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Bill Hilts Jr.


Outdoors

With the regular spring turkey season set to kick off on May 1 in Upstate New York, turkey hunters won’t be surprised to hear that there are fewer birds giving their gobbles, clucks and purrs in the forests and fields of the Empire State. A recently completed hen survival study helps to explain why there are not as many birds around as what many of us would hope. In 201…

Outdoors

It was almost like Mother Nature skipped spring entirely when temperatures hit 74 degrees in the bright sunshine earlier this week. That will certainly influence the fish and the fishing, as well as the attitudes of anglers. We’re ready for some nice weather. Niagara River Trout action has been good for steelhead and lake trout according to Capt. Frank Campbell of Ni…

The WNY Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be holding its monthly meeting at the Donovan American Legion Post, 3210 Genesee St., Buffalo on Tuesday, April 24. Featured speaker for the 7:30 p.m. general meeting will be Ed Veaudry, regional coordinator for the Northern New York Region of Project Healing Waters. His talk will be “Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing: Where we star…

If you have some old, used or new outdoor sporting equipment laying around the garage, shed or basement – or you are looking for something in particular – check out the Bison City Rod & Gun Club’s Annual Outdoor Gear and Flea Market on April 21. The club is located at 511 Ohio St. in Buffalo and the doors will be open from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tables are on a first-come…

The Western New York Environmental Federation, made up of conservation leaders from the six counties that comprise Region 9 with the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), will be holding a fundraiser for the New York State Conservation Council (NYSCC) on April 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event will be held at the Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY clu…

This coming weekend, April 21-22, properly licensed junior turkey hunters ages 12 to 15 will be out in the fields and forests of the Empire State pursuing bearded wild turkeys from one-half hour before sunrise until noon. They won’t be out alone. The special weekend hunt requires licensed adult mentors (with a turkey permit) to accompany the junior hunters. The mentors …

Outdoors

Fishing opportunities are extremely limited right now due to some crazy weather that included excessive rains, high winds, snow, ice, sleet and unseasonably cold temperatures. Despite all these problematic conditions, we still received a note from Ron Kryszak of Alden, who fished Chautauqua Lake in a snow storm and did quite well in the crappie department. I guess if there…

Outdoors

“The best is yet to come, and won’t that be fine, You think you’ve seen the sun, but you ain’t seen it shine.” – Frank Sinatra, “Best is Yet to Come”  Leave it to old “blue eyes” to help us convey what came out of the State of Lake Erie meeting held last week courtesy Helen Domske and NY Sea Grant at the Southtowns Walleye Association’s clubhouse in Hamburg. Anglers,…

Outdoors

With spring turkey season just a few weeks away, now is the time to start seeking out a hunter safety training class to obtain a hunting license. If you want to hunt in New York State, you must take, and pass, a hunter education course designed to teach safety techniques and responsibilities as a hunter when using a gun, muzzleloader, crossbow or bow. Due to changes that h…

The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame has announced its list of 2018 inductees and several Western New York sportsman leaders have been selected. Neil Newton of Albion in Orleans County and Doug Higgins of Piffard in Livingston County are two of 11 conservation leaders being honored. Newton is past president and member of the Finger Lakes Conservation Council for …

Native Americans have long been characterized as being a people who are one with nature, espousing a different kind of view of Mother Earth. WGRZ and 2 the Outdoors will be exploring that theme for its next Environmental Forum entitled “Sacred Land: A Native View of the Earth.” Featured speakers will include Steve Gordon and Maurice “Moe” John, both Seneca Nation elders, a…

Outdoors

The deadline (May 1) is rapidly approaching to register for a full day of fly fishing instruction with members of the Lake Erie Chapter of Fly Fishers International. Ray’s Kids Day, named after the club’s founder Ray Markiewicz, is scheduled to be held on May 19 at Reinstein Woods, 93 Honorine Dr., Cheektowaga starting at 9 a.m. Cost is $20 and it is geared toward 9 to 15-…

Outdoors

It was 50 years ago that the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s Bill Pearce had a vision to stock salmon and trout in Lake Ontario, following a lead that was started by Lake Michigan. One goal was to help control a burgeoning population of alewives, a small invasive baitfish that had taken over the basin. Another was to create an economic impact in the smal…

Outdoors

We’re finally going to start seeing some warmer temperatures and the ice boom started coming out on Tuesday (April 10) – a sure sign that spring is on the way … really. Lake Erie and tributaries Last week’s severe wind storm may not have broken the ice boom as what was initially reported, but it sure brought a tremendous amount of ice into the river. In fact, since t…

Outdoors

Things were starting to shape up on the fishing front until Mother Nature decided to act up by throwing some more wind and rain our way. At least it’s not white … yet. We’ll have to wait and see how we fare when things start to settle down. The high winds and rain could help with dissipating Lake Erie ice. With some 900 square miles of ice left in the lake, we need to knoc…