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A popular outdoor school is now in session. Construction is near completion on a one-room schoolhouse, which Eve and Norman Fertig use to instruct students at their Enchanted Forest Wildlife Sanctuary in Alden.

The Fertigs have spent decades taking in injured wildlife species, using their facility to teach youngsters and adults how to care for ailing animals that will either be returned to the wilds or will be kept comfortably if they cannot recuperate to fend for themselves.

Norman recently accepted a Lifetime Service Award from the Animal Birth Control Society of Western New York.

Rather than a relaxed retirement spent with friends and relatives down south, they opted to expand their animal rehabilitation efforts at their home in Alden. The schoolhouse allows them to show students audio-visual and hands-on illustrations of animal behavior and handling. To find out more about the sanctuary and volunteering possibilities, call 681-5918.

Festival at Beaver Meadow

Buffalo Audubon Society's Beaver Meadow Audubon Center in North Java presents its "Holidays in the Country Nature Festival and Craft Show" from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. next Sunday at 1610 Welch Road off Route 77.

A series of displays and hands-on activities include nature walks, sleigh rides, displays of crafters from around Western New York, live animals, face painting, children's crafts, nature walks and a visit from Santa Claus at 1:30 p.m. each day.

All events depend on weather conditions. Adults pay $5, children under age 12 $4, and kids under age 3 enter free. For more information, call (585) 457-3228 or go to:

Alaska trek proves profitable

It took two years of planning for Paul Millage of Elma to head north to Alaska on a hunt with partner and friend Mike Isula from Cherry Creek. Millage was glad he hooked up with Isula on their 14-day, non-guided hunt on the Kenai Peninsula.

Their moose license also included options for caribou and bear. They got all three during their early-September hunt.

Millage, the rookie shooting a 7 mm Browning A-bolt, deferred to Isula, a veteran of three previous hunts on Kanai. Isula went with his Remington 300 Ultra Mag.

Left by an outfitter, they began hunting and spotted a trophy-sized moose on the second day. "But it took another six days to get in a position for a kill shot," Millage said.

Along with his moose with a rack spanning 58 inches and an estimated weight of 1,400 pounds, he also took a big mountain caribou that weighed about 400 pounds. Millage took his moose with a 110-yard shot; he got within 75 yards for the caribou.

Deer permits available

A few Deer Management Permits in Region 9 may still be available at licensing agencies or from the Department of Environmental Conservation Web site. Extra DEC outlets began issuing additional DMPs on Monday. To check, go to:


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