhance opportunities for pheasant hunting in New York has begun, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

The program provides pheasant hunting opportunities through a partnership among DEC, sportsmen and sportswomen, 4-H youth groups, and landowners interested in rearing and releasing pheasants. The program is funded through the State Conservation Fund, which is supported by license fees paid by hunters, trappers, and anglers.

The Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program began in the early 1900s, when pheasant eggs and chicks were distributed to farmers and rural youth. Today, day-old chicks are available at no cost to participants who are able to provide a brooding facility, a covered outdoor rearing pen, and an adequate release site.

Daily care is necessary to monitor the health of the birds and to ensure there is adequate feed and water for the rapidly growing chicks. The pheasants may be released when they are eight weeks old and no later than Dec. 1. Approved applicants will receive the day-old chicks in April, May, or June. All release sites must be approved in advance by DEC and must be open for public pheasant hunting opportunities.

In 2016, DEC distributed more than 34,000 day-old pheasant chicks to qualified applicants. Individuals interested in this program should contact the nearest DEC regional wildlife office for applications and additional information (see information below). Applications must be filed with a DEC regional wildlife manager by March 25. A "Pheasant Rearing Guide" and applications are also available on DEC's website. Regional Wildlife Managers of western/central New York are:

R7 - Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga, and Tompkins counties:
1285 Fisher Ave.
Cortland, NY 13045
(607) 753-3095 x 247

R8 - Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Yates counties:
6274 East Avon-Lima Rd.
Avon, NY 14414
(585) 226-5380

R9 - Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Niagara, and Wyoming counties:
182 East Union, Suite 3
Allegany, NY 14706-1328
(716) 372-0645

 

FALLING THROUGH THIN ICE – WHAT TO DO: A news item above carries the story of a pair of Ohio ice fishermen who drowned last Monday after falling through the ice on Sandy Pond in Oswego. Ice fishing is one of the great winter sports, but it's dangerous. This season's crazy temperature swings have made it an even more hazardous undertaking. Here’s what to do if you go through:

*Brace Yourself: This may be difficult to do at first but due to the immediate change in body temperature and shock from the cold water, the body's immediate reaction is going to be to gasp for air and hyperventilate. Breathing in the freezing water increases the chances of drowning.
*Keep Calm: Do not flail your arms; this will release more body heat. The body loses 32 times more heat in cold water than in cold air. Panicking will do nothing, keep your head above the water, grab onto the ice in the direction you came from. This ice should be strong enough to help you out of the water.
*Do Not Undress Winter Clothes: Keep winter clothing on while in the water, it will not drag you down. It will help keep in body heat and any air inside the clothing will help you float.
*Get Horizontal: Once you've gotten most of your upper body out of the water, kick your legs as strongly as possible in hopes of getting yourself out of the water and onto the ice.
*Roll Onto The Ice: Do not stand up, roll over the ice once you're out to help prevent more cracks in the ice and from falling in again. Always stay off ice that's only 3 inches thick or less.
*Retrace Your Steps: Once out and far enough away from the hole, trace your footsteps back to safety. Take it slow because your body is still dealing with the affects of the freezing water.
*Throw, Don't Go: Never enter the water to rescue someone. If someone is there to help you it is safer for that person to throw a lifesaving device, branch, coat, or rope into the water, wait until you grab hold and then tow you to safety. Otherwise you could both end up in the water.
*Get Warm: Once out of the water seek medical attention to bring body temperature back to normal.

(http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/148529561755yfn3zkky1)

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

27-29 - New York Sportsman’s Expo in the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Fri - Noon to 8:00 pm/Sat – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm/Sun – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) This year's show will include more than 40 new exhibits, including outfitters from across the globe  . The schedule also includes seminars a kids' trout pond and more. (Admission: $10 ages 13-64; $5 for children 6 – 12; 5 and under no charge. Seniors are $7 and Military/Fire and Police are $7 with ID) (For information go to http://www.newyorksportsmansexpo.com/ )

27-29 - Bark at the Moon Coyote Club, New York State Predator Hunt & Expo, Carey Lake Party House, Walworth, NY. (For information call Andrew Lewand, 585-223-5324)

28 - Whitetails Unlimited Central New York Deer Camp at the Holiday Inn Syracuse/Liverpool, 441 Electronics Parkway, Liverpool, NY. . The deadline ticket date is January 21, 2017. Tickets may be ordered online at www.whitetailsunlimited.com or by phone - 1-800-274-5471. (Cost $45.00/$30.00 youth.) Everyone goes home with a Deer Camp Tour 2017 Shirt! (For information, call John Hunter at (607) 426-8292 or email jhunterwtu@yahoo.com.
28 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Wyoming County Gobbers Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Alexander Fire Hall, 10505 Main Street, Alexander, NY (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Jason Valentine at 410-598-2290)

28 – White-tail Winter Walk at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 pm) Ever wonder how white-tailed deer survive in the winter and what they eat? We will discuss some facts about our resident deer and then take a walk on the trails in search of them. For adults and children ages 12 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

28 – The Oneida Lake Perch Team Ice Fishing Derby headquartered at Bartel Road Bait & Tackle, Brewerton, NY.  (7:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information and registration contact Christopher Jones at 530-9916176  email: bigbuck326@aol.com or Jim Bogardus at 315-593-1457  email: jboggey1@gmail.com)

28 – Owls, Owls, Owls (with live birds) at the Seneca Meadows Education Center, 1977 State Route 414, Seneca Falls, NY (3:00 – 4:00 pm) Come meet Herbie the Great Horned Owl, Orin the Screech Owl, Mystical the Barred Owl and their much misunderstood friend, Vinnie the Turkey Vulture! These friends are a hoot! (Cost: $5.00 per person OR $15 per family) (For information/register call 315-539-5624 or email seneca.meadows@progressivewaste.com)

28 - Wild Game for the Big Game at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Have you heard of “living off the land”, “sustainable living” or the “locavore movement”?  Growing, raising, and hunting your own food is not only cost effective, but leads to a healthier life.  Do you want to get involved but not sure how? Join us for this new program that will be led by Montezuma’s wildlife biologists and NYSDEC environmental conservation officers. The morning session will highlight the proper way to harvest and store wild game. The afternoon session will showcase the proper cooking techniques to ensure the tastiest meals. This program will provide new and seasoned wild game chefs with fun recipes to serve at your Super Bowl party to score a touchdown!  Lunch will be a locavore potluck, so please bring a small dish to pass.  Space is limited. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.  (Fee: $15/child, $20/adult.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

28 - Power Sports Open House at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (11:00am-5:00pm) Just because it's snowing outside doesn't mean you can't start thinking about that new fishing boat.  Stop in to Cabela's this weekend for our Power Sports open house.  Check out some of the new 2017 models we have in stock and chat with our fishing Pro-Staffers on the best ways to outfit your boat for the upcoming fishing season. 

-->Recieve a $1,000 Cabela's Gift Card with the purchase of a 2016 or older new boat

-->Alumacash Red Tag Sale up to $1,500 rebates on select models

-->Cabela's Pro-Staff will be on site to answer your fishing questions

-->Cabela's Power Sports Service Team will be available for questions in our service department and you will receive 10% off coupons for service

-->FREE Food and refreshments through out the day

-->Boats on display from Alumacraft, Lowe, and Ranger

(For information call 716-608-4770)

28 - Big Game Sunday Appetizer Ideas at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (3:00 pm - 7:00 pm) Big Game Sunday Appetizer Samples: Cabelaâ??s-Style â?? Hosting a group hungry football fanatics for the big game? Looking for the right appetizer recipes to impress your guests? Join us as our Outfitters demonstrate some of their favorite wild game, and Super Bowl snack recipes prepared using a variety of Cabelaâ??s products. (For information call 716-608-4770)

28-29 – IAC Wheatfield Gun Show at the Frontier Fire Hall, 2176 Liberty Drive, Niagara Falls, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) Hosted by the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce. 60 booths. (Admission: $5.00) (For information call John Scozzafava at 716-694-7443 or email  janscozz12@gmail.com or go to iroquoisarmscollectors@gmail.com)

29 – NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Chaumont Bay – Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple Crown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete) Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

29 – Learn to Cross-Country Ski at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:00 am) Learn the basics of cross-country skiing before going on a guided ski tour. (Ski rental $8/person; $5/Friends of Reinstein members.) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

30-2/27 - NY State Winter Classic Ice Fishing Tournament, Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (Every Monday, 01/30-02/27 11:00am-11:00pm)

Cabela’s is excited to be a sponsor of the 2017 New York State Winter Classic Ice Fishing Tournament.  Stop in to the store to register for the tournament or bring your fish in to be weighed by one of our Outfitters.  You'll also have a chance to win a Cabela's ice shelter. Registration will take place at our customer service counter. (For more information on the tournament, please visit www.nysiceproam.com.) 

31 - End of Hunting Season for Varying Hare (Snowshoe Rabbit) in the Southern Tier portion of Western New York

FEBRUARY 2017

1 – Deadline for submitting nominations to the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame. (For information visit www.nysohof.org.)

2 - Cayuga Lake Waterfowl Tour meeting at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (2:00 – 4:30 pm) Cayuga Lake is an Audubon designated Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that use the lake during winter and migration seasons.  Hop in the Montezuma Audubon Center van for an excursion to the northern part of the lake where up to 30 species of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Bald Eagles and Snowy Owls are a possibility too! Participants are encouraged to bring their camera. (Fee: $8/child, $15.00/adult.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

4 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Niagara Frontier Chapter Banquet at Banchetti's Banquet Facility, 550 N. French Road, Amherst, NY (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Albert Gai at  tilliesg2001@yahoo.com   716-937-3271)

4 - 2017 NYS Ice Pro-Am Tournament Team-Only Event on Oneida Lake. All IPA events (Pro-Am Division) will be limited to the 1st 100 teams that register. All teams must register via mail-in entry form and payment of tournament fees by December 13th. (Entry fee: $100/team) Full IPA events will allow OPEN anglers only to bring fish to weigh-in locations via ice or vehicle to accomodate all anglers. Fish must be caught on event waterway the day of the event. Information regarding the NYS Ice Pro-Am (NYS IPA) can be found at: www.NYSiceproam.com or you can call Tim Thomas at 585-330-0494)

4 - Learn to Cross-Country Ski at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:00 am) Learn the basics of cross-country skiing before going on a guided ski tour. (Ski rental $8/person; $5/Friends of Reinstein members.) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

4 - NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Oneida Lake - Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple Crown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete)
Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

4 - The Annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Association (Sunrise – 2:00 pm) Tournament boundaries include Lake Ontario and its tributaries, as well as the Lower Niagara River. Fish can be caught from boat or shore. Sign up at Lewiston Landing at the launch ramp starting at 5:30 a.m. Awards ceremony and after party will be held at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall, 145-6th Street, Lewiston starting at 3 p.m. Cost is $20 for entry plus $20 for NRAA membership. An optional $5 cost is available for anyone looking to compete for the biggest brown trout. For more information check out www.niagarariveranglers.com or call Paul Jackson at 731-4780. Entry forms should also be available at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston and The Slippery Sinker in Olcott.

4-5 - S-VE Sportsman’s Club Sportsman Days at the Spencer-Van Etten High School, S-VE High School, 16 Darts Cross Road, Spencer, NY (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Sponsored by the Spencer-Van Etten High School Sportsman’s Club. From hunting with dogs to hunting with guides. Artists, taxidermists, wood carvers, archery shops, fishing experts and guides. Archery range and fly casting area for kids. Free venison samples. Youth 3D archery tournament. Youth game calling contest. National Guard, seminars, Book Signing, DEC officers and Cornell deer researchers. Bring your deer mounts to hang in our “hall of Horns”. Food and drinks available for sale by our student council. Free! (For information call Doug 607-589-6512 or email @ cheveefann@aol.com)

4-12 - The Great American Outdoor Show at the State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, PA. The show features over 1,100 exhibitors ranging from shooting manufacturers to outfitters to fishing boats and RVs, and archery to art covering 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space! Not to mention a jam packed schedule including country concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations and much more! (Cost: $35.00) (For information go to greatamericanoutdoorshow.org )

5 - Niagara Frontier - Alexander Gun Show at the Alexander Fireman’s Rec Hall, 10708 Alexander Road (Route 98)  Alexander, NY (8:00 am – 3:00pm) 100 tables. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

ANNUAL TREE AND SHRUB SEEDLING SALE AND GIVEAWAY: More than 50 species of trees and shrubs are now available to schools and public and private landowners at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Saratoga Tree Nursery. The Saratoga Tree Nursery provides trees for erosion control, wildlife habitat, reforestation and other uses.

The program provides low-cost, native planting materials from New York sources to encourage landowners to enhance the state's environment for future generations. The Saratoga Tree Nursery also offers a few non-native species which can enhance wildlife plantings and/or assist with stream bank stabilization. For instance, toringo crabapple provides a winter food source for wild turkey, grouse and deer and streamco willow is used in many stabilization projects.

The minimum order is 25 for conifers, hardwoods and wildlife shrubs and 50 for container stock. Mixed species packets of 30-100 wildlife shrubs are also available for homeowners to attract wildlife. The Saratoga Tree Nursery sells primarily bare-root stock, but a few species are available as containerized stock (grown in a greenhouse). Landowners can get planting advice from their nearest DEC forestry office or private forestry consultant. The 2012 Tree and Shrub brochure can be found on the DEC's website or by calling the Saratoga Tree Nursery at (518) 581-1439.

To order seedlings by phone, call the Saratoga Tree Nursery on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at (518) 587-1120. Mail orders are also accepted and can be sent to the NYS DEC Saratoga Tree Nursery, 2369 Route 50, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Orders may be placed through mid-May. Seedlings are shipped from mid-April to mid -May.

Schools across New York can receive free seedlings for spring planting through the DEC School Seedling Program which provides 50 tree seedlings or a mixed packet of 30 wildlife shrubs to any public or private school that would like to participate.

The seedlings can be planted on school grounds or other community spaces. Teachers and students are encouraged to plan the project ahead of time by discussing the value trees contribute to the environment and to determine the objectives of tree planting.

To participate in DEC's School Seedling Program, schools should download an application from DEC's website, contact the Saratoga Tree Nursery at (518) 581-1439 or contact the nearest DEC regional forestry office to request a "School Seedlings" brochure. The brochure contains all the information necessary to place an order. Applications must be received at the nursery by April 15, 2017.

 

DEC SUMMER CAMPS: Online registration for the 2017 summer camp program will open January 25, 2017 at 10 a.m., according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Applications will be submitted through the online registration program available through DEC's summer camp website.

Now in its 70th year, the summer camp program offers week-long adventures in conservation education for children ages 11-17. DEC operates four residential camps for children: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake (Franklin County); Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor (Sullivan County); Camp Rushford in Caneadea (Allegany County); and Pack Forest in Warrensburg (Warren County). All four camps offer programs for children aged 11-13, while Pack Forest hosts children aged 14-17 for six weeks and Camp Rushford offers two weeks of programs for children aged 14-17. The complete schedule of camp offerings is available on the summer camp's website and the online registration program.

Campers participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities including fishing, bird watching, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering, and hunter safety education. Campers also learn ecological principles about fields, forests, streams, and ponds through hands-on activities and outdoor exploration. DEC counselors teach youth conservation techniques used by natural resource professionals, such as measuring trees and estimating wildlife populations.

Each week features a different sportsman education program (hunter safety, bow education, or trapper education). Parents and guardians are encouraged to sign up their children. Space is limited. This year, Week 3 (July 9-14) at Camp Pack Forest will once again be the popular Outdoor Adventure Week, during which older campers have the opportunity to speak with professionals about career choices, participate and gain experience in more advanced activities, and take advantage of fishing in more habitats.

All four camps will operate for seven one-week sessions (Sunday to Friday) beginning June 25, 2017, with the exception of Pack Forest, which operates for eight weeks. Drop-off time is 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, and the closing ceremony and pick-up time is Friday at 4:30 p.m. Campers may attend camp for more than one week during the summer, but cannot stay at camp on Friday or Saturday nights. One week of camp is $350 per child for the 2017 year, and includes meals and trips.

In addition to inviting parents to register their children to participate in the DEC environmental education camp program, sporting clubs, civic groups, and environmental organizations are encouraged to sponsor one or more children for a week at camp. Groups who sponsor six paid campers will receive a scholarship to send a seventh child to camp for free. Information about Sponsoring Youth to Camp is available on DEC's website.

For more information, visit DEC's website, call 518-402-8014, visit "NYS DEC Summer Camps" on Facebook, or write to DEC Camps, 3rd Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-5256.

            NYSDEC PHOTO

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK: River Dumping Incident - Tioga County On Jan. 7, ECO Brent Wilson was patrolling for duck hunting compliance when he noticed a large pile of garbage floating down the Susquehanna River. ECO Wilson contacted the Campville Volunteer Fire Department to ask for assistance with its air boat so he could retrieve the garbage in order to identify who dumped it. Campville VFD transported ECO Wilson out to the garbage so it could be secured and brought back to shore. Once on shore, the garbage was determined to be several tarps wrapped together, and no identifying material could be found. Town of Owego crews disposed of the tarps.

BE PREPARED FOR WINTER: Do you know what the greatest threat to outdoorsmen is? I'll give you a couple hints. It doesn't involve firearms or falling from an elevated position. The leading cause of death among hunters and fishermen is hypothermia - exposure. If you're headed out to hunt or fish this winter you should be prepared.
Dress in layers - You can always remove clothes you don't need but can't put them on if you don't have them. Start with a base layer, and socks, made of a synthetic material that draws moisture away from your body. A wet body loses heat faster than a dry one. Add an insulating layer of fleece or wool in the middle and a protecting layer of waterproof/windproof breathable laminate on top.
Protect Your Extremities - If you're riding, you should already have at least ankle-high boots and gloves. Insulated ones are a better choice for wet and cold conditions. If you don't have a full face helmet and face shield, wear a face mask or light balaclava under your helmet.

Carry a Survival Kit - At the very least, include a compass - for finding your way if lost; waterproof matches - to start a fire; high energy food items, a knife and a whistle to signal for help. Other items to consider are some type of shelter (a space blanket), a length of cord, a flashlight and first aid supplies. You should also bring water, or some means of water purification. Dehydration can accelerate hypothermia. If you're riding on an ATV space is less of an issue so bring along anything else you might need should you get lost or injured and need to stay out overnight.
Have a Plan - Plan your route for the day. Stick to it and leave a map or description of where you are going and when you will return with someone else at home.
Cold, wet conditions may be intimidating to hunters and fishermen, but game often moves more and fish bite better with the falling barometer. Don't let bad weather keep you inside, but be prepared before you head out.

Yamaha Outdoors Tips – by Bob Humphrey

GENESEE VALLEY TRAPPERS FUR AUCTION RESULTS – JANUARY 15, 2017

Species                          Low                     Average            High

Beaver                             1.50                     8.40                     15.00

Beaver Castor (/lb.)        36.00                   36.00                   36.00

Coyote                             2.00                     14.43                   45.00

Deer                                 1.00                     1.00                     1.00

Fox – Gray                       6.50                     6.50                     6.50

Fox – Red                        3.50                     10.55                   20.00

Muskrat                            0.25                     3.20                     6.30

Opossum                         0.50                     0.50                     0.50

Raccoon                          0.25                     3.52                     25.50

Other – Fisher                 50.00                   50.00                   50.00

# of Lots                          102

# of Sellers                      13

# of Buyers (Serious)      5

# of Furs                          314

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

20-22 - 2017 Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo at The Conference & Event Center, Niagara Falls, NY. (Fri 1:00-8:00 pm/Sat 9:00 am – 7:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Over 100 fishing and hunting exhibitors (hunting, outdoor watersports etc.) all weekend. LOTSA marketplace on Sunday. A great place to get in on some tackle deals. Over 100 free seminars by fishing and outdoor experts including The Greater Niagara Fishing Academy. Daily family and children's activities, seminars. Kids under 10 years free. There will be a live trout pond for fishing and a youth shooting trailer. (Admission - adults $8.00 and children under 10 free. Lots of parking!) (For more information, visit www.niagarafishingexpo.com)

21 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Lakeshore Longbeards Chapter Dinner at The Kosciuszko Club, 252 Nevins Street, Dunkirk, NY. (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Scott Dibble at 
svdibble@yahoo.com  or call 716-595-3897.)

21 – Woods Walk: Winter Food for Wildlife at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (11:00 am) Join a guided nature walk through the woods to find out what the animals are eating at this time of year. (Snowshoe rental $5/person; $2/Friends of Reinstein members) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov) 

21 – Birding 101: Class #1 at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (2:30 pm) Join us for a bird identification adventure. This program will help you identify common birds and learn how to properly use binoculars. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

21 - Owl Prowl at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (4:00 – 6:00 pm) Get up close to live owls during an indoor presentation by KrittrKris! You’ll find out what adaptations these birds have that allow them to survive during the winter season and be successful hunters of the night. Then, join the Montezuma Audubon Center staff to search for Snowy Owls and the endangered Short-eared Owls in the grasslands around Montezuma. It will be a real hoot! (Fee: $6/child, $8/adult, $25/family.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

21 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Lakeshore Longbeards Chapter Dinner at Kosciuzko Club, Dunkirk, NY. The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Scott Dibble  716-595-3897   svdibble@yahoo.com )

21 - Girl Scout Snowshoe Spectacular at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) Girl Scouts of all ages are welcome to snowshoe through Montezuma’s forests and grasslands to read the stories left in the snow by our resident foxes, coyotes, rabbits, and birds. Scouts will also discover where reptiles and amphibians are hiding this winter season. After snowshoeing, Scouts will warm up with a delicious cup of hot cocoa in the Center! (Fee with snowshoe rental: $10/Scout, $5/adult. Fee without snowshoe rental: $7/Scout. ) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

21-22 - Niagara Frontier - Akron Gun Show at the Newstead Fire Hall, 5691 Cummings Road,  Akron, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 85 tables. NICS background checks available. (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  guns@nfgshows.com)

21-22 - Olean Sportsman Show at the Good Times of Olean Center, 800 East State Street, Olean, NY (Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm) Hosted by the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce. 60 booths. (Admission: $3.00/Seniors $2.00/ Children 12 & under: Free with Adult) (For information call 716-372-4433 or email meme@oleanny.com or go to http://www.oleanny.com)

25 – Start of the Online Registration for the 2017 DEC Summer Camp Program. Applications will be submitted through the online registration program available through DEC's summer camp website. the summer camp program offers week-long adventures in conservation education for children ages 11-17. DEC operates four residential camps for children: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake (Franklin County); Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor (Sullivan County); Camp Rushford in Caneadea (Allegany County); and Pack Forest in Warrensburg (Warren County). All four camps offer programs for children aged 11-13, while Pack Forest hosts children aged 14-17 for six weeks and Camp Rushford offers two weeks of programs for children aged 14-17. The complete schedule of camp offerings is available on the summer camp's website and the online registration program. All four camps will operate for seven one-week sessions (Sunday to Friday) beginning June 25, 2017, with the exception of Pack Forest, which operates for eight weeks. (For more information, visit DEC's website, call 518-402-8014.)

25 - Pistol Permit Course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, 8455 Fredonia-Stockton Road (County Route 73), Fredonia, NY (5:30-10:30 pm) (Cost: $75.00) (For information contact Gary Dudek at 716-366-3397.)

27-29 - New York Sportsman’s Expo in the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Fri - Noon to 8:00 pm/Sat – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm/Sun – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) This year's show will include more than 40 new exhibits, including outfitters from across the globe  . The schedule also includes seminars a kids' trout pond and more. (Admission: $10 ages 13-64; $5 for children 6 – 12; 5 and under no charge. Seniors are $7 and Military/Fire and Police are $7 with ID) (For more information go to http://www.newyorksportsmansexpo.com/ )

27-29 - Bark at the Moon Coyote Club, New York State Predator Hunt & Expo, Carey Lake Party House, Walworth, NY. (For information call Andrew Lewand, 585-223-5324)

28 - Whitetails Unlimited Central New York Deer Camp at the Holiday Inn Syracuse/Liverpool, 441 Electronics Parkway, Liverpool, NY. . The deadline ticket date is January 21, 2017. Tickets may be ordered online at www.whitetailsunlimited.com or by phone - 1-800-274-5471. (Cost $45.00/$30.00 youth.) Everyone goes home with a Deer Camp Tour 2017 Shirt! (For information, call John Hunter at (607) 426-8292 or email jhunterwtu@yahoo.com.
28 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Wyoming County Gobbers Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Alexander Fire Hall, 10505 Main Street, Alexander, NY (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Jason Valentine at 410-598-2290)

28 – White-tail Winter Walk at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 pm) Ever wonder how white-tailed deer survive in the winter and what they eat? We will discuss some facts about our resident deer and then take a walk on the trails in search of them. For adults and children ages 12 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

28 – The Oneida Lake Perch Team Ice Fishing Derby headquartered at Bartel Road Bait & Tackle, Brewerton, NY.  (7:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information and registration contact Christopher Jones at 530-9916176  email: bigbuck326@aol.com or Jim Bogardus at 315-593-1457  email: jboggey1@gmail.com)

28 – Owls, Owls, Owls (with live birds) at the Seneca Meadows Education Center, 1977 State Route 414, Seneca Falls, NY (3:00 – 4:00 pm) Come meet Herbie the Great Horned Owl, Orin the Screech Owl, Mystical the Barred Owl and their much misunderstood friend, Vinnie the Turkey Vulture! These friends are a hoot! (Cost: $5.00 per person OR $15 per family) (For information/register call 315-539-5624 or email seneca.meadows@progressivewaste.com)

28-29 – IAC Wheatfield Gun Show at the Frontier Fire Hall, 2176 Liberty Drive, Niagara Falls, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) Hosted by the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce. 60 booths. (Admission: $5.00) (For information call John Scozzafava at 716-694-7443 or email  janscozz12@gmail.com or go to iroquoisarmscollectors@gmail.com)

28 - Wild Game for the Big Game at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Have you heard of “living off the land”, “sustainable living” or the “locavore movement”?  rowing, raising, and hunting your own food is not only cost effective, but leads to a healthier life.  Do you want to get involved but not sure how? Join us for this new program that will be led by Montezuma’s wildlife biologists and NYSDEC environmental conservation officers. The morning session will highlight the proper way to harvest and store wild game. The afternoon session will showcase the proper cooking techniques to ensure the tastiest meals. This program will provide new and seasoned wild game chefs with fun recipes to serve at your Super Bowl party to score a touchdown!  Lunch will be a locavore potluck, so please bring a small dish to pass.  Space is limited. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.  (Fee: $15/child, $20/adult.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

29 – NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Chaumont Bay – Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple rown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete) Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

29 – Learn to Cross-Country Ski at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:00 am) Learn the basics of cross-country skiing before going on a guided ski tour. (Ski rental $8/person; $5/Friends of Reinstein members.) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for B AYour In on The Outdoors for Western New York.@

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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1 - 13 - 17

Welcome to this week's Conservation Chatter Corner, little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

SPORTING LICENSE BUYERS - BEWARE OF OPPORTUNISTIC WEBSITES:  Anglers and hunters should be aware of at least two currently active non-DEC websites where one can, purportedly, purchase a fishing license, hunting license or receive hunter education training that meets New York requirements:

Fishinglicense.org

Hunting-license.org

Among other things, these sites offer information on how their products can simplify the purchase of a New York State fishing license or hunting license. Though some of the logistical licensing information is correct and may be useful, these sites also offer a consumer the ability to purchase time-saving downloads for recreational licensing services that are specifically NOT affiliated with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The consumer on these sites should understand that they are only getting ‘assistance’ for their money and not an actual fishing or hunting license. Additionally, the money being charged by these websites is not a ‘credit’ toward the purchase of any New York fishing or hunting license.

All of the New York licensing information that one needs can be found on the DEC Sporting Licenses web page.

 

LETTER FROM NYS POLICE TO PISTOL/REVOLVER OWNERS: 

 

NEW WORLD RECORD BUCK: It took a panel of four Boone and Crockett judges nearly four hours to complete the measuring process, but once the numbers were tallied, Stephen Tucker’s non-typical buck appears to be the new world record whitetail.

Tucker, who hails from Gallatin, Tennessee, shot the monster buck on his family farm with a muzzleloader on November 7, 2016. A sixty-day drying out process needed to take place to allow for shrinkage, so on January 9, 2017, the rack was officially scored at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Tucker was in attendance.

The 47-point rack received a score of 312 3/8, which beats the current world record of 307 5/8, held by Tony Lovstuen for a 38-point buck he harvested in Albia, Iowa in 2003.

 

DEADLY OAK WILT DISEASE FOUND IN BROOKLYN AND SEVERAL TOWNS IN SUFFOLK COUNTY:  New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) announced that the oak tree disease, oak wilt, has been detected in the borough of Brooklyn, Kings County and in the towns of Babylon, Islip, Riverhead, and Southold in Suffolk County. The disease was identified by the Cornell Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic after samples from symptomatic oak trees were collected by DEC Forest Health Technicians.

Oak wilt had previously been found in Scotia, Schenectady County, until it was identified in Canandaigua, Ontario County, and Central Islip, Long Island earlier this year. Since then, reports of symptomatic oak trees from concerned tree care professionals, as well as the public, have led to the additional detections. The confirmation of the disease in Brooklyn marks the fourth county where oak wilt has been confirmed in New York.

There is no known treatment to contain and kill the oak wilt fungus other than to remove the infected trees, as well as any surrounding host oak trees. At this time, DEC will remove and destroy oaks that have tested positive for the fungus. Testing for oak wilt must be done during the growing season when the fungus is active, so intensive sampling will take place across Kings, Nassau, and Suffolk counties starting next spring to determine the extent of the disease. Aerial surveys will be conducted beginning in July when signs of oak wilt will be most apparent.

