Captain Bob’s Outdoors has changed its annual ice-fishing contest to a Winter Fishing Derby. The derby, set for Jan. 2 to March 20, will be open to catches through the ice or from open waters; entries also will feature catch-and-release options for anglers entering the Northern Pike and Rainbow/Steelhead Divisions.
This coming season, entrants can take a picture of a pike or trout catch next to a measuring tape and submit the data with a witness for entering a fish the angler chooses to release.
Fish can be caught from all U.S. and Canadian waters and can be weighed in during business hours (9 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday and 6 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekends) at 10295 Main St. in Clarence. Along with pike and trout, divisions are open for walleye, perch, crappie, bluegill/sunfish, and rudd.
The new format allows for boaters and feeder-stream waders to enter their catches without having to kill fish for the weigh-in. The tiebreaker for entries brought to the store will be by weight; catch-and-release length ties will go to the first fish entered at that length.
A $20 fee covers all seven divisions and all entries go into prize drawings, with a total of prizes purse of more than $2,000.
For complete derby and entry details, check with Steve “Hawk” Hawkins at 407-3021.
Niagara River Anglers Association’s Annual Roger Tobey Steelhead Contest is set for sunrise to 2 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Lewiston Docks. New this year, the entire entrance fee of $20 will go to the top three entries at 50, 30 and 20 percent of the total.
A Brown Trout Side Bet option is available for $5. Winners will be awarded during a dinner at the Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall. For more information, call 998-8910.
• “Nature and the Human Spirit” will be the topic of a 2 the Outdoors Environmental Forum in the UB Center for Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Forum speakers include Mike Bastine, Algonquin Elder and author; Sandy Geffner, founder of Earth Spirit Educational Services; and Paul Fuhrmann with Ecology and Environment. The forum is free and registration is not required. For more details, call Terry Belke at 548-7659 or email: Terry.Belke@wgrz.com.
The regular firearms big-game season ends at sunset today for Western New York areas; the late archery and muzzleloader seasons begins Monday and continues to Dec. 22. Starting this year, an antlerless-only regulation is imposed during those late seasons in areas of Regions 8 and 9 from Erie to Monroe County. Check page 27 in “New York Hunting and Trapping Guide” for the closed areas.
Last Sunday we reported on a 500-pound bear kill first for Erie County. That Sunday another 500-pounder was harvested in Genesee County. James Worthington of Byron will be doing his own taxidermy work, a full body mount, on a 500-pound bear he came upon while walking on a deer drive with fellow hunters on Dec. 6.
Rebecca Breymeier hunted with dad, Glenn Breymeier, near home in Akron opening morning of deer season and took her first buck, a 7-pointer, at 7:40 a.m. Rebecca harvested her first deer last year, a doe.
Dad will do her first buck deer as a European/skull mount; he was proud to note that she took a jake during the spring turkey season and that she is seriously getting into archery hunting.
While harvest numbers appear down, some hunters have a knack for reaping additional venison. The Venison Donation Coalition asks successful deer hunters to bring their additional deer to the nearest VDC participating processor.
Black Angus Meats in Amherst is newly added to processors in Erie County. For a list of donation sites, call (866) 862-DEER (3337) or visit venisondonation.org.