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Smith-Wesson purchases Thompson

Two of the big guns in firearms manufacturing will soon be shooting from the same headquarters.

Smith and Wesson Holding Corp. (S&W) has announced the addition of famed Thompson/Center Arms (T/C) to its portfolio of gun-making and accessory companies.

S&W, with 154 years in gun-related manufacturing, made a $102 million all-cash purchase, which will be completed in early January. With this buyout, the 500 non-union workers will continue production at its Rochester, N.H., facility, boosting S&W's presence in the muzzleloader-black powder market to more than 50 percent of all sales.

T/C's widely advertised black powder, hunting rifle and accessory products will enhance S&W's line of pistol, revolver and design-phase hunting rifle production.

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Deerly beloved notes

Ken Misnik of Cheektowaga had to take off from hunting the past two years, recovering from hip and partial knee replacement surgery.

This year, Misnik did things quickly. On an opening day hunt at North Harmony, he downed a seven-point buck, his first antlered animal since taking an eight-pointer 18 years ago.

Les Draudt of Hamburg hunted all three deer seasons at a group camp in Woodhull. Draudt hit and lost a nice eight-point buck during the archery season. He then hunted the gun season and 54 days later, on the last day of gun season, he got that deer with his arrow head in its shoulder.

Two days into the muzzleloader season, he shot a matching eight-pointer at the same swamp edge where he'd taken the archery-gun buck. His father-in-law, Bob Mammoser, summed it up: "Talk about luck!"

John Edward Borngraber hunted the same spot where his girlfriend, Elaine Winter, had taken her button buck on opening day. He connected with a nice seven-pointer.

Deer stories often have to do more with determination than dramatic antler and body size. Jack Sullivan relates his brother Bill's nice 60-yard shot at a doe. It was Bill's first muzzleloader kill and his first deer for the mid-50s hunter.

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Access upgrading

Habitat/Access Stamp money will soon be put to good uses.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting proposals for projects that will improve fish and wildlife habitat areas and will increase access for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other fish and wildlife-related activities and study.

Contributions from that $5 stamp that can be purchased with any sporting license add up to dedicated funds the DEC can use for worthwhile habitat and access programs each year.

This year, a total of $100,000 will be available to municipalities, not-for-profit corporations and individuals from these organizations to assist in needed projects.

Grants vary from $1,500 to $15,000 for each approved program. Applicants must either own the land being developed or obtain permission of the land owner before being evaluated for upgrading assistance.

Grant applications must be filed by Feb. 5. To get detailed information on acceptable projects and application forms, contact any DEC Regional Office or go to: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/habsgtamp.

e-mail: willodrs@gmail.com

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