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Notebook: Seasons changing for openers

Anglers and hunters can look forward to big openers in May.

A column last week noted a hunters’ start for the wild turkey season, which is May 1 each spring. The walleye, northern pike, chain pickerel, tiger muskellunge and the special Lake Erie trophy bass season start is May 4, the first Saturday in May.

A moderately mild winter and increased bird citing could result in a few more gobblers afield this spring. A slow but early melt-off of inland and Great Lakes waters could have walleye and the pikes moving around in the shallows when that season starts.

Lake Erie bass can be found almost everywhere in New York State waters.

About trout

Orvis Buffalo will present a Spring Orvis Days Event on Saturday at the store in Eastern Hills Mall, 4545 Transit Road in Williamsville.

Adam Schroeder and A.J. Gottschalk will lead an in-depth discussion “Spring Trout Season” at 1 p.m. during a Federation of Fly Fishers chapter Spring Trout Fishing Spectacular that goes from noon to 4 p.m.

The federation, formed in 1964, has a Lake Erie chapter comprised of expert Western New York fly anglers willing to share information on tackle and area hotspots for fly fishermen.

All can learn about trout lore, chapter functions and how to become a member. For details, call 276-7200.

Bow-nanza win

Mark Irlbacher at Doc’s Archery in North Tonawanda scored a perfect 300 both March 16 and 17 in Louisville to take home his first National Indoor Archery Championship. Irlbacher has competed in the national championships for decades, finishing in the top five often with a second- and third place finish in previous years.

“I’m still kinda glowing,” he said weeks later about his trophy proudly displayed at Doc’s Archery shop.

Shooting range program

Funds from federal taxes on firearms and ammunition are now available to organizations that maintain shooting ranges. The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County and the Department of Environmental Conservation offer a Shooting Range Small Grants program on a 3-1 ratio, accepting grant applications until May 31.

Clubs interested in applying for this grant can call Melissa Bailey at (315) 793-2515 or email:

Chestnut planting

The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs is conducting an American Chestnut Tree Seedlings Program, providing free starter trees to Niagara County landowners. Site should be prepared before seeding trees are delivered on Saturday.

For set-up and ordering details, call either Chris Schotz (731-1641) or Dave Whitt (754-2133).