DEC is in the process of issuing emergency orders to establish protective zones encompassing the entirety of Suffolk County and the borough of Brooklyn. The emergency orders will prohibit the removal of any living, dead, standing, cut, or fallen oak trees or any portion thereof, including branches, logs, stumps, or roots, and green oak lumber and firewood (of any species) out of the protective zones unless it has been chipped to less than one inch in two dimensions.

Property owners in neighborhoods confirmed to have oak wilt will be contacted with information about the disease and to provide communities with information about how to help protect remaining oak trees. DEC will schedule public meetings to address questions and concerns once the extent of the disease is determined and management activities have been identified to control the disease. DEC will also conduct outreach to green professionals on the identification of oak wilt and preventing its spread.

Oak wilt is a serious tree disease in the eastern United States, killing thousands of oaks each year in forests, woodlots, and home landscapes. It is caused by a fungus, Ceratocystis fagacearum. The fungus grows in the water conducting vessels of host trees plugging up these vessels and preventing water transport. As water movement within the tree is slowed, the leaves wilt and drop off, and the tree dies rapidly.

DEC asks the public to be on the lookout next summer for oak trees that suddenly lose leaves during the months of July and August and to report these occurrences to the Forest Health Information Line toll-free at 1-866-640-0652.

For more information about oak wilt or the emergency order, please visit DEC's website.

 

PROTECT YOUR OAK TREES FROM DEADLY DISEASE: PRUNE IN WINTER: Oak wilt, a deadly fungal disease for oak trees was discovered in six new locations in New York last year. This disease can be spread by beetles that are attracted to freshly cut or injured trees. Pruning in winter protects oaks from becoming infected.

Benefits of winter pruning:

*Diseases are rarely spread during this time, since insects and fungi are inactive.

*A tree's branch pattern and damaged limbs are easier to see without leaves.

*Leafless cut branches are lighter and easier to carry.

*Nearby plants are less likely to be damaged by falling branches and trampling.

*Removing weak and damaged branches before heavy snowfall reduces additional breakage.

*Trees pruned in winter respond more vigorously in the spring, putting out new growth.

How does oak wilt spread and kill trees?

The oak wilt fungus clogs the trees’ transport vessels, cutting off water and food from leaves and the rest of the tree. One way oak wilt spreads is when fungal spores hitch rides on insects. Sap beetles, one of the main culprits, are extremely attracted to fresh tree wounds. Pruning oaks during the growing season greatly increases the chances of insects infecting them with oak wilt.

What else can I do to protect my oak trees?

*Prune oaks between October and February – NOT during the growing season.

*Follow existing regulations and quarantines meant to protect our trees and forests.

*Don’t move firewood. Firewood can transport oak wilt and other deadly pests and diseases to new areas.

*Learn to identify the symptoms of oak wilt which include discoloration around the entire leaf edge and sudden loss of a substantial portion of leaves during the summer.

For questions, contact the DEC Forest Health office at 1-866-640-0652, or email photos of tree symptoms to: foresthealth@dec.ny.gov.

Visit the DEC website for more information on oak wilt.

 

 

 KUDOS: Congratulations go to Steve Kroening of Cambria, NY for his buck of a lifetime, taken the during crossbow season this year. It’s a massive 16-pointer shot in Cambria, Niagara County.

 

THIS WEEK' EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

13 - Home School Nature Series– Wonder of Trees, Leaves, and Bark at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) Homeschoolers ages 5-12 will learn what our trees are up to during the winter and how important they are to our wetlands.  Homeschoolers will learn how to identify trees without their foliage. If there is snow, we will strap on snowshoes and explore Montezuma’s forests so be prepared to spend part of the program outside. Winter hats, gloves, scarves, jackets, and snow pants are a must! (Fee with snowshoe rental: $10/student, $5/adult. Fee without snowshoe rental: $8/student.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

14 - National Wild Turkey Federation – New York State Awards Dinner at the Holiday Inn, 2468 Route 414, Waterloo, NY (For more information contact Larry Becker  585-493-3057   lgbecker@reagan.com)

14 – Snowshoeing 101 at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Learn the basics of snowshoeing before going on a guided snowshoe walk. (Snowshoe rental $5/person; $2/Friends of Reinstein members) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

14 - Outfitters Fair at Southtowns Walleye Club, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. NY. New and used fishing and hunting equipment. Free parking. Limited tables at $20 for vendors. (For information call 716-465-6100.)

14 - Cross Country Skiing at Evangola State Park (10:00 am to noon) (For information/register call 716-549-1050)

14 – Snowshoeing at Reservoir State Park, Niagara Falls, NY (10:00 am to noon) (For information/register call 716-282-5154)

14-15 - Niagara Frontier - Caledonia Gun Show at the JW Jones Hall, 354 Liecester St. Caledonia, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 85 tables. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com)

14-15 - Watkins Glen Gun & Knife Show 2017 at the Clute Park Community Center, 521 East 4th Street, Watkins Glen, NY (Sat 9:00am - 5:00pm/Sun 9:00am - 3:00pm) 120 tables. (For information call 570-679-2250 or email maacpsse@echoes.net)

15 - End of Hunting Seasons for Ducks, Coots and Mergansers – Part 2 - in Western Zone

15 – End of Canada Goose Hunting Seasons – Part 3 – in the West Central Area and South Area

15 - Genesee Valley Trappers Association Fur Auction at the Clubhouse, 4462 County Road 32 (3 miles east of Honeoye, south of 20A), Honeoye, NY (6:30 am fur checkin/10:00 am auction) ($10.00 charge for non-members) (For information call Tom Miller, 585-229-4759)

15 – Western New York Environmental Federation Meeting at Hoak’s Restaurant, S4100 Lakeshore Road, Hamburg, NY  (1:00 pm) Regular agenda items include DEC reports for Region 9, NYS Conservation Council Reports and County Reports. (For information call Dan Tone at 716-655-0975)

15 – Snowshoeing at Evangola State Park (10:00 am to noon) (For information/register call 716-549-1050).

17 – Beginner Maple Producer Workshop at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County, 480 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY (6:30 – 8:30 pm) Aimed at the beginning maple producer and would be useful to the homeowner looking to tap a few trees in the backyard. (Cost:$10.00 per family.) (For information/register call 585-394-3977 x 427 or 436 or email nea8@cornell.edu)

19 - Birding Van Tour– Montezuma’s Winter Raptors at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (2:30 – 4:30 pm) Raptors invade the Montezuma Wetlands Complex each winter and now is a great time to see them! Hop in the Montezuma Audubon Center van for an excursion to our premier birding locations to encounter Snowy Owls, Short-eared Owls, Bald Eagles, Rough-legged Hawks and more! Participants are encouraged to bring their camera. Binoculars and birding guides will be provided.  (Fee: $8/child; $15.00/adult.)(For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

19 – Growing Up WILD (Project WILD) at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (6:00 – 9:00 pm) Educators of three to seven year olds (up to 2nd grade) can learn to include environmentally-themed, hands-on, educational lessons into their activities at these workshops. They each have different topic foci, but include math & manipulatives, reading connections, music & movement, art, getting outside, healthy snacks, and connecting parents with in-center or school learning. (Cost: any and all workshops are free) (For information and to register contact Donna Richardson at 315-365-3580)

20-22 - 2017 Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo at The Conference & Event Center, Niagara Falls, NY. (Fri 1:00-8:00 pm/Sat 9:00 am – 7:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Over 100 fishing and hunting exhibitors (hunting, outdoor watersports etc.) all weekend. LOTSA marketplace on Sunday. A great place to get in on some tackle deals. Over 100 free seminars by fishing and outdoor experts including The Greater Niagara Fishing Academy. Daily family and children's activities, seminars. Kids under 10 years free. There will be a live trout pond for fishing and a youth shooting trailer. (Admission - adults $8.00 and children under 10 free. Lots of parking!) (For more information, visit www.niagarafishingexpo.com)

21 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Lakeshore Longbeards Chapter Dinner at The Kosciuszko Club, 252 Nevins Street, Dunkirk, NY. (5:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Scott Dibble at 
svdibble@yahoo.com  or call 716-595-3897.)

21 – Woods Walk: Winter Food for Wildlife at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (11:00 am) Join a guided nature walk through the woods to find out what the animals are eating at this time of year. (Snowshoe rental $5/person; $2/Friends of Reinstein members) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov) 

21 – Birding 101: Class #1 at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (2:30 pm) Join us for a bird identification adventure. This program will help you identify common birds and learn how to properly use binoculars. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

21 - Owl Prowl at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (4:00 – 6:00 pm) Get up close to live owls during an indoor presentation by KrittrKris! You’ll find out what adaptations these birds have that allow them to survive during the winter season and be successful hunters of the night. Then, join the Montezuma Audubon Center staff to search for Snowy Owls and the endangered Short-eared Owls in the grasslands around Montezuma. It will be a real hoot! (Fee: $6/child, $8/adult, $25/family.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

21 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Lakeshore Longbeards Chapter Dinner at Kosciuzko Club, Dunkirk, NY. The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Scott Dibble  716-595-3897   svdibble@yahoo.com )

21 - Girl Scout Snowshoe Spectacular at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) Girl Scouts of all ages are welcome to snowshoe through Montezuma’s forests and grasslands to read the stories left in the snow by our resident foxes, coyotes, rabbits, and birds. Scouts will also discover where reptiles and amphibians are hiding this winter season. After snowshoeing, Scouts will warm up with a delicious cup of hot cocoa in the Center! (Fee with snowshoe rental: $10/Scout, $5/adult. Fee without snowshoe rental: $7/Scout. ) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

21-22 - Niagara Frontier - Akron Gun Show at the Newstead Fire Hall, 5691 Cummings Road,  Akron, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 85 tables. NICS background checks available. (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  guns@nfgshows.com)

21-22 - Olean Sportsman Show at the Good Times of Olean Center, 800 East State Street, Olean, NY (Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm) Hosted by the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce. 60 booths. (Admission: $3.00/Seniors $2.00/ Children 12 & under: Free with Adult) (For information call 716-372-4433 or email meme@oleanny.com or go to http://www.oleanny.com)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for B AYour In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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1 - 6 - 17

Welcome to this week's Conservation Chatter Corner, little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!: Now, it’s a new year and time to think about resolutions. Hopefully you will make one to be a better sportsperson. This should not only include improving hunting, trapping and/or fishing skills, but more importantly behaving better, helping to create a finer image of your Sport. You might also, consider helping a young person get started - someone who might not have an adult around to teach them about the outdoors. If you do have this desire but no youngster to teach contact your DEC Regional Office and ask about being a mentor hunter or trapper. If fishing is your specialty check with your county 4-H office and ask about working with a club or two, or maybe starting a fishing club. If you want a more formal program check into becoming a certified sportsmen education instructor with DEC’s hunting, archery, trapping and/or waterfowl identification programs.

 

DEC SUMMER CAMPS: Online registration for the 2017 summer camp program will open January 25, 2017 at 10 a.m., according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Applications will be submitted through the online registration program available through DEC's summer camp website.

Now in its 70th year, the summer camp program offers week-long adventures in conservation education for children ages 11-17. DEC operates four residential camps for children: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake (Franklin County); Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor (Sullivan County); Camp Rushford in Caneadea (Allegany County); and Pack Forest in Warrensburg (Warren County). All four camps offer programs for children aged 11-13, while Pack Forest hosts children aged 14-17 for six weeks and Camp Rushford offers two weeks of programs for children aged 14-17. The complete schedule of camp offerings is available on the summer camp's website and the online registration program.

Campers participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities including fishing, bird watching, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering, and hunter safety education. Campers also learn ecological principles about fields, forests, streams, and ponds through hands-on activities and outdoor exploration. DEC counselors teach youth conservation techniques used by natural resource professionals, such as measuring trees and estimating wildlife populations.

Each week features a different sportsman education program (hunter safety, bow education, or trapper education). Parents and guardians are encouraged to sign up their children. Space is limited. This year, Week 3 (July 9-14) at Camp Pack Forest will once again be the popular Outdoor Adventure Week, during which older campers have the opportunity to speak with professionals about career choices, participate and gain experience in more advanced activities, and take advantage of fishing in more habitats.

All four camps will operate for seven one-week sessions (Sunday to Friday) beginning June 25, 2017, with the exception of Pack Forest, which operates for eight weeks. Drop-off time is 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, and the closing ceremony and pick-up time is Friday at 4:30 p.m. Campers may attend camp for more than one week during the summer, but cannot stay at camp on Friday or Saturday nights. One week of camp is $350 per child for the 2017 year, and includes meals and trips.

In addition to inviting parents to register their children to participate in the DEC environmental education camp program, sporting clubs, civic groups, and environmental organizations are encouraged to sponsor one or more children for a week at camp. Groups who sponsor six paid campers will receive a scholarship to send a seventh child to camp for free. Information about Sponsoring Youth to Camp is available on DEC's website.

For more information, visit DEC's website, call 518-402-8014, visit "NYS DEC Summer Camps" on Facebook, or write to DEC Camps, 3rd Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-5256.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Tenant Timber Taker - Genesee County: On Dec. 14, ECO Gary Wilson was called to assist with a timber theft in the town of Batavia. The property owner, who lives in Arizona, had received a call from a neighbor reporting that people were logging on her rental property. A Trooper from the New York State Police Barracks in Batavia had responded and interviewed the tenant and the logger. Apparently, the tenant had contracted a logging firm to harvest the mature oak, maple, and black cherry from the owner's eight acres of land behind the rental house. The tenant went so far as to sign a contract with the logging firm stating that he was the owner of the property and timber and received a $3,100 payment for the timber. Twenty-six trees were felled, amounting to 75 logs destined for the saw mill, some of veneer grade. The tenant was charged with grand larceny by the State Police and charged with taking/causing the illegal removal of timber by ECO Wilson.

Way Over the Limit For Waterfowl - Jefferson County: On Dec. 7, while investigating a complaint of several deer carcasses being dumped in a local stream in the town of Clayton, ECOs Shea Mathis and Lt. Steven Bartoszewski found the suspect's vehicle at a nearby boat launch. The officers waited for several hours for the suspect to return to the launch, and the long wait eventually paid off. The suspect and another individual were found to be in possession of 21 ducks, including 18 mallards and three black ducks. Based on species limits, the hunters were over their total bag limit by 11 ducks and also over the daily limit on both mallard and black ducks. After being interviewed about the original complaint, the suspect who allegedly dumped the deer carcasses admitted to dumping them, as well, and was also found to have committed tagging violations related to the taking of the deer. The waterfowl were seized as evidence and tickets were issued for taking waterfowl over the daily bag limit, possessing the license or tags of another hunter, and failure to properly tag deer. The men removed the deer carcasses from the creek the following day.

 

Illegally taken ducks in Jefferson County (DEC Photo)

 

Illegal Buck - Erie County: On Dec. 20, ECO Chuck Wilson responded to a complaint from a citizen who had been walking in Nature View Park on Tonawanda Creek Road in the town of Amherst. The ground was covered with snow and it appeared that a deer had been killed a few feet from the walking trail, dragged through some brush, and brought into the garage of a home bordering the park. ECO Wilson found a broken hunting arrow frozen in the snow nearby and followed the trail to the neighboring property. Upon closer inspection, he found that the area was scattered with corn. A tagged doe deer head sat on top of a five-gallon bucket of deer entrails on a nearby table. The tag indicated that it had been killed in Ontario County on Nov. 19, but not reported through the state Game Harvest Report system. ECO Wilson contacted ECO Mark Mazurkiewicz to assist in the investigation and they interviewed the owner of the adjoining property. He admitted to shooting a large 11-point buck on Dec. 17 with a bow and arrow. ECO Wilson determined that the arrows in the homeowner's quiver were identical to the broken arrow found in Nature View Park. The homeowner admitted to placing corn in his backyard to feed his chickens; the buck had been shot while feeding on the corn. The officers found the 11 point buck, which had not been tagged or processed, hanging in the garage. The homeowner was issued tickets for unlawful killing of a wild deer, hunting deer in an area closed to big game hunting, hunting deer with aid of a pre-established bait pile, failure to follow mandatory tagging requirements, and failure to report a deer harvest as required. The tickets are returnable to the Town of Amherst Court on Jan. 18. The buck was donated to the venison donation program.

 


ECOs Wilson and Markiewicz with the illegally killed buck. (DEC Photo)

 

Snowy Owl Rescue - Cattaraugus County: On Dec. 20, ECOs Chris Freeman and Darci Dougherty were traveling along State Rt. 242 in the town of Napoli when they were flagged down by a local farmer. The farmer was frantically trying to keep an injured Snowy Owl from entering the busy road. Because the owl's right wing was broken, it was unable to fly. After several attempts, ECO Freeman was able to capture the distressed owl by covering it with his jacket. The ECOs made arrangements for the owl to be picked up by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. The owl has since undergone surgery on its broken wing and is currently recovering in the rehabilitator's care.


ECO Freeman with the injured owl. (DEC Photo.)

 

DISEASE SPREAD BY CATS DETECTED IN MINKS AND MUSKRATS:  Don't let the nickname "cat disease" fool you. A recent study in Champaign, Ill. shows toxoplasmosis, a disease spread by cats, is prevalent in semiaquatic mammals, minks (Neovison vison) and muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) as well.
"Infected cats shed Toxoplasma gondii oocysts in their feces, and these oocysts are picked up by other hosts in the environment," said Adam Ahlers, University of Illinois graduate student and TWS Associate Wildlife Biologist who led the study published last week in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases. "This is an important finding because animals like muskrats and minks spend most of their time in streams and wetlands and rarely encounter cats, so the parasite is likely transferred via runoff from the surrounding landscape."
Ahlers and his research team sought out to determine the prevalence of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in minks and muskrats in order to determine if the parasite is contaminating freshwater watersheds.
"In our region, most of the wetlands have been drained to accommodate agricultural production and urbanization, and natural drainage systems have been altered," Ahlers said. "With increased tile drainage and loss of natural wetlands, the transfer of T. Gondii oocysts into watersheds from agricultural and urban runoff is likely."
The researchers predicted that animals positioned in larger watersheds would have higher prevalence rates since they are exposed to drainage from larger areas. Without wetlands to filter out pathogens like T. gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, rainwater likely flushes T. gondii oocysts into the watershed via altered drainage systems, Ahlers said.
Ahlers and his team tested 30 muskrats and 26 minks for T. gondii antibodies in central Illinois. They found that 77 percent of the minks tested positive for T. gondii and about 60 percent of the muskrats tested were also infected.
"This was really surprising for us because muskrats are tightly linked to the watershed," Ahlers said. "We think they are picking up the parasite from contaminated runoff originating from agricultural and urban landscapes."
Ahlers said muskrats in larger watersheds had higher prevalence rates than those positioned in smaller watersheds. Muskrats are herbivores and likely pick up oocysts while drinking, grooming, or foraging on aquatic vegetation, he said. On the other hand, there was no link between minks and their location in relation to watershed. As carnivores, they may become infected by consuming other infected prey, he said.
The T. gondii parasite rarely discriminates against who it infects, and even humans are exposed to it. Once infected, animals can develop unhealthy behavior changes, Ahlers said.
"In mice, toxoplasmosis causes behavioral changes in the individual," he said. "Mice that have been exposed to toxoplasmosis seek out cat urine. We don't know for sure what the effects are in muskrats and mink, but with sea otters, we know that survival is reduced."
In humans, the infection is linked to miscarriage, autism, depression, schizophrenia, increased suicide risk and decreased learning in children, Ahlers said.
"There are definitely human implications," he said. "Humans can pick up oocysts by eating infected meat, or if they come in contact with contaminated water. There have been instances of freshwater contamination causing T. gondii infection in humans in Canada and in South America."
With the study's implications of increased pathogen in watersheds, it's clear that not only minks and muskrats are affected, but other wildlife as well.
"Removing natural wetland habitats and altering natural drainage systems may play a big role in the spread of diseases like toxoplasmosis," Ahlers said. "It is likely facilitating the transfer of T. gondii oocysts into freshwater watersheds."
(View the study abstract at: http://www.jwildlifedis.org/doi/abs/10.7589/2014-03-071?=&)

 

THIS WEEK=S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

1 – Start of Hunting Season for Varying Hare (Snowshoe Rabbit) in the Southern Tier portion of Western New York (>1/31)

1 – Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)
1 – Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

7-8 - Niagara Frontier - Hamburg Gun Show at the Hamburg Fairgrounds, 5820 S Park Avenue, Hamburg, New York ((9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 300 tables. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $7.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (90 Tables) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com)

7-8 - Binghamton Gun & Knife Show at the Port Crane Fire Company, 844 Route 369, Port Crane, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) 125 tables. (For information call 570-679-2250 or email maacpsse@echoes.net or go to http://www.maacpsse.com)

8 - Tioga County Trappers Association Fur Sale at the Tioga County Sportsman's Association, 1141 Carmichael Road, Owego, NY.  (9:00 am to 12:00 pm.) (For information contact Bill Swagler at 607-222-8554.) 

12 - Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood (Project Learning Tree) at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (6:00 – 9:00 pm) Educators of three to seven year olds (up to 2nd grade) can learn to include environmentally-themed, hands-on, educational lessons into their activities at these workshops. They each have different topic foci, but include math & manipulatives, reading connections, music & movement, art, getting outside, healthy snacks, and connecting parents with in-center or school learning. (Cost: any and all workshops are free) (For information and to register contact Donna Richardson at 315-365-3580)

13 - Home School Nature Series– Wonder of Trees, Leaves, and Bark at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) Homeschoolers ages 5-12 will learn what our trees are up to during the winter and how important they are to our wetlands.  Homeschoolers will learn how to identify trees without their foliage. If there is snow, we will strap on snowshoes and explore Montezuma’s forests so be prepared to spend part of the program outside. Winter hats, gloves, scarves, jackets, and snow pants are a must! (Fee with snowshoe rental: $10/student, $5/adult. Fee without snowshoe rental: $8/student.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

14 - National Wild Turkey Federation – New York State Awards Dinner at the Holiday Inn, 2468 Route 414, Waterloo, NY (For more information contact Larry Becker  585-493-3057   lgbecker@reagan.com)

14 – Snowshoeing 101 at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Learn the basics of snowshoeing before going on a guided snowshoe walk. (Snowshoe rental $5/person; $2/Friends of Reinstein members) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

14-15 - Niagara Frontier - Caledonia Gun Show at the JW Jones Hall, 354 Liecester St. Caledonia, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 85 tables. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com)

14-15 - Watkins Glen Gun & Knife Show 2017 at the Clute Park Community Center, 521 East 4th Street, Watkins Glen, NY (Sat 9:00am - 5:00pm/Sun 9:00am - 3:00pm) 120 tables. (For information call 570-679-2250 or email maacpsse@echoes.net)

15 - End of Hunting Seasons for Ducks, Coots and Mergansers – Part 2 - in Western Zone

15 – End of Canada Goose Hunting Seasons – Part 3 – in the West Central Area and South Area

15 - Genesee Valley Trappers Association Fur Auction at the Clubhouse, 4462 County Road 32 (3 miles east of Honeoye, south of 20A), Honeoye, NY (6:30 am fur checkin/10:00 am auction) ($10.00 charge for non-members) (For information call Tom Miller, 585-229-4759)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for your In on The Outdoors for Western New York..

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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12 - 30 - 16

Welcome to this week's Conservation Chatter Corner, little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

BEWARE OUT THERE: Due to widely variable weather conditions across much of the state, ice is deteriorating and creating potentially dangerous conditions for anglers, snowmobilers, skiers and others planning to recreate on the ice over the holidays.

According to recreation safety specialists, ice that formed quickly during the recent sub-zero temperatures is now thawing and refreezing, which leads to extremely weak ice that is dangerously deceptive.

“The calendar nor air temperatures can be used as indicators of ice thickness or safety,” said Lisa Dugan, DNR recreation safety outreach coordinator. “There are many variables to consider, including whether a waterbody has a current or run-off, the freeze-thaw cycle, and snow cover. River have been especially problematic, as water levels have continued to drop even after surface ice formed, creating dangerous air pockets under the ice.”

A layer of insulating snow, coupled with above-average temperatures, means new ice takes longer to form and that ice that has thawed and refrozen is only half as strong as new, clear ice.

No ice should ever be considered 100 percent safe, and checking ice thickness as you go is imperative.

The cold facts about ice:

*You can’t judge ice conditions by appearance or thickness – other factors including water depth, size of waterbody, currents, snow cover, and local weather all combine to determine its strength.

*Ice seldom freezes uniformly- it may be 9 inches thick in one location and only an inch or two just a few feet away.

*Ice formed over flowing water and currents is often dangerous – ice along streams, springs, and channels between lakes, bridges or aeration systems is usually weaker due to faster current.

*Think twice before going out on unsafe ice.

 

THE EAGLE HAS LANDED: A huge, steel sculpture of a bald eagle is now visible on the southern side of the New York State Thruway as it passes through the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in Seneca Falls.

The eye-opening statue, dedicated last month and located on the refuge's northern end off of its wildlife drive, commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Bald Eagle Restoration program in this state.

The bald eagle statue at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is 22 feet from wing tip to tip and weighs 1,300 pounds. It was commissioned by Tom Jasikoff, the refuge manager. It took Rochester artist Jay Seaman about 6 months to make it at his studio on Cayuga Lake.

The head and the tail features are made of stainless steel. The rest of the bird's external body, including the wings, is made with regular steel that's been allowed to rust to give the eagle a brown color.

"It was a wonderful challenge and an honor to be able to do it," said Seaman, who specializes in custom sculptures of all kinds. He said the bald eagle is his biggest work to date.

It's symbolic of an amazing conservation success story.

New York's eagle population reached its lowest in 1975 when the state could only document one unproductive pair - the result of habitat loss and contamination from the pesticide DDT.

Soon after, the DEC launched its efforts to restore bald eagles. The program, led by DEC biologist Peter Nye, involved years of collecting young bald eagles from Alaska, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and releasing them into carefully selected areas around the state.

The efforts began at the Montezuma and Iroquois National Wildlife Refuges in 1976 with the placement in artificial hacking towers.

Finally, in 1980, one of the two eagles initially released at the refuge successfully nested in the Perch River area in Northern New York.

Today, bald eagles, still considered a "threatened species" in this state, are back in appreciable numbers.

The midwinter count by volunteers at the refuge in January found 77 bald eagles, many of them juveniles, at the refuge. The refuge has six active breeding pairs of eagles and typically sees as many as 40 to 50 eagles in the winter as other birds move in seeking food.

Jasikoff said that New York State has over 200 active nests.

 

NEW DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has appointed a seasoned conservation professional with 36 years of experience as a wildlife biologist, zoologist, and researcher to head up its Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Anthony (Tony) Wilkinson has been appointed to head up the agency's four Fish and Wildlife bureaus and more than 350 employees whose missions are to conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources.

Most recently Wilkinson was the Director for The Nature Conservancy's Eastern NY Program, where he developed and implemented conservation plans for various habitats and species, including migratory fish in the Hudson River Estuary. He previously served as the Director of Operations for the national Natural Heritage Program, and has worked as a biologist and a zoologist for state agencies in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana.

Wilkinson has an undergraduate degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University and a master's degree in Biological Science from Michigan Technological University. He grew up in southern Pennsylvania and spent much of his youth hunting, fishing and hiking with his father. He is married with two older children and lives in Saratoga County.

"I'm thrilled to be part of the DEC team and look forward to working with the sportsmen and women of New York and our fish and wildlife staff on the sound management of our precious wildlife and fisheries resources," Wilkinson said.

DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife manages conservation of all the diverse wildlife and fish species in the state, overseeing all facets of hunting and recreational and commercial angling in New York, as well as protecting, maintaining, enhancing, and restoring important ecosystems.

Wilkinson begins his tenure at DEC today.

 

CERTAIN REMINGTON 700 RIFLES SUBJECT TO VOLUNTARY RECALL:  Recently, a federal judge ordered the parties in an economic-loss class action to remind owners of certain Remington firearms that a settlement has been reached. The settlement involves two classes.

The first class includes owners of firearms that utilize a trigger connector. The second class includes owners of firearms that utilize the X-Mark Pro trigger mechanism that is the subject of a voluntary safety recall.

The settlement allows owners of Remington models 700, Seven, and related models to have their trigger replaced free of charge, among other benefits.

The settlement was entered following allegations that Remington firearms can fire without a trigger pull. Remington denies those allegations with respect to the trigger connector but is offering trigger replacements to ensure continued satisfaction for its valuable customers.

With respect to X-Mark Pro trigger mechanisms, Remington has implemented a voluntary safety recall. If you own a firearm that is subject to the safety recall, stop using your firearm immediately. Safety has always been a priority for Remington.

Even if you do nothing you will be bound by the Court’s decisions. If you want to keep your right to sue the Defendants yourself, you must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class by November 18, 2016.

If you stay in the Settlement Class, you may object to the Settlement by November 18, 2016.

Call 1-800-876-5940 now to learn the models involved, make your claim or find out more. Or visit their website.


PROTECT WILDLIFE WHILE WATCHING WILDLIFE:  DEC has recently received a number of reports of individuals purposely flushing roosting short-eared owls in the Washington County Grasslands Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in order observe and photograph the birds in flight. While DEC encourages people to enjoy watching wildlife in the Washington County Grasslands WMA and other public lands, we ask that you do so in a way that protects wildlife, especially endangered and threatened species.

