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Find out who's on First and Second Amendment issues Monday evening during the Fourth Annual Meet the Candidates Night at the Elma Conservation Club, 100 Creek Road, between Jamison and Stolle Roads.

This event brings together candidates running for key political offices in this area, and listeners have an opportunity to ask their position on gun-owners' rights and current legislation.

Sept. 11 has sparked an increase in long gun sales, but it has also prompted suggestions for legislation that would limit individual gun ownership. For example, the U.S. Senate has passed a "Demilitarization Bill" (S-1438) with a provision (No. 1062), that provides the Secretary of Defense authority to "demilitarize significant military equipment."

This equipment includes firearms used in Civilian Marksmanship Programs and several sporterized surplus guns now used for hunting, such as Springfields.

Find out about this and many other important legislative concerns now pending -- and how incumbent and potential office holders view these issues. Erie County SCOPE (Shooters Committee On Political Education) looks for a good turnout Monday from 7-9 p.m. so that candidates know gun owners, sportsmen and sportswomen will be a factor on Election Day. For details, call Herb Barry (825-4174).

Making turkey memories

Fall turkey season begins in Western New York at sunrise Monday, and Kevin Ploetz of Collins has devised a turkey-beard display that lets hunters display the shell casing used to bag their bird and a handy ring device to fasten a trophy-sized beard to that case.

Ploetz's kit includes a bag of preservative to treat the base of the beard before inserting it in the shell. Dates and kill sites can be taped or etched onto the shell brass as a memento.

A four-display package ($5) can be ordered directly. Call or write: Hooper Products, 13953 Dupont Rd., Collins, NY 14034; 532-1729.

Fly fishing program

The Chautauqua Institution hosts a Chautauqua Fly Fishing Assembly Friday through Sunday at the Athenaeum Hotel.

This extensive program offers beginners and advanced workshops, which cover basics and refinements of casting, fly selection, entomology (insect life), and hands-on, streamside instruction. Added workshops focus on fly fishing photography, streamside gourmet cooking and bird watching and identification.

Two dinner speakers will also present workshops during the assembly. Rick Kustich, author of "Fly Fishing the Great Lakes Steelhead," will talk on Friday. Tom Pero, editor and publisher of Fish & Fly Magazine, will be featured Saturday.

Complete package, commuter rates and single-event dinner tickets can be purchased. For details, call Bruce Stanton (357-6389).

Dog days

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially shelved an idea of developing guidelines for state lands acquired with Pittman-Robertson funds. USF&WS rescinded an Interim Guideline of Field Trials issued May 11, 2001.

Sporting clubs, especially dog clubs, worked collectively through Wildlife Legislative Fund of America to stop highly restrictive regulations, which would have been imposed on dog owners using state lands to practice and compete in field trials. In Western New York, Oak Orchard and Tonawanda Wildlife Management Areas offer several sites close to roadways and suitable for trials.

For openers

Turkey hunters can take one bird of either sex while hunting in DEC's Western Zone. That season continues until Nov. 4 in the northern counties of Western and Central New York; southern counties have until Nov. 18 to bag a bird. Trappers and gun hunters can take raccoon, red and gray fox, opossum, weasel, mink and muskrat beginning Thursday. Seasons for all these species go until Feb. 15 in Western New York.


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