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Sportsmen say goodbye to 'Norby'

Too often the truly good guys in our outdoors sporting ranks are taken for granted, presumed to perpetuate, always seem to be there when needed.

That was the standard status of Norbert "Norby" Antonik. For decades, Norby was an ardent angler and hunter. During the past decade, the loss of his wife Pauline and a kidney transplant heightened his involvement in sporting groups and clubs.

His failing health could not keep him from volunteer club work or from fishing trips with friends and family.

His death Aug. 18 followed signs of serious complications, yet it remains a shock and surprise to all who met and worked with this special outdoors guy.

In 2002 he shared a donor's kidney transplant with Linda Jackson, wife of Paul Jackson, president of Niagara Rivers Anglers Association. Long an active member of Bison City Rod & Gun Club and Southtowns Walleye Association, Norby joined NRAA and went on to serve as affiliate rep to the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.

He also became an honorary member of the East Aurora Fish and Game Club through his tireless efforts assisting in youth projects.

Always on hand to help with fundraising and especially youth-participation programs, Norby was always there through agonizing hours of issue debates and conflicts, offering a smile and assistance rather than contention and debate.

His continuous assistance at kids fishing clinics, fundraiser banquets, and anything positive about his love for the outdoors -- particularly Lake Erie perch and walleye trips in recent years -- were the pleasant recollections of Norby during a memorial gathering at the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home in Blasdell Monday evening.

Many a young angler became interested in fishing because Norby made sure a club or federation youth fishing day went well and every kid enjoyed the fun of fishing.

His warm grin/smile and warm, helping hand will be missed at outdoors outings.

> Crossbow correction

The crossbow can be used only during open gun seasons this coming big-game hunting season.

A crossbow column last week cited crossbow use during the early bear season; however, that hunt is open only in the Northern Zone of New York State. That season opens Sept. 17 for big-game hunting with firearms only.

The Southern Zone, which includes all of Western New York, opens Oct. 15 to archery hunt. Crossbows will be allowed when the firearms season opens at sunrise on Nov. 19.

> Two tested products

Two new products showed well in the field this summer and garnered high praise from area users.

The Thermos Under Armour vacuum-insulated 24-ounce bottle is designed to keep drinks cold for 12 hours. During a fly-in fishing trip this past summer, this bottle kept its cool though days of 90-degrees for 12 hours and more. Check it out at

The ThermaCell Outdoor Lantern did dynamic damage to not only mosquitoes but also other flying insects that inflict bites. The lantern exceeded the 15-foot diameter of repellency, banning bugs at twice that distance. It also excluded black flies and no-see-ums and other nasty biters as well as mosquitoes. For more details on this lantern, go to


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