Short-eared owls, a New York State endangered species, return from their breeding grounds in Canada to spend the winter in the Washington County Grasslands. Short-eared owls roost on the ground in taller grasses, unlike most owl species. The owls fly from their roosts around dusk each day and put on an aerial show while foraging for mice and voles. They are easily disturbed by people walking near their roosting sites. This can cause them to unnecessarily expend  energy flying or to abandon their roost site. Owls and other birds roost to conserve energy.

DEC asks visitors to the Washington County Grasslands WMA, and all public lands, to observe the following guidelines for the protection of wildlife, including the short-eared owls and other endangered or threatened species:

PROTECT WILDLIFE

*Avoid repeatedly flushing or otherwise purposely disturbing wildlife when watching or photographing them.

*NEVER purposely chase wildlife!

*Keep a respectful distance from nests and young, especially in hot, cold, or windy weather.

*Stay in your vehicle, it serves as a blind and often allows for closer and longer observations without disturbing wildlife.

PROTECT HABITAT

*Stay on existing roads, trails, or pathways to avoid trampling fragile vegetation.

*Leave the area as you found it.

RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS

*Know and observe the laws, rules, and regulations governing the site.

*Get prior permission to enter private or posted property.

*Be considerate of others around you.

ORGANIZED GROUPS

*Group actions have magnified effects.

*Ensure that all members of the group know and follow the above guidelines.

*Monitor the behavior of group members and ensure they act responsibly.

REPORT VIOLATORS

*Purposely disturbing, flushing, or chasing an endangered or threatened species is harassment and is ILLEGAL.

*If you witness such activity please document it and report it to the DEC Dispatch (1-877-457-5680)

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

DECEMBER

31 - Start of Canada Goose Hunting Seasons – Part 3 – in the West Central Area (>1/11/15)and South Area (>1/15/17)

31 - End of Pheasant Hunting Season in Lake Plains Portion of Western New York

31 - Start of Hunting Seasons for Ducks, Coots and Mergansers – Part 2 - in Western Zone (>1/15/17)

31 - Close of Fishing Season for Trout in the Finger Lakes Tributaries

31 - Fur Handling Seminar hosted by the Erie County Trappers Association at the Collins Conservation Club, 2633 Conger Road, Collins, NY. (9:00 am – 1:00 pm)  The show will feature techniques for better pelt preparation, teach about pelting, fleshing and stretching, drying and sizing. This event is FREE. There will be kids games, prizes, raffles and the kitchen will be open. Trap supplies and fur hats from Hoot's Furs will be on sale. (For more information call Patti at 716-337-2556 or Hoot at 716-532-2457)

JANUARY 2017

1 – Start of Hunting Season for Varying Hare (Snowshoe Rabbit) in the Southern Tier portion of Western New York (>1/31)

1 – Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)
1 – Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

7-8 - Niagara Frontier - Hamburg Gun Show at the Hamburg Fairgrounds, 5820 S Park Avenue, Hamburg, New York ((9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 300 tables. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $7.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (90 Tables) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com)

7-8 - Binghamton Gun & Knife Show at the Port Crane Fire Company, 844 Route 369, Port Crane, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) 125 tables. (For information call 570-679-2250 or email maacpsse@echoes.net or go to http://www.maacpsse.com)

8 - Tioga County Trappers Association Fur Sale at the Tioga County Sportsman's Association, 1141 Carmichael Road, Owego, NY.  (9:00 am to 12:00 pm.) (For information contact Bill Swagler at 607-222-8554.) 

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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12 - 23 - 16

Welcome to this week's Conservation Chatter Corner, little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Hope you get all those outdoor goodies you’ve been dreaming about and don’t forget to report those flying reindeer.

 

 

OPERATION S.A.N.T.A. : Reviving a study dropped by the New Your State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2003, because of personnel cuts, Hunt Fish NY Outdoors has taken on Operation Santa. Formerly Wildlife biologists across the world made attempts to gather more information on flying deer seen about this time each year. Now after many years of no success, Hunt Fish NY Outdoors is enlisting your aid, especially that of you younger people, who tend to stay awake later on the key observation night, December 24th. People are being urged to focus their video cameras and camcorders on the rooftops of the world, especially those with chimneys. The few reliable reports gathered by the DEC indicate the deer are under the control of a chubby fellow with a white beard and dressed in a red suit. File checks, even with our new computer links, have failed to produce any permits issued for possession of flying deer. The reason for the alert is a worry that the flying phenomenon may spread. Unverified reports gathered in past years include: hunters talking about deer flying by them; a guy outside a local tavern reporting flying elephants; some kids saying they saw a cow jump over the moon and a guy telling police that his grandmother got run over by some reindeer -- in this case it's believed Grandma was the one flying high. Who knows what might happen should elephants and cows really start flying.

Anyone sighting these flying creatures are urged to note: location, time, number, direction of travel, size of antlers and other special observations such as nose color, and send them to: Operation SANTA (Study of Animal Night Translocation Aerodynamics), at www.huntfishnyutdoors.com.  

 

IT”S COMING - - ICE SAFETY:

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

  

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Hunting While Intoxicated - Monroe County: On Dec. 4, ECO Joshua Wolgast responded to a call of a hunter stumbling down a road in the town of Henrietta. He arrived on scene and met with Monroe County Sheriff's Deputies, who had also received a call. Two hunters were located, who explained that they were conducting a drive and had killed an antlerless deer. One of the subjects appeared extremely intoxicated and subsequently failed all field sobriety tests. He later submitted to a breath test and was found to be hunting with a blood alcohol content of .19 percent. He was charged with hunting while intoxicated, trespassing, and taking an illegal deer. The second individual was found to be in possession of marijuana. He was charged with taking an illegal deer, trespassing, unlawful possession of marijuana, failing to properly tag a deer, and failing to properly consign a deer tag. All charges are pending in the Town of Henrietta Court.

The History of the ECO: Few people realize the great tradition of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Division of Law Enforcement (DLE). The oldest state law enforcement organization in New York State remarkably began with a contingent of eight men appointed as Game Protectors in 1880. Since then, DLE has grown to a force of more than 300 uniformed Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and plainclothes investigators. Their dedication to duty has its roots in a long and proud tradition of fish and wildlife enforcement,  that also includes environmental protection today. 2016 marks the 136th anniversary of DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement.

 

KUDOS: PHEASANTS FOREVER EARNS 2016 NATIONAL LAND PROTECTION AWARD:

Pheasants Forever was presented with the 2016 National Land Protection Award by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) for the organization's outstanding efforts to permanently protect critical habitat for pheasants, waterfowl, and other wildlife. Since 2009, this dual partnership has acquired more than 9,800 acres in the state of Minnesota which are now open to public hunting and recreation in the form of Waterfowl Production Areas.
Pheasants Forever and its chapters have put a priority on acquiring lands that are critically important as wildlife habitat. In fact, seventy-five percent of Pheasants Forever members rate habitat preservation on public land as a main benefit of belonging to the organization. Since the inception of Pheasants Forever in 1982, "The Habitat Organization" has participated in more than 1,470 different land acquisitions totaling more than 184,000 acres. Those land acquisition projects have been completed in conjunction with local, state, and federal natural resource agencies, and all the projects permanently protect habitat that is open to public hunting. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service remains one of the most important partners of Pheasants Forever and its quail division, Quail Forever, for the permanent protection of public lands across the country.
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 145,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $634 million on 502,000 habitat projects benefiting 14.1 million acres nationwide.

 

CHRISTMAS IDEAS: Christmas gift ideas, how about a lifetime license for hunting, fishing and/or trapping or a subscription to the DEC magazine, the Conservationist. The nice part about the magazine you don’t have to worry about next year – just renew.

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

DECEMBER

28 – Frozen Forest Snowshoe Walk at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am Explore the beauty of winter woods and learn how to identify local trees on this guided walk. (Snowshoe rental $5/person; $2/Friends of Reinstein Woods members.) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

29 – Family Track and Scat Walk at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Do you want to be a scatologist (study of animal feces) or animal tracker? Join us for a fun walk on the trails as we look for the tracks and scat of resident wildlife. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

29 – New Moon Snowshoe Adventure at the Seneca Meadows Wetlands Preserve, Black Brook Road, Seneca Falls, NY (6:30 – 7:30 pm) Join in for an amazing snowshoe trek in the shadowy tranquility of a new moon! On this night time nature walk, we will tune into the sounds and sights of life after dark! (Please bring a flashlight.)  (Cost: Free) (For information/register call 315-539-5624)

31 - Start of Canada Goose Hunting Seasons – Part 3 – in the West Central Area (>1/11/15)and South Area (>1/15/17)

31 - End of Pheasant Hunting Season in Lake Plains Portion of Western New York

31 - Start of Hunting Seasons for Ducks, Coots and Mergansers – Part 2 - in Western Zone (>1/15/17)

31 - Close of Fishing Season for Trout in the Finger Lakes Tributaries

31 - Fur Handling Seminar hosted by the Erie County Trappers Association at the Collins Conservation Club, 2633 Conger Road, Collins, NY. (9:00 am – 1:00 pm)  The show will feature techniques for better pelt preparation, teach about pelting, fleshing and stretching, drying and sizing. This event is FREE. There will be kids games, prizes, raffles and the kitchen will be open. Trap supplies and fur hats from Hoot's Furs will be on sale. (For more information call Patti at 716-337-2556 or Hoot at 716-532-2457)

JANUARY 2017

1 – Start of Hunting Season for Varying Hare (Snowshoe Rabbit) in the Southern Tier portion of Western New York (>1/31)

1 – Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)
1 – Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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12 - 16 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

IT”S COMING - - ICE SAFETY: Here are 13 tips to follow when going on ice, courtesy of Wisconsin’s Recreation Safety Office:

*Always remember that ice is never completely safe under any conditions.

*Fish or walk with a friend. It’s safer and more fun.

*Contact local sport shops to ask about ice conditions on the lake or river you want to fish.

*Carry a cell phone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.

*Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help you stay afloat and to help slow body heat loss.

*Wear creepers attached to boots to prevent slipping on clear ice.

*Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking to new areas.

*Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself—or others—out of the ice.

*Do not travel in unfamiliar areas, or at night.

*Know if the lake has inlets, outlets, or narrows that have currents that can thin the ice.

*Look for clear ice. Clear ice is generally stronger than ice with air bubbles in it or with snow on it.

*Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.

*Take extra mittens or gloves so you always have a dry pair.

*Driving on ice is always a risk. Use good judgment and consider alternatives.

 

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

 

GET READY FOR OPERATION S.A.N.T.A.: Reviving a study dropped by the New Your State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2003, Hunt Fish NY Outdoors has taken on Operation Santa. The key observation night in this study is December 24th. People will be urged to focus their video cameras and camcorders on the rooftops of the world, especially those with chimneys. Reports being sought are of flying deer. The reason for the alert is a worry that the flying phenomenon may spread. Who knows what might happen should elephants and cows really start flying. Anyone sighting these flying creatures are urged to note: location, time, number, direction of travel, size of antlers and other special observations such as nose color, and send them to: Operation SANTA (Study of Animal Night Translocation Aerodynamics), at www.huntfishnyutdoors.com. More next week.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK: 

Man Arrested in Connection with Hunting-Related Shooting Incident – Schuyler County: Investigators from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Division of Law Enforcement arrested a man today for shooting his step brother in a hunting incident that police believe was reckless.

Scott R. Brooks, 27, of Beaver Dams, was charged with Assault in the Second Degree, a Class D felony, Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a Class A misdemeanor, and Hunting Deer Outside of Legal Hours, a violation.

The charges stem from a hunting-related shooting incident that occurred in the town of Dix, Schuyler County, early in the morning on Nov. 19, the opening day of the Southern Zone deer season.

Brooks illegally discharged one round from his .30-06 rifle nearly two hours before legal hunting time. Legal hunting hours for deer in New York State start at sunrise and end at sunset. The round that he fired struck a member of his hunting party, a 24-year-old male, who Brooks had mistaken for a deer.

The victim survived but required surgery that day.

Brooks pleaded not guilty to the charges, was released, and is due back in Town of Dix Court Jan. 13.

Poachers in the Dark - Ontario County:

Late in the afternoon on Nov. 23, ECO Shawn Dussault received a call from a concerned hunter. The caller had observed two hunters in a hedgerow between two fields after sunset. The caller expressed concern for possible illegal activity because a group of deer was headed toward the two hunters. ECO Dussault asked the caller to remain at the scene. Moments later, almost 40 minutes past sunset, a shot rang out. When ECO Dussault arrived at the scene, he went down the hedgerow and was able to make out two dark spots in the field, huddled close to the ground. ECO Dussault turned on his flashlight and observed two males gutting out a doe. ECO Dussault recovered and unloaded the men's firearms and took possession of all licenses and tags. The shooter and accomplice were charged with hunting after hours, taking an antlerless deer without a permit, and numerous other ECL charges.

 

CLEAN BIRD FEEDERS HELP KEEP BIRDS HEALTHY:  Some advice about bird feeder cleanliness before you run out and buy that first twenty dollar bag of seed. Cleaning bird feeders on a regular basis is an important and often overlooked component of feeding birds so they don't become sick.
"Feeding birds in the winter is a source of great enjoyment for bird enthusiasts, but it can also cause diseases to spread quickly among wild birds," says John Buck, the state's lead biologist on migratory birds. "It is critical to clean those birdfeeders at least once a month in order to prevent a buildup of harmful pathogens."
Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites can cause diseases such as aspergillosis, salmonella, avian pox, trichomoniasis, and conjunctivitis. Species commonly affected by bird feeder diseases are redpolls, pine siskins, goldfinches, sparrows, and cardinals.
Buck recommends using a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water to kill bacteria. Hot water with unscented dish detergent also does an excellent job. Wear rubber gloves to avoid any contamination. Be sure to clean inside and outside surfaces. Bottle brushes work well in tube feeders.
Be sure to thoroughly rinse your feeders to prevent residual chlorine from being ingested by birds. Then, dry the feeders well before filling them again. Any remaining moisture could lead to mold and mildew that can cause rotten, unhealthy seed.
Also, take time to remove seed and droppings in nearby areas where birds congregate. Birds can spill seed and leave debris several feet away from feeders.
Clean birdfeeders and feeding areas will attract more birds and keep them healthier for birders to enjoy.
Additional information about diseases at bird feeders can be found at:
http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/fact_sheets/coping_with_diseases_at_birdfeeders.jsp

 

PROJECT FEEDERWATCH: What is Project FeederWatch? Project FeederWatch lets you become the biologist of your own backyard. Participants identify the birds at their feeders from November-April and submit their observations to the Cornell Lab. You can count every week or only once all season—the time you spend is up to you! Using our easy online data entry you can immediately see all of your counts and view colorful summaries and graphs. Anyone interested in birds can participate; you don’t have to be an expert. All you need is a comfortable chair, a window, and an interest in the birds in your neighborhood.
How do I participate?

Once you sign up you can immediately start collecting data at your feeders. Read our online instructions and use the printable tally sheets to collect your counts. In the meantime, we will send you a research kit in the mail with your unique ID number; once you have your ID number you can enter your counts online. Kits take a few weeks to arrive, but don't worry—it will be there soon, and you don't need it to start collecting data.

New participants will receive:

FeederWatch Handbook & Instructions

Full-color poster of common feeder birds

Bird-Watching Days Calendar

Our annual report, Winter Bird Highlights

Digital access to Living Bird magazine

 

OUTDOOR TIPS: Winter in New York offers a lot of opportunities to get outside and explore your area in a new way. Knowing where you are going and how to get there is an important part of heading out into an unknown area. But you also have to be prepared to deal with health issues that can occur when enjoying the outdoors, especially in winter. Sporting goods stores carry reference guides to first aid that will fit easily in your backpack. Dehydration—Dehydration occurs when you don't replace the fluid that your body loses through participating in outdoor activities or exercise. Make sure to drink water before you start an activity and continue to drink it at intervals while active. Hypothermia— Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Hypothermia isn't just a concern in the winter. A cool, breezy spring or summer day can be more dangerous than a calm, dry winter day because wind and moisture draw heat away from the body quickly. Dress in layers, and wear a hat to avoid this life-threatening condition. Layered Clothing—In cool weather, your clothing provides insulation to keep you from losing body heat. Sweating can be dangerous when the temperature drops, so you must layer your clothing. The first layer of clothing should be able to "wick" away moisture. Cotton isn't a good choice because it traps the moisture close to your skin and makes you chilly. Polypropylene is a better choice for the first layer. The second layer can be a blend of cotton and synthetic fabric. Finally, a layer of wool provides warmth even when wet. Add a waterproof/windproof jacket if the weather calls for it. Wear two pairs of socks-poly liners covered by wool socks. (From DEC Outdoor Discovery  December 14, 2011)

 

CHRISTMAS IDEAS: Christmas gift ideas, how about a lifetime license for hunting, fishing and/or trapping or a subscription to the DEC magazine, the Conservationist. The nice part about the magazine you don’t have to worry about next year – just renew.

 

THIS WEEK=S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

DECEMBER 2016

17 - Independent Fur Harvesters of Central New York Raw Fur Auction at the Pompey Rod & Gun Club. Swift Road, Fabius, NY (At 8:00 am) (For information call Ed Wright at 315-934-4220.)

17 – Winter Wildlife Snowshoe Walk at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Look for signs of who is out and about in the winter woods, and discover how animals survive the cold. (Snowshoe rental $5/person; $2/Friends of Reinstein Woods members.) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

19 - Montezuma Christmas Bird Count at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of citizen science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census where thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds.  As the Christmas Bird Count enters its 117th year, birders of all experience levels are encouraged to join us to count Montezuma’s wintering birds. This event is free and open to the public but registration is required by calling 315-365-3588.

20 - Close  of Southern Zone Late Deer and Bear Bowhunting, Crossbow and Muzzleloading Seasons

21 – Pistol Training Course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, 1 N Mullet Street, Dunkirk, NY. (5:30 - 10:30 p.m.) There is a $75 fee for attending this course. (To register or gain information, contact Gary Dudek at 716-366-3397.)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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12 - 9 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner, little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

ACTION ALERT FROM THE NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION: BIPARTISAN SPORTSMEN'S ACT: Final Push: Your Immediate Action is Needed and Appreciated.

The most important legislation in a generation for America’s hunters and target shooters is at a crucial stage. The U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are in the homestretch and have just days to pass the Energy Policy Modernization Act conference report that includes the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act prior to the end of the 114th Congress.

Take this final opportunity to call the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan and urge him to approve the Energy Conference report with the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. Please CALL TODAY before Congress takes up the Continuing Resolution this week to fund the federal government past Dec. 9.

We do NOT want Congress to punt the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act into the next congress that begins in January.  We have come too far to go back to “square one” and begin again.

Please take this final opportunity to call today to help protect and preserve our cherished outdoor traditions.

United States Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

 

LAW SUIT OVER TASER AND NONLETHAL WEAPONS: Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF), and New York resident Matthew Avitabile have filed a federal Second Amendment civil rights lawsuit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in an effort to strike down the state's ban on the acquisition and possession of Tasers and other nonlethal (sometimes called "less-than-lethal") weapons.

Individual plaintiff Matthew Avitabile is the mayor of Middleburgh, New York and would like to buy and keep a Taser for self-defense. But New York Penal Law § 265.01 states that "A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon" if "He or she possesses any….electronic dart gun" or "electronic stun gun," making the crime punishable as a misdemeanor.
The complaint states that, "Given the [United States Supreme Court] decision in Heller, Defendants may not completely ban the keeping and bearing of arms for self-defense" or "impose regulations on the right to keep and carry arms that are inconsistent with the Second Amendment."
Governor Cuomo and Superintendent of the New York State Police Lt. Col. George Beach are named as defendants in the case.
A copy of the lawsuit's complaint can be viewed or downloaded at
http://www.firearmspolicy.org/legal/avitabile-v-cuomo.
Firearms Policy Foundation (
www.firearmsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. FPF's mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the People's rights, privileges and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms.

(From The Outdoor Wire for Wednesday, December 7 - http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/1481095311ub2k4bfr3us)

FROM THE INTERNET - PEANUT BUTTER KILLING DOGS: If your dog is anything like my dog, they probably love a good scoop of peanut butter. As I'm writing this, my pup Ellie is actually snuggled up next to my leg and going to town on her peanut butter filled Kong.

She's in heaven... But I want to warn you about a NEW problem with dogs and peanut butter.  

There's been a number of reports lately of dogs who are winding up dead because of their beloved peanut butter. How is this happening? It has to do with a new ingredient being used in certain peanut butters. That ingredient is xylitol.

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that you'll recognize from things like gum and candy. And while it's generally "safe" for humans to eat, it can be deadly for dogs.  Just a small amount of it can cause severe liver damage and can even kill your dog. From my research, Ive found 5 brands of peanut butter that have recently added xylitol to their ingredients.

I'm listing these brands below...

- Go Nuts Co

- Hank's Protein Plus Peanut Butter

- Krush Nutrition

- Nuts N More

- P28

Now luckily most of these are NOT the most popular brands. These brands are usually sold at specialty shops or health food stores. But I still wanted to alert you to this... Because if your dog is anything like mine, they probably love peanut butter. So make sure you're staying away from the brands I listed above. And double-check the label on your peanut butter to make sure it doesn't have xylitol in it.

(Jeff Reagan, Editor, Patriot Health Alliance) 

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Decoy Survives - Seneca County: On Nov. 23, ECOs Scott Angotti and Mark Colesante conducted a deer decoy detail in the town of Tyre. Deer decoys are used to address complaints of poachers shooting from vehicles. Shortly after setting up the decoy in a safe area, a man stopped, exited his vehicle and, while leaning over his vehicle, fired twice at the decoy. An ECO on foot attempted to apprehend the subject but he jumped in his vehicle and attempted to flee. The second ECO blocked the roadway and the subject veered into a snowbank before surrendering. He was handcuffed and arraigned in the Town of Tyre Court for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, shooting from a public highway, trespassing, failure to comply with a lawful order, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, forged inspection sticker, uninspected vehicle, and unlicensed operation. The decoy remained unscathed, as both shots missed.

Lake Ontario Tributaries Popular for Illegal Fishing - Monroe County: On the night of Nov. 11, Lt. William Powell, ECOs Brian Wade, John Lutz, John Stansfield, Todd Smith, Eoin Snowdon, and Joshua Wolgast conducted a saturation patrol in response to complaints of subjects sneaking into Lake Ontario tributaries to spear and net spawning trout. It was a busy night and by 4 a.m. the following morning, ECOs apprehended seven individuals from Rochester, New York City, and New Jersey, seized 16 illegal fish, and wrote a total of 18 tickets for taking over the limit of brown trout, taking fish by means other than angling (spearing), fishing during closed hours, failing to comply with the lawful order of a Conservation Officer, and trespassing. Three coolers full of fish were seized as evidence and all subjects were issued tickets returnable to the Town of Webster Court.

                                                DEC Photo

Trespassing to Hunt - Broome County: On Nov. 19, ECO Andy McCormick responded to a complaint in the town of Union regarding a group of hunters trespassing on private property. The complainant stated that he had confronted the men and the discussion nearly became violent. The group did not have permission to be on the property. Officer McCormick checked the area and attempted to locate the responsible parties, but found no signs of them. On Nov. 20, the complainant contacted ECO McCormick again, advising him that two of the hunters had returned to hunt the same property. Both ECOs McCormick and Anthony Rigoli responded, tracked the two on the property, and found them hunting again. Both subjects were ticketed for trespassing and were advised not to return.

DEC Arrests Man in Connection with Hunting-Related Shooting Incident – Schuyler County: Investigators from NYSDEC Division of Law Enforcement arrested a man today for shooting his step brother in a hunting incident that police believe was reckless.

Scott R. Brooks, 27, of Beaver Dams, was charged with Assault in the Second Degree, a Class D felony, Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a Class A misdemeanor, and Hunting Deer Outside of Legal Hours, a violation.

The charges stem from a hunting-related shooting incident that occurred in the town of Dix, Schuyler County, early in the morning on Nov. 19, the opening day of the Southern Zone deer season.

Brooks illegally discharged one round from his .30-06 rifle nearly two hours before legal hunting time. Legal hunting hours for deer in New York State start at sunrise and end at sunset. The round that he fired struck a member of his hunting party, a 24-year-old male, who Brooks had mistaken for a deer.

The victim survived but required surgery that day.

Brooks pleaded not guilty to the charges, was released, and is due back in Town of Dix Court Jan. 13, 2017.


THIS WEEK
'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

DECEMBER 2016

9 - Western and Central New York Chapter of Safari Club 22nd Annual Game Dinner at Michael’s Banquet Facility, Hamburg, NY.(For more information and tickets contact Gerry Reese at 716-570-8275.)

9 - Home School Nature Series:  What is a Watershed? at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) What is a watershed and why is it important to us?  Through fun, interactive and hands-on educational activities, homeschooled children ages 5 to 12 will discover that they are living in a watershed and learn about how our actions can positively and negatively impact a watershed. (Fee: $8/student.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

10 - Montezuma Wine and Wings Raptor Van Tour at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:00 – 4:00 pm) Join us for the first raptor van tour of the season to look for elusive Short-eared Owls, Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles, and more! During the tour, we’ll stop at the Montezuma Winery for wine tastings and to learn how vineyards and Important Bird Areas happily exist side by side. Must be 21+. (Fee: $20/adult, includes tastings.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

10 – Coping with Cold at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Discover how animals prepare for the cold months ahead on this guided walk in the woods. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

10-11 - Niagara Frontier Cheektowaga Gun Show at the Knights of Columbus, 2735 Union Road, Cheektowaga, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) 90 tables. (Admission: $5.00/children 12 and under free) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com)

11 - Close of Southern Zone Regular Deer and Bear Hunting Seasons

11 - Close  of Northern Zone Late Deer and Bear Bowhunting, Crossbow and Muzzleloading Seasons

11 - Genesee Valley Trappers Association Fur Auction at the Clubhouse, 4462 County Road 32 (3 miles east of Honeoye, south of 20A), Honeoye, NY (6:30 am fur checkin/10:00 am auction) ($10.00 charge for non-members) (For information call Tom Miller, 585-229-4759)

12 - Start of Hunting Season for Varying Hare (Snowshoe Rabbit) in Central and Eastern New York (>2/28/14)

12 - Start of Southern Zone Late Deer and Bear Bowhunting, Crossbow and Muzzleloading Seasons (>12/20)

15 - Close of Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

17 - End of Canada Goose Season in the South Zone of Western New York

17 – Winter Wildlife Snowshoe Walk at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Look for signs of who is out and about in the winter woods, and discover how animals survive the cold. (Snowshoe rental $5/person; $2/Friends of Reinstein Woods members.) For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

 

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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11 - 25 - 16

Welcome to this week's Conservation Chatter Corner, little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

UNFORTUNATELY NOT LIKE LAST YEAR: 2015 was one of the safest years ever for sportspeople going afield; but not so this year. There were no hunting related fatalities during the year. Thus far this year there have been 23 hunting related shootings, including three fatal incidents according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Ten, including Carlson's death, were self-inflicted accidental shootings. Thirteen others involved one hunter accidentally shooting another hunter, according to DEC officials.

The first death involved Thomas Carlson, a 50-year-old Jamestown man found dead in his hunting gear in Busti, Chautauqua County. He accidentally shot himself with his own weapon, according to Lakewood-Busti police officials.

The second death was that of Kevin D. Paro. According to police, Kristopher Paro, Kevin’s son, was hunting alone in the area behind his house in Sandy Creek. He was in a tree stand when he heard what he thought was a deer about 100 yards away. The sound was actually Paro's father, Kevin, who had gone into the woods to hunt as well. Paro fired with a .270 rifle and struck his father in the chest. Kevin Paro was transported to Oswego Hospital where he was pronounced dead. State Police are investigating the incident with officers from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the State Police Forensic Identification Unit.

The third death was a female hunter who was accidentally shot in Caledonia, Livingston County. She had been hunting with a group of four or five others in an area near the Genesee River. The identity of the victim was not released, and officials did not share details about how the incident occurred. Authorities are continuing to investigate.

 

DEC COMMISSIONER BASIL SEGGOS STATEMENT ON SHOOTING OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION OFFICER JAMES DAVEY: The following is a statement from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos regarding the shooting of Environmental Conservation Officer James Davey.

"On the evening of November 29, 2016, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Officers James Davey and Lieutenant Liza Bobseine were investigating reports of potential illegal hunting activity in the Town of Gallatin in Columbia County when officer James Davey was shot. Officer Davey underwent extensive surgery at the Mid-Hudson Hospital to repair damage from the gunshot wound and is in the Intensive Care Unit in stable condition. I had the chance to meet Officer Davey's wife Nancy, a Forest Ranger at DEC, and other family members last night who were appreciative of the outpouring of support from the DEC family.

"Lieutenant Liza Bobseine who was on patrol with Officer Davey investigating the incident is credited with saving Officer Davey's life for her quick and heroic actions in the field. Lt. Bobseine was able to quickly apply a compress to the wound while calling for support and keeping the suspects under control 1/2 mile into a field. It's clear that if it were not for her actions, officer Davey would not have survived. I commend the two officers for their courage in the line of duty and thank them for their dedicated service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded officer and his family."

An investigation led by New York State Police from the Livingston barracks determined that Alan Blanchard, 55, of Gallatin, was responsible for the accidental shooting due to reckless conduct. Blanchard was arrested for Assault in the 2nd degree, a class D felony, arraigned in the Town of Livingston Court, and remanded to the Dutchess County Jail in lieu of no bail. He is scheduled to reappear in the Town of Livingston Court on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.

