Share this article

print logo

Outdoors Notebook: From ghosts to gobblers

Even if you do not believe in ghosts, Joel Spring’s new book offers hunters a collection of great fall hunting stories.

“The Ghosts of Autumn – A Season of Hunting Stories”, a Skyhorse Publication, offers the reader Spring’s Ransomville-based textual view of the fall hunting season, with insights on the origins of the autumn hunting season seen in caves well before Egyptians designed pyramids to the passing of a beloved hunting dog.

For Spring, a copious magazine contributor, this ghost text is his third book venture. Two earlier publications, “Season of Obsession” (2000) and Thursday’s Bird” (2003) are well worth a close reading. As in his earlier volumes, Spring takes his readers on the ventures any Western New York hunter might experience on outings locally at Hanging Bog or around Niagara County, or might encounter in the Catskills or in Maine.

A photo section highlights the ghosts – actually memories of the lands and waters seen at Spring’s hunting spots and the beasts, wild and dog companions – which haunt this text.

From the first squirrel hunt in a September chill to the last cold day of deer season and snowdrifts after the holidays, this book enhances the aura which draws folks to hunting as a lifelong involvement.

For more information and to order a copy of this book, visit or

County honors

Two county federations honored outdoors contributors, longtime and youth, at annual awards banquets held in April.

During the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs’ banquet at Terry’s Corners Volunteer Fire Company in Gasport on April 16, emcee Bill Hilts Jr. introduced presentations of these honors: Club of the Year, North Forest Rod & Gun Club; NYS Hunter Educator (firearms), Ron Meegan; NYS Hunter Educator (bow), Dave Faccini; Youth, Jim “Bruno” Burnett. Also, Sportsman’s Heritage Program, Paul Dewey; President’s Award, Dave Kern Sr.; Great Lakes Fishery, Dr. John Whiteman; Sportsperson, Joel Winters; Lifetime Achievement, retired DEC Environmental Conservation Officer James Rogers; Legislator, Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour; Conservation-based Business, Myles Tools; and an induction to the Don Bronson Wall of Fame at Cornell Cooperative Extension at Niagara County Fairgrounds was announced for Paul Schnell.

The Chautauqua County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs’ Ninth annual Harry Probst Memorial Banquet at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club on April 18 held awards presentations and announced 12 recipients of Youth Lifetime Sporting Licenses, which includes fishing and hunting licenses and a Habitat Stamp.

Federation president Zen Olow presented these awards: Conservationist, Pat Hoover, and Public Servant, Joe Galati. Eric Vail presented a special Deer Search of Western New York award to Ryan Johnson of Brockton; Club of the Year, Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club; and Presidents’ Award, Ed Calkin, president of NCCC.

Youth Lifetime Licenses were announced for Reed Gibbon, Lakewood; Dylan Scriven, Westfield; Jonathan Long, Dunkirk; Brandon Majka, Fredonia; Alexander Cramer, Fredonia; Noah Reynolds; Gage Neid, Jamestown; Kyleigh Waterman, Fredonia; David Marshall, Jamestown; Summer Mitchell, Westfield; Joel Brunco, Falconer; and Carson Becker, Forestville.

Astronomical transit

A Hamburg Natural History Society Penn Dixie Astronomy Program from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. on May 9 will focus on stages of planetary and solar sightings that day.

Telescopes will be in place at the Penn Dixie Site for all stages, beginning with the rising of Venus at 7:12 a.m. and then Mercury will start its transit across the sun, which will end at 2:42 p.m. While watching the transit, experts will search for sunspots and try to observe the waxing crescent of the moon rising at about 10 a.m. that morning. For more details on this event, call 627-4560 or visit

Turkey contest winner

Mollee Thorington, 12, won the Cabela’s Youth Turkey Contest and a $250 Cabela’s gift card with her 23.99-pounder taken while hunting with her dad. Mollee received her gift card and will be presented an engraved plaque at the Cabela’s store in Cheektowaga.