National Hunting and Fishing Day is a pleasure-packed weekend of events highlighting good things hunters and anglers do.
For the past 33 years, outdoors folk have been celebrating NH&F Day as a means to showcase the bounty of our country and the role that wise conservation-minded people have in protecting outdoors resources.
A few news releases this year dub the last weekend in September as "National Hunting Day," but anglers, trappers and all interested in perpetuating good fish and wildlife management will be showing and telling visitors at many sites around Western New York the good things that are going on outdoors.
Saturday officially marks NH&F Day, but many events will take place next Sunday. The New York Power Authority's Wildlife Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, offering exhibits and activities both days at the Niagara Power Project's Power Vista and surrounding grounds at 5777 Lewiston Road from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
More than 60 exhibitors will illustrate this year's festival theme: "Encourage kids to become involved in outdoor activities." One of the new presenters this year will give children an opportunity to dress up and act out the story "The Lake" as storytellers present a "Traveling Dress-up Theater."
Kids can join with members of the Niagara River Anglers Association to learn about area fish projects while visiting the NRAA pond, watch Carmen Presti of the Primate Sanctuary handle new and old world monkeys, see Jeff Musial add birds and mammals to his "World of Reptiles" presentation, view live creatures from Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, Buffalo Zoomobile, and Aquarium of Niagara Falls, and experience a host of other viewing and hands-on activities. A few of these exhibits may interest adults.
The festival goes rain or shine, with free parking and admission. For more details, call (866) 697-2386 or go to: www.nypa.gov.
NH&F Day activities have been presented at Department of Environmental Conservation Region 8 Headquarters since the first year of its national recognition. The 34th annual celebration goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at the headquarters on Routes 5 and 20 in East Avon.
For decades, Ron Schroeder coordinated this popular event. With his retirement, the Livingston County Federation of Sportsmen now co-sponsors activities to introduce people to the outdoor sport while teaching them about "the important role that hunting and fishing play," said LCFS president Mark Osypian.
Vendors with the smallest of archery, shooting and fishing gear to the largest of recreational vehicles will be on hand to demonstrate devices and explain how best to handle them in the wilds.
Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs holds two presentations at separate sites this year. On Saturday, members of Wood & Brook Sportsmen's Club, on Route 33 (Genesee Street) a quarter mile east of Crittenden Road, will give visitors a chance to experience hunting and fishing activities. Among those planned from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. are fly tying, photography, black-powder shooting, turkey calling, wildlife rehabilitation, archery and taxidermy.
Door prizes will be given and all activities are free.
ECFS added a Big Game Day this year, slated for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Elma Conservation Club. Exhibitors will surround the clubhouse at 600 Creek Road for a series of exhibits and seminars. Paul Kishel will explain how scents make sense when hunting or trapping.
Ken Banks from Quaker Boy Game Calls and Chris McCann with Kit Calls will demonstrate calling skills. Gary Huber of Deer Search will explain how to track wounded game. Mark Irlbacher of Doc's Archery will show how archers hit the mark past and present. Bill Boller will let listeners know how to select the right outfitter. Wildlife Biologist Jim Snider will discuss chronic wasting disease and deer dynamics.