ECO Davey, 39, is a 12-year veteran of the force, having graduated from the DEC Basic Police Academy in 2005. He is currently assigned to patrol Columbia County. Officer Davey is a Division of Criminal Justice Services-Certified Police Instructor, having recently become a Certified Firearms instructor for the DEC. He is married to a DEC Forest Ranger, Nancy Davey.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Attempted Deer Jacking - Schuyler County: On Nov. 8, ECO Erik Dalecki received a call from a Schuyler County Sheriff Deputy regarding an attempted deer jacking at 1 a.m. in the town of Hector. While responding to a call of shots fired and spotlighting, the deputy found a truck matching the description from the complainant, as well as a loaded rifle at the scene. ECO Dalecki seized the evidence and investigated the case. ECO Dalecki located and interviewed an 18-year-old male, who admitted to using an artificial light to hunt for deer, shooting from a public highway, having a loaded long gun in a motor vehicle, using rimfire ammunition to hunt deer, and hunting deer during closed hours. The subject, who had used a .22-caliber Marlin rifle belonging to his grandfather, was issued five tickets for the offenses, three of which are misdemeanors. ECO Dalecki then interviewed a 16-year-old male subject with his mother present, and later issued the same five tickets for being an accessory. Both subjects face maximum fines of up to $5,500 in penalties.

Big Buck Poachers Face Multiple Charges - Erie County: On Nov. 19, two men in Cheektowaga decided they were going to get an early - and illegal -start to the shotgun season. They got a crossbow and headed toward an area where deer frequent a residential neighborhood. At about 1 a.m., one of the men spotted a 10-point buck standing alongside Strasmer Drive and fired the crossbow over the road, apparently gut-shotting the buck. Cheektowaga police were called by a concerned neighbor who saw flashlights in her yard. Upon the arrival, a foot chase ensued and one individual was caught while the other was able to flee. Cheektowaga Police then contacted ECO Robert Peinkofer.


Illegally shot buck.   (DEC Photo)

ECO Peinkofer conducted a lengthy search and investigation that continued well into the next day. Deer Search, Inc., a non-profit group of volunteers that track dead deer, was called and on Nov. 20, Deer Search's Gary and Kari Huber and their K-9s Kita and Beya picked up a scent. ECOs Scott Marshall, James Hunt, and K-9 Bear were also on scene when the buck was located in a swamp. Multiple interviews were conducted with the poachers and they admitted to shooting the deer. A total of 13 tickets were issued to the young men.

RECORD FISH FOR NEW YORK: Amelia Whalen of Witherbee caught a record breaking freshwater drum from Lake Champlain in Essex County in June, 2016. The fish measured 36.5 inches and weighed 29 pounds 14 ounces, breaking the previous state record set in 2014 by more than 3 pounds.


Amelia Whalen and
father with record-breaking fish.

Freshwater drum, also referred to as "sheepshead," primarily dwell in large rivers and lakes. Their pronounced blunt head make them easily identifiable. With numerous small round teeth made for crushing, drum feed mostly on freshwater snails, clams and crayfish. When hooked, drum are known to put up a good fight. For more information on this unique fish species, visit DEC's website.

Amelia, who caught the drum with a Lazer Blade lure, submitted details of her winning catch as part of DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program, which verifies and tracks state record fish. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch & Release, Annual Award and State Record.

For more information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, go to DEC's website. Program details and an official entry form can also be found in DEC's current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide. For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program call (518) 402-8891 or email fwfish@dec.ny.gov .

 

MUDBOILS IN TULLY. WHAT IS A MUDBOIL?: The Onondaga Creek Watershed is affected by many natural and anthropogenic activities that have compromised the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the watershed: mining, agriculture, site development, channelization, flood control and industrial activity. Of particular importance is the excess sedimentat

ion entering the Creek from the Tully Mudboils in the upper watershed. Substantial resources have been devoted to attempting to understand and abate the sedimentation arising from this phenomenon.

Mudboils are geologic phenomena similar to quicksand, where artesian pressure propels groundwater along with sediment from below ground to the surface. In the Tully Valley and along Onondaga Creek mudboils are formed where pressurized groundwater flows up through a confining layer of fine sand, silt and clay.

The entrained fine sand settles out almost immediately at the surface and forms a volcano-like cone around the mudboil vent, whereas the soil fines remain entrained in the discharge from the mudboil. Mudboils are often called “mud volcanoes”, however mud volcanoes are

driven by geothermally heated and pressurized groundwater and gas rather than artesian pressure. Mud volcanoes are more common and occur around the world near subduction zones. In either case, the clay, fine sand and silt that exits the vent can either settle locally or remain in suspension if transported by water. The turbulent stream and sediment from Tully Valley mudboils is the dominant source of turbidity in Onondaga Creek from Tully Valley to Onondaga Lake.

The erosion of suspended sediment from the subsurface causes the land surface near the mudboil to slowly sag or subside into the subsurface void from which the sediment was removed. This subsidence often creates a series of concentric ring fractures around the discharging mudboil. As more sediment is removed at depth, additional ring fractures can develop, followed by additional land-surface subsidence. These volcano-like cones of sand can range from several inches to several feet high and several inches to over 30 feet in diameter. In active areas, the mud boils can erupt and form a large cone in several days, whereas others may be not active for several years.

If, during subsidence, the vent is closed off or otherwise blocked, artesian pressure will often

increase until a new vent is formed, usually along one of the ring fractures.

 

BLOOD ON THE LEAVES: REAL HUNTING ACCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS – AND LESSONS IN HUNTER SAFETY: The experts at Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants, LLC have written a book that brings readers to the scenes of 30 real life hunting accident investigations. Each chapter of Blood on The Leaves: Real Hunting Accident Investigations – And Lessons in Hunter Safety (Lyons Press, 336 pages, $16.95 paperback) ends with safety lessons to be learned from the incident covered. The book also covers a glossary of hunting terms, the history of hunter education and the role of hunting accident investigators.
With hunting season in full swing, the book is timely. Almost 50,000 volunteer instructors will teach hunting safety courses to more than 675,000 new hunters this year. These new hunters are learning the rules that make hunting as safe as it is. Unfortunately, every year a few will forget and someone will be injured or killed in a hunting related shooting incident.
The "CSI in the Woods" tales in this book will motivate all hunters, young and old, to follow the safety rules they have been taught. Even non-hunters will enjoy the stories and will learn the basics of safe hunting and firearms handling. Some state agencies are giving books to their volunteer Hunter Education Instructors to use as a reference and teaching aid. A growing number of sporting organizations have purchased the books in quantity to donate to schools and libraries.
Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants, LLC (
www.huntsrc.com) is comprised of Rod Slings, Mike VanDurme (former NYS ECO Lieutenant) and Keith Byers; all retired Wildlife Officer Supervisors with over 75 years of combined experience investigating hunting incidents. They serve as the Directors of the International Hunter Education Association's Hunting Incident investigations Academy, which, since 1993 has trained over 1200 Wildlife Officers from across the country in the specific skills needed to investigate these unique incidents. They also provide expert witness services in litigations and lecture widely on hunter safety related topics.

THIS WEEK'
S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

DECEMBER 2016

1 – Start of Statewide Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>6/16/16)
1 – Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>5/5/17)

1 - Ducks Unlimited – Niagara River (Grand Island) Chapter Banquet at the Buffalo Launch Club, 503 East River Road, Grand Island, NY. (6:00 pm) Waterfowl conservation is facing important challenges as wetlands and other habitats are being degraded and destroyed across the continent. Ducks Unlimited has a vision to reverse this trend. (Cost: Single $60/Couple - $85) (For information call Bob Hobba  716-774-1223 or Ron Rezabek 716-773-1385)

1 - Teacher’s Workshop: Project WILD at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (5:30 – 9:00 pm) Project WILD is an award-winning education program     focusing on wildlife and designed for teachers and youth leaders of students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The guides help students learn basic concepts about wildlife and their needs through developing problem-solving skills and exploring responsible human actions toward wildlife and the environment. (Fee: Free.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

3 – NWTF Salmon River Chapter Wheelin Sportsmen Muzzleloader Deer Hunt on private property in Mexico, NY (For information contact William Wilbur  315-440-4351  wwilbur551@aol.com)

3 – Holiday Nature Craft Extravaganza at the Seneca Meadows Education Center, 1977 State Route 414, Seneca Falls, NY (3:00 – 4:00 pm) Come build a bird feeder with us! These wooden bird feeders are great looking, and will give your family many hours of enjoyment as you feed your feathered friends! (Cost: $5.00 per bird feeder) (For information/register call 315-539-5624)

3 - Rod & Gun Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Lyons Road (Route 14N), Geneva, NY (9:15 am) Selling over 1000 lots of modern & antique shotguns, rifles, handguns, military, decoys, knives, mounts, fishing, ammo and swords. (For more information call 315-789-9349 or 585-734-6082 or go to www.hessney.com)

3 – Advanced Geocaching at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:00 am) Search for geocaches hidden in the woods using GPS units on this guided walk. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

3-4 - Niagara Frontier – Clarence Gun Show at the Event Building, 11177 Main St Clarence, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 100 tables. NICS background checks available.  (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com

4 - End of Hunting Seasons for Ducks, Coots, and Mergansers in Western Zone

4 - End of Northern Zone Regular Deer and Bear Hunting Seasons

5 - Start of Northern Zone Late Deer and Bear Bowhunting, Crossbow and Muzzleloading Seasons (>12/11)

5 -  "Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer" a book review with author Peter Marra at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY. Marra, a bird conservationist with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Washington, D.C., is co-author of a new, controversial book, The book, he said, puts all the research and studies together to show the complete story about how outdoor pet and free-ranging feral cats pose a threat to bio-diversity, the environment and to public health. The event will be streamed live on the allaboutbirds.org website. (For information 1-800-843-2483.)

7 - Ducks Unlimited – Seneca Falls Chapter Banquet at the Seneca Falls Elks Lodge, West Bayard Street, Seneca Falls, NY. (6:00 pm) Waterfowl conservation is facing important challenges as wetlands and other habitats are being degraded and destroyed across the continent. Ducks Unlimited has a vision to reverse this trend. (Cost: Single $60/Couple - $85) (For information call Mike Ernst 585-703-4949)

9 - Western and Central New York Chapter of Safari Club 22nd Annual Game Dinner at Michael’s Banquet Facility, Hamburg, NY.(For more information and tickets contact Gerry Reese at 716-570-8275.)

9 - Home School Nature Series:  What is a Watershed? at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) What is a watershed and why is it important to us?  Through fun, interactive and hands-on educational activities, homeschooled children ages 5 to 12 will discover that they are living in a watershed and learn about how our actions can positively and negatively impact a watershed. (Fee: $8/student.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

10 - Montezuma Wine and Wings Raptor Van Tour at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:00 – 4:00 pm) Join us for the first raptor van tour of the season to look for elusive Short-eared Owls, Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles, and more! During the tour, we’ll stop at the Montezuma Winery for wine tastings and to learn how vineyards and Important Bird Areas happily exist side by side. Must be 21+. (Fee: $20/adult, includes tastings.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

10 – Coping with Cold at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Discover how animals prepare for the cold months ahead on this guided walk in the woods. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

10-11 - Niagara Frontier Cheektowaga Gun Show at the Knights of Columbus, 2735 Union Road, Cheektowaga, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) 90 tables. (Admission: $5.00/children 12 and under free) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  nfgshows@aol.com)

11 - Close of Southern Zone Regular Deer and Bear Hunting Seasons

11 - Close  of Northern Zone Late Deer and Bear Bowhunting, Crossbow and Muzzleloading Seasons

11 - Genesee Valley Trappers Association Fur Auction at the Clubhouse, 4462 County Road 32 (3 miles east of Honeoye, south of 20A), Honeoye, NY (6:30 am fur checkin/10:00 am auction) ($10.00 charge for non-members) (For information call Tom Miller, 585-229-4759)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

********************************

 

11 - 25 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

                                                                                      Photo by John Adamski

 

HOPE YOU HAD A HAPPY THANKSGIVING: Still need exercise after your Thanksgiving meal? Well, hunters have lots of opportunity. Small game seasons are open and we’re at the quartermark of the deer season. Hunters will need more skill to be successful, especially if they’re after a buck. Calculations from past years show that hunters take 40+% of the harvested bucks on opening day and 80% during the first week. For antlerless deer about 60% are taken during the first week. Depending on where you hunt, the weather may be helping your odds. This past week some areas had up to 20 inches of snow.

Hunter safety and ethics must be stressed at this time of the season. Some hunters, without deer, may feel desperate for venison, but reason must prevail. You still must be sure of your target and beyond, no shot at sounds in the brush and no long shots at deer - that you might hit. Thus far it’s been a fairly safe season, especially when you consider the numbers of hunters participating in the sport. In the region we’ve had five incidents involving hunter injuries and six involving property damage. Hunters must be sure what’s behind their target. Hunting is a very safe activity, but only you can insure it stays that way.

 

CURRENT CHANGES TO HUNTING REGULATIONS ARE BEING CONSIDERED: DEC is reviewing some preliminary ideas which may or may not be formally proposed at a later time. Also, DEC may formally propose rule changes that are not noted here, but as described above, those would be available for public comment when they are published in the State Register.

Submit your comments by December 23, 2016 to any of the ideas below by sending an email or by writing to NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

Possible Big Game Regulation Changes for 2017:

1. Idea: Clarify and strengthen regulations that prohibit the feeding of wild white-tailed deer by:

more explicitly defining bait or feed;

clarifying that incidental feeding such as the attraction of deer or moose to a birdfeeder would only be considered a violation if the Department had previously issued a written warning to the person responsible for the incidental feeding. This will allow the Department to respond appropriately to specific complaints of nuisance situations without limiting bird feeding in general.

Background Information: Feeding of white-tailed deer causes un-natural concentrations near the food source which can lead to ecological damage, damage to property, and increases the risk of transmission of disease between deer. A general prohibition on feeding white-tailed deer has been in effect since 2002. Updated regulations are needed to address additional concerns related to deer feeding while maintaining appropriate exemptions for agriculture and wildlife food plots and establishing new exemptions for 4-Poster devices (described below).

2. Idea: Define the conditions under which the DEC may issue permits for the use of 4-Poster TickicideTM and 4-PosterTM deer treatment devices in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, including:

4-Poster Tickicide may only be used by a municipality, landowner association, or private individual/corporation that has control over at least 40 acres of deer habitat. This is necessary to comply with the current product label which states that 4-Posters should be deployed at a rate of one device per 40 acres of treatment area;

4-Poster Tickicide may only be used as a single component of an Integrated Pest Management program, which must include steps to inform the public about the presence and use of 4-Poster devices and best practices to avoid exposure to tick bites, and assertive management actions to ensure white-tailed populations and the impacts of deer will not increase as a result of deploying 4-Poster devices;

Discontinue 4-Poster use in event that they pose a threat to disease transmission or spread.

Background Information: 4-Poster TickicideTM is registered by DEC and the EPA as a pesticide used to kill ticks on deer. In accordance with the pesticide labeling restrictions, 4-Posters may only be deployed in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Its use depends on attracting deer to combination feeder/pesticide applicator devices (4-Posters) baited with corn. Thus clear regulations are needed to address and lessen potential environmental impacts associated with use of 4-Poster devices and high deer populations.

3. Idea: Amend the existing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Regulation (6 NYCRR Part 189) to strengthen and enhance CWD prevention measures to protect the wild White-tailed deer herd in New York including:

*prohibiting the importation of all CWD-susceptible carcasses taken outside New York;

*prohibiting the retail sale and use of urine, glands or excreted materials from any CWD-susceptible animals for scents, lures, or attractants while afield;

*including Reindeer/Caribou in the list of CWD-susceptible cervids;

*requiring that synthetic scents, lures or attractants used for attracting deer be labeled as not containing any biological material from any CWD-susceptible cervid;

*requiring that people in the taxidermist business and people in the business of butchering deer dispose of all biological waste material and any other waste material used in the process of mounting or butchering deer be disposed of only in a regulated solid waste landfill;

*increasing the inspection, oversight and CWD testing of animals possessed under the authority of a Domestic Game Animal Breeder License.

Background Information: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) represents a serious threat to New York State's wild white-tailed population. DEC's existing CWD regulation is antiquated and does not provide adequate measures to protect the deer population. Prevention is the only proven effective method of wildlife disease management. Specifically, the proposed measures will keep CWD infectious material out of the state and prevent exposure of CWD infectious material to wild white-tailed deer in New York. In addition, the proposed measures will provide DEC with enhanced oversight of captive white-tailed deer facilities including an increase of CWD testing of deer held at such facilities.

NOTE: Previously DEC had suggested possible changes to antlerless hunting rules in 2017, possibly including a new muzzleloader season in some Wildlife Management Units where additional antlerless harvest is needed. At this point, we anticipate these changes may not occur until 2018. We are still engaged in processes to assess the impacts of existing deer populations on forested habitats and to revise how we obtain public input about desired changes in deer abundance. Both of these processes have bearing on future objectives for deer populations throughout the state. Additionally, several portions of the state are limited to bowhunting-only by statute, and alternative strategies are needed to address deer populations in these areas. Thus, we believe it is appropriate to temporarily hold-off on new proposals for increasing antlerless harvest until we make further progress with ongoing assessment projects and assemble a more comprehensive approach to address situations of deer overabundance.

Possible Small Game Regulation Changes for 2017:

5. Idea: Remove the requirement for a special permit for hunting and trapping bobcats in the Harvest Expansion Area (HEA).

Background Information: Over the past four years hunters and trappers who pursue bobcats in the Harvest Expansion Area (HEA; Wildlife Management Units 3R, 3S, 4A, 4F, 4O, 5R, 6R, 6S, 7S, 8T, 8W, 8X, 8Y, 9J, 9K, 9M, 9N, 9P, 9R, 9S, 9T, 9W, 9X, and 9Y) have been required to obtain a special permit from their regional wildlife office. The special permit process allowed DEC biologists to collect information on harvest and hunting and trapping effort and was designed as a short-term monitoring effort. Based on data collected over the past four seasons and the presence of other mechanisms such as mandatory pelt-sealing, the special permit is no longer needed to monitor take or effort. All hunters and trappers are already required to possess a hunting or trapping license to take a bobcat anywhere in New York where the season is open. Furthermore, any bobcats taken during the open season must be pelt-sealed (have a plastic tag affixed) by DEC staff. Mandatory pelt-sealing allows DEC staff to monitor harvest and to estimate the number of hunters and trappers pursuing bobcats within the HEA. No changes to the season timing, season length, or Wildlife Management Units open to bobcat hunting/trapping are proposed for fall 2017.

6. Idea: Amend 6 NYCRR Part 3 to close the season on diamondback terrapin and add the species to the list of native turtles with no open season.

Background Information: Diamondback terrapins are a species of turtle that live in brackish waters associated with the lower Hudson River, Long Island Sound, Peconic Bay, and the coastal embayments along the south shore of Long Island. Declines in terrapin populations and increasing pressures from habitat loss, nesting predation, and commercial harvest for specialized markets has prompted closure of harvest in all of the states in the terrapin's range with the exception of New York. Concerns for New York terrapin populations have prompted this change to repeal Part 3.1 to close the open season and provide protection to the species from harvest. Amending part 3.2 to add diamondback terrapin to the list of native turtles with no open season would effectively protect the species in all lifestages from being collected in the wild without a Special License to collect and possess.

 

TREE STAND SAFETY: Hunting deer from trees first became popular with bowhunters who needed to be within "spitting distance" for an effective shot. Today, many firearms hunters have also taken to the trees. Hunting from trees has advantages, but also some big disadvantages.

If you do choose to use one, here are some tips to help get the most out of your arboreal hunting experience.

Use a sturdy, portable stand. Permanent stands nailed into trees are dumb and deadly. They give away your secret hunting spots to anybody who sees them. They are difficult to move when deer change their trails a few feet. Ugly boards and spikes that ruin chain saws make landowners mad. The worst is that they rot. Weakened wooden steps and stands kill and cripple hunters. Even pressure treated wood gets a dangerous slippery growth.

Know the Rules. On state lands, it is illegal to place nails or other hardware into trees, or to build permanent structures, such as tree stands, platforms and blinds. On private lands, it is illegal to cut or remove trees or other plants, or to cut limbs or damage bark (such as from putting up blinds or tree stands, or cutting shooting lanes or trails) without the landowner's permission.

Don't go too high. Remember that the higher you go, the smaller the vital zone on a deer becomes. And the likelihood of a serious injury escalates if you fall from high up. Usually, 15 to 20 feet is high enough.

Use a safety belt for climbing. Most falls happen when going up and down the tree, and in and out of the stand. Good commercial climbing belts are available.

Never try to carry guns or bows up and down trees. They get in the way of safe climbing; they get dropped; and climbing with guns can result in hunters shooting themselves. Always use a rope to raise and lower bows and guns -- Unloaded.

As soon as you get in a tree stand -- strap in. A body harness is better than a plain safety belt, but a belt is a whole lot better than nothing. If you just have a safety belt, attach it high - around your chest - to avoid injury from the belt if you fall. A short tether connecting you to the tree to prevent a fall is safer than a long one to catch you after a fall. Also, a short tether can make you a better shot. It lets you concentrate on shooting instead of balancing.

 

REMAINING DEER MANAGEMENT PERMITS AVAILABLE FOR HUNTERS: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the remaining Deer Management Permits (DMPs) in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 1C,  3S (bowhunting-only), 8G, and 9A are still available to hunters as of 11–23-16. For WMU locations, refer to the 2016-17 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit DEC's website. Leftover DMPs are not available by phone, mail, or internet. Applicants who previously paid the $10 DMP application fee during the initial application period, or are exempt from the application fee, will not be charged for this additional application. Hunters who did not previously apply for a deer management permit are required to pay the $10 application fee.

 

DEER & BEAR CHECK STATION IN REGION 8: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourages hunters to visit a deer and bear check station during the regular big game season. Region 8 Wildlife personnel will operate a check station at the Region 8 DEC Office at 6274 E. Avon-Lima Road (State Routes 5 & 20), in the Town of Avon, daily from 8:45 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. The check station will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

 

TOLL-FREE HOTLINE TO REPORT POACHERS AND POLLUTERS:  Members of the public are reminded they can instantly report poachers and polluters using the state’s toll-free hotline that will help to ensure strict enforcement of environmental laws that protect the State's natural resources. The toll-free hotline number is 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267). It will be staffed around the clock and connect callers to a DEC police dispatcher. The hotline helps DEC's Environmental Conservation Officers respond quickly to wildlife and environmental crimes. 

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

THIS WEEK=S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

NOVEMBER 2016

25 - Start Of Trapping Seasons for Mink and Muskrat (>2/15/17)

25 - Start Of Trapping Seasons for Beaver in Western New York (> 3/15/17 West portion of Southern Tier/rest >2/15/17)

29 - End of Hunting Season for Brant in the Western Zone New York

30 - End of Statewide Fishing Season for Black Bass

 

DECEMBER 2016  

 

1 – Start of Statewide Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>6/16/16)

1 – Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>5/5/17)

1 - Ducks Unlimited – Niagara River (Grand Island) Chapter Banquet at the Buffalo Launch Club, 503 East River Road, Grand Island, NY. (6:00 pm) Waterfowl conservation is facing important challenges as wetlands and other habitats are being degraded and destroyed across the continent. Ducks Unlimited has a vision to reverse this trend. (Cost: Single $60/Couple - $85) (For information call Bob Hobba 716-774-1223 or Ron Rezabek 716-773-1385)

1 - Teacher’s Workshop: Project WILD at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (5:30 – 9:00 pm) Project WILD is an award-winning education program focusing on wildlife and designed for teachers and youth leaders of students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The guides help students learn basic concepts about wildlife and their needs through developing problem-solving skills and exploring responsible human actions toward wildlife and the environment. (Fee: Free.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

3 – NWTF Salmon River Chapter Wheelin Sportsmen Muzzleloader Deer Hunt on private property in Mexico, NY (For information contact William Wilbur 315-440-4351 wwilbur551@aol.com)

3 – Holiday Nature Craft Extravaganza at the Seneca Meadows Education Center, 1977 State Route 414, Seneca Falls, NY (3:00 – 4:00 pm) Come build a bird feeder with us! These wooden bird feeders are great looking, and will give your family many hours of enjoyment as you feed your feathered friends! (Cost: $5.00 per bird feeder) (For information/register call 315-539-5624)

3-4 - Niagara Frontier – Clarence Gun Show at the Event Building, 11177 Main St Clarence, NY (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 100 tables. NICS background checks available. (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email nfgshows@aol.com) 

4 - End of Hunting Seasons for Ducks, Coots, and Mergansers in Western Zone

4 - End of Northern Zone Regular Deer and Bear Hunting Seasons

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

********************************

 

11 - 18 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

REGULAR FIREARMS SEASON FOR DEER AND BEAR BEGINS TOMORROW: The 2016 regular deer and bear hunting seasons in New York's Southern Zone begin at sunrise on Saturday, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 11. The Southern Zone regular season is New York's most popular hunting season, with about 85 percent of New York's 550,000 licensed hunters participating. Harvests during this season account for nearly 60 percent of the total annual statewide deer take and 30 to 60 percent of the statewide bear harvest.

Following the regular deer and bear seasons in the Southern Zone, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons will run from Dec. 12 through Dec. 20. Hunters taking part in these special seasons must possess a hunting license and either bowhunting or muzzleloading privileges.

In the Northern Zone, the regular deer and bear hunting season opened Oct. 22, and will close at sunset on Dec. 4. The Northern Zone includes the Adirondacks, Tug Hill Plateau, Eastern Lake Ontario Plain, and the Champlain and St. Lawrence valleys. A late bowhunting and muzzleloading season for deer will be open in portions of the Northern Zone from Dec. 5 to Dec. 11.

 

REMAINING DEER MANAGEMENT PERMITS AVAILABLE FOR HUNTERS: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the remaining Deer Management Permits (DMPs) in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 1C,  3S (bowhunting-only), 8A, 8G, 8H, 8J, 8N, 9A and 9F are still available to hunters as of 11–15-16. For WMU locations, refer to the 2016-17 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit DEC's website.

Leftover DMPs are not available by phone, mail, or internet. Applicants who previously paid the $10 DMP application fee during the initial application period, or are exempt from the application fee, will not be charged for this additional application. Hunters who did not previously apply for a deer management permit are required to pay the $10 application fee.

 

DEC TO OPERATE DEER & BEAR CHECK STATIONS IN REGION 8 & 9 ON OPENING WEEKEND: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourages hunters to visit a deer and bear check station during the upcoming opening weekend of the regular big game season.

DEC's check station, located on Route 16, in Holland, Erie County (northbound about one mile south of the Town of Holland), will operate Saturday, Nov. 19 from noon until 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Participation is voluntary but appreciated and helps DEC gather valuable data necessary for assessing the status of the area's big game population.

The Region 8 check station, located at the Region 8 DEC office at 6274 E. Avon-Lima Road (State Routes 5 & 20), in the Town of Avon, will operate Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 19 and 20 from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and weekdays thereafter from 8:45 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. The check station will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

"The value of hunter participation in DEC's data collection and research cannot be overstated," said Art Kirsch, DEC Region 8 Senior Wildlife Biologist. "Although it is completely voluntary, we encourage hunters to take a few minutes to help us gather information on this year's deer harvest and increase our knowledge about diseases in the deer population."

"We welcome hunters to participate in DEC's data collection and research efforts again this year," said Ken Baginski, DEC Region 9 Wildlife Manager.

Hunters are encouraged to bring their deer to the check station where DEC staff will determine deer age and collect other important biological and harvest information. With black bear season opening the same day as deer season again this year, staff will check harvested bears as well.

Technicians from NYS Department of Health (DOH) may also be present at the check station to examine deer for ticks and collect samples to test for Lyme disease.

As in previous years, hunters wishing to donate their harvest to "Hunters Helping the Hungry" sponsored by the Venison Donation Coalition, may drop off a deer at the Holland check station during days of operation before 6 p.m.

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Call Leads to Discovery of Box Turtle - Chemung County: On Oct. 7, ECO John Lifrieri investigated an anonymous complaint regarding a live snapping turtle in the town of Southport. It is illegal to possess live wildlife without a permit, and snapping turtles were out of season in September if hunted. ECO Lifrieri interviewed the suspect and quickly discovered he was keeping a turtle in the back of his pickup truck. It was also identified to be a box turtle, which is fully protected with no open hunting seasons. The subject said he only had it for a few days and was getting ready to return it to the boat launch on the Chemung River in Wellsburg. The subject was ticketed for unlawfully possessing protected wildlife. The ECO seized the turtle and contacted a wildlife rehabilitator. The licensed rehabber currently taking care of the turtle, observed that it was underweight and malnourished. The violator's case will be heard in the Town of Southport Court.

 

Illegal Pheasant Hunting - Genesee County: While on patrol on Oct. 22, ECO Gary Wilson and Lt. Joshua VerHague received a call from a concerned pheasant hunter at the Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Oakfield. The hunter stated that he encountered a subject who had just harvested his two bird limit and continued to hunt. The complainant was able to give a vehicle description and plate number. The officers responded to nearby John White WMA and located the suspect's vehicle. The subject was found hunting afield with an additional pheasant in his game pouch. The subject was cited for Taking Small Game in Excess of the Daily Bag Limit.

 

COLD-WATER-BOATING: The boat may be put away for the season, but the occasional warm fall day still brings plenty of paddlers out on the water. Knowing when to wear the thermal protection offered by a dry - or wetsuit is key. However, a long-assumed guideline meant to help paddlers make the right decision, sometimes known as the “120-degree rule,” may instead put paddlers in danger.

The 120-degree rule is a formula that adds together the air and water temperatures to determine when thermal protection is required. It assumes that if the total is above 120 F, that no dry - or wetsuit is needed.

“Using this simple formula,” says BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner, “a paddler could mistakenly believe that if air temperature is the low 70s and water temperature is hovering around the low 50s, that thermal protection is not necessary. That could not be farther from the truth.”

