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Outdoors notebook: It’s time to draw for blinds

Many waterfowl seasons open today and blind drawings for the late duck and goose seasons at state park sites and at open sites around Western New York.

Drawings began Friday and will continue until Jan. 7 in the basement of the Beaver Island Clubhouse of Beaver Island State Park for Beaver Island, West River Parkway and Motor and Strawberry Islands blinds.

In addition, drawings for Fort Niagara, Joseph Davis, Wilson-Tuscarora and Golden Hills State Park will be held at the Fort Niagara State Park Maintenance Building on Tuesday and Jan. 7.

Hunters at all sites must show proof and have a NYS small game license, a Harvest Information Program registration, a Federal Migratory Bird Stamp, and proof of a Waterfowl Identification Course completion. Dog and boat requirements are set for certain sites.

For details on Beaver Island sites, hunters should call 773-3271, from 8 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. weekdays; for Fort Niagara sites information, call 745-7273.

Canada goose hunters must check the NYS Migratory Game Bird regulations for areas open and daily bag limits.

Along the South area, which includes the Great Lakes and the Niagara River, goose season ends Jan. 1 with a 5-bird limit; in the West Central area, which includes Iroquois and Montezuma Wildlife Refuges, the season goes to Jan. 11 with a 3-bird daily limit.

Wild turkey tallying

Wild turkey numbers across New York State have declined in the past decade and the Department of Environmental Conservation has begun a four-year study in 2012 to assess turkey populations for their survival while providing hunting opportunities.

DEC officials in Region 9 will trap, band and release turkeys at the site were they were captured between January and March to monitor hen survival. Some birds will also be fitted with radio transmitters to track movements and survivability.

If you observe turkey flocks in DEC Region 9 areas, Emilio Rende, turkey project coordinator, encourages the reporting of those sites. Call Rende at the Allegany Office (372-0645) or email: emilio.rende@dec.ny.gov.

Volunteer anglers honored

Three longtime contributors to the Project Healing Waters Program were honored during the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) meeting for their participation in Project Healing Waters activities.

Ron Ziarnowski of Cheektowaga and William Kelman of Amherst received five-year certificates; Michael Fabian accepted a two-year certificate. Ziarnowski volunteers at Buffalo General Hospital; Kelman and Fabian work with recovering soldiers at Batavia Veterans Hospital.

All three teach classes on fly tying, rod building and fishing techniques for all levels of angling skills assist in one-day and multi-day fishing trips with vets; all gear and trips are provided free for participants by FFF, Trout Unlimited and fly-fishing clubs. For details on fly fishing programs held nationally, visit projecthealingwaters.org. For area FFF information, check via email with David Rosner (dgrosner@aol.com) or Leonard Skalski (skalskileonard@yahoo.com).

email: odrswill@gmail.com