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Scattershot: News & notes from the great outdoors (Oct. 12)


Outdoors calendar

Deadline extended for fishing regs, Lake Ontario

A few weeks ago we announced the deadline to submit comments on proposed changes to freshwater fishing regulations was Oct. 7. A recent press release sent out by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the deadline has been extended through Nov. 11. The most controversial proposal affecting local anglers was to extend the current Lake Erie early trophy bass season from the current first Saturday in May through the regular season to having the opening on Dec. 1 and opening it for nearly seven months. DEC has a two-year cycle of updating fishing regulations. Once approved, the regulations would go into effect on April 1, 2017. If you would like to see the proposals, visit the DEC website at Make comments to

Comments to DEC over the current proposal to reduce salmon and lake trout stockings in Lake Ontario by 20 percent have also been extended to Oct. 14. The original deadline for comments was Sept. 30. Send your comments to

Free boat winterizing guide

With winter just around the corner, now is the time many boat owners should be thinking about winterizing those treasured water crafts to ensure something bad doesn’t happen. Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS), a boating advocacy, services and safety group, is now offering a free 15-page “Boaters Guide to Winterizing.”
The online brochure includes sections on boat storage, dos and don’ts on engines and outdrives, winterization contracts and more. Also included is a winterization checklist. The guide is available at

More duck blinds for Niagara Parks
With duck and goose seasons starting up on Oct. 22, some more area state parks have announced their procedures for the fall duck blind drawings. The lottery draws for Joseph Davis, Wilson-Tuscarora and Golden Hill state parks will take place on Thursdays for the most part (except Thanksgiving, when the drawing will take place that Wednesday before) starting at 6:30 p.m. sharp in the Fort Niagara Maintenance Building. The first drawing will take place Oct. 20.
There are some requirements to be eligible for the drawings. You must have a current small-game license, a federal duck stamp, a Harvest Information Program number and you must have successfully completed a state Waterfowl Identification Course. You must also have a dog or boat for retrievals. Blind No. 2 at Fort Niagara will not be available during the week due to boat ramp renovations taking place. The south ramp is currently closed. For more information call 745-7273.

Northern Zone muzzleloader opens

The early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone of New York opens this Saturday, Oct. 15. It continues through Oct. 21. Hunters are reminded that Wildlife Management Units 6A, 6F, 6J and 6N are for antlered deer only, designed to increase survival of adult female deer and overall population levels in those areas. Only WMUs 6C, 6G, 6H and 6K offer Deer Management Permits that may be filled. Otherwise, hunters may utilize the bow/muzzleloader tags that come with the muzzleloader hunting privilege. For more information on the big game hunt, check out

Outdoor Xtreme Bucks discount book

Harvest Moon Outdoors of Elma is now offering an “Outdoor Xtreme Bucks” Discount Book for Western New York sportsmen and women. From taxidermy discounts to archery deals; food coupons to fishing charter savings –you should be able to make up the $45 cost with one purchase. For a list of locations where the discount book is available, check out or email

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