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Hunting update

  Teeming rains and touches of snowfall keep deer hunters and geese on the move this week.

   DEER & GEESE: Bow hunters in deer stands probably hear and see many more Canada geese than
whitetails right now. The bow season opened Saturday (Oct. 18), with few opening-day kills reported. One guy at a Honeoye shopping center Saturday said he took a fork-horned buck that morning, but no trophy racks or interesting first-deer stories have yet to be told here.

   As for geese and ducks, the season reopens for geese and the duck season gets its first shots starting a half hour before sunrise Satuday. Be sure to renew that NYS hunting license, obtain a 2008 Waterfowl (Duck) stamp at any U.S. Post Office and call to renew your free Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. Just Google NYS HIP and the procedure takes less than 5 minutes to obtain your 10-place number.

   The program surveys waterfowl harvests and helps to determine season terms and limits for now and the future.

   SMALL GAME: Woodcock, considered a small game migratory bird, is fair game in Western New
York until Nov. 4. Sightings have been up during the past week of chilly rain. Hunters need a HIP number to hunt these birds, but do not need a duck stamp or need to use non-lead shot while hunitng.

   Squirrel season began Sept. 1 and goes to the same closing date as cottontail rabbits, Feb. 28. Deer hunters report many grays and a fair number of black squirrels (a mutated version of grays) while watching for deer and seeing those goose flights.

   Grouse still remain scarce along the Southern Tier, but a few more cottontails have been hopping down the bunny trails early this season.

   TURKEY: Fall wild turkey season began Oct. 18 and continues to Nov. 14, the day before gun season for deer, Nov. 15. Hunters can take one gobbler of either sex during hunts from a half hour before sunrise to noon daily. Know your target is a turkey bird and be aware of what is beyond before taking that clean, clear, killing shot.

   Hunt safely and well.

-- Will Elliott

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