Early goose season closed on Friday, many hunting seasons open on Thursday and deer and turkey hunters have to check for date and harvest changes beginning in October.
Continued warm weather throughout the September early Canada goose season put many a gunner on the sideline as birds fed less on open fields, held on and around water bodies that provided feed and moved less throughout the day. Added to what seems to be reduced harvest numbers, many hunters did not want to process birds with the prospect of spoiled meat in that summer-like heat.
The regular Canada goose season opens Oct. 24 in Western New York areas with bag limits of three or five, depending on locations shown on a map at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28496. Perhaps by then harvesting conditions will be better for that Thanksgiving or Christmas goose.
Upland bird and small game hunters have three season openers on Thursday: Cottontail rabbit, ruffed grouse and woodcock. To hunt woodcock, hunters must first obtain a Harvest Information Program number for New York State. Registration is free at (888) 427-5447 or visit ny-hip.com.
The bow season opener on Thursday includes a major change for areas in the northeast of upstate New York. A new regulation allows for harvesting doe deer only Oct. 1-15. To view a map of the areas involved, visit dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.
Duck stamp winners
Three Hautman brothers from Minnesota have a solid family presence in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Federal Duck Stamp Contest. During the USF&WS annual contest award ceremony at Shepherdstown, W.Va., on Sept. 19, Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minn., won first place with his painting of two trumpeter swans that will be illustrated on the 2016-2017 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp.
Brother Robert Hautman of Delano, Minn., finished second with his painting of a mallard pair. Brother James Hautman’s acrylic painting of a mallard pair took third place. The Hautmans have taken 11 first places in this contest.
The current duck stamp illustration features a pair of ruddy ducks and is the winning entry of Olean artist Jennifer Miller. To view Miller’s work and obtain art work or a signed duck stamp, visit featherdust.com/duckstamp.
Everyone, people and waterfowl, wins with a purchase of a duck stamp. The price of $25, up from $15, is the first increase seen in its cost since 1991, and the benefits serve hunters, wildlife watchers and waterfowl species across the country with expansions and improvements to USF&WS wildlife facilities. Stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices or at fws.gov/duckstamps/stamps.
Dove hunt petition
NY Dove Hunting has begun an active, statewide effort to legalize mourning dove hunting, with a petition that has drawn signatures across upstate New York.
A website provides background on the history of dove-hunting legalization across the country, with a history of its legal passage, opposition, reinstatements and discussions on the biology and politics of dove-hunt management.
For a detailed summary of dove hunting issues, visit nydovehunting.weebly.com/petition.
Fly rod tutorial
Nick Pionessa, former manager at Oak Orchard Fly Shop, has begun tutoring and guiding fly-rod anglers with Cattaraugus Creek Outfitters.
Pionessa is a veteran user and tutor on fishing with spey and switch rods, newly popularized, two-fisted approaches to fly casting. To book a stream-fishing trip or a tutorial session with Pionessa, call 479-2327 or visit ccoflyfishing.com.