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Scattershot: Forum to explain what to do if you find an injured animal

WGRZ’s Environmental Forum Oct. 18

WGRZ has announced that the next installment in the station’s 2 the Outdoor Environmental Forums will answer the question” “What happens when animals are injured?” The Forum will be held on Oct. 18 at Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo starting at 7:30 p.m. Keynote speakers are Judy Seiler and Marianne Hites of Messinger Woods Wildlife Center, Loretta Jones and Tanya Lowe at Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, as well as Bob Humbert with AWARE … and their animal ambassadors. Western New York is blessed to have so many quality wildlife rehabilitators on our doorstep. Hear their stories and find out what procedures can be taken if you find an injured animal in the wild. For more information contact Terry Belke at 548-7659.

State parks announce Grand Island waterfowl blind lottery

With the regular duck and goose seasons opening up on October 28, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced the lottery drawing guidelines for Beaver Island State Park, West River Parkway, Strawberry Island and Motor Island. Waterfowl blind permits will be drawn every Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning on Oct. 27 in the Beaver Island Club House basement at 6:30 p.m. sharp. Doors open at 6 p.m. Drawings will take place through Dec. 4 (duck season closes on Dec. 6). To participate in the lottery drawings, hunters must be present, show a valid hunting license with a signed duck stamp, proof of completion of a waterfowl ID course and proof of registration in the Harvest Information Program (HIP). Since Canada goose season continues through Dec. 17, blinds will be conducted through call-ins starting Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon at 773-2010 (also every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through Dec. 15).

NY Sea Grant shares water safety tips

With the arrival of cooler weather to Western New York, personal watercraft users that include kayaks, canoes and rowboats need to be aware of a few water safety tips. You could also include stream and river fishermen, as well as ice fishing anglers. Water that is less than 70 degrees can lower body temperatures and lead to hypothermia. According to Sea Grant, a body can cool 25 times faster in cold water than in air, children or small people can cool faster than adults or large people. And come Nov. 1, all personal watercraft users in boats 21 feet or less must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD). That is tip number one, wear a PFD. Here are several other tips:

  • Learn about the different types of PFDs and what would be best for you.
  • Give your “game plan” to someone else, such as when you expect to be back, where you are going, and anything else pertinent.
  • Use the buddy system.
  • Use reflective stickers on your paddle and canoe or kayak to increase your visibility on the water.
  • If you are in the water, use Heat Escape Lessening Position (HELP) and learn what it’s all about.
  • Be aware of water conditions and any physical hazards in the area you will be focusing on.
  • Know the weather forecast before you go.

Trapping permits available at area WMAs

If you are interested in taking advantage of the opening of trapping seasons in the Oak Orchard, Tonawanda and John White State Wildlife Management Areas, permits are now available through Nov. 30 at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Office located on Casey Road, Alabama between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can also write the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) at Bureau of Wildlife, 1101 Casey Road, Box B, Basom, NY 14013. Trappers that obtain a permit will be required to report their harvest and trapping efforts on each area.

Trapping season for fox, raccoon, coyote and other upland furbearing animals opens on Oct. 25 and closes Feb. 15. The start of upland trapping on the John White WMA has been delays until Nov. 1. Trapping for mink, muskrat and beaver at John White will open Nov. 25. For more information contact the 2017-18 Hunting and Trapping regulations guide or visit

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