Sensenbrenner says that warm fall or spring days give paddlers a false sense of security. “Water temperatures have plunged, but the warm sun on your face hides the reality that accidentally going overboard at this time of year could quickly lead to trouble.”

According to research, sudden cold-water immersion can kill in several ways: involuntary gasp reflex and hyperventilation, cold incapacitation, and immersion hypothermia. Not wearing a life jacket compounds the drowning risk.

A word to the wise? “Always wear a life jacket when in an open boat or on deck, and consider the water temperature when dressing for your next boating adventure,” says Sensenbrenner. For more on cold-water boating including what to wear, go to BoatUS.org/cold-water-boating.

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

NOVEMBER 2016

1 - Leftover DMPs go on sale. Permits will not be available by phone, mail or the internet only in person at a license issuing agent on a first come/first served basis. The following WMUs: 1C, 3S (bowhunting-only), 8A, 8F, 8G, 8H, 8J, 8N, 9A and 9F are still available as of 11/15.

18 - Close of Hunting & Trapping Seasons for Bobcat.

18 - Migration Mania Birding Van Tour at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (2:30 – 5:00 pm) The peak of the waterfowl migration is upon us. Join us for a van tour to see dozens of ducks, geese and swans as they settle into Montezuma’s marshes for a good night’s rest. Participants are encouraged to bring their camera and binoculars. (Fee: $8/child; $13.50/adult, $35/family.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

18 – Who Goes There at the Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 East Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville, NY (4:00 pm) Families, join a naturalist and learn about OWLS! Dissect owl pellets to find out what they eat… then venture out on the Deep Woods Trail, searching for these silent hunters. Perfect for children 6-12 years old. Advance Registration Required. (Cost: $6.00 per child; Free for parents/guardians) (For information/register call315-638-2519)

19 - Start of Southern Zone Regular Deer and Bear Hunting Season (>12/11)

24 - End of Canada Goose Season – Part 2 - in the West Central Zone

25 - Start Of Trapping Seasons for Mink and Muskrat (>2/15/17)

25 - Start Of Trapping Seasons for Beaver in Western New York (> 3/15/17 West portion of Southern Tier/rest >2/15/17)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

 

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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11 - 11 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

REMAINING DEER MANAGEMENT PERMITS AVAILABLE FOR HUNTERS: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that remaining Deer Management Permits (DMPs) in several Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) are now available to hunters.

Deer Management Permits, which allow hunters to harvest antlerless deer, are issued for specific WMUs to control deer populations. In some WMUs, all applicants received permits during the initial application process. In units where the DMP target has not been reached, DEC will re-open the DMP application process on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters may apply for up to two additional DMPs in these WMUs at any DEC license sales outlet beginning November 1.

Leftover DMPs are not available by phone, mail, or internet. Applicants who previously paid the $10 DMP application fee during the initial application period, or are exempt from the application fee, will not be charged for this additional application. Hunters who did not previously apply for a deer management permit are required to pay the $10 application fee.

Applications for leftover DMPs will be accepted for the following WMUs: 1C, 3R, 3S (bowhunting-only), 8A, 8F, 8G, 8H, 8J, 8N, 9A and 9F (as of 11/4).

For WMU locations, refer to the 2016-17 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit DEC's website.

During this extended application period, DEC will issue DMPs for an individual WMU until the target issuance quota is achieved. The status of permits will be reviewed each night, and as individual units are filled they will be removed from the list of those available effective the following day. A list of units with available leftover DMPs will routinely be updated on DEC's website or via the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332.

Deer populations are above desired levels in all of the units with leftover DMPs. DEC encourages hunters to use these leftover tags to take an additional antlerless deer or two. Stock up on venison, make a bit more sausage, share an extra deer with your neighbors and friends, or donate the extra deer to those in need through the Venison Donation Coalition (link leaves DEC website.)

 

DEC SEEKS ASSISTANCE TO LOCATE BLACK BEAR DENS: This winter, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wildlife biologists are seeking the public's help to learn about new black bear dens throughout New York.

As part of DEC's ongoing monitoring of black bears in New York, wildlife biologists periodically check on black bears during the winter den season. The bears may be fitted with a radio collar to help biologists track the bears' activities throughout the rest of the year and to relocate dens in subsequent years for monitoring cub production, condition, and survival.

Bears may den in a rock crevice, tree cavity, or under heavy brush or fallen trees. Since female bears generally give birth in January or early February, a high-pitched squeal from the cubs may be audible if near a den. New York hikers and hunters typically cover countless miles of wooded terrain each year. DEC urges anyone who finds a bear den to not approach or disturb the den, but simply to note the location and move away from the den site.

DEC requests that anyone locating a bear den contact their local DEC Wildlife office with specifics about the den location, including GPS coordinates if possible. A list of regional wildlife offices is available on DEC's website.

More information about black bears in New York is available at DEC's Black Bear web page.

                                                                                                                 Photo by John Adanski

 

DEC TO OPERATE DEER & BEAR CHECK STATION IN ERIE COUNTY ON OPENING WEEKEND: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourages hunters to visit the deer and bear check station during the upcoming opening weekend of the regular big game season.

DEC's check station, located on Route 16, in Holland, Erie County (northbound about one mile south of the Town of Holland), will operate Saturday, Nov. 19 from noon until 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Participation is voluntary but appreciated and helps DEC gather valuable data necessary for assessing the status of the area's big game population.

"We welcome hunters to participate in DEC's data collection and research efforts again this year," said Ken Baginski, DEC Regional Wildlife Manager. "Although it is a completely voluntary program, we encourage hunters to take a few extra minutes to help us collect important data on harvested deer and increase our knowledge about diseases in the game population."

Hunters are encouraged to bring their deer to the check station where DEC staff will determine deer age and collect other important biological and harvest information. With black bear season opening the same day as deer season again this year, staff will check harvested bears as well.

Technicians from NYS Department of Health (DOH) may also be present at the check station to examine deer for ticks and collect samples to test for Lyme disease.

As in previous years, hunters wishing to donate their harvest to "Hunters Helping the Hungry" sponsored by the Venison Donation Coalition, may drop off a deer at the Holland check station during days of operation before 6 p.m.

 

WESTERN NEW YORK FOREST RANGER SEARCH AND RESCUE HIGHLIGHT: On Oct. 22, DEC Forest Ranger Robert Rogers was notified by Cattaraugus 911 of a hunter falling from a tree stand. Rogers was the first responding unit in the area. Upon arrival, Rogers located a local farmer who was reportedly on the phone with the hunter. The farmer was familiar with the hunter's stand location and was able to lead Rogers to the victim. The Forest Ranger assessed the hunter's condition and called for EMTs from Morton's Corners Volunteer Fire Department. According to the hunter, he was bow hunting and began to climb out of his stand when the stand failed. The hunter then fell approximately 25 feet to the ground, injuring his lower back and hitting his head. The hunter stated that he was able to get to his feet, walk several steps to find his cell phone, and make a call to his mother before being overcome by pain and falling back to the ground. Further medical care was provided by West Valley Volunteer Fire Department and Mercy EMS while Ranger Rogers organized extrication. The individual was transported by Morton's Corners Volunteer Fire Department off road rescue unit to an awaiting Mercy Flight Helicopter. The hunter was then flown to Erie County Medical Center for further treatment. The hunter reportedly suffered fractured vertebrae.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hiking Safety web page and Adirondack Backcountry Information web page for more information.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

ECOs Catch Illegal Deer Poacher - Allegany County: On October 2, the second day of archery season, Lt. William Powell found photographs posted online showing a deer shot with a crossbow next to a pile of corn. He forwarded the photographs to ECOs Jason Powers and Evan Laczi. The ECOs identified a suspect, who led them to a hunting camp in Belfast and claimed the deer was shot in Ohio, where baiting with corn is legal and the crossbow season is open. The ECOs dismissed the suspect's claims after learning he didn't possess a valid Ohio hunting license. The hunter then admitted to shooting a doe over bait during the closed season and showed them the crossbow, tree-stand, bait piles, and crossbow bolt, which was taken into evidence for the prosecution of the case. The suspect was issued multiple citations for hunting over bait and shooting a deer with a cross-bow during the closed season.

Sturgeon Restocking -- Monroe County: In October ECOs Brian Shea and Eoin Snowdon assisted the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), US Geological Survey (USGS), and the DEC's Bureau of Fisheries with the stocking of Lake Sturgeon in the Genesee River. Once considered close to extinction due to a number of impacts on the species, sturgeon have been bolstered by stocking efforts over the past several years, yielding increases in Lake Sturgeon populations in Lake Ontario and its tributaries.

 

PASSING OF PROMINENT CENTRAL NEW YORK SPORTSMAN: Albert J. LaFrance, 68, of Manlius passed away of cancer on Monday, October 10, 2016. Al was an avid outdoorsman who received several awards for his professional and expert knowledge about wildlife, specifically bats, earning him the nickname Batman. Al was inducted into the NYS Outdoorsman Hall of Fame, was awarded NYS Wildlife Trapper of the Year, was a trapper training instructor for over 35 years and a past president of the Independent Fur Harvesters of CNY. Al was an accomplished businessman, owner of Al's Critter Solutions and inventor of the BATRAP. In recent years, he organized the Bob Evans Memorial Predator Calling Hunt in Pompey. Proceeds from the event each year go to toward Advance Strategies, an organization that provides hunting and fishing experiences for physically challenged sportsmen and women. In 2015, the hunt raised $2,700 for the group.

Al is survived by his beloved wife, Barbara; daughter, Kimberly; son, Jason; stepson, Kevin (Gardinier). Also surviving are his 2 sisters, Joanne and Chris; 1 brother, Ronald; 7 nephews; 1 granddaughter, Kayden; 2 grandsons, Alex and Andy. He will also be missed by his beloved dogs Daisy and Squirt.
For a guest book, please visit:
www.SCHEPPFAMILY.com

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

NOVEMBER 2016

1 - Leftover DMPs go on sale. Permits will not be available by phone, mail or the internet only in person at a license issuing agent on a first come/first served basis. The following WMUs: 1C, 3R, 3S (bowhunting-only), 8A, 8F, 8G, 8H, 8J, 8N, 9A and 9F are still available as of 11/4.

11 - FREE FISHING ON VETERAN’S DAY NO LICENSE REQUIRED FISHING.

11 -  Birding 101 at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (3:00 – 5:00 pm)  Birdwatching is an enjoyable activity for people ages 3 to 103. But, to know how to identify birds and where to find them takes skill, patience and experience. Join us for a leisurely 1-mile stroll to learn the basics of this lifelong, rewarding pastime.  Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. (Fee: $4/child; $6/adult, $20/family.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

11-13 - National Wildlife Refuges Fee-Free Days. Head outdoors and enjoy some of the country's most magical places — America's national wildlife refuges offer unparalleled opportunities to experience the great outdoors and see a rich diversity of wildlife in beautiful natural settings.

12 - Stuck in a Rut at Evangola State Park (1:00 – 3:30 pm) Learn about the whitetail deer rut. (For information/register call 716-549-1050)   

12 - Niagara River Gulls Tour with Buffalo Audubon at the NYPA Fishing Platform in Lewiston, NY. (9:00 - 10:30 am) View thousands of Bonaparte gulls from this unique vantage point. Binoculars are available. (For information/preregistration call 585-457-3228.)

12 - Boy Scout Merit Badge: Fish and Wildlife Management at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:00 – 4:00 pm) Boy Scouts are invited to complete the requirements for the Fish and Wildlife Management Merit Badge with our fun and interactive program. Please be prepared to spend time outside and dress for the weather! Scouts will complete some of the requirements before the program. (Fee: $8/scout.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

12 – Family Tracks and Scat Walk at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive (Town of Cheektowaga), Depew, NY (10:30 am – 12:00 pm) Join us as we search for tracks and scat to identify the active critters of late fall.  (For further information or to register, call Reinstein  Woods at 716-683-5959.)

12-13 - Niagara Frontier Gun Show at the Springville Fire Hall, Main Street, Springville,  NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm /Sun 9:00 am - 3:00pm) (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  guns@nfgshows.com)

13 - NWTF Salmon River Chapter Wheelin Sportsmen Archery and Crossbow Deer Hunt on private property in Mexico, NY (For information contact William Wilbur  315-440-4351  wwilbur551@aol.com)

!3 - Fix It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Conesus Lake (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247)

14 - Close of Woodcock Hunting Season

14 - Ruffed Grouse Society 30th Anniversary Triple Flush Chapter Conservation & Sportsmen’s Banquet at Lib’s Supper Club, 106 W. 5th Street, Elmira, NY (Social Hour: 6:00 pm/Dinner: 7:30 pm) (For information contact Tripp Way  trippw@ruffedgrousesociety.org    607-743-0760)

15 - First Day Ice Fishing Tip-Ups Can Be Used Statewide (>4/30/17)

15 – Niagara County Chapter of SCOPE Meeting at the Wilson Conservation Club, 2934 Wilson-Cambria Road, Wilson, NY (6:30 pm) They will be hosting a “Faith, Family, Freedom” forum using an educational constitutional freedom format with three guest speakers. (For information call Ed Pettitt 716-421-1967)

17 – Fly Fishing for Lake Erie Steelhead by Tyler Hageman at the Lake Erie Chapter of the International Federation of Fly Fishers monthly meeting at the American Legion Post No. 735, Legion Drive, West Seneca, NY (7:00 pm) Fly tying begins at 6 p.m. (For more information call 716-675-4766)

18 - Close of Hunting & Trapping Seasons for Bobcat.

18 - Migration Mania Birding Van Tour at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (2:30 – 5:00 pm) The peak of the waterfowl migration is upon us. Join us for a van tour to see dozens of ducks, geese and swans as they settle into Montezuma’s marshes for a good night’s rest. Participants are encouraged to bring their camera and binoculars. (Fee: $8/child; $13.50/adult, $35/family.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

18 – Who Goes There at the Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 East Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville, NY (4:00 pm) Families, join a naturalist and learn about OWLS! Dissect owl pellets to find out what they eat… then venture out on the Deep Woods Trail, searching for these silent hunters. Perfect for children 6-12 years old. Advance Registration Required. (Cost: $6.00 per child; Free for parents/guardians) (For information/register call315-638-2519)

19 - Start of Southern Zone Regular Deer and Bear Hunting Season (>12/11)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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11 - 4 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

REMAINING DEER MANAGEMENT PERMITS AVAILABLE FOR HUNTERS: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that remaining Deer Management Permits (DMPs) in several Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) are now available to hunters.

Deer Management Permits, which allow hunters to harvest antlerless deer, are issued for specific WMUs to control deer populations. In some WMUs, all applicants received permits during the initial application process. In units where the DMP target has not been reached, DEC will re-open the DMP application process on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters may apply for up to two additional DMPs in these WMUs at any DEC license sales outlet beginning November 1.

Leftover DMPs are not available by phone, mail, or internet. Applicants who previously paid the $10 DMP application fee during the initial application period, or are exempt from the application fee, will not be charged for this additional application. Hunters who did not previously apply for a deer management permit are required to pay the $10 application fee.

Applications for leftover DMPs will be accepted for the following WMUs: 1C, 3M, 3R, 3S (bowhunting-only), 7F, 7H, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8H, 8J, 8N, 8R, 9A and 9F.

For WMU locations, refer to the 2016-17 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit DEC's website.

During this extended application period, DEC will issue DMPs for an individual WMU until the target issuance quota is achieved. The status of permits will be reviewed each night, and as individual units are filled they will be removed from the list of those available effective the following day. A list of units with available leftover DMPs will routinely be updated on DEC's website or via the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332.

Deer populations are above desired levels in all of the units with leftover DMPs. DEC encourages hunters to use these leftover tags to take an additional antlerless deer or two. Stock up on venison, make a bit more sausage, share an extra deer with your neighbors and friends, or donate the extra deer to those in need through the Venison Donation Coalition (link leaves DEC website.)

 

CROSSBOWS MAY BE USED TO TAKE DEER OR BEAR DURING PORTION OF THE SOUTHERN ZONE EARLY BOW SEASON: Crossbow hunting for deer and bear in the Southern Zone opens November 5 and runs through November 18, the last 14 days of the early bowhunting season, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

Crossbows may also be used during the regular seasons and late muzzleloader seasons. However, crossbows cannot be used in bowhunting-only wildlife management units (1C, 3S, 4J, or 8C).

Hunters who plan to hunt with a crossbow must be 14 years of age or older, possess a current year hunting license, and either a completed Hunter Education Certificate of Qualification card dated on or after April 1, 2014, or the completed Crossbow Certificate of Qualification from the annual Regulations Guide.

Additionally, current law treats crossbows as muzzleloaders, so hunters must possess a muzzleloader hunting privilege to legally hunt with a crossbow during any muzzleloader season or during open portions of the early bowhunting seasons. Muzzleloader privilege is not required when hunting with a crossbow during the regular firearms seasons. Currently, completion of a bowhunter education course, although recommended, or the bowhunting privilege are not required for use of a crossbow at any time.

Hunters frequently ask why crossbow hunting opportunities are restricted to certain seasons (e.g., the last 14 days of archery season in the Southern Zone) and tied to muzzleloading privilege rather than the bowhunting privilege. Crossbow use is currently determined by provisions in law. DEC has authorized crossbow use to the maximum extent allowed under the existing state law.

More information on crossbow hunting, certification, and the tags that can be used are in the Regulations Guide and on DEC's website.

 

LEGISLATIVE ALERT FROM THE NEW  YORK STATE TRAPPERS ASSOCIATION:

In June of this year a Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives by Representative Alma S. Adams of North Carolina. The bill was then co-sponsored by Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York State. This Bill titled H.R. 5560 - Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act would restrict the use of steel-jaw leghold traps (their wording) and Conibear traps on animals in the United States.

Here is the the intent of the Legislation:

SEC. 3. PROHIBITED ACTS AND PENALTIES.

(a) Prohibited Acts.—It shall be unlawful for any person— (1) to import, export, deliver, carry, or transport by any means whatever, in interstate commerce, any steel-jaw leghold trap or Conibear trap; or

(2) to sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any steel-jaw leghold trap or Conibear trap that was delivered, carried, or transported in violation of paragraph (1).

Since, the legislation was introduced Twenty (20) Representatives have signed on to this bill. Two of which are from New York State. Representatives Charles B. Rangel and Carolyn B. Maloney. 

The New York State Trappers Association (NYSTA) in cooperation with our National Representatives will be closely monitoring the legislation. In the meantime NYSTA is asking for everyone to contact your Representatives with your opposition to this bill.

Please keep your comments appropriate and respectful .

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

2016 Youth Waterfowl Hunt - Niagara and Genesee Counties: ECOs from Region 8 and 9 recently teamed up for another successful youth waterfowl hunt. The event began at the Wyoming Valley Rod and Gun Club in the Village of Java with waterfowl I.D. and trap shooting classes. ECO Nathan VerHague and Lt. Joshua VerHague led class instruction and ECO Roger Ward ensured all participants had a safe and educational time on the trap field. On October 1, 13 young hunters took to the marshes of the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area accompanied by the ECOs and several dedicated volunteers. The morning was slightly overcast, windy and rainy, and perfect for duck hunting. ECOs Marshall, Hunt, VerHague, Dougherty, Kroth, Rausher, Wilson, and Jakaub teamed with several experienced volunteer waterfowl hunters to expose the young hunters to one of New York's most revered hunting traditions. When the calling stopped, 27 ducks had fallen to the sharp shooting of the young hunters. The hunters then watched a demonstration on proper preparation of their harvest and were sent home with plenty gear and prizes, full stomachs and, hopefully, a new hobby that gives them a greater appreciation of the outdoors and wildlife.

DLE Welcomes DEC's First Female K-9 Handler - Oswego County; On October 1, the Division of Law Enforcement recognized the arrival of its newest member in Region 6, K-9 Officer Handley, a German Shepherd named after the late Lt. Chris Handley, a revered member of the division. His handler will be ECO Fay Fuerch, the first female K-9 officer in the 38-year history of DLE's K-9 program.

Salmon Poachers Arrested After Early Morning Chase - Niagara County: Three men suspected of poaching during the annual salmon run were arrested early Wednesday morning after leading police on a wild chase in the woods in Niagara County, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

The incident occurred just after 2 a.m. when DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) were conducting a night patrol along the Lake Ontario shoreline and its tributaries.

ECOs Roger Ward and Nathan Ver Hague were checking the Burt Dam area of 18-mile Creek in Newfane when they noticed several large garbage bags piled on a pathway. The officers inspected the bags and found them loaded with freshly caught salmon.

At the same time, a pickup truck slowly drove by the area. Two men approached on foot and ECO Ward revealed himself and ordered the men to stop. The men took off running through the woods. ECO Ward apprehended one suspect hiding in the brush, but as ECO Ver Hague chased the other down to the creek, the man dove in and swam off. The Niagara County Sheriff's Department was called for assistance.

Deputy Matt Grainge responded and located a pickup truck a short distance away matching the description given by the ECOs. The driver was sitting inside awaiting a call from the other two men.

Deputies Keith Hetrick, John Vosberg and a K-9 officer tracked the suspect who swam across the creek and eventually located him attempting to climb up a gorge. He was taken into custody.

A total of 69 salmon ranging in size from 5 to 35 pounds had been poached from the creek, the subjects using a weighted treble hook and net to snag the fish.

The three men - Sergey Yatchuk, 41, of 55 Applewood Ln., Getzville, Petro Parfenyk, 29, of 2204 Prospect Ave., Erie, Penn., and Mikhail F. Sakalosh, 39, of 8322 Taylor Colquitt Rd., Spartanburg, S.C. - were charged with 32 violations, including fishing without a license, possessing foul-hooked fish, taking fish by snatching, taking fish in excess of daily limit, and illegal fishing at night.

The three suspects were remanded to the county jail in lieu of bail, $1,100 for Parfenyk and Sakalosh and $1,000 for Yatchuk.

 

PROTECT BAT POPULATIONS: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urged outdoor adventurers to suspend exploration of cave and mine sites that may serve as homes for bat hibernations. Human disturbances are harmful to the State's bat population since the arrival of the disease known as white-nose syndrome, which has killed more than 90 percent of bats at most hibernation sites in New York.

All posted notices restricting the use of caves and mines should be followed. If New Yorkers or visitors to the State encounter hibernating bats while underground, they are asked to leave the area as quickly and quietly as possible.

Experts believe that when bats are disturbed during hibernation periods, it forces them to raise their body temperatures, which depletes their fat reserves. This affects bats' energy levels and places the bats in a comprised state, which can lead to death.

There are two species of bats currently protected under federal and state endangered species law. The Indiana bat, which is sparsely distributed across New York, is a federally threatened bat that was listed before white-nose syndrome began impacting bat populations.

The northern long-eared bat is protected as a threatened species under both federal and New York State Endangered Species law. The current population for this formerly common bat is approximately one percent of its previous size, making it the species most severely impacted by white-nose syndrome. Nonetheless, northern long-eared bats are still widely distributed in New York. Their presence is documented in most of the 100 or so caves and mines that serve as bat hibernation sites in the State. Anyone entering a northern long-eared bat hibernation site from October 1 through April 30, the typical period of hibernation for bats, may be subject to prosecution.

There is currently no treatment for addressing the impact of white-nose syndrome on bats, but DEC remains committed to finding a cure. Along with the New York State Department of Health, DEC has teamed up with researchers from the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin, and experts at a number of universities across the country to better understand the disease and focus on developing a treatment. It was this collaborative effort that helped identify that reducing disturbances at hibernation sites during the winter and reducing disturbances at roosting sites in the summer can help the surviving animals thrive.

By cutting trees during the winter, direct impacts to roosting bats can be avoided. DEC also encourages homeowners with bats in their attics or barns to explore non-lethal means of removing them from the structure.

More information about white-nose syndrome and what you can do to help (link leaves DEC's website.)

 

KUDOS: 2016 NYSTA AWARD RECIPIENTS: Each year NYSTA recognizes trappers that have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty to promote and support trapping in New York State.  Here is a list of this year’s award recipients.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bob and Bonnie Hughes for their lifetime of Commitment to the New York State Trappers Association and the trappers of New York.  Bob

indicates that they have been involved in NYSTA for over 57 years!  Bob is an Active Past President who serves on the Board in that capacity and also serves as Chairman of our Scholarship Committee.  Bonnie has been at Bob's side, helping wherever and whenever she can.  Bonnie's never ending support has been appreciated.


Trapper of the Year went to Josh Shipman for showing genuine leadership while publicly supporting and defending trapping and trappers in New York during the recent public movement against trapping on Grand Island in Western New York.  Josh attended the NYSTA sponsored Pat Arnold Youth Trappers Camp at the Camp Rushford facility and continues to attend as a junior mentor.  When faced with the possibility of losing some of his trapping privileges on Grand Island due to potential changes in local law, Josh went to work informing the public of the positive impact that trapping has on wildlife.  This young man did an excellent job handling questions from the public, from the media, and from local lawmakers.  The outcome was a positive one for the trappers on Grand Island and Josh deserves much of the credit.
Director of the Year Award was presented to Region 8N Director, and now Membership Secretary, Bob Samuelson for his sincere dedication and service to the NYSTA and its members.  Bob has jumped into the membership issues from the past and has been working diligently to straighten out the mess he inherited.  This is not an easy job but Bob has made significant progress and continues to do so.
An Appreciation Award was given to Sam Samson for his dedication to passing on the art of our trapping  heritage to our youth at the NYSTA sponsored Pat Arnold Youth Trappers Camps.  Sam has been involved with the Camps since they started and the kids love him!   These camps wouldn't be the same without Sam – Yooooo Hooooo!!!!
Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to Tim Strough for his dedicated commitment to preserving our trapping heritage through proper education of our youth at the NYSTA sponsored 
Pat Arnold Youth Trappers Camps.  When Pat Arnold was looking for someone to carry on her legacy with the Camps, Tim was her first choice; and for good reason.  When Pat passed on to the eternal trap line, Tim took over management of the Camps, just as Pat had planned.  His organizational skills and passion focused on properly educating our young trappers is evident everywhere in each of the three Camps.
An Appreciation Award was given to Mike Finn for his dedicated efforts in support of NYSTA and his development of the new NYSTA website.  Without Mike, I doubt that we would have a website of this quality.  Mike worked diligently with the other members of the IT Committee to build a new website for NYSTA.  This site is a work of art, something we can all be proud of.  Mike donated hundreds of man hours to accomplish a modern, workable, valuable, up to date site.  He continues to add more material on a timely basis and is dedicated to the job of keeping trappers well informed.
Appreciation Awards were given to both John and Laura Gidney for their tireless dedication to NYSTA and our trappers.  John and Laura, together, helped Mike with the website development.  They also volunteered to take on the position of Convention Coordinator for this year's convention and until we could find and confirm a new Vice President.  Without any previous involvement in such a project, they “took the bull by the horns”, utilized their excellent people skills, and took off running to ensure we had a great convention.  Shortly after getting under motion with organizing the convention, Jack Spriggs came on board as the new NYSTA Vice President and began helping out.  At the same time, John decided to apply for the Treasurer's position and was elected to that position by the Board.  Talk about a full plate!  John kind of kids around that Laura is his private Secretary to the Treasurer, but some of us know he's not kidding!
Last, but certainly not least, another Appreciation Award was given to the Region 7S Director Ray Nolan for his unwavering and tireless commitment to continually moving NYSTA in a positive direction.   Ray had a vision of a viable and useful website.  He never quit promoting that necessity and it finally became a reality when NYSTA formed an IT Committee with Ray as its Chairman.  Ray worked closely with Mike Finn and other Committee members to develop the site we have today.   Ray is also actively involved with fund raising and his fresh, new ideas are well received.

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

September 2016

23-11/6 - King of the Creek Salmon Contest sponsored by All in the Same Boat Tackle, 2911 Lockport-Olcott Road, Newfane, NY. Fishing may be from boat and/or shore. (For information call 716-638-4158 or go to www.abstackle.com.)

NOVEMBER 2016

1 - Leftover DMPs go on sale. Permits will not be available by phone, mail or the internet only in person at a license issuing agent on a first come/first served basis. 

4 - Friends of NRA Event at the Holiday Inn, 2468 Mound Road, Waterloo , NY. (For information contact Barbara Wells   315-585-6359    barawells@hotmail.com

5 - Start of Southern Zone Deer and Bear Crossbow Seasons (>11/18)

5 – Introduction to Orienteering at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive (Town of Cheektowaga), Depew, NY (10:00 – 11:30 am) Learn how to read a map and use a compass so you can navigate the wilderness like the pioneers of old. (For adults and children ages 10 and older.) (For further information or to register, call Reinstein  Woods at 716-683-5959.)

5 - Avon Anglers Conesus Lake Bass Tournament. (For details contact Paul Lane    585-737-1701    claytonfishing@aol.com  or Fred Shutt    585.330.1776     tuborz@frontiernet.net)

6 - Fix It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Keuka Lake Double Dip (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247)

9 – Close of Hunting seasons for Snipe, Rails & Gallinules

10 - Start of Trapping Season for Beaver in Central and southeast portions of New York (4/7/17)

10 - Home School Nature Series:  Our Migration Connection at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (10:00 am – 12:00 pm)

The bird migration season is upon us and billions of birds are on the move! Where do our birds go when they migrate?  Homeschooled children ages 5-12 are invited to join a teleconference with former MAC Educator Amy Barra and her home school class at the Delmarva Discovery Center in Pocomoke, Maryland. Students will share bird sightings and learn from each other about waterfowl migrating along the Atlantic Flyway. (Fee: $8/student) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

11 - Free Fishing on Veteran’s Day No license required fishing.

