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THREE ARTISTS DISPLAY DIFFERENT STROKES IN FALL WILDLIFE SHOW

Fall colors will be visible in all corners of the Orvis Shop in Williamsville during the Fall Wildlife Show. Three noted Western New York wildlife artists will display their works on Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the shop, 5655 Main St. Their paintings have been shown across the United States, Canada and some even in Japan.

Len Rusin of North Tonawanda has done cover art for many publications, including The Conservationist, New York Sportsman, Sea Way Journey, plus many others. His loon in an Adirondack Mountain scene won first place in the 1996 New York Duck Stamp competition. Along with waterfowl, he has completed a distinguished collection of songbird, raptor and North American mammal prints and paintings.

Dan Meyer can walk to the Orvis Shop from his home on Mill Street in Williamsville. Meyer's watercolors of shorebirds and waterfowl have won awards for a quarter of a century. His backgrounds depicting historic landscapes serve as supporting themes in his wildlife paintings.

Jerry Hageman, a painter for more than 25 years, was drawn to wildlife art while out fishing with his son, David. A painting of his son's record largemouth made the cover of Bassmaster's Magazine. His paintings regularly take first, second or third place in state competitions, and his work has ranked him as a top finalist in national judgings.

The show also includes other exhibits of the Northeastern Wildlife Artists Society and presentations by the Hawk Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Hunting for time

Early goose season ended Saturday statewide, but scouting and shooting practice -- fixed target and passing bird shots -- puts hunters on a busy schedule as October opening days approach.

Rabbit, grouse and coyote seasons open Friday. October 15 begins big-game archery and waterfowl hunting in the western zone, followed by the pheasant openers three days later. Turkey season begins Oct. 25, but the best turkey hunts begin with scouting trips long before September gets ripped from the calendar.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation offices receive calls daily about the federal Harvest Information Program. Beginning last waterfowl season, New York hunters had to obtain an HIP number along with a current state license, federal waterfowl stamp and proof of waterfowl identification course completion -- required in some areas -- to hunt for ducks, geese and other waterfowl in New York.

Hunters must renew their HIP number each year, but U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials require the renewal at the start of each state's license-renewal period. Most states renew on Jan. 1, but New York State licenses are renewed on Oct. 1 each year. Hence, New York waterfowl hunters need to call the toll-free number and obtain a new HIP number before going afield or into a blind on Friday morning. The phoning procedure takes less than five minutes, ending with the issuance of a 10-place number that should be written somewhere on your license. To comply, call at any hour: 1-888-4-ASK-HIP.

Sportsmen are reminded that all other New York State licenses -- fishing, upland hunting and trapping -- must be renewed before Friday.

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