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Outdoors notebook: Genesee County rifle season official

Legislation allowing rifle hunting for big game in Genesee County had been passed and received the governor’s signing without notice of when the season would be open to hunters in that county.

On July 13, the Department of Environmental Conservation made it official with an announcement that Genesee County would be included with other Western New York counties that permit rifle hunting for big game.

Nearby Livingston and Wyoming counties, having terrain and open spaces comparable with Genesee County, have had open rifle seasons without hunting-related shooting incidents. Procedure calls for a two-year trial period followed with a local vote to confirm its permanent status.

Rifle hunters in Genesee County and all counties with open hunting season across the state got some good news this month with the suspension of mandated background checks for ammunition purchases as required in the New York SAFE Act. Popular rounds such as .243, .270, 7 MM, 30-06 and others will still be available for purchase without delay this season.

Turkey survey talk

Wild turkey numbers have declined since 2007 and the Department of Environmental Conservation is monitoring their dynamics. An August Turkey Brood Survey begins Saturday statewide and the DEC is seeking volunteers to help monitor the numbers and locations of poults (young of the year) per adult hen seen across the state.

Biologist Emilio Rende conducts the program in Region 9 and notes, “Last year, we had a little bit of an uptick in our poult/hen ratio; however, the weather this spring was wet, which may have increased predation and reduced poult survival.”

For more information about participation in this survey, check with Rende at the Allegany office (372-0645) or email:; the DEC Web site is

Proposals have been made to reduce the turkey take, including the prospect of harvesting only bearded birds during the fall hunting season. Changes have been made in the turkey-hunt regulations this coming fall, which continue the taking of one bird of either sex in the Western New York area, but open seasons have been reduced to two-week periods in areas of the state.

The Northern Zone opens Oct. 1 to 14; the Southern Zone (WesternNew York) goes from Oct. 17 to 30.

Fair mounts fare

A popular competition in the Agriculture Building during the Erie County Fair attracts some impressive mounts of bird, animals and fish each year. Entrants have until Aug. 7 to submit entries and entrants receive one fair admission for an entry. For more details, call 649-3900 or visit