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Gearing up for deer opener

Deer season officially starts at sunrise Saturday for bow hunters in the Western New York and DEC Southern Zone.

Involved and devoted hunters get the jitter yips well before the season, which often carries through to the final day (Dec. 16) and well after.

The usual caution considerations must be kept in mind and deeds: Know your target and beyond, respect others' property and presence, strive for a clean kill, put to best use as much of that harvested bird or beast, and return home safely after each hunt all season.

Mike Sawyers, outdoors writer at the Cumberland (Md.) Times, ended a recent column with this "toast" for the season's start: Here's to tight groups, big racks, and short drags. Here's to dry days and safe returns home. Here's to the 2008 deer hunting seasons.

Here's to young hunters bagging their first deer.

Here's to the day after Thanksgiving, when our boys are home for the holiday. That's always marinated backstrap day.

Here's to you, and me, and us.


Keesler award

Dennis Money of Canandaigua was presented the M. Paul Keesler Outdoor Citizen Award during the New York State Outdoor Writers Association (NYSOWA) fall conference at Old Forge on Oct. 4.

This award is presented to outstanding individuals involved in outdoors-related fields. The late M. Paul Keesler, former editor of New York Sportsman magazine, practiced and encouraged good conservation and environmental efforts.

To further those efforts, NYSOWA sponsors a Janice and Paul Keesler Scholarship program each year as a living memorial to two people who loved New York's outdoors.

Scholarships will be offered to any New York State resident who has been accepted into an accredited institution of higher learning, and who is or will be working to obtain a degree in some aspect of wildlife management.

Completed applications for scholarship fund grants must be received by Dec. 31, 2008. For a form, send a stamped, self-addressed legal-sized (No. 10) envelope to: Keesler Scholarship Fund, c/o Bridget Keesler, Box 485, Newport, NY 13416, or visit


Finding pheasants

Members of the Western and Central New York Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) have released 5,000 pheasants at selected sites around Western New York. Pheasant season opens on Saturday, but SCI will supply hunters with a list of all stocking sites until Oct. 26.

For a copy, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: SCI, 10024 Boston Road, Eden, NY 14057-9720.


Habitat/access outcomes

Hunters and anglers renewing licenses are urged to add an optional Habitat/Access (H/A) Stamp purchase of $5.

Project coordinator Chuck Godfrey, with the WNY Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU), recently sent photos of stream bank repair and successful plantings growth along Wiscoy Creek in Pike, a project completed in 2006 with assistance from TU members.


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