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Outdoor notebook: Candidates to present their views

A SCOPE (Shooters Committee on Political Education) Meet the Candidates Night offers area voters a free forum in which to hear prospective political leaders express their concerns about gun ownership and other Second Amendment freedoms.

The Erie County Chapter of SCOPE organized this event set for 6 p.m. on Thursday in the Vigilant Fire Hall at 666 Main St. in West Seneca.

After a small luncheon each candidate will give a brief presentation on values, public service and citizens' rights, followed with a question and answer session.

Attendees need not be a SCOPE member, own a firearm or have a vote in districts for which each candidate is running. This forum allows prospective voters an opportunity to learn more about future legislative leaders and ongoing issues of note.

Pheasant facts

The Department of Environmental Conservation Pheasant Release Program will stock about 30,000 adult birds in time for the fall hunting seasons, which begins with a Youth Hunt Weekend (Oct. 13 and 14) and the regular season in Western New York Oct. 20.

For the sixth year, junior hunters (ages 12 to 15) can hunt for pheasants with a mentor the weekend before the regular season.

Most state-released birds will be found on wildlife management areas. In Cattaraugus County go to the Conewango Swamp WMA, the Harwood Lake Multiple Use Area, Allegany State Park and the Allegany Reservoir WMA. In Chautauqua County the Alder Bottom WMA at Sherman will be stocked. In Erie County the Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area in Collins will have stocked birds; a special permit is required to hunt there opening day (Oct. 20). For details, call 851-7010.

In Genesee County, go to Darien Lake State Park or the Tonawanda WMA. In Niagara County hunters can hunt Joseph Davis State Park with special permits obtained by calling 754-7766 and at Wilson-Tuscarora State Park with special permits available at 751-6361. In Wyoming County the Carlton Hill Multiple Use area in Middlebury will have stocked pheasants.

Lifetime licenses

The Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs is offering youths ages 16 (by March 31, 2013) and younger a free New York State lifetime license of his or her choice. One entry per youth can be submitted for a drawing to be held at the Dec. 6 meeting at Bison City Rod & Gun Club. For an application form, call 440-6995 or 912-4121.