11 -  Birding 101 at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (3:00 – 5:00 pm)  Birdwatching is an enjoyable activity for people ages 3 to 103. But, to know how to identify birds and where to find them takes skill, patience and experience. Join us for a leisurely 1-mile stroll to learn the basics of this lifelong, rewarding pastime.  Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. (Fee: $4/child; $6/adult, $20/family.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

11-13 - National Wildlife Refuges Fee-Free Days. Head outdoors and enjoy some of the country's most magical places — America's national wildlife refuges offer unparalleled opportunities to experience the great outdoors and see a rich diversity of wildlife in beautiful natural settings.

12 - Stuck in a Rut at Evangola State Park (1:00 – 3:30 pm) Learn about the whitetail deer rut. (For information/register call 716-549-1050)   

12 - Niagara River Gulls Tour with Buffalo Audubon at the NYPA Fishing Platform in Lewiston, NY. (9:00 - 10:30 am) View thousands of Bonaparte gulls from this unique vantage point. Binoculars are available. (For information/preregistration call 585-457-3228.)

12 - Boy Scout Merit Badge: Fish and Wildlife Management at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:00 – 4:00 pm) Boy Scouts are invited to complete the requirements for the Fish and Wildlife Management Merit Badge with our fun and interactive program. Please be prepared to spend time outside and dress for the weather! Scouts will complete some of the requirements before the program. (Fee: $8/scout.) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

12 – Family Tracks and Scat Walk at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive (Town of Cheektowaga), Depew, NY (10:30 am – 12:00 pm) Join us as we search for tracks and scat to identify the active critters of late fall.  (For further information or to register, call Reinstein  Woods at 716-683-5959.)

12-13 - Niagara Frontier Gun Show at the Springville Fire Hall, Main Street, Springville,  NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm /Sun 9:00 am - 3:00pm) (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  guns@nfgshows.com)

13 - NWTF Salmon River Chapter Wheelin Sportsmen Archery and Crossbow Deer Hunt on private property in Mexico, NY (For information contact William Wilbur  315-440-4351  wwilbur551@aol.com)

!3 - Fix It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Conesus Lake (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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10 - 28 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

 

TIPS TO AVOID DEER COLLISIONS:  As the peak of the rut approaches in most of the whitetail's range, so does the peak of deer-vehicle collisions. While the peak of the deer breeding season, or "rut," varies in timing throughout North America, the majority of whitetails breed from late October through December, with a peak in November.
The peak in breeding also brings a peak in deer movement, and this puts more deer in roadways than at any other time of year. Numerous scientific studies have shown a strong correlation between breeding dates, deer movement, and deer-vehicle collisions (DVCs). It is estimated that more than 1 million DVCs occur annually in the United States, resulting in approximately 200 human fatalities and nearly $2 billion in property damage. Here are some tips that can be effective at helping motorists avoid deer on highways.
**Don't Rely On a "Deer Whistle In hundreds of trials, high-frequency whistles did not change deer behavior from the way they reacted when no sound was being emitted.
**Be Vigilant. This is your most effective defense against a deer/vehicle collision. In areas where woodlands adjoin the roadway, be on the lookout in the ditches and forest edges for deer. Deer are most active in the hours around dawn and dusk, but during the fall breeding season they may enter roadways any time of day.
**Recognize Local Danger Zones. Become familiar with local areas where woodlands create natural "funnel points" for deer near roadways, and pay extra attention to these areas. Once you see a deer on a roadside in an area you travel often, mentally mark that area as a danger zone when you return.
**Use Your High Beams. When traveling at night in suburban or rural areas, use your high beams whenever possible to help you spot deer on the roadside. Do not allow the high beams to cause you to become complacent about seeing deer. Continue to be extra vigilant.
**Slow Down Early. When you think you see a deer ahead, slow down and be prepared to completely stop if necessary. At night, deer may be blinded or confused by your headlights and are not sure if there is danger or where it is located. They may dart suddenly in front of you.
**Blow Your Horn. Once you spot a deer standing on the roadside ahead, slow down and blow your horn. The structure of a deer's ears, and their ability to pivot each ear independently, makes them very good at pinpointing the locations of sounds. Blowing your horn repeatedly is likely to help the deer pinpoint the location of the threat and move away from the road. Again, slow down anyway – don't make any assumptions about how the deer will react.
**Watch For The Next Deer in Line. During the rut, a doe that runs across the road is very likely to be followed by one or more bucks. If you see one deer run across the road ahead of you, slow down and be prepared to stop.
**Do Not Swerve! No matter how vigilant you are, sometimes deer appear suddenly and swiftly from the woods close to your vehicle. If you were cautious and slowed down, this will help you avoid a collision. But if a collision appears unavoidable, do not swerve into the opposite lane or onto the shoulder of the road to avoid hitting the deer. If you reduced your speed due to the proximity of woods, the damage to your car may be lessened. But if you swerve into oncoming traffic or onto the shoulder, where other obstacles may be in your path, you may worsen the situation.
Be safe this fall and use these tips to avoid vehicle damage or personal injury.
(Contact: Kip Adams, QDMA Director of Education & Outreach. 814.326.4023)

 

HELP WANTED: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers are asking hunters that hunt in northeastern Warren County to be alert for any signs or clues of the whereabouts of a hunter from Troy who went missing last November.

Thomas Messick was last seen on Nov. 15, 2015, while hunting a short distance from Lily Pond Road near Brant Lake in the town of Horicon. Despite a massive two-month-long search effort by Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Officers, State Police, other state and county agencies, and hundreds of volunteers, no sign of Mr. Messick or his belongings has been located.

Anyone hunting in the general area between State Route 8 and State Route 9N and State Route 8 and Schroon Lake is asked to be especially alert. Hunters have been helpful in the past locating and reporting signs of lost or missing persons in the woods. Hunters typically seek game in areas that most people do not enter and are keen observers of the landscape.

Forest Rangers and the Messick family are still searching for Mr. Messick under a limited continuous protocol. Mr. Messick, 82, is 5-foot-10 and weighs 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket, coveralls, and a red and black plaid hat.

Hunters who find any evidence of Mr. Messick are asked to contact DEC Ray Brook Dispatch at 518-897-1300.

 

$600,000 TO STUDY AND IMPLEMENT SAFEGUARDS TO OWASCO LAKE: The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the establishment of the 'Finger Lakes Water Hub,' a multi-region watershed team to address Finger Lakes water quality issues, as well as a $600,000 initiative with Cayuga Community College and others to study algal blooms and undertake pollution reduction projects in the Owasco Lake watershed, funded with support from the New York State Senate. These actions, in close cooperation with the NYS Departments of Health and Agriculture & Markets, further the efforts of the Governor's Water Quality Rapid Response Team, launched in February to address water quality issues statewide and develop new policies, programs, and technologies to ensure clean water for all New Yorkers.

Overseen by DEC, the Finger Lakes Water Hub is comprised of scientists and policy makers who will leverage the State's ongoing efforts to safeguard water quality with the expertise of research partners such as the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the Upstate Freshwater Institute.

There are several types of algal blooms with varying levels of toxicity, including Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB). Based on the water chemistry and low phosphorus in Owasco Lake, scientists did not anticipate the frequency or severity of recent blooms. The research study and associated pollution reduction projects, funded with $600,000 from New York State, will help scientists understand the factors contributing to algal blooms and look at the frequency and extent of HABs in Owasco Lake. The recently announced projects are part of a series of initiatives undertaken by local partners, DEC and the Department of Agriculture & Markets to protect Owasco Lake water quality. The new research project is being undertaken in partnership with Cayuga County, the Upstate Freshwater Institute, Owasco Lake Watershed Association, and others.

The project includes:

Funding to Cayuga County Soil and Water District to implement phosphorous reduction practices including agricultural and stormwater projects

Funding to monitor Owasco Lake and its tributaries to determine sources of contaminant loading

Funding for HAB sample analysis and food web monitoring

Funding for open water monitoring buoy deployment and maintenance

Funding for continued septic sampling

Senator James L. Seward said, "Owasco Lake provides drinking water to 50,000 residents. Additionally, it is the central feature of the local landscape and economy. We need to ensure its viability and vitality today and for generations to come. I was proud to work with Senator DeFrancisco to secure funding for this crucial project and applaud the DEC and DOH for their attentiveness to Owasco Lake."

Senator John A. DeFrancisco said, "This vital funding to improve the water quality in Owasco Lake reaffirms our strong commitment to protect this important natural resource. I was pleased to move this initiative forward and to work with the Senate team from Cayuga County to help secure this funding. I commend the DEC and DOH for facilitating these remediation efforts, which will help preserve the lake and safeguard our public drinking water."

The investments announced today to safeguard water quality are in addition to the more than $7.5 million already being spent by the State to address and improve water quality in the Owasco Lake watershed through the Water Quality Improvement Project Program and the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Grants. These programs provide New York State Environmental Protection Funds to municipalities and farmers in the Owasco Lake watershed to improve wastewater treatment facilities, stop erosion along roadsides and streambanks, and improve farm efficiencies.

Most algae are harmless and an important part of the food web. Certain types of algae can grow quickly and form algal blooms that cover large portions of a lake. However, some species of algae produce toxins harmful to people and animals. Blooms of algae species that produce, or have the potential to produce, toxins are referred to as harmful algal blooms or HAB. These blooms most often occur in nutrient-rich waters, particularly during hot, calm weather. Visit the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) web page on DEC's website to learn more about HAB and New York's efforts to address this threat to water quality.

New York's Finger Lakes Region is a 9,000-square mile area home to 11 lakes. From East to West, the Finger Lakes are: Otisco, Skaneateles, Owasco, Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Honeoye, Canadice, Hemlock, and Conesus.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Unlawful Possession of a Raccoon - Yates County: On September 15, ECOs Josh Crain and John Rich were called for a complaint of an individual in possession of a raccoon as a pet in the Town of Jerusalem. Upon arriving at the residence, the ECOs were greeted by a female who claimed she did not possess a raccoon. After interviewing the male property owner and the woman, the woman admitted to keeping a pet raccoon in the house for several months. The male took responsibility for the raccoon and turned it over to the ECOs, who transported it to a local wildlife rehabilitator. The ECOs issued the man an appearance ticket for possession of wildlife other than permitted by law.

Taking Out the Trash - Seneca County: On September 16, ECOs John Rich, Joshua Crain, Scott Angotti, and Tony Drahms were on boat patrol in the Town of Tyre when they found an illegal dumping site along the Erie Canal. The dumping site consisted of household trash, old furniture, liquor bottles, and cardboard packaging. The officers found mail with two separate Auburn addresses mixed into the pile of trash and located the subject on September 19. ECOs Angotti and Drahms discovered that the man had been ticketed in the past for open burning. The subject worked for several people in the Auburn area and dumped the solid waste in the woods instead of taking it to the dump. The subject at first denied the allegations, but quickly changed his story when confronted with the evidence. A ticket was issued for illegal disposal of solid waste for a Tyre Town Court date in October.

 

FROM THE INTERNET: GUNFIGHT RULES:

In a gunfight, the most important rule is ..... HAVE A GUN!
Here is some shooting advice from various Concealed Carry Instructors.
If you own a gun, you will appreciate these rules. If not, get one and
learn how to use it.....then learn the rules:
RULES:
A -- Guns have only two enemies: rust and politicians.
B -- It’s always better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
C -- Cops carry guns to protect themselves, not you.
D -- Never let someone or something that threatens you get within 20 feet.
E -- Never say "I've got a gun". If you need to use deadly force, the
first sound they hear should be the safety clicking off.
F -- The average response time of a 911 call is 23 minutes; the
response time of a .357 magnum is 1400 feet per second.
G -- The most important rule in a gunfight is: Always win. A gunfight
is a deadly struggle. There is no such thing as a fair fight, so cheat
if necessary.
H -- Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. You may get
killed with your own gun, but he'll have to beat you to death with it,
‘cause it will be empty.
I -- If you're in a gun fight: If you're not shooting, you should be
loading. If you're not loading, you should be moving. If you're not
moving, you're dead.
J -- In a life and death situation, do something. It may be wrong, but
do something!
K -- If you carry a gun, people may call you paranoid. Bullshit! If
you have a gun, what do you have to be paranoid about?
L -- You can say 'stop' or any other word, but a large bore muzzle
pointed at someone’s head is pretty much a universal language.
M -- Never leave an enemy behind. If you have to shoot, shoot to kill.
If you end up in court, yours will be the only testimony.
N -- You cannot save the planet, but you may be able to save yourself
and your family.
If you believe in the 2nd Amendment, forward this to others you know
who also believe.
And always remember this quote from America's premier Founding Father:
"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands
around reloading". - Thomas Jefferson

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

SEPTEMBER 2016

23-11/6 - King of the Creek Salmon Contest sponsored by All in the Same Boat Tackle, 2911 Lockport-Olcott Road, Newfane, NY. Fishing may be from boat and/or shore. (For information call 716-638-4158 or go to www.abstackle.com.)

OCTOBER 2016

27 – Birding Van Tour at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 - 11:00 am) The peak of the waterfowl migration is upon us! Join us for a van tour to see dozens of ducks, geese and swans as they soar overhead and rest in wetlands during their long and impressive journey. Participants are encouraged to bring their camera and binoculars. (Fee: $8/child; $13.50/adult, $35/family) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

28 – Close of Turkey Hunting Season

28 - Ruffed Grouse Society 36th Annual Central New York Chapter Conservation & Sportsmen’s Banquet at The Whitetail at Woodcrest Golf Course, 6200 Old Cheese Factory Road (Route 173 & Cheese Factory Road), Manlius, NY (Social Hour: 6:00 pm/Dinner: 7:30 pm) (For information Bob Papworth  315—471-0914  rppwrth@twc.com or  Tim McCarthy  315-696-8987  tmac@twcny.rr.com)

29 - Upstate Anglers Open Bass Tournament – Conesus Lake (6:00 am – 2:00 pm) (For information email admin@upstateanglers.com)

29 - Avon Anglers Keuka Lake Bass Iron Man I Tournament. (For details contact Paul Lane    585-737-1701    claytonfishing@aol.com  or Fred Shutt    585.330.1776     tuborz@frontiernet.net)

30 - Fix It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Keuka Lake Tuff Guy III (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247)

NOVEMBER 2016

1 - Leftover DMPs go on sale. Permits will not be available by phone, mail or the internet only in person at a license issuing agent on a first come/first served basis. 

4 - Friends of NRA Event at the Holiday Inn, 2468 Mound Road, Waterloo , NY. (For information contact Barbara Wells   315-585-6359    barawells@hotmail.com

5 - Start of Southern Zone Deer and Bear Crossbow Seasons (>11/18)

5 – Introduction to Orienteering at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive (Town of Cheektowaga), Depew, NY (10:00 – 11:30 am) Learn how to read a map and use a compass so you can navigate the wilderness like the pioneers of old. (For adults and children ages 10 and older.) (For further information or to register, call Reinstein  Woods at 716-683-5959.)

5 - Avon Anglers Conesus Lake Bass Tournament. (For details contact Paul Lane    585-737-1701    claytonfishing@aol.com  or Fred Shutt    585.330.1776     tuborz@frontiernet.net)

6 - Fix It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Keuka Lake Double Dip (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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10 - 21 - 16

Welcome to this week's Conservation Chatter Corner - little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

LOW WATER LEVELS COULD IMPACT WATERFOWL HUNTING IN WESTERN NEW YORK:  October marks the start of waterfowl hunting and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding waterfowl hunters in Western New York that extreme drought conditions have dropped water levels in most wetlands and dried some completely. As a result, waterfowl hunters scouting potential hunting sites could encounter difficulty this season.

DEC Region 8 is home to the state's best waterfowl hunting areas in the managed marshes at Iroquois and Montezuma National Wildlife Refuges and Northern Montezuma, Oak Orchard, and Tonawanda Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). All of these areas have been impacted by the lack of rainfall.

The drought that began in late spring caused water levels in most wetlands to drop substantially, and in some cases, to dry up completely. Soils exposed by low water levels have resulted in thick vegetation growth in marsh areas. In addition to some intentional drawdowns of impoundments to stimulate the growth of seed-producing annual plants preferred by waterfowl, the drought caused some additional units to go dry and several to drop below normal levels. Water levels are expected to be well below normal for much of the waterfowl season.

Food for ducks in these areas exists in the form of seeds from moist soil annual plants in the WMA wetlands, but in many cases more water is needed to shallowly reflood these areas to make the food accessible to ducks. However, there are some excellent shallow water marsh areas on the WMAs with abundant food resources providing excellent habitat for ducks.

One of the drought's most significant impacts will be to hunters who usually access the marshes by boat. The low waters may make it impossible to float a boat and will require wading to access the more remote locations. The increased vegetation may also make it more difficult to find downed birds.

Due to the lack of water and the growth of thick vegetation, DEC reduced the numbers of permits issued to hunt waterfowl each day of the opening weekend of duck season by 40 percent at both Tonawanda WMA (Niagara, Genesee and Orleans counties) and Oak Orchard WMA (Genesee and Orleans counties).

The situation is similar in Wayne County at Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area, where some impoundments dropped significantly and others went completely dry. Water levels in the Seneca River, Barge Canal, and Crusoe Creek are lower than normal, but will support waterfowl and public access. About half of the 42 managed marshes have water levels suitable for hunting waterfowl, and in all sites, the production of seed-bearing annual plants is exceptional.

In Livingston County, Conesus Inlet WMA water levels are lower than normal, but none of the impoundments went dry. Depending on rainfall leading up to the season opener, canoe access in the main impoundment may be more difficult due to lower water levels.

Waterfowl hunters who plan on hunting either Iroquois or Montezuma National Wildlife Refuges should review websites or contact managers of these locations directly to learn about the effects of the drought on their hunt management plans.

 

PUBLIC INFORMATION SESSION ON HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR HANGING BOG WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public information session to provide information and answer questions about a recently completed habitat management plan for the Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in the town of New Hudson, Allegany County.

The session will take place on Wednesday, November 2, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cuba-Rushford Middle/High School Auditorium, located at 5476 Route 305 North in Cuba. An open house will take place from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m., followed by a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m.

Hanging Bog WMA has become one of the primary areas for ruffed grouse management in New York State. Current management is to provide a diversity of wildlife habitats including hardwood and conifer forests, young forest habitats, grasslands and shrublands, and management of a bog for which the WMA derives its name.

Active habitat management to benefit wildlife populations is fundamental to wildlife management and has been an important component of New York's efforts for decades. The launch of the young forest initiative in 2015 was the catalyst for starting an in-depth planning process for wildlife habitat management projects. Habitat management plans are being developed for all WMAs and other DEC properties, including select Multiple Use and Unique Areas. These plans guide land use management for a 10-year time period, after which time DEC will assess implementation progress and modify the plans as needed.

DEC's Young Forest Initiative aims to establish a minimum of 10 percent of the forested acreage on WMAs as young forest over the next 10 years, and to manage for young forests in perpetuity. Young forests are an important part of the forest landscape, but they have declined over the past 50 years along with the wildlife that depend on this habitat type. While DEC has been managing forests on WMAs to improve wildlife habitat for many years, DEC is increasing its efforts and raising awareness about this type of habitat management.

In addition to incorporating aspects of the Young Forest Initiative, the habitat management plan incorporates recommendations from various other sources including unit management plans, existing WMA habitat management guidelines, best management practices, the New York Natural Heritage Program's WMA biodiversity inventory reports, and bird conservation area guidelines.

DEC will continue active management on Hanging Bog WMA to benefit wildlife abundance and diversity, promote best management practices for targeted wildlife and habitats, and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation.

The meeting will include a presentation about the history of management on Hanging Bog WMA, specific activities and locations for the management actions planned for the WMA, a brief overview of the Young Forest Initiative, and a question and answer period.

The habitat management plan for Hanging Bog WMA (56 page PDF, 3.46 MB) can be found on DEC's website. For more information on this event, please contact Greg Ecker at (716) 851-7010.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Marijuana/Cocaine Arrest - Orleans County: In September ECO Vern Fonda assisted the Orleans County Major Felony Task Force with a search warrant located in a rural area in the town of Ridgeway. The search warrant was based on a large indoor marijuana growing operation at a rural residence. The warrant execution was overseen by the Orleans County Undersheriff and an investigator. Eighty marijuana plants were seized, along with 12 grams of cocaine packaged for sale, scales, a rifle, and other drug paraphernalia. One individual was charged with one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, and one count of criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree, and committed to jail on $25,000 bail. A second individual was also arrested. A female was charged with one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, and one count of criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree. She was committed to jail on $10,000 bail. The case will be heard in the Ridgeway Town Court in the coming weeks and the investigation continues. Additional charges are likely.

Illegal Deer Hunting - Tioga County:  In September ECO Stan Winnick was contacted by the Tioga County Sheriff's Department regarding an illegal hunting incident that had occurred the previous evening in the town of Richford. The Sheriff's department reported that a Richford resident heard a shot around 10:30 p.m. close to a car parked on Sears Road. The complainants were able to record the license plate and a description of the suspect's vehicle. A large, recently killed whitetail buck was found in an adjoining field. ECO Winnick met with the property owner and complainant at the scene and recovered a bullet from the deer carcass. ECOs Brent Wilson and Andy Kostuk assisted ECO Winnick with taking statements. ECO Tom Fernandez Winnick located the suspect's vehicle at the Marathon High School. ECO Winnick determined that the boyfriend of the vehicle's registered owner may have been involved in the shooting of the deer. The suspect admitted that his older brother had been driving the car and had shot the deer. ECO Winnick took written statements from both brothers and the older brother admitted to having shot the deer. The older brother was charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a residence, taking deer during the closed season, taking deer with the aid of a motor vehicle, and hunting without a license. Both the bullet and the deer head were held as evidence.

 

BEAR ATTACK: (By Len Lisenbee, the Daily Messenger’s Outdoor Columnist. Contact him at lisenbee@frontiernet.net.)

A few weeks ago Todd Orr had a very bad day. Actually you could call it a horrible, terrible day. He was in the backcountry of Montana, spotting for elk in a mountain meadow, when he happened upon a grizzly bear. The only problem was that she (the bear) had two cubs with her. And, she happened to be very protective of her babies.

What happened next is when the trouble began. But let me start with Orr’s account of the incidents. He was well aware that bears are common throughout southwest Montana, so he was hollering out “hey bear” a couple times every minute or so. That should have warned any nearby bears and sent them on their way.

He had traveled around three miles when he came out into a mountain meadow (called a “park” by locals). He spotted the sow grizzly and her cubs at the upper end of the park. According to him, “The sow saw me right away and they ran a short distance up the trail. But suddenly she turned and charged straight my way. I yelled a number of times so she knew I was human and would hopefully turn back. No such luck. Within a couple seconds, she was nearly on me. I gave her a full charge of bear spray at about 25 feet. Her momentum carried her right through the orange mist and on me.”

The sow attacked Orr, “clawing and biting him all over his body.” To protect his neck and face, Orr said he rolled into a ball and put his arms over the back of his neck. “Still, the mama bear continued to attack.” Then, she suddenly stopped her attack.

Orr continued his post with, “Stunned, I carefully picked myself up. I was alive and able to walk so I headed back down the trail towards the truck 3 miles below. As I half hiked and jogged down the trail, I glanced at my injuries. I had numerous bleeding puncture wounds on my arms and shoulder but I knew I would survive and thanked God for getting me through this. I hoped the bleeding wasn’t too significant. I really didn’t want to stop to dress the wounds. I wanted to keep moving and put distance between me and her.”

But his immediate problems were anything but over. He wrote, “About five or ten minutes down the trail, I heard a sound and turned to find the Griz bearing down at 30 feet. She either followed me back down the trail or cut through the trees and randomly came out on the trail right behind me. Whatever the case, she was instantly on me again. I couldn’t believe this was happening a second time! Why me? I was so lucky the first attack, but now I questioned if I would survive the second.”

And this time her attack was much worse. The bear actually stood on top of him, crushing his face and chest into the ground, while chomping through his left forearm and nearly scalping him. Then, just as suddenly as the sow had twice attacked him, she stopped a second time. She apparently left Orr for dead.

Orr was able to get himself up and make it back to his truck. He called his girlfriend and called 911 to inform them of what had happened. He told them he would soon be arriving at the hospital. He had numerous bite and claw marks, a five-inch gash in his head, and a broken arm. He underwent eight hours of stitches.

According to Orr, “Not my best day, but I’m alive. So thankful I’m here to share with all of you.” So are we, Mr. Orr. 

 

KUDOS: NY OUTDOOR WRITERS GET AWARDS FROM AGLOW: At the 60th Annual meeting of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers - 2016 Awards-in-Craft ceremony, the following Western/Central New York members were recognized for outstanding work in the following categories:
*Best of Newspaper/ Boating & Boating Safety
1st Place"Don't Miss the Boat-Tips and Precautions for Fun on the Water" by Bill Hilts Jr. (NY)
*Best of Newspaper / Travel, RV & Camping
2nd Place"New York's 1000 Islands-Food for Thought for Vacationing" by Bill Hilts Jr. (NY)
* Best of Newspaper / Best Outdoor Page
2nd Place"The Buffalo News-Outdoor Page" by Will Elliott (NY)
1st Place"New York Outdoor News-Outdoor Page" by Bill Hilts, Jr. (NY)
*Best of Magazine / Open
3rd Place"Sturgeon making a comeback in Lake Ontario" by Bill Hilts, Jr. (NY)
*Best of Web Communications / Hunting
2nd Place"Waterfowl Opener, A Real Blast" by Bill Hits, Jr. (NY)
*Best of Television / Open
3rd Place"Outdoor Beat #68" by Bill Hilts, Jr. (NY)

BASS PRO SHOPS’ HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES: Bass Pro Shops, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY (315-258-2700) is hosting FREE, family-friendly Halloween events October 24 – 31 featuring the classic Peanuts® characters, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Sally and Lucy. The free event features activities including crafts for kids, a Halloween costume parade, trick-or-treating, FREE 4x6 photo with the Peanuts gang and much more. The schedule Includes:

Monday, October 24 – Friday, October 28:

6 to 8 p.m. – FREE 4x6 photo with the Peanuts gang and Decorate a Peanuts craft

Saturday, October 29:  12 to 5 p.m. – FREE 4x6 photo with the Peanuts gang and  Decorate a Peanuts craft

Sunday, October 30: 12 to 5 p.m. – FREE 4x6 photo with the Peanuts gang and Plant a pumpkin craft 

3 to 5 p.m. – Trick-or-treating

3 p.m. – Costume parade; participants receive a plush bat

Monday, October 31: 4 to 8 p.m. – FREE 4x6 photo with the Peanuts gang and Decorate a trick-or-treat bag and Trick-or-Treating

4 to 7 p.m. – Face painting

5 to 8 p.m. – McSteven’s hot chocolate samples

6 p.m. –  Costume parade; participants receive a plush jack-o-lantern.

For more information, visit www.basspro.com/halloween

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

SEPTEMBER 2016

23-11/6 - King of the Creek Salmon Contest sponsored by All in the Same Boat Tackle, 2911 Lockport-Olcott Road, Newfane, NY. Fishing may be from boat and/or shore. (For information call 716-638-4158 or go to www.abstackle.com.)

OCTOBER 2016

21 - End of Northern Zone Deer & Bear Bowhunting and Muzzleloading Seasons

22 – Start of Hunting Seasons for Ducks, Coots and Mergansers – Part 1 - in Western Zone (>12/4)

22 - Start of Canada Goose Seasons - Part 2 - in the West Central (>11/24) and South Zones (>12/17) of Western New York

22 - Start of Northern Zone Regular Deer and Bear Hunting Season (>12/4)

22 - Happy Owl-Ween: Live Owl Program at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (6:00-8:00) Live owls on display during the presentation about the silent hunters of the night. Then join the Montezuma Audubon Center staff for an owl prowl around the woods and grasslands in search of the wild owls of Montezuma. (Fee: $6.00/child, $8.00/adult, $25.00/family.) Registration is required. (Call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org for information and/or register.)

22-23 - Niagara Frontier - Caledonia Gun Show at the JW Jones Hall, 354 Liecester St. Caledonia, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm /Sun 9:00 am - 3:00pm) (85 tables. NICS background checks available. (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  guns@nfgshows.com)

23 - Fix- It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Owasco Lake Tuff Guy II (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247)

25 – Start of Hunting & Trapping Seasons for Weasel, Skunk, Opossum, Raccoon, Red Fox and Gray Fox (>2/15/17)

25 – Start of Hunting & Trapping Seasons for Bobcat(Southern portion of Western New York (>11/18)

25 – Start Of Trapping Seasons for Coyote (>2/15/14)

27 – Birding Van Tour at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 - 11:00 am) The peak of the waterfowl migration is upon us! Join us for a van tour to see dozens of ducks, geese and swans as they soar overhead and rest in wetlands during their long and impressive journey. Participants are encouraged to bring their camera and binoculars. (Fee: $8/child; $13.50/adult, $35/family) (For information and/or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

28 – Close of Turkey Hunting Season

28 - Ruffed Grouse Society 36th Annual Central New York Chapter Conservation & Sportsmen’s Banquet at The Whitetail at Woodcrest Golf Course, 6200 Old Cheese Factory Road (Route 173 & Cheese Factory Road), Manlius, NY (Social Hour: 6:00 pm/Dinner: 7:30 pm) (For information Bob Papworth  315—471-0914  rppwrth@twc.com or  Tim McCarthy  315-696-8987  tmac@twcny.rr.com)

29 - Upstate Anglers Open Bass Tournament – Conesus Lake (6:00 am – 2:00 pm) (For information email admin@upstateanglers.com)

29 - Avon Anglers Keuka Lake Bass Iron Man I Tournament. (For details contact Paul Lane    585-737-1701    claytonfishing@aol.com  or Fred Shutt    585.330.1776     tuborz@frontiernet.net)

30 - Fix It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Keuka Lake Tuff Guy III (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247)

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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10 -14 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOR PROPOSED CHANGES TO FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS EXTENDED: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the time period that DEC will accept comments on proposed changes to freshwater fishing regulations has been extended. Comments will now be accepted through November 11, 2016.

