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Uplinger returns to action

John Uplinger, 42, a City of North Tonawanda resident, suffered his first shutout bow season in 2006.

Uplinger had taken a deer every archery season since age 16. He suffered a major setback in 2003, having severe injuries in a dirt bike racing accident in 2003. After two years he regained enough upper-body strength to pull a bow and go hunting in a wheelchair.

A shutout and a setback could not keep him out of the field once archery season opened this year. "My partner, Dean Tarasek, and I bow hunt on hunting club property leased in Carrolton," Uplinger said.

He and Tarasek had hunted there for three seasons, taking deer and having a good time outdoors. Good times became spectacular on the weekend of the time change this season.

That Saturday evening, Uplinger got his first shot at a black bear with his bow, a 35-yard opening that resulted in a downed 200-pound sow.

The next morning, Tarasek, hunting about a mile away from the site of Uplinger's kill, got a 15-yard shot at a bore bear that weighed in at about 185 pounds.

This hunting duo has big-game trophy status before the end of the rut season for whitetail deer.


IGFA terminates tournaments

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) will end its seven-year involvement in Inshore and Offshore qualifying events as of Dec. 31.

"The 2008 championships will take place and all associated commitments to sponsors will be honored," said Mike Myatt, tourney director for both events. But IGFA will focus more of its efforts on conservation as its overall mission.

Founded in 1939, IGFA will continue its promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education and rule making and record keeping. For details on line-class records and other fishery information, visit:


Perch search

The great perch search focused more on finding anglers than on finding fish. As many bait dealers predicted at the start of the warm water season, the preliminary numbers of hours spent and the harvest count for perch dropped drastically in 2007.

The Department of Environmental Conservation released its survey of fishing efforts and catch-and-harvest rates. Walleye effort dropped slightly and bass outings increased during May-October this season. However, perch went on a lurch.

During that six-month period, anglers in 2006 spent more than 46,000 hours perch fishing. This year, boaters put in just under 30,000 hours reeling in ringbacks.

Catch and harvest numbers reflected that reduction in effort. The 2006 harvest came to 65,706; in 2007, anglers brought in 27,291 perch.

Perhaps bait restrictions and high gas prices do not fully explain the reduced perch catches this year. Both catch-per-hour and harvest-per-hour numbers saw substantial drops from 2006 to 2007. In 2006, anglers caught 1.49 perch per hour and kept 1.39 fish each of those hours.

This past season, catches fell to 1.08 per hour and .99 fish brought in for each hour of fishing. That is, the anglers that did exert the effort caught fewer fish while on the water in 2007.

Without emergency regulations changes, bait restrictions will continue during the 2008 fishing season.


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