Bill Hilts Jr. - The Buffalo News

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Bill Hilts Jr.


Sports

New York’s ice fishing season should almost be here if you look on the calendar.  Unseasonably warm temperatures have delayed the inevitable for Western New York. Walking on (hard) water is a great winter pastime once water eventually turns to ice. The big question for many is how do you get started? “Today’s technology offers opportunities like never before,” says ice …

Outdoors

Thanksgiving – a time for giving thanks, sharing a bounty of food and making outdoor experiences. I thought about all of that and more this past weekend while big-game hunting on the hills of southern Steuben County for the regular-season opener. It’s a magical time of year for sure. It’s a tradition that started for us more than five decades ago – the same hill; the same …

Sports

Opening Weekend Deer Check on Par with 2015 “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” With apologies to Charles Dickens, New York big game hunters prepared for the opening day of the regular season in the Southern Zone in near-record-high temperatures on Thursday and Friday preceding the kick-off. Even the morning of opening day offered mild temperatures…

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Niagara River Winter storm Argos affected all of the fishing in the Western New York area. Adapting to those changing conditions and finding places to fish can be a bit of a challenge. High winds on Lake Erie muddied the water up and those turbid conditions flowed through the river system and created some problems. One of the best places to fish was the lower Niagara Ri…

Nov. 17: General membership meeting, Southtowns Walleye Association, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg starting at 7 p.m. Call 649-8202 for more information. Nov. 19: Captain Bob’s, Main Street, Clarence will be holding its pre-ice fishing derby through Dec. 17. Categories include brown trout, steelhead, perch and rudd. Call “Hawk” at 407-3021 for more info. Nov…

Outdoors

On the afternoon of Nov. 8, a group of 17 passionate people met in the hills of Chautauqua County along Canadaway Creek to stock 400 brook trout – one fish at a time. It’s not the first time that this has happened and many of those involved are repeat volunteers. It’s all about giving back. The amazing thing is that this is but one spoke of a conservation/fishing wheel th…

Big game season opens Saturday New York’s Southern Zone big game season for deer and bear opens on Saturday at sunrise. Safety should be number one on everyone’s check list when it comes to this popular season, a time frame that sees nearly a half-million hunters take to the fields and forests of the Empire State. Here are a few safety tips to consider: • Always point yo…

Outdoors

The Southern Zone big game opener is Saturday and there are a half million hunters that are excited about that. However this is also a good time for fishing! If you aren’t part of the hunting fraternity, this time of year is a perfect time to head out into the rivers, streams or lakes. Not only can fishing be pretty darn good, but with hunters chasing deer and bear, it als…

Sports

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) has announced stocking reductions will be taking place in Lake Ontario in 2017. Stocking reductions were necessary (according to lake managers from New York and the Province of Ontario) due to poor alewife recruitment following the severe winters of 2013 and 2014. It’s important to note that stocking 20 percent less Chinook salm…

Sports

Lake Erie and tributaries According to Danny Colville with Colville Outfitters and Custom Tackle in Hamburg, there is a good amount of 1.5-year-old scouts in 18 mile and Cattaraugus Creek (Catt). The larger trout that ran early have spread throughout the system and with the recent rain they are hard to find. However, you can catch them if you cover a lot of water. White…

Outdoors

ECO’s Nab Salmon Poachers at Burt Dam The big news locally was the announcement last week that three poachers – we can’t call them fishermen – took two enforcement agencies on a wild fish chase around the Burt Dam area of 18 Mile Creek in the Town of Newfane. They were finally caught and brought to justice. In their possession were 69 salmon ranging from 5 to 35 pounds,…

Outdoors

I Love NY Fishing! That was the theme of a recent sportfishing familiarization tour involving four German dignitaries who shared an interest in what the Empire State had to offer as it related to fish and fishing opportunities. Working with Markly Wilson, director of international marketing for I Love NY, and Lori Solomon, I Love NY project manager, for the trip through…

Sports

The time of year commonly referred to as “the rut” is a bit misunderstood. At least, that’s how Peter Fiduccia of South New Berlin in Chenango County sees it. Fiduccia, known around deer hunting circles as “The Deer Doctor,” is host and senior producer of the Woods N’ Waters TV Series for over 30 years. He is the author of no less than eight books, all on deer. “Don’t g…

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Crossbow season kicks off Nov. 5 Crossbow season in the Southern Zone is finally upon us, opening on Saturday, Nov. 5. While it is still part of the special early archery season, crossbows are not considered archery equipment. To be able to use a crossbow during the archery season, you must purchase a muzzleloader license and use that corresponding tag if successful dur…

Outdoors

Water Levels Restored on Salmon River Thanks to recent rains and the fact that the Salmon River Fish Hatchery hit its target for salmon eggs, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the Lower Fly Fishing Area of the Salmon River is now open for (fishy) business. Drought conditions in the Salmon River watershed had forced the agency …