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Scattershots (Nov. 14)

'Let Young Bucks Go, Watch Them Grow'

So goes the catch phrase of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as we approach the Southern Zone regular big-game season opener on Nov. 17. While not a requirement, DEC encourages veteran hunters to pass up on the smaller bucks and let them continue to grow to a bigger size. This voluntary program showed much improvement last year when, for the first time, 53.3 percent of bucks taken were 2.5 years or older – setting a record in total number of older deer (57,494) and the greatest percentage of older bucks in the harvest.

Generally, a 1.5-year-old buck will have 20 percent less weight and 50 percent less antler mass than a 2.5-year-old deer. If you want to see bigger bucks, you need to let them grow a bit older. According to DEC, the southeastern Hudson Valley proportion of older bucks has never been higher. Last fall, three out of four antlered bucks were 2.5 years of age or older. This can happen when hunters become more selective in the type of buck they want to harvest. Keep that in mind this coming regular big-game season.

USA bass team wins gold

A team of professional bass fishermen, representing the United States in a Black Bass World Championship at Mexico’s famed Lake Cuchillo, recently won its first gold medal by weighing in a two-day total weight of 135 pounds, 6 ounces of bass to beat other countries. Second place was Mexico with 95 pounds, 10 ounces. Third place went to Italy with 75 pounds, 12 ounces and defending champion South Africa came in fourth place followed by Canada.

The USA Bass Team had representation from three major bass circuits competing. Scott Martin, David Dudley and Terry Bolton from Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), Scott Canterbury and David Fritts from the Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society (BASS), and Fred Roumbanis and James Watson from Major League Fishing (MLF). If you would like to find out more about USA Bass, visit their website at www.usabass.com.

Kustich to speak at WNY TU meeting

Respected author and expert fly fisherman Rick Kustich of Getzville will be the keynