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Seasons dawn along with standard time

Seasons change, and quite a few involve this very day.

Bow and waterfowl hunters will have to get up an hour earlier to be in place at sunrise (a half hour before sunrise for duck and goose hunters) and ready for early-morning sightings.

Duck season opened Oct. 23 and goose season started last Saturday for the South region of the state. Saturday, goose hunters could work in the West Central areas of Department of Environmental Conservation Regions 8 and 7 (northern areas).

Today is the last day for woodcock season in New York State. While many upland hunters did not get a view of "timberdoodles" this season, pocket patches in Western New York occasionally produced a three-bird limit for hunters working the right migratory lanes.

Trappers saw virtually all seasons open Oct. 25, with a new emergency regulation requiring a 100-foot setback from all trails along state lands. The comment period on this regulation ended Friday, but trapper organizations urge all interested to forward additional comments to:

The first week of November also means the start -- and possibly the peak -- of rutting season for whitetail deer in our area. Archery hunters will be working fields and woods more intensely than earlier in the season and mating urges will have bucks and does crossing roadways more often, especially at change-of-light periods of the day.


No-kill thrill

Zak Jordon, 13, of Akron, enjoyed the thrill of an outing without getting in on the harvest end of a hunt.

His granddad, Jerry Pasinski of Akron, took Zak to his cabin at Friendship for a fall turkey hunt with Paul Butski, turkey call maker and caller, Matt Coffey, managing editor of Turkey Call magazine, and Ron Miniano of Olean.

Miniano brought his spaniel-breed dogs on a hunt that requires dogs to find and break up flocks of turkeys so that they can be called back, hunting conditions usually more difficult than spring wild turkey hunting.

Miniano's dogs found birds well, Butski's calls brought them back, but only Coffey was in a position to bag a hen bird.

Zak, who already has his lifetime New York State license, missed Youth Hunt Days this past year, but granddad said, "He's got the yips. We've already put together plans for the 2008 spring turkey Youth Hunt."


Friends plan 50th

The Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (INWR) plan to make May 19, 2008, a big day at the bog. On that date, INWR will celebrate its 50th anniversary as a federal wetland tract.

A New York State Conservationist publication noted the federal government approved the purchase of a 10,500-acre parcel of land that would be known as Oak Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. The article described the acquisition as "the best Christmas present of many a year."

The Friends of INWR will hold a general meeting Nov. 17 to plan this and other programs for the coming year. For more details, call (585) 948-5445 or visit:


Probst progressing

Western New York outdoors folk have suffered the loss of several key people this year, but, for a pleasant change, one central figure has staged a marvelous mend.

Harry Probst, Chautauqua County conservation activist and coordinator for more than a half century, is steadily improving after a July heart attack.

Probst completed therapy and had a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted last week, which, he says, "slowed me up but I'm able to start doing some of the things I did before."

Recovery, well wishes -- and outdoors chatter -- can be forwarded to him at: 98 South State St., Ripley, NY 14775.


Monster Maine moose

Two Southtowns gunners headed north to Jackman, Maine, as one of just 200 winners of a non-resident bull moose lottery draw from a pool of more than 25,000 entrants.

Vinny Costello of Boston and Carmen Destro of Orchard Park, with guiding from CedarRidge outfitters, teamed up to take a bull that field dressed out at 830 pounds with almost a 50-inch antler spread.


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