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Outdoors notebook: Penn Dixie cruise will provide unique take on Buffalo

A Penn Dixie Nature Cruise on the Miss Buffalo boards at 8:30 a.m. on June 12 for a three-hour tour of Lake Erie and the upper Niagara River from 9 a.m. to noon.

Tour guides share interesting information about the waters and land features seen in and around Buffalo Harbor. Guides this year include retired Penn Dixie executive director and professional geologist Jerry Bastedo, Ecology and Environment senior biologist Sean Meegan, Buffalo Ornithological Society member Michael Morgante, and former Penn Dixie board president Thomas Johnston.

This 26th Penn Dixie cruise takes visitors around Buffalo and eastern basin waters and land areas not often visible from shore. For reservation details, call 627-4560 or visit penndixie.org and click the calendar date.

Turkey finale

When the spring wild turkey season ended at noon on Tuesday, so ended a quest that included sometimes ideal hunting conditions.

Despite a continued decline in turkey numbers, birds of all sizes could be found at various places around Western New York. But drawing the attention of shooters often became a perplexing challenge.

A cool start to the May season gave hunters less foliage to look through when birds were on the move. But hatching and late breeding cycles had hunters looking at prospects during all hours of legal shooting from sunrise to noon each day.

During the last full week of the season, regulars began hearing more gobbling, and some filled tags at all hours open to turkey harvesting.

Clarence hunter Jim Monteleone took his time at midseason to call in a lone tom from an open field, which took more than an hour. He ended the season allowing a jake to walk near Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

Department of Environmental Conservation tally numbers will not be available for a while, but regulars who hunted to the season’s end offered some hope for turkey numbers during the coming fall season.

Fueling thoughts

Scott Croft at BoatUS and officials at National Marine Manufacturers Association caution the 95 percent of boat owners who purchase gas at public pumps to check the ethanol content of every vendor to ensure that the ethanol is no more than 10 percent.

Croft notes that automobiles since 2001 models can tolerate the 15-percent mixtures offered at some gas stations, but marine warranties for all outboard motors are void and damage is likely with the higher ethanol mix. Damage includes both dysfunction of the internal surface of the engine and deterioration of plastic and other materials used to operate the motor.

For specifics on ethanol content in marine fuels and how it affects marine engines, visit Boatus.com or the National Marine Manufacturers Association at nmma.org.

Bears with bows

Brothers Mike Pustulka of Arcade, Tom Pustulka and grandson Camren Pustulka of Buffalo returned from a Val-D’Or, Que., bear hunt with tags filled while hunting with bows.

Guides with Northern-Outfitters took the Pusulkas on hunts May 20 to 26 during which Mike took a 215-pound black bear with his bow, Tom tagged a 115-pound bruin with his crossbow and grandson Camren shot a 180-pound bear with a crossbow.

Tom was proud to say, “All kills were males and all shots were within 15 yards.”

Camren’s trophy will be done in a full mount at Buck Stops Here Taxidermy in North Tonawanda.