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VARMINT HUNTER NUNCIATO WILL BE MISSED

Another great outdoors champion has quietly left us.

When Dom Nunciato of Hamburg died last week, one more chapter closed on Western New York's rich tradition of sharing in the hunt and for shooting sports generally.

A lover of all shooting sports and hunting pursuits, Dom devoted much of his outdoors time to varmint hunting. He organized the first Woodchuck Tournament out of Blasdell Rod & Gun Club in 1986 and worked earnestly to increase interest in and attendance at these tourneys until failing health finally curtailed his efforts in 2000.

He wrote in a Varmint Hunter magazine column, "One of my personal pleasures is to meet all these 'varmint nuts' and compare notes on rifles, loads, calibers, scopes, etc." At one point he was reloading as many as 10 different cartridge sizes for friends and his own shooting needs. He could find advantages for every caliber from his favorite .220 Swift to a 25-06 for varmint shooting. He enjoyed helping his sons and all who showed even a casual interest in shooting.

Soft spoken, he would enter debates with anti-gun and anti-hunting speakers and leave the discussion on good terms with all persons. His event planning and pleasant manners leave a legacy of shooters and hunters as the good guys (men, women, boys and girls) who safely handle guns and thoroughly enjoy hunting.

Pheasant folks

Michael Murphy, Department of Environmental Conservation Pheasant Specialist, is accepting applications to two programs for sportsmen, 4-H youths, and landowners interested in raising either day-old chicks or young pheasants for release in areas open to public hunting.

Participants in the Day-Old-Chicks program receive those chicks in April, May or June. These birds can be released between Aug. 1 and the end of pheasant hunting season.

For more information and program applications, contact area DEC regional headquarters: Rochester/Avon (226-5380); Niagara Falls/Buffalo/Allegany (372-0645).

Bluebirding

The New York State Bluebird Society will hold a Bluebird Workshop on March 10 in Western New York. John Rogers, a life member of the society, will discuss "Eastern Bluebird Life History and How to Operate a Successful Bluebird Trail."

Displays and free literature will be available to the public during the workshop at Godert Hall in Springville. Rogers' presentation begins at 1 p.m. For membership details, call Rich Wells (592-9596) or David Hofer (592-5735).

Toronto show

Two groups sponsor bus trips to the Toronto Sportsmen's Show at the National Trade Centre in Exhibition Place on March 17:

Yoshi Shrine Club of Ismailia Temple will provide a bus, departing at 9 a.m. and returning at about 8 p.m., that day. The complete package ($30) can be reserved by calling either Bob Kindred (826-2323) or the temple (826-4595).

Niagara River Anglers Association offers buses leaving from Hamburg and Niagara Falls. Adults (ages 17 and older) go for $29; seniors and juniors (ages 6-15) pay $24. For complete trip details, call Ross Benton (694-7021) or e-mail: RossBenton@aol.com.

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