Deer Harvest Update
The final revised deer harvest estimates from 2016 have finally been released from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Total take was just over 213,000 whitetails, a 5 percent increase from 2015. Of that total, 107,000 were adult males, a 7.5 percent jump from the previous year. And of the buck total, 49 percent were yearlings (the remaining being 2.5 years old and older). Bowhunters took just under 47,000 animals; crossbow users chipped in with 9,500 deer; and muzzleloaders over 15,000 deer. All were increases over 2015. One alarming piece of information is that 56.5 percent of successful hunters failed to report their deer through the mandatory reporting requirement procedure. Look for Environmental Conservation Officers to ramp up enforcement this year. For more information, go on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov.
Orvis Buffalo Offers Free Fly Fishing Classes
If you or someone you know are looking to learn the basics of fly fishing, looking no further than the Orvis Buffalo store located at 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville (in the Eastern Hills Mall). The class is perfect for beginners of all ages. It also serves as a great refresher course if you haven’t fished in a while. This Fly Fishing 101 Class will go through the basics, including fly casting, outfit rigging, fly selection and where to fish in Western New York. Classes are every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required at www.orvis.com/buffalo or by calling 716-276-7200. These classes run through Aug. 12.
It doesn’t stop there. Follow-up classes include Fly Fishing 201 and 301 and will be held every Sunday, alternating. You must take the first class before you can attend these more advanced courses. Fly Fishing 201 will get you out on a pond and Fly Fishing 301 takes you to Upper Cattaraugus Creek for some on-water instruction. All classes are free. What a great opportunity.
Kids Fishing Day on Sunday
Kids and parents are invited to participate in a special youth educational outreach event this coming Sunday (May 28). Bison City Rod and Gun Club, 511 Ohio St., Buffalo will once again be hosting the popular 13th Annual Jimmy Griffin “Teach Me to Fish” program, an event that will feature rod and reel demonstrations, free handouts, and free Sahlen's hot dogs. There will be lots of prize drawings, too, for this free gathering. Registration starts at 1:30 p.m. The action kicks off at 2 p.m. Displays include the Cabela’s portable BB-gun and archery ranges. There are also six learning stations along the club’s Buffalo River backdrop. If you have any questions, contact Dave Barus at 597-4081.
National Lake Trout Derby Set
The 53rd Annual National Lake Trout Derby will once again be held on Seneca Lake out of Geneva May 27-29, Memorial Day Weekend. Grand prize for the largest lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout or landlocked salmon is $7,500. Other major prizes include the top five lake trout, with first place being $3,000; and the top five brown, rainbow and salmon starting with a first place prize of $1,500. There are also a slew of minor lake trout awards for women, men, senior citizens, teens and juveniles. Weigh stations are located in Geneva, Sampson and Watkins Glen. For more information visit www.laketroutderby.org or call 315-246-9665.
Screamer Wins 2017 Niagara Pro Division; Mother Moose Wins Am Cup
The Screamer team led by Dave Antenori of Clark’s Ferry, Pa. was on a mission. After placing second in the Wilson Harbor Invitational the weekend before, they wanted to take the first-place prize in the Niagara County/Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament held May 19-21 out of the ports of Wilson and Olcott. After catching a 12-fish tournament limit the first day, he was poised to be in a perfect position as he sat in second place - behind Team Maverick and Capt. Chris LoPresti. After a cancelled day on Saturday due to weather, it was all business on Sunday as they boated another limit and won the Niagara County version of the Pro-Am and the $15,000 prize with a score of 471.02 points (10 points per fish and a point per pound). Second place was Maverick led by Capt. Chris LoPresti, taking home a check for $7,500 with a score of 448.59 points. Third place went to Dirty Goose/Cold Steel led by Capt. Casey Prisco ($5,000) with 447.79 points, followed by Vision Quest and Capt. Pete Alex ($2,500) with 429.84 points. Big fish for the tournament was a 24.04 pound king salmon caught by Thrillseeker led by Capt. Vince Pierleoni. He won $300 plus a new Raymarine Axiom Unit.
In the Amateur Division, it was Mother Moose winning the $500 prize and a special Cup for the three-day event. Anonymous, last year's cup winner led by John Muehl, won the Day 3 contest for the amateur open but it wasn't enough to repeat. Big fish for the day was Dipsy Ranger with a king salmon weighing 19.23 pounds. In the Amateur Open, each day was a separate contest. Day one winner was Dipsy Ranger led by John Nevlezer. Day two winner (by drawing due to inclement weather) was HK1 and Chris Petrucci. Big fish prizes, good for $500 and an ITO Flies prize package were: Day one – Mean Machine and Kyle Hovak with a 19.43 pound king salmon; Day two (drawing) – Streaker and Matt Dunn; Day three – Dipsy Ranger with a 19.23 pound king salmon. Visit www.lakeontarioproam.net for other prize winners and rankings.