DEC modifies freshwater sportfishing regulations approximately every two years as part of the commitment to enhance fishing opportunities and protect the State's freshwater resources. The regulations are developed after careful assessment of existing regulations and the desires of New York anglers. The new regulations will take effect April 1, 2017 and will be included in the 2017-18 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.

The proposed regulations were first provided for informal public review on the DEC website in February 2016. The early feedback helped DEC determine which regulation changes to advance or eliminate.

A summary and the full text of the proposed regulations can be found on DEC's website.

Comments on the proposed regulations should be sent by email to regulations.fish@dec.ny.gov or mailed to Gregory Kozlowski, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753.

 

PUBLIC MEETING ON NEW PLAN FOR RATTLESNAKE HILL WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public information session to answer questions about a recently completed habitat management plan for the Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in the towns of Nunda and Ossian, Livingston County, and the Town of Grove, Allegany County.

The session is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria at Dansville High School at 284 Main Street in Dansville. An open house will take place from 6:30 - 7 p.m., followed by a formal presentation.

Rattlesnake Hill WMA is currently managed to provide a diversity of wildlife habitats, including hardwood and conifer forests, early-successional grasslands and shrublands, and several marsh impoundments and ponds. Active habitat management to benefit wildlife populations is fundamental to wildlife management and has been an important component of New York's efforts for decades. DEC launched the young forest initiative in 2015, and this was the catalyst for starting an in-depth planning process for wildlife habitat management projects. Habitat management plans are being developed for all WMAs and other DEC properties, including select Multiple Use and Unique Areas. These plans guide land use management for 10 years, after which DEC will assess implementation progress and modify the plans as needed.

DEC's Young Forest Initiative aims to establish a minimum of 10 percent of the forested acreage on WMAs as young forest over the next 10 years, and to manage for young forests in perpetuity. Young forests are an important part of the forest landscape, but they have declined over the past 50 years along with the wildlife that depend on this habitat. While DEC has managed forests on WMAs to improve wildlife habitat for many years, DEC is increasing its efforts and raising awareness about this type of habitat management.

In addition to incorporating aspects of the Young Forest Initiative, the habitat management plan incorporates recommendations from various other sources including unit management plans, existing WMA habitat management guidelines, best management practices, the New York Natural Heritage Program's WMA biodiversity inventory reports, and bird conservation area guidelines.

DEC will continue active management on Rattlesnake Hill WMA to benefit wildlife abundance and diversity, promote best management practices for targeted wildlife and habitats, and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation, such as hunting and bird watching.

The meeting will include a presentation about the history of management on Rattlesnake Hill WMA, specific activities and locations for the management actions planned for the WMA, a brief overview of the Young Forest Initiative, and a question and answer period.

The habitat management plan for Rattlesnake Hill WMA can be found on DEC's website. For more information on this event please contact Michael Palermo at (585) 226-5383.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Attempted Sale of Bald Eagle Parts - Broome County: In August, off-duty ECO Andrew McCormick received a phone call reporting a deceased juvenile bald eagle found on a Binghamton sidewalk. ECO McCormick made arrangements with ECO Anthony Rigoli to retrieve the carcass. The eagle appeared to have been electrocuted on a power line. However, ECO Rigoli observed that its feet had been removed. Later that day, a business complainant advised ECO McCormick that a subject had come into a bait shop in Binghamton and attempted to sell the foot of a bald eagle. The complainant stated that he knew the possession of the eagle's foot is illegal and declined to buy it. Additionally, the complainant knew the subject lived in the village of Port Dickinson. Lt. Ric Warner obtained additional tissue samples from the carcass for a possible DNA match to the feet and to support a search warrant. On August 16, a search warrant was executed at the suspect's residence by Lt. Warner, ECOs McCormick and Templeton, and Port Dickinson Police Chief Douglas Pipher. The bald eagle feet, along with a primary wing feather, two bird nests, and a variety of protected bird species feathers were found and seized as evidence. The subject was arrested and charged with offering bald eagle parts for sale and the unlawful possession of additional protected wildlife parts. He was released with appearance tickets returnable in the Dickinson Town Court.

Illegal Opossum Possession - Wayne County: ECOs Shawn Dussault and John Stansfield received a complaint in August, from a Wayne County veterinarian that an opossum was being kept at a food vendor's booth at the Wayne County Fair. The officers responded to the location and located the subject with his opossum. A check of the DEC licensing system showed that the opossum's owner was a valid Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator (NWCO) with an expired Wildlife Rehabilitator's license. Because the animal was being exhibited in violation of his NWCO permit, it was seized as evidence and transported to a local licensed rehabilitator. The subject was ticketed for unlawful possession of wildlife and violating the terms of his NWCO permit.

Marijuana Eradication Efforts - Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua Counties: During late August and early September, ECOs Kevin Budniewski, Jerry Kinney, Chris Freeman, Jason Powers, Nate Mead, Russ Calanni, Darci Dougherty, and Lt. Don Pleakis assisted the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua County Sheriff's departments, State Police, and the Army National Guard with marijuana eradication efforts. In Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties, a total of 639 illegal plants were seized along with 10 pounds of dried processed marijuana. Officers determined that there was an outstanding arrest warrant for a female subject found with the dried marijuana and she was arrested by State Police. Also in Chautauqua County, the State Police Aviation Unit observed a large number of marijuana plants near state land, resulting in the ECOs seizing 137 additional plants.

 

NEW DEC REGION 7 DIRECTOR: A water engineer and private consultant has been appointed Regional Director for the Department of Environmental Conservation's Central New York Office. Matthew J. Marko, of Syracuse, a water engineer and consultant with CH2M Hill, has been named the new director of the state Region 7, based in Syracuse.

Marko, 45, of Syracuse, was a vice president at CH2M Hill engineering firm's Water Business Group in Syracuse. He has worked with Onondaga County on its Save the Rain project, a part of the Onondaga Lake cleanup. He was also the project manager for Syracuse's rebuilding of the old Westcott Reservoir in Westvale.

Marko also teaches ecological engineering at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and is vice chair of the SUNY ESF board of trustees. He also sits on the board of the Onondaga Civic Development Corporation.

A graduate of the University of Buffalo, Marko lives in Syracuse with his wife, Carrie, and their two sons.

Marko starts Oct. 13 as director of Region 7, which covers Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga, and Tompkins counties. DEC oversees state lands, fishing and hunting, environmental cleanups and other environmental issues.

Marko replaces acting director Joe Sluzar, a DEC attorney who took over temporarily in April when longtime Region 7 Director Ken Lynch was promoted to executive deputy commissioner of DEC.

 

LAKE STURGEON RELEASED INTO THE GENESEE RIVER:  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was joined by federal and local partners today to release 500 fingerling lake sturgeon into the Genesee River as part of an effort to restore a healthy population of this native fish species. This event, in its sixth year of stocking, will increase the opportunity for Lake Sturgeon population to re-establish and thrive in the river.

DEC's partners in this effort include research ecologist Dr. Dawn Dittman of the USGS Great Lakes Science Center; Scott Schlueter, Fish and Wildlife Biologist of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Dr. Jeff Wyatt, Director of Wildlife Health & Conservation-Seneca Park Zoo.

Lake Sturgeon is a native fish species that has been designated a species of concern across the Great Lakes Region. Historically abundant in Lake Ontario, this unique primitive fish has virtually disappeared due to overfishing and habitat degradation. Among the activities being undertaken to eventually remove lake sturgeon from the New York threatened species list include: protection from fishing harvest, habitat improvements, stocking of fingerlings, and evaluations of the success these direct efforts.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's New York Field Office supports the collaborative DEC lake sturgeon restoration program through funding provided from the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Fish Enhancement, Mitigation and Research Fund (FEMRF), a settlement with the New York Power Authority resulting from the relicensing of the St. Lawrence Power Project. The funding facilitates the cooperative sturgeon conservation field efforts in the St. Lawrence River valley, as well as the rearing of sturgeon fingerlings at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Genoa National Fish Hatchery (WI).

DEC and federal partners are implementing a restoration plan that includes a minimum of ten years of fingerling stocking in selected tributaries of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to facilitate re-establishing Lake Sturgeon populations in those waters. The Genesee River had a substantial Lake Sturgeon presence into the early 1900s that included "monster" sturgeon. The river has been the focus of recent restoration activities that included habitat evaluation, stocking of 1,900 fingerlings in 2003 and 2004, stocking of 3,000 fingerlings from 2013 to 2015, and an evaluation of the success of those fish. Results indicate that a number of those released sturgeon are residing in the Genesee River and nearby Lake Ontario and growing well, with weights ranging from 17 to 27 pounds and lengths up to 47 inches.

 

FROM THE INTERNET: FISHEY LAWS:

These outdated fishing laws seem outrageous, but many of them are still on the books because no one’s bothered to erase them.

1. In Montana, if you are an unmarried woman, you cannot fish alone. And if you are married, you cannot fish alone on a Sunday.

2. In Oregon, it is against the law to use canned corn for bait while fishing.

3. Idaho does not allow fishing from a camel’s back.

4. By Tennessee law, it is illegal to catch a fish with a lasso.

5. It is illegal for men to knit during fishing season in New Jersey.

6. In Illinois, it’s forbidden to fish while sitting on a giraffe’s neck.

7. It is illegal to get a fish drunk in Ohio.

8. In Chicago, Illinois, it is illegal to fish in your pajamas.

9. In Wyoming, It is strictly forbidden to shoot fish with a firearm.

10. Another one from Ohio: Sundays are for the Lord, not whales. If you are fishing for whales on a Sunday in Ohio, you will be punished

 

THIS WEEK=S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

September 2016

23-11/6 - King of the Creek Salmon Contest sponsored by All in the Same Boat Tackle, 2911 Lockport-Olcott Road, Newfane, NY. Fishing may be from boat and/or shore. (For information call 716-638-4158 or go to www.abstackle.com.)

October 2016

14 - End of Northern Zone Early Bear Season

15 - Start of Pheasant Hunting Season in Western New York (>12/31 north or >2/28/17 south)

15 - Start of Turkey Hunting Season (>10/28)

15 - Friends of NRA Event at the Lakeville Exempt Club, 5939 Stone Hill Road, Lakeville , NY. (For information contact Mr. Reich  585-346-2995  ewr2005@sbcglobal.net)

15 – NWTF Wheelin Sportsmen Muzzleloader Deer Hunt on private property in Sandy Creek, NY (For information contact William Wilbur  315-440-4351  wwilbur551@aol.com)

15 - Southern Tier Bassmasters Tournament on Conesus Lake (For information Call 585-314-7142 or email tournaments@southerntierbass.com)

15 - Upstate Anglers Open Bass Tournament – Oneida Lake (6:00 am – 2:00 pm) (For information email admin@upstateanglers.com)

15-16 - Niagara Frontier Gun Show at the Newstead Fire Hall, 5691 Cummings Road, Akron, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm /Sun 9:00 am - 3:00pm) (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  guns@nfgshows.com)

16 - Fix It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Conesus Lake Tuff Guy I (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247)

21 - End of Northern Zone Deer & Bear Bowhunting and Muzzleloading Seasons

22 – Start of Hunting Seasons for Ducks, Coots and Mergansers – Part 1 - in Western Zone (>12/4)

22 - Start of Canada Goose Seasons - Part 2 - in the West Central (>11/24) and South Zones (>12/17) of Western New York

22 - Start of Northern Zone Regular Deer and Bear Hunting Season (>12/4)

22 - Happy Owl-Ween: Live Owl Program at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (6:00-8:00) Live owls on display during the presentation about the silent hunters of the night. Then join the Montezuma Audubon Center staff for an owl prowl around the woods and grasslands in search of the wild owls of Montezuma. (Fee: $6.00/child, $8.00/adult, $25.00/family.) Registration is required. (Call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org for information and/or register.)

22-23 - Niagara Frontier - Caledonia Gun Show at the JW Jones Hall, 354 Liecester St. Caledonia, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm /Sun 9:00 am - 3:00pm) (85 tables. NICS background checks available. (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  guns@nfgshows.com)

23 - Fix It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Owasco Lake Tuff Guy II (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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10 - 7 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

MERGER OF GIANTS:  Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Incorporated (NYSE:CAB), two iconic American outdoor companies with similar humble origins, and with a shared goal to better serve those who love the outdoors, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Bass Pro Shops will acquire Cabela’s for $65.50 per share in cash, representing an aggregate transaction value of approximately $5.5 billion.

In addition, upon closing Bass Pro Shops will commence a multi-year partnership agreement with Capital One, National Association, a wholly-owned national banking subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF), under which Capital One will originate and service the Cabela’s CLUB, Cabela’s co-branded credit card, and Bass Pro Shops will maintain a seamless integration between the credit card program and the combined companies’ retail operations and deep customer relationships. All Cabela’s CLUB points and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards points will be unaffected by the transactions and customers can continue to use their credit cards as they were prior to the transaction. Capital One intends to continue to operate the Cabela’s CLUB servicing center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

A driving force behind this agreement is the highly complementary business philosophies, product offerings, expertise and geographic footprints of the two businesses. The essence of both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s is a deep passion to serve outdoor enthusiasts and support conservation. The combination brings together three of the nation's premier sporting brands: Cabela’s, a leader in hunting; Bass Pro Shops, a leader in fishing; and White River Marine Group, a worldwide leader in boating, which is part of Bass Pro Shops.

Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and White River Marine Group represent the best of American entrepreneurship, innovation and devotion to customers. The combined companies will strive to provide a remarkably enhanced experience for customers, increased opportunities for team members and greater support for conservation activities.

                                                                                Statue outside the Dundee Michigan Cabelas

 

TRAPPING SEASON ON OAK ORCHARD, TONAWANDA, AND JOHN WHITE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced dates for the 2016-2017 trapping season for Oak Orchard, Tonawanda, and John White Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Beginning October 1, trapping permits will be issued for these WMAs for the 2016-2017 license year. Permit applications can be obtained weekdays October 1 to November 30 at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Office on Casey Road between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., or by writing to the DEC Bureau of Wildlife, 1101 Casey Road, Box B, Basom, New York 14013.

Trappers who obtain a permit will be required to report their harvest and trapping efforts on each area. The Western New York trapping season for fox, raccoon, coyote and other upland furbearing animals opens October 25, 2016, and closes February 15, 2017. However, the start of upland trapping will be delayed until Nov. 1, 2016 on the John White WMA.

This year trapping season for mink, muskrat, and beaver in this area of NY will run from Nov. 25, 2016 until Feb. 15, 2017. However, trapping for muskrats and mink is restricted on these three WMAs to a shorter season than the rest of Western New York, and will be allowed Dec. 3, 2016 to Feb. 15, 2017.

Due to the ongoing drought, wetland muskrat and mink trapping will likely be limited to certain marshes to allow the muskrat populations to recover, especially in marshes where increased muskrat numbers will benefit marsh habitat conditions. This decision will be made by October 1; information will be provided when trapping permits are issued.

Trappers can set a maximum of 25 traps for muskrat and mink on the three areas. DEC issues 25 numbered tags to each trapper who obtains a permit. The tags must be attached to each trap used. Traps without tags are considered illegal. In addition, an individual trapper can only operate traps tagged with their assigned numbers. Traps set for upland trapping and beaver will not require numbered tags and will not be considered in the trap limit. The trap limit provides a more equitable distribution of the harvest and prevents trappers from monopolizing better trapping areas.

Management of the muskrat population promotes prime emergent marsh habitats used by waterfowl and uncommon marsh birds such as the Black Tern and Least Bittern. The trap limit and the possible additional trapping restrictions restriction will allow Bureau of Wildlife personnel to better regulate the muskrat harvest according to water availability, habitat needs, and population.

Hunters and trappers are reminded that no gas or electric motor boats are allowed on Oak Orchard or Tonawanda WMAs.

 

ARMY CONTRACT: Crosman Corporation, the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of airguns and ammunition, recently announced it has reached an agreement with the Army JROTC to be the official supplier of sporter class air rifles and will begin shipping 4,600 Challenger rifles and accessories this month.

This partnership will support over 600 Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) high school programs benefiting an estimated 14,000 cadets.

“We are proud to be the choice of the Army JROTC and feel privileged to contribute to the lives of so many young men and women through the competitive shooting sports,” said Mark DeBoard, Shooting Services Manager for Crosman. “The Challenger was selected for its superior accuracy, adjustability and precision performance and we look forward to seeing thousands of cadets maximize their marksmanship potential at the sporter class level.”

The Crosman Challenger is manufactured in Crosman’s Bloomfield, New York facility and features a Lothar Walther barrel, a patented linear bolt, an adjustable stock, and can be easily filled to 2,000 PSI with a hand pump. In addition to these rifles, accessories to be delivered include air tanks, hand stops, bipods, slings and Swab-Its bore cleaners.

“The Challenger air rifle has impressed coaches across the country and new records are being set by cadets at nearly every competition,” said Jennifer Lambert, VP Marketing for Crosman. “As the leading American manufacturer of airguns, we’re proud that the Army JROTC chose Crosman and we can’t wait to see what new heights their cadets will reach with the Challenger.”

For additional information on Crosman’s full line of competition airguns including the Challenger, visit crosman.com or write to Chip Hunnicutt, Marketing Manager, Crosman Corporation, 7629 Routes 5 & 20, Bloomfield, NY 14469, email him at chip@crosman.com, follow him on Twitter (@chiphunnicutt) or call him at (800) 7–AIRGUN (724-7486).


KUDOS: The New York State Outdoor Writers’ Association honored Steve Piatt with the “Pass It On Award” at its annual conference. The NYS Outdoor Writers’ Association realizes the importance of passing on a love of the outdoors, conservation, and involvement in outdoor sports. The future of these activities depends on creating an interest and involving other people.

Steve Piatt was honored with the 2016 Pass It On Award for stepping up and making a difference with the next generation of sportsmen. Ever since there has been a youth hunt for turkey or deer, Steve has spent those weekends in the woods with kids. Each spring and fall he’s actively looking for a kid to take hunting.

Steve actively searches for youngsters who do not have a mentor in the family to give them the experience of turkey or deer hunting. When he didn’t have a kid to take hunting, he mentioned it in his column for New York Outdoor News.  When Steve takes out a junior hunter, it’s not just a hunt. It’s a total experience. They scout the night before, go out for a pre-hunt dinner and then the youth will stay at the house. They are up early the next day and hitting the woods. There’s a celebratory breakfast at a local hotspot and then photos are taken and framed and given to the youth. It’s a memorable adventure – something they will remember for the rest of their life. He looks forward to these hunts like nothing else and regularly gives up his own hunting spots so the kids can get a deer or turkey.

He publishes anything he gets about kids in the New York Outdoor News newspaper.  He supplies hundreds of free papers to the Hunter Safety Training classes in the area. Steve has also actively published articles about hunting that helps youngsters and has advocated for youth hunts and similar programs.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Illegal Hunting for Deer and Small Game at Night - Livingston County: In July, ECO Brian Wade received a call from a local New York State Police Trooper regarding a traffic stop he had just made involving a "shots fired" complaint in the town of Mount Morris. The Trooper explained that the three men he had stopped claimed to be hunting porcupines. This was odd considering it was after 11 p.m. ECO Wade responded to the scene to assist the Trooper and after collecting evidence, including deer hair and blood from a dent on the side of the truck, empty shell casings from inside the truck and a dead woodchuck from the back of the truck, he determined that the men were also involved in illegal deer hunting. The Trooper also recovered three loaded firearms and a flashlight from the truck. The occupants of the truck gave both the Trooper and ECO Wade multiple conflicting versions of the evening's events but eventually the stories unraveled. The men had killed two raccoons out of season, attempted to kill one deer unsuccessfully, and successfully killed a large buck in a hay field nearby. All of these offenses allegedly occurred from inside the vehicle while using lights on public roads or driving through farm fields. The men eventually brought ECO Wade to a dead whitetail buck. The driver of the vehicle explained that as they chased the deer through the field as all three men repeatedly shot at it with pistols from the moving vehicle. At one point, the deer ran into the side of the vehicle denting it and leaving blood and hair on the vehicle. The men were each charged with five firearms and hunting related misdemeanors under Environmental Conservation Law in the Mount Morris Town Court.

1,100 Pounds of Illegal Lobsters from Price Chopper – Broome County: Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) seized more than 1,100 pounds of undersized lobsters from Price Chopper in three different inspections over four months.

The case was sparked in March when ECOs in Region 7 found short lobsters at two Price Chopper stores in Binghamton. In May, ECOs executed random checks at Price Chopper stores across the state and found similar results.

The distribution center for Price Chopper is located in Schenectady, and Region 4 ECOs performed a routine inspection at the facility Tuesday, measuring 297 cases of lobsters. ECOs determined that 820 lobsters (approximately 15 percent of the inventory) were under the legal size limit set by the state's Environmental Conservation Law (ECL). At least 105 undersized lobsters have been seized at the other stores, with the total seizure valued at more than $7,000.

The law requires lobsters taken, possessed, bought, sold, imported and exported in New York measure between 3 and 3/8-inches and 5 and 1/4-inches from the eye socket to the end of the body shell.

Size restrictions have been placed on lobsters, a valuable natural resource, to protect the fishing stock. Over the last several decades, American lobsters have experienced periods of population declines due to overfishing, and allowing lobsters to grow and reach maturity bolsters the stock.

Price Chopper faces fines for violations of ECL provisions of the Fish and Wildlife Law of up to $100 for every shellfish involved. DEC will attempt to negotiate a settlement with Price Chopper in the coming weeks.

The undersized lobsters were seized and donated to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in Latham.

Too Many Bass - Orleans County: In July, ECO Paul Kroth received a call from an upset fisherman who had just left Lake Alice. The fisherman had observed a subject catch and keep at least five bass over the legal catch limit and put them in a cooler. Both the complainant and another fisherman had told this subject that he needed to release any fish that he caught over the catch limit. ECO Kroth responded to Lake Alice and contacted the suspect as he was packing up to leave. He found 22 bass in the cooler, with four of the fish being under the 12-inch size limit. The man admitted he had caught the short fish and had taken more than his legal daily limit of the fish as well. He was issued tickets for Taking Bass over the Daily Catch Limit and Taking Bass Under the Size Limit.

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

September 2016

23-11/6 - King of the Creek Salmon Contest sponsored by All in the Same Boat Tackle, 2911 Lockport-Olcott Road, Newfane, NY. Fishing may be from boat and/or shore. (For information call 716-638-4158 or go to www.abstackle.com.)

OCTOBER 2016

1 – Falconry Season Opens (>3/31/17)

1 - Start of Southern Zone Deer and Bear Bowhunting Seasons (>11/18)

1 – Start of Hunting Seasons for Cottontail Rabbit, Ruffed Grouse (>2/28/15) & Coyote (3/29/15)

1 – Start of Woodcock Hunting Season (11/14)

1 - Start of Hunting Season for Snow Geese (>4/15/17) and Brant (>11/29) in the Western Zone

8 - Oak Orchard River Bass Anglers Conesus Lake Open. (7:00 am – 3:00 pm) Launch at the State Launch. 1 or 2 anglers per boat; Entry Fee: $60 per boat (cash only);Optional Lunker Pool: $10 per boat (cash only); 5 bass limit, 12” minimum length, 1 pound penalty for short fish and short fish will not be weighed. (For information contact  Em Seefeldt   585-798-4441 or email em@orleanscountybass.com)

8 - Niagara Frontier Bassmasters Lake Erie (Open) (7:00am - 3:00pm) Launch at Buffalo Harbor State Park. (For information contact  Larry Ash  1-716- 831-0413   

8-9  - Western New York Youth Pheasant Hunt Weekend

8-10 - Youth Firearms Deer Hunt Weekend

9 - Midstate Arms Collectors Lisle Gun Show at the  Lisle Fire Co., Route 79, North Lisle, NY. (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Sandy Ackerman, 607-748-1010, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.)

9 - Finger Lakes Open Bass Tournament – Keuka Lake Megabucks. Launch Location: TBA. (For information contact Tucker Kautz  607-227-5937 or email Kautzt86@yahoo.com)

8 -9 – 10th Annual Southern Tier Outdoor Show at Wilkins RV, Bath, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) Free seminars on bass fishing, NY black bear, fishing from shore, trout streams of NY, river recreation, invasive insects, food plots, women and archery, retriever training and tracking wounded deer. For youth – fishing, archery, turkey calling and petting zoo. (For information call 607-664-2300 or go to www.SouthernTierOutdoorShow.com)

9 – National Wildlife Refuges Fee-Free Day. Head outdoors and enjoy some of the country's most magical places — America's national wildlife refuges offer unparalleled opportunities to experience the great outdoors and see a rich diversity of wildlife in beautiful natural settings.

12 - Start of Northern Zone Deer & Bear Crossbow Seasons (>10/21 )

14 - End of Northern Zone Early Bear Season

15 - Start of Pheasant Hunting Season in Western New York (>12/31 north or >2/28/17 south)

15 - Start of Turkey Hunting Season (>10/28)

15 - Friends of NRA Event at the Lakeville Exempt Club, 5939 Stone Hill Road, Lakeville , NY. (For information contact Mr. Reich  585-346-2995  ewr2005@sbcglobal.net)

15 – NWTF Wheelin Sportsmen Muzzleloader Deer Hunt on private property in Sandy Creek, NY (For information contact William Wilbur  315-440-4351  wwilbur551@aol.com)

15 - Southern Tier Bassmasters Tournament on Conesus Lake (For information Call 585-314-7142 or email tournaments@southerntierbass.com)

15 - Upstate Anglers Open Bass Tournament – Oneida Lake (6:00 am – 2:00 pm) (For information email admin@upstateanglers.com)

15-16 - Niagara Frontier Gun Show at the Newstead Fire Hall, 5691 Cummings Road, Akron, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm /Sun 9:00 am - 3:00pm) (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  guns@nfgshows.com)

16 - Fix It 4U Trail Bass Tournament – Conesus Lake Tuff Guy I (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Evan Perry 570-662-1247)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for B AYour In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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9 - 30 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

START OF EARLY BOW SEASONS FOR DEER: Early bow season for deer begins in the Northern Zone at sunrise on Tuesday, September 27, and continues through October 21. In the Southern Zone, early bow season for deer and bear begins Saturday, October 1 and continues through November 18.

Under rules established by the New York State Legislature, bowhunters may opt to use a crossbow during latter portions of bow seasons: the last 10 days of the Northern Zone bow season (October 12-21) and last 14 days of the Southern Zone bow season (November 5-18). To hunt with a crossbow during these periods, bowhunters must possess a muzzleloader privilege and a qualifications certificate (see the Crossbow Hunting web page on DEC's website for details).

DEC invites bowhunters to help monitor deer and other wildlife populations by participating in the Bowhunter Sighting Log. The Bowhunter Sighting Log includes a diary of bowhunting activity and the number of animals seen. This data helps DEC track deer and other wildlife populations. To participate, please e-mail DEC (wildlife@dec.ny.gov - specify Bowhunter Sighting Log in the subject line) and provide your name, address, hunter ID (back tag number), the counties where you typically hunt, and whether or not you have participated in New York's bowhunter log in any previous year.

Deer hunters should also be aware that the application deadline for Deer Management Permits (DMPs) is October 1. Hunters should know which Wildlife Management Unit they intend to hunt before applying. See the DMP Availability and Probability of Selection web page for DMP targets and the chances of being selected by WMU.

 

FALL PHEASANT RELEASE PLANS ANNOUNCED FOR WNY (REGION 9): The Western New York pheasant hunting season is fast approaching, opening on Saturday, Oct. 15. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will release approximately 4,460 adult Ring-necked Pheasants on Region 9 lands open to public hunting for this fall's pheasant hunting season. Pheasants to be stocked will be provided by DEC's Reynolds Game Farm in Ithaca, NY. A complete statewide list of pheasant release sites is available on DEC's website.

"DEC is pleased to provide enhanced pheasant hunting opportunities in Western New York through our cooperative pheasant raising programs," said DEC Senior Wildlife Biologist Emilio Rende. "To ensure the safety of our sportsmen and DEC staff while stocking, pheasant hunting will not be allowed on Fridays at Carlton Hill Multiple Use Area (MUA) during October and November. We wish local sportsmen and sportswomen a safe and successful season."

The Day-old Pheasant Chick Program provides additional pheasant hunting opportunities through a partnership between DEC and sportsmen, 4H Youth and landowners interested in rearing and releasing pheasants. Birds from this program are released before the season opens and disperse widely, presenting a greater challenge for experienced hunters. Hunters are reminded to ask permission from private landowners before hunting on their lands. Many of these release sites are available for hunting because of the cooperation of private landowners. Good landowner/hunter relations are critical in ensuring that these areas remain open to hunting in future years.
A special permit is required for hunting small game during the opening day of pheasant season on Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area in the Town of Collins (Erie County), and Harwood Lake Multiple Use Area in the Town of Farmersville (Cattaraugus County). Hunters interested in entering the DEC permit lottery for these Multiple Use Areas should mail one standard size post card to: NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife, 270 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14203. Post cards must include the hunter's name, address, telephone number, 2016-17 license back tag number, preferred time of hunt (sunrise to noon or 1:00 pm to sunset), and the management area desired in order of preference. All entries must be received by Sept 30. There is no fee for the permit, and hunters awarded permits will be able to name one additional hunter on their permit. Ten permits will be issued per time block on each management area. Small game hunting on all other days will remain sunrise to sunset with no permit required.

