Outdoors opportunities abound in Western New York, mainly as a result of the extra efforts of volunteer and hard-working facilitators who value fish and wildlife resources in this area and statewide.
Five outstanding outdoors contributors from the central and WNY area will be honored for their many accomplishments during the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame annual induction banquet at Kittys On the Canal in Utica on April 28.
Bill Hilts Jr. of Niagara County was raised in an outdoors household. Bill Jr. and his family attended writers' conferences yearly across North America. His dad, Bill Sr., was an outdoor writer, and mom, Sylvia, was an outdoor enthusiast.
Bill Jr. has served on every fisheries and wildlife board and attends outdoors shows throughout the country while working as a Niagara County Fisheries Promotions coordinator. A past president of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association (NYSOWA), current president of Lake Ontario Sportfishing Promotions Council, and on the board of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW), he coordinated a joint conference for both writers' groups at Niagara Falls in September.
John Long Jr. of Niagara County, founding member and past president of NYSOWA, has spent more than five decades at improving outdoors pursuits. Current chairman of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board, he has worked on everything from fishing and hunting accesses to curbing oil pollution along the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Dennis Money of Ontario County founded Seneca White Deer Inc. and has been involved in peregrine falcon and river otter restoration programs.
Dave Miller of Steuben County co-founded the Conservation Alliance of New York and is past president of the NYS Trappers Association (NYSTA). Miller currently serves as NYSTA executive director.
Paul Maciejewski, a Trout Unlimited (TU) volunteer at every level of service for a quarter century, served as president of the WNY Chapter of TU 1983-1985. Maciejewski also worked on TU state and national boards of directors focusing on leadership training, organizational development, marketing and stream enhancement committees.
He received national recognition in 2006 when named recipient of the Ray Mortensen Award.
For reservations to this induction banquet, check with Leo Maloney by Saturday at (315) 363-3896; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Berkley buyout
Pure Fishing, once known as Berkley, has been bought by Jarden Corp. in Rye.
Pure Fishing, producer of Gulp, Mitchell, Stren, Berkley, Abu-Garcia and other fishing-related products, had been owned by the Bedell family in Spirit Lake, Iowa since the 1930s.
Jarden holds many big-name companies, including Coleman, Oster, Rival, FoodSaver, First Alert, Mr. Coffee and other well-known brands.
Jarden officials look forward to expanding Pure Fishing recreational fishing production.
Free fishing seminar
The Bison City Rod & Gun Club clubhouse and grounds at 511 Ohio St. will be busy with kids and parents during a "Teach Me To Fish" training seminar for kids and parents on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.
All kids of all ages are invited to learn about many aspects of angling basics, feed steelhead trout in the club's floating pens on the Buffalo River and enjoy hot dogs during prize drawings at the end of the seminar. For more details, call 652-2256.
Don't panic at sunrise shotgun shots on Saturday. A special Wild Turkey Youth Hunt (for ages 12-15) opens this weekend a half hour before sunrise to noon each day.
Pennsylvania's turkey season begins April 28 and New York State gunners can go for gobblers staring May 1.