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Scattershot: Outdoors news and notes

Waterfowl Hunter Meeting Aug. 24

The annual waterfowl hunter information meeting hosted by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will be held on Aug. 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the NWR headquarters located at 1101 Casey Road, Alabama, in Genesee County. Biologists from DEC and NWR will be discussing waterfowl-related issues as they pertain to the area, the state and the flyway.

At the top of the list will be the highlights of waterfowl management and research programs at NWR, Tonawanda and Oak Orchard state wildlife management areas, as well as Braddock Bay. Regional and statewide waterfowl news and updates will be given, along with banding results. Atlantic Flyway news and waterfowl population status updates will be given, as well as duck and goose hunting seasons for the coming fall.

If you would like to tour the wetlands management work being performed at Iroquois, Tonawanda and Oak Orchard, contact NWR at 585-948-5445.

DEC accepting applications for pheasant hunts

The application period to host a DEC-sponsored pheasant hunt for this year is now open. Applications can be found at along with program requirements. Applications can also be picked up at the regional DEC offices. The deadline to receive these applications in the DEC regional office is Sept. 1.

This program allows experienced hunters and others to obtain pheasants that have been reared by the state for sponsored hunts involving youth, women, veterans and people with disabilities. Reynolds Game Farm in Ithaca raises an additional 2,000 birds annually to be used in sponsored hunts. If selected, you will be notified by phone. The applicant will need to make arrangements to coordinate a delivery time, date and location.

Family Fishing Day, I Fish NY at state fair

The focus will be on fishing at the New York State Fair on Aug. 27. The day kicks off with an I Fish NY bass fishing tournament on Onondaga Lake, featuring members of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) Chapters from around the state, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. The weigh-in will take place at the fairgrounds in the New York Experience area. The state’s DEC will be hosting a free fishing event at the New York Experience pond from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids of all ages may participate. BASS boats will be on display in the area, along with a variety of fishing gear and equipment. The best part of the day is that anyone with a sporting license can gain free admission into the fair just by showing your fishing or hunting license at the gate. If you haven’t bought your sporting license yet, but purchase it at the fair, you will automatically be entered into a drawing for a Great New York State Fair lifetime pass.

Fonzi, Mazur bass comeback

Sitting in 34th place going into the third and final day of action on the St. Lawrence River out of Rockport, Ontario, the team of Larry Mazur of East Aurora and Joe Fonzi of Gasport needed a miracle if they wanted to crack the Top 10 in the Renegade Bass 1000 Islands Open Aug. 10-12. The first day they managed 20.44-pounds for five smallmouth.
Respectable, but there were two catches near 27-pounds and seven with 24-pounds. It put them in a hole.

The second day was almost identical with 19 pounds of fish. They had a couple good ones around 5 pounds, but they couldn’t match them with anything close. The good news was they had almost 40 pounds of bass and they made the cut for the final day.

As they ran out into Lake Ontario for Day 3, they knew they needed a big bag of bass. The fish were there as they dreamed they would be. They had over 25-pounds of bass by 9 a.m. The bass duo were able to improve a little bit over the course of the day and in the end their five-fish catch weighed in at 25.85 pounds with a 6.66-pound smallmouth that took top fish honors for the day. It vaulted them from 34th to ninth place and cracked the Top 10 – very respectable with a 100-boat field. They won $4,000.

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