Hunters should also note that dogs are not allowed within the designated area on the Multiple Use Areas for any purpose during the 48- hour period immediately preceding opening day of the fall pheasant season as posted on Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area, and Harwood Lake Multiple Use Area.

Hunters wishing to hunt pheasants in Allegany State Park are reminded that they must pick up a free hunting permit at the Administration Building near Red House Lake before hunting in the park. No small game hunting is allowed in Allegany State Park during the regular big game season that runs from Nov. 19 until Dec. 11. Please refer to the attached table for a summary of the number of pheasants to be stocked and release sites in each county. Any questions should be referred to DEC's Bureau of Wildlife at (716) 851-7010 in Buffalo or (716) 372-0645 in Allegany. Additional information about pheasant hunting is available on DEC's website.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK 2015:  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.

In 2015, the 268 ECOs based across the state responded to 25,000 calls and issued 22,000 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping to illegal mining, black market pet trade and excessive emissions violations.

"From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs who patrol our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. "They labor through long and arduous hours, often deep in our remote wildernesses or in the tight confines of our urban landscapes, and without much public fanfare. But their work centers around the most important things we do at the DEC."

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

A Cry in the Night - Monroe County:  In the early morning hours of a Saturday in June, off-duty Lt. Bruce Hummel was walking at the end of his neighborhood street near a wooded area in the town of Pittsford, when he heard what sounded like someone crying out. As he walked toward the direction of the sound, he heard it again, clearly identifying the voice of a female. Lt. Hummel repeatedly called out asking if someone was in need of assistance, but the calls went unanswered. Earlier that day, the Monroe County Sheriff's Department and a State Police helicopter had been in the area looking for a 64-year-old delusional woman who had been missing for more than a week. Lt. Hummel called the Monroe County Sheriff's dispatch for assistance, and Sheriff's Deputies along with a K-9 unit were able to locate the missing woman in the woods. She was severely dehydrated and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital, where she is expected to make a full recovery.

A Black Bear Visits RIT - Monroe County:  During the week of June 20th, the DEC's Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) received several calls regarding a young black bear observed roaming through the southern portion of Monroe County. While Monroe County does have many rural areas, it is also home to the City of Rochester and is no place for a bear. Initially the bear managed to curtail his activity to the southern, less-populated areas of the county. But in the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 22, the bear found its way up a tree on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). ECO Eoin Snowdon responded and advised campus security on measures to monitor the bear's activity at a distance, with the hopes that the bear might exit the area to a more suitable location. By daybreak the next morning, the bear was still in the tree and ECOs Snowdon and Brian Shea, along with DEC wildlife staff responded. A capture net and bounce pad were put in place and the bear was successfully anesthetized and transported to a more appropriate habitat.

Bobcat Kitten Rescue -- Tioga County:  In June, ECOs Brent Wilson and Stanley Winnick were contacted by Tioga County 911 Dispatch reporting a bobcat kitten stuck in a drainage ditch in front of a residence. When they arrived on the scene, an Owego police officer was there with a group of children. The complainant, who had located the bobcat, runs a daycare center out of her home and she, along with the children, were concerned about the bobcat. Apparently, the bobcat kitten sought shelter in a drain pipe for protection. The ECOs moved everyone away from the pipe and patiently waited for the bobcat to emerge. Eventually, it slowly crawled out, and ECO Wilson caught the kitten after a quick chase. ECO Wilson placed the kitten in a safe storage compartment in his truck. A local wildlife rehabilitator was nearby, setting a live trap for another bobcat kitten that had been abandoned. Both kittens are doing well and will be released to the wild when they become self-sufficient.

 

KUDOS: New York State Outdoor Writers Association has honored Bill Hilts, Jr. (Niagara County) with the New York M. Paul Keesler Outdoor Citizen Award for his continuing involvement in promoting natural resources. He is an outdoor writer and the Tourism Director for Niagara County and has promoted the outdoor resources of Niagara County and western New York. Through his bi-weekly newspaper columns and weekly radio shows he has kept western New York up to date on all the great opportunities for outdoor recreation, including current fishing conditions. As Director of Outdoor Promotion with Niagara Tourism Corporation he has spread the word throughout New York State and the northeast about the fantastic opportunities for outdoor recreation in western New York State.

His articles in magazines including New York Outdoor News, Lake Ontario Outdoors, Great Lakes Angler, and The Fisherman have helped make people aware of the world class fishing and recreation opportunities that exist in the Lake Ontario region.  He has taken the lead in organizing booths and displays for Lake Ontario Counties at outdoor shows. By playing a leading role in organizing and continuing to help in running the LOC Derby he has demonstrated to the public that the fishing on Lake Ontario is the envy of other areas in the northeast and upper mid-west.

As president of AGLOW and NYSOWA, Bill Hilts, Jr. worked tirelessly to help other writers gain insight, information, and the outlets to spread the news of hunting and fishing, as well as other outdoor recreation.  Bill also used his positions of influence to increase the public’s awareness of many fish and wildlife management issues (e.g. problems with the hatcheries, lack of information or access from the DEC personnel, deer management issues) throughout New York State and the northeast.

The NYSOWA M. Paul Keesler New York Outdoor Citizen Award is annually presented to an individual or organization that effectively has raised the public’s awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities and conservation issues in New York State. The late M. Paul Keesler spent nearly five decades promoting and conserving the outdoor wonders and recreational opportunities within New York State. Paul Keesler founded the New York Sportsman magazine which enlightened and educated readers statewide and beyond to the wild treasures of the Empire State. Keesler also wrote books on canoe fishing New York waterways and on his beloved West Canada Creek and Mohawk Valley.

 

LARGEST SEIZURE OF ILLEGAL ELEPHANT IVORY IN NEW YORK STATE HISTORY: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") Commissioner Basil Seggos, and Wildlife Conservation Society ("WCS") Executive Vice President of Public Affairs John Calvelli, today announced the indictment of an antiques store, its owners and a salesperson for selling and offering for sale illegal elephant ivory at a total price of more than $4.5 million. Irving Morano, 46, Samuel Morano, 48, Victor Zilberman, 62, and Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques Inc. are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with two counts of Illegal Commercialization of Wildlife.

The illegal trade of wildlife is worth an estimated $7 billion to $23 billion annually, according to Interpol and the United Nations. Results from the 2016 Great Elephant Census show there are only 352,000 African savanna elephants still living - a decline of 30% over just the last seven years. WCS estimates that between 2010 and 2012 alone, 100,000 elephants were killed in Africa to fuel the illegal ivory trade. New York remains one of the largest markets for ivory in the United States.

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques ("MFAA") is an art and antiques gallery, owned by brothers Irving Morano and Samuel Morano, operating at 10 West 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Irving and Samuel Morano have been in the business of selling elephant ivory articles and carvings since at least 2007.

Under the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, it is illegal to sell, or offer for sale, elephant ivory unless the seller has been granted a license from the DEC. In 2014, with the support of District Attorney Vance, DEC, WCS, and others, Governor Cuomo enacted new restrictions which effectively banned the sale of ivory articles except in very limited circumstances, and strengthened penalties for sellers.[2] Although the defendants had previously held licenses to sell elephant ivory, these statutory changes made it effectively impossible for the defendants to renew their license, and the defendants did not attempt to renew it. Instead, the defendants elected to continue selling elephant ivory without a license.

On November 30, 2015, undercover officers from DEC purchased an elephant ivory carving from Victor Zilberman, an MFAA salesman. Zilberman claimed the item was mammoth ivory, and the officers paid $2,000 directly to Irving Morano. After the sale, DEC analyzed the item and identified it as a carving made from elephant ivory and not mammoth ivory.

A search warrant executed at MFAA uncovered approximately 126 elephant ivory articles, including two pairs of uncarved elephant tusks - standing approximately seven and five feet tall. DEC determined that the smaller pair of tusks were from an African savannah elephant, and that the elephant was a young adult when it died. The retail prices listed for the tusks were $200,000 and $150,000. The total of the listed sales prices for the ivory articles seized from MFAA exceeds $4.5 million. According to records maintained by DEC, this is the largest seizure of illegal elephant ivory in the history of New York State.

The items are expected to be destroyed as part of DEC's Ivory Crush on World Elephant Day in August 2017.

 

THIS WEEK=S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

SEPTEMBER 2016

30 – In Search of Owls Walk at the Wilson-Tuscarora State Park. (7:00 9:00 pm) (For information and registration call 716-282-5154.)

OCTOBER 2016

1 - Southern Tier Bassmasters Tournament on Honeoye Lake (For information Call 585-314-7142 or email tournaments@southerntierbass.com)

1 – 6th Annual Rich Brauer/DB Memorial Perch Tournament (with awards and cookout on Oct. 2 at Brauer’s Restaurant, Campbell Blvd., Pendleton). (12:01 am – 6:00 pm) (Registration fee $10.) Money to benefit KidsPeace. (Call Eric at 716-698-4505.)

1 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Enchanted Mountain Chapter Dinner at the Bartlett Country Club, 32 Euclid Avenue, Olean, NY. The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled.  (For more information contact Randy Opferbeck  (716) 373-3322  gobbler648@verizon.net )

2 - Niagara Frontier - Alexander Gun Show at the Alexander Firemen’s Hall, 10708 Alexander Road, Alexander, NY (9:00 am - 3:00pm) (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email  guns@nfgshows.com)

8 - Oak Orchard River Bass Anglers Conesus Lake Open. (7:00 am – 3:00 pm) Launch at the State Launch. 1 or 2 anglers per boat; Entry Fee: $60 per boat (cash only);Optional Lunker Pool: $10 per boat (cash only); 5 bass limit, 12” minimum length, 1 pound penalty for short fish and short fish will not be weighed. (For information contact  Em Seefeldt   585-798-4441 or email em@orleanscountybass.com)

8 - Niagara Frontier Bassmasters Lake Erie (Open) (7:00am - 3:00pm) Launch at Buffalo Harbor State Park. (For information contact  Larry Ash  1-716- 831-0413   

9 - Midstate Arms Collectors Lisle Gun Show at the  Lisle Fire Co., Route 79, North Lisle, NY. (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information call Sandy Ackerman, 607-748-1010, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.)

9 - Finger Lakes Open Bass Tournament – Keuka Lake Megabucks. Launch Location: TBA. (For information contact Tucker Kautz  607-227-5937 or email Kautzt86@yahoo.com)

8 -9 – 10th Annual Southern Tier Outdoor Show at Wilkins RV, Bath, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) Free seminars on bass fishing, NY black bear, fishing from shore, trout streams of NY, river recreation, invasive insects, food plots, women and archery, retriever training and tracking wounded deer. For youth – fishing, archery, turkey calling and petting zoo. (For information call 607-664-2300 or go to www.SouthernTierOutdoorShow.com)

9 – National Wildlife Refuges Fee-Free Day. Head outdoors and enjoy some of the country's most magical places — America's national wildlife refuges offer unparalleled opportunities to experience the great outdoors and see a rich diversity of wildlife in beautiful natural settings.

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

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9 - 23 - 16

Welcome to this week=s Conservation Chatter Corner B little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

WHERE TO CELEBRATE:

24 - Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs Annual NHF Day Celebration at the Elma Conservation CLUB, 600 Creek Road, Elma, NY (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) Open to everyone of all ages. Come join the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs in celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration. Learn from the local experts on how to hunt, fish, trap, shoot, and much more.  Free event, rain or shine! (For information contact Rich Davenport  716-510-7952   rich@weloveoutdoors.org)

24 - 20th Annual Salmon River Hatchery Open House and Family Day at The Salmon River Hatchery, 2133 County Route 22, Altmar, NY (Oswego County). (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m) Admission is free. Tours of the facility will be given throughout the day, providing attendees with behind-the-scenes access to the inner workings of the hatchery. In addition, the fish ladder will be on display, offering the opportunity to view salmon as they migrate. Children will have the opportunity to learn to cast a fishing rod, tie flies, participate in a laser shooting range, observe the aquatic life of Beaverdam Brook, and learn about rare and threatened fish species in New York State. (For information contact Fran Verdoliva, NYSDEC Salmon River Coordinator, at 315-298-7605.) 

24-25 - Honeywell Sportsmen’s Days at Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery, Route 321, Elbridge, NY. (11:00 am - 5:00 pm) Created as a tribute to National Hunting and Fishing Day, this annual festival is a terrific opportunity for all ages to try their hand at a variety of outdoor pursuits, including skeet shooting, waterfowl identification, axe/knife throwing, turkey calling, archery, 3-D laser big game hunting, crossbow, BB gun, fly fishing, jig tying, canoeing, muzzle loading, Conservation Officers, Forest Rangers and Smokey Bear, woodsmen demonstrations, local wildlife artists and authors and trout fishing. Activities subject to change. (Cost: $5.00 per vehicle) (For information contact David R. Simmons  315-247-5141   preseident@federationofsportsmen.com)  

24-25 - The Livingston County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs National Hunting & Fishing Days Celebration at the Mumford Sportsmen’s Club, 8667 Gulf Road, Mumford, NY. (This is a change from the DEC Avon Office.) (10:00 am - 4:00 pm) An outdoor event consisting of exhibits, demonstrations plus a Sportsman’s flea market. Food and drink available at event. Sportsmen licenses may also be purchased at this event. Trap shooting, archery, Crosman air gun gallery, fly-casting and canoeing. Sat ONLY: Duck decoy contest at Noon and FLCC Woodsmen Lumberjack demonstrations. Free Parking(For information contact Marc Osypian at 585-301-2818)

24-25 - 31th Annual Wildlife Festival in Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day at the New York Power Authority’s Power Vista, 5777 Lewiston Road (adjacent to Niagara University), Lewiston, NY (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Take your picture with Liberty the bald eagle, catch a fish at the Niagara River Anglers fishing pond or shoot pellet guns at the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Club’s shooting trailer. Loads of fun for the whole family! Kids fishing contest for youngsters age 15 and under in the public waters of Niagara County. Two ages classes. Weigh in will be at the Wildlife Festival between noon and 2 p.m. both days. Awards on Sunday at 3 p.m. Largest fish caught out of the NYPA reservoir and from the NYPA fishing platform will also receive a prize. (For information call 866-697-2386 or visit their website at www.nypa.gov.)

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Range Safety - Genesee County – In August, ECO Gary Wilson responded to a complaint of subjects consuming alcohol at the public shooting range in the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area. The complainant stated that there were several individuals with firearms who were drinking alcohol and speaking Russian. ECO Wilson responded to the area along with New York State Police, the Genesee County Sheriff's, and U.S. Border Patrol. The officers found four Ukrainian subjects who admitted to consuming alcohol, but had not yet removed their weapons from their cases, as they were waiting their turn to use the range. The subjects were in possession of a total of eight long guns. Four of the long guns were claimed to be owned by one subject who stated he had legal alien status. The other four firearms were claimed by a subject stating he was a U.S. citizen. Although the subject with legal alien status could legally possess a firearm, one of his four rifles was an unregistered AR-style assault weapon with a high capacity magazine. He was arrested by NYSP for a Class E Felony under the SAFE Act. One of the other four subjects was taken into custody by the USBP as he did not have legal citizen status.

Frogs and Turtles - Cayuga County - On an evening in June, ECO Mark Colesante was on patrol at the Port Byron DEC boat launch site to check on fishing activity. Colesante observed a man loading a canoe onto a pick-up truck and asked the man if he had been fishing. The man replied that he and his son had not been fishing, but instead, they had been frog hunting on a back channel of the Seneca River. The man proceeded to show Colesante eight dead bullfrogs in a cooler in the back of his truck. Colesante also observed three live painted turtles crawling around in the bed of the pick-up. The man explained that his son wanted to keep the turtles as pets. ECO Colesante informed the man that frog season does not open until June 15 and there is no season on painted turtles because they are protected. He went on to further explain that frogs are currently in the process of mating and turtles are currently laying eggs. ECO Colesante issued the man a ticket for taking frogs out of season and issued him a warning notice for taking the protected turtles. The frogs were taken as evidence and the three turtles were returned to the Seneca River.

Illegal Goose Hunting - Tompkins County - On an evening in June, ECOs Tim Machnica and Ozzie Eisenberg responded to a complaint that two individuals killed two Canada geese and wounded a third goose on a private pond in the town of Dryden. The complainants were able to provide a good description of the two subjects, who had fled to a nearby farm when confronted. The ECOs located the two dead geese and found a third that had been tied to a small sapling. The third goose swam away uninjured as soon as the ECOS untied it. They also found numerous footprints in the mud leading to a pellet gun. With the assistance of the neighboring farm owner, ECOs Machnica and Eisenberg were able to locate and identify the men involved in shooting the geese, both seasonal workers from Central America. Both subjects were charged with Taking Canada Geese During the Closed Season and Unlawful Taking of Wildlife.

 

THE GOOD GUYS FROM THE PAST:

Region 8 Officers (Prior to 1977) CPT Bill Powell and ECOs Jud Peck, Pete Thomas, Rick Banker, Charlie Winant, Gid Hanggi and Rocco Calabrese.

 

KUDOS: Jim Bokor Jr. of Buffalo, New York, earned the title of grand champion angler for the third consecutive year at the Robert James Sales S.L.A.M. Celebrity Fishing Tournament that ended Sept. 11 in the Florida Keys.
The veteran angler released five bonefish and three tarpon while fishing with Captain Richard Black of Islamorada, Florida. Although a three-species "slam" that includes permit is typically required for the win, no permit were caught during the tournament's two fishing days so Bokor won based on his other catches.
In addition, Bokor and teammate Ron Kucinski of Buffalo took top team honors. Kucinski contributed three tarpon and two bonefish to the team's tally and also earned the runner-up spot in the individual angler division.
Second place in the team division went to Jeff Parrish of Buffalo and Dennis Fikes of Houston, Texas, based on the catches of both team members. Fishing with Islamorada's Captain Steve Thomas, Parrish and Fikes each released a bonefish and a tarpon.
The S.L.A.M. drew 13 teams that collectively released 34 bonefish and 16 tarpon.
The tournament is part of an annual Florida Keys trilogy of Redbone challenges that raises money for cystic fibrosis treatment and research. The trilogy continues with the Baybone Celebrity Tournament Oct. 7-9 in Key Largo, Florida, and the Redbone Celebrity Tournament Nov. 4-6 in Islamor

 

DEC REMINDS HUNTERS AND TRAPPERS TO SIGN UP FOR EDUCATION COURSES AND NEW COURSE HOMEWORK REQUIREMENTS:  Hunters and trappers planning to go afield this upcoming hunting and trapping season are reminded that they must first complete a mandatory hunter, bowhunter or trapper education course, if they haven’t already.

DEC works closely with thousands of dedicated DEC-certified instructors statewide to provide these training courses free of charge. Courses are offered for Hunter Education, Bowhunter Education, Trapper Education and Waterfowl Identification. However, courses fill up quickly, so those interested should sign up for a course soon to be sure they complete it before going afield this fall.

With the DEC on-line registration system, viewing a list of all available hunter and trapper education courses with the student's proximity to course locations can be easily done. Students can register from any device - smartphone, tablet or computer - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Education courses are added continuously throughout the year, so be sure to check the on-line system frequently to find a course near you. To locate a nearby hunter or trapper education course, visit DEC's website or contact a local DEC office for assistance.

New course homework requirements instituted this year: All hunter education and trapper education courses now require students to review course materials and complete a homework sheet prior to attending the classroom and field sessions. The new homework portion of the course provides an introduction to the subject and enhances the students' understanding of the course material. Proof of the completed homework is required in order to attend the classroom and field portions of the course. Students should register for the course well in advance of the classroom and field date(s) in order to allow time to complete the homework requirement, which takes about three hours. All courses also require successful completion of an in-person field day to earn certification for the course.

Access to the homework materials and online homework options can be found on DEC's website or follow the guidelines listed in the various course announcements when you register for a particular class. Actual course manuals and homework sheets are always available from DEC wildlife offices and sportsman education instructors.

Education courses produce results in hunter safety: New York's hunter education courses are highly effective in fostering safe hunters. Approximately 500,000 licensed hunters spend an estimated 10 to 15 million days afield each year. Reports on the number of hunting-related shooting incidents indicate that 2015 had the third lowest number on record in New York. The 2015 hunting season yielded the first year without a hunting-related shooting fatality since the 1950s.

These low numbers are achieved through training and the regulations governing hunting activities in New York State. DEC's Sportsman Education Program is designed to teach and promote safe and effective hunting principles, practices and strategies. The program has been extremely successful over its 66 years of existence. For details on last year's hunter safety record can be found on DEC's website.

 

PILOT PROJECT TO IMPROVE COLLECTION OF PUBLIC INPUT ABOUT DEER POPULATIONS: DEC’s pilot effort to improve collection of public input about deer impacts and desired deer population levels (www.dec.ny.gov/press/103053.html), a collaborative venture with Cornell University and county-level Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) offices, has concluded and is being evaluated.  This was an effort to modify the former Citizen Task Force process and improve methods for obtaining public input on desired changes in local deer abundance, consistent with DEC's Deer Management Plan.

The pilot, which took place in a 1,325-square-mile area of central New York (Wildlife Management Units 7H, 8J and 8S), began with a 2015 survey of residents to gather information on the values they attribute to deer and their experiences with and concerns about deer impacts.  Out of the 3,000 surveys that were mailed, 1,456 were completed and returned.  Following considerable public outreach to advertise the program, two webinars were held in January 2016 to provide information to residents on DEC’s deer management program, the results of the public survey, deer biology, deer impacts on people and the environment, and deer management issues and challenges.  Webinar participants were then asked if they would like to volunteer to be part of an input group, and 12 of the 24 volunteers were selected.

This group held two meetings in March 2016 to discuss local deer-related impacts and prioritize issues that they felt DEC should address.  These meetings were facilitated by CCE of Oneida County, and two DEC wildlife biologists attended to answer questions and offer advice.  Although the group members had been selected to maximize the diversity of deer-related interests and perspectives as much as possible given the low number of volunteers, the prioritization of impacts identified by group participants differed markedly from that indicated by the survey of residents.  The number one priority for the input group, deer hunting opportunities, was viewed as least important by the surveyed residents; Lyme disease was identified as the number one management priority by the surveyed residents, but was identified by the input group as least important for DEC to address, along with deer-vehicle collisions. 

As group participants observed, making decisions about deer and deer management is a complex task involving diverse stakeholder interests and values, which may be conflicting.  Designing a process that can address this complexity satisfactorily is difficult.  The pilot process is currently being evaluated by DEC and our Cornell research partners, and we expect to generate recommendations for refinement later in 2016.  If, after refinement, the new process proves workable and valuable, DEC intends to implement it on a routine cycle in each aggregate of Wildlife Management Units across the state to respond to changing conditions and attitudes about deer impacts over time.  DEC deer managers will consider the public’s prioritization of deer impacts and desires for deer population change, in conjunction with data on the ecological impacts of deer, as they make decisions about changes to deer abundance in each area.

Additional details on the pilot effort and its outcomes are available in the progress report, and DEC will provide more information about future developments as the project continues.

 

FRESHWATER FISH OF AMERICA: The printing company Pop Chart Lab has created a poster that allows you to see every species of fish in North America. It=s a must for any fishing fanatic.

There are over 900 species of freshwater fish in North Americas lakes, streams and printed on this 39@ x 27@ poster. Everything from minuscule minnows to the massive white sturgeon, this poster didn=t leave out any fish. Organizes fish into categorical Aschools@ such as Sculpins, Sawfish, and Salmonids. One of the coolest features of this poster is that each fish is shown to scale, so you can look at every species and compare the size differences between the fish you plan to pursue. 

This latest release constitutes quite a catch: a massive, awe-inspiring aquarium of American freshwater fish! Each finny friend has been meticulously illustrated scale by scaleCto scale! This whopper of a print is shore to make any fishing fanatic or nature lover reel in wonder, so you=d best angle to snap-per it up before it gets away. The cost is $38.00 and can be ordered at https://www.popchartlab.com/products/freshwater-fish-of-america.


 

THIS WEEK=S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

September 2016

23 - Ducks Unlimited – North Shore Oneida Lake Chapter Banquet at the Greenview Country Club, West Monroe, NY. (6:00 pm) Waterfowl conservation is facing important challenges as wetlands and other habitats are being degraded and destroyed across the continent. Ducks Unlimited has a vision to reverse this trend. (For information call Mike Putman at 315-415-7538) 

23-11/6 - King of the Creek Salmon Contest sponsored by All in the Same Boat Tackle, 2911 Lockport-Olcott Road, Newfane, NY. Fishing may be from boat and/or shore.  (For information call 716-638-4158 or go to www.abstackle.com.)

24 -  Trees for Tribs Tree and Shrub Planting sponsored by the Wyoming County Soil & Water Conservation District partnering with Western NY Trout Unlimited. The planting will be at the Rock Glen Baptist Church. The goal is to plant approximately 800 trees and shrubs along the Oatka Creek.

24 - WTU – Finger Lakes Chapter Hunters Banquet at the American Legion Hall, Horseheads, NY (5:00 pm) A national conservation organization, dedicated to conservation, education and the preservation of the hunting tradition. (For information call Ed Baker   607-731-7163)

24 - National Wildlife Refuges Fee-Free Day. Head outdoors and enjoy some of the country's most magical places — America's national wildlife refuges offer unparalleled opportunities to experience the great outdoors and see a rich diversity of wildlife in beautiful natural settings.

24 - CV Bass League Tournament – Cowanesque Lake (7:00 am – 3:00 pm) Launch Location: State Launch. (For information call John Orchowski  814-258-5298 or email forchowski@hotmail.com

24 – Avon Anglers Honeoye Lake Bass Tournament. (For details contact Paul Lane    585-737-1701    claytonfishing@aol.com  or Fred Shutt    585.330.1776     tuborz@frontiernet.net)

24 - Southern Tier Bassmasters Tournament on Silver Lake/CTC Fund Raiser (For information Call 585-314-7142 or email tournaments@southerntierbass.com)

24 - Upstate Anglers Open Bass Tournament – Keuka Lake DASH (6:00 am – 2:00 pm) (For information email admin@upstateanglers.com)

24 WNY Bassmasters Club Tournament on the Lower Niagara River/Lake Ontario (7:00 am to 3:00 pm) Draw will take place at Gander Mountain on Sept. 21 at 7 pm. (For information call Keith Pease at 716-818-7350.)

24 - Beyond B.O.W - Map and Compass Navigation Class for Women hosted by the Great Swamp Conservancy, Inc. at 8375 North Main St., Canastota, NY 13032.  (1:00 - 4:00 pm) Equipment will be provided for the class. You may bring your own compass. Participants must be at least 12 years of age. Minors must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or designated adult. Sign up by Friday, September 16. (The fee is $40.)  (For information and to register contact Julie Fishman at greatswampconservancy@gmail.com)  

24 – NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY.

24 - Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs Annual NHF Day Celebration at the Elma Conservation CLUB, 600 Creek Road, Elma, NY (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) Open to everyone of all ages. Come join the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs in celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration. Learn from the local experts on how to hunt, fish, trap, shoot, and much more.  Free event, rain or shine! (For information contact Rich Davenport  716-510-7952   rich@weloveoutdoors.org)

24 - 20th Annual Salmon River Hatchery Open House and Family Day at The Salmon River Hatchery, 2133 County Route 22, Altmar, NY (Oswego County). (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m) Admission is free. Tours of the facility will be given throughout the day, providing attendees with behind-the-scenes access to the inner workings of the hatchery. In addition, the fish ladder will be on display, offering the opportunity to view salmon as they migrate. Children will have the opportunity to learn to cast a fishing rod, tie flies, participate in a laser shooting range, observe the aquatic life of Beaverdam Brook, and learn about rare and threatened fish species in New York State. (For information contact Fran Verdoliva, NYSDEC Salmon River Coordinator, at 315-298-7605.) 

24 - Early Gun & Military Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Route 14N, Geneva, NY (9:15 am) Over 350 guns - Pre-1900 guns, shotguns, rifles, handguns, pre-1900 military guns & memorabilia, swords, knives, bayonets, books, photos, paper, Military Includes Spanish-American War, Indian Wars, Civil War, War of 1812 (For more information call 315-789-9349 or 585-734-6082 or go to www.hessney.com)

24-25 - Honeywell Sportsmen’s Days at Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery, Route 321, Elbridge, NY. (11:00 am - 5:00 pm) Created as a tribute to National Hunting and Fishing Day, this annual festival is a terrific opportunity for all ages to try their hand at a variety of outdoor pursuits, including skeet shooting, waterfowl identification, axe/knife throwing, turkey calling, archery, 3-D laser big game hunting, crossbow, BB gun, fly fishing, jig tying, canoeing, muzzle loading, Conservation Officers, Forest Rangers and Smokey Bear, woodsmen demonstrations, local wildlife artists and authors and trout fishing. Activities subject to change. (Cost: $5.00 per vehicle) (For information contact David R. Simmons  315-247-5141   preseident@federationofsportsmen.com)  

24-25 - The Livingston County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs National Hunting & Fishing Days Celebration at the Mumford Sportsmen’s Club, 8667 Gulf Road, Mumford, NY. (This is a change from the DEC Avon Office.) (10:00 am - 4:00 pm) An outdoor event consisting of exhibits, demonstrations plus a Sportsman’s flea market. Food and drink available at event. Sportsmen licenses may also be purchased at this event. Trap shooting, archery, Crosman air gun gallery, fly-casting and canoeing. Sat ONLY: Duck decoy contest at Noon and FLCC Woodsmen Lum