In less than two weeks waterfowl hunters will be enjoying an open season with the start of a statewide early goose season, Sept. 1-25.
A hunter must retain the 2010-11 state hunting license and make sure to have a current federal duck stamp and a new NYS Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, available by calling (888) 427-5447 or entering information at ny-hip.com.
Also, two forums and an assortment of form options are open to duck and goose hunters.
> Waterfowl forums
The DEC will offer public forums on waterfowl dynamics at two wildlife refuges.
National Wildlife Refuge and DEC wildlife biologists will discuss items of interest to waterfowl hunters from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Iroquois refuge headquarters on Casey Road in Basom.
A similar presentation will be given Aug. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Montezuma Audubon Center on State Route 89 in Savannah.
Both forums will highlight management programs at each refuge, share Atlantic Flyway news, give results of a population status survey and other items relating to the 2011-12 duck and goose hunting seasons.
The Iroquois forum will also include issues related to the nearby Tonawanda and Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Areas.
> Waterfowl forms
Waterfowl hunters will have to complete and submit forms for hunting ducks and geese at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and youths interested in participating in the 38th annual Young Waterfowler's Program will have to fill out forms for that gathering.
To hunt on the New York State opening day (Oct. 22) and the following Saturday (Oct. 29), interested hunters must file a Waterfowl Lottery Application Form. This form must be finished and submitted by 4 p.m. Sept. 15 at the refuge office, 1101 Casey Road in Basom.
Youths have a 4 p.m. Sept. 19 deadline to complete the program for junior hunters ages 12 to 17. A morning session offers a Waterfowl ID Certification class. Afternoon instruction includes information on decoys, calls, ballistics, hunting gear, ethics, gun safety, retriever dog demo, trap shooting, and other waterfowl-related concerns.
For application forms for the lottery drawing and the Young Waterfowlers program, visit headquarters during business hours, call (585) 948-5445, or download the PDF form from the refuge Web site: fws.gov/northeast/Iroquois.
> Gun shopping
Two gun shop owners have left former locations and are reopening with expanded space and product offerings.
Bill Scheg at Genesee Valley Taxidermy and Shooting Supplies in Caledonia lost his home and business in a November fire. He tried to set up in time for the big-game gun season.
"We reopened shortly after the fire but now finally have everything (gun and archery gear) set up here," Scheg said of his new location at 2935 Main St. Call him for store hours, goods, and services provided at (585) 538-6491.
Pete Kraft had been working K&K Guns out of a 400-square foot business in Varysburg for the past eight years. Kraft has now set up a 3,600-square foot store and will hold a Grand Re-Opening Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at his new location, 2720 Almeter Road.
For store hours and directions, check with Kraft at (585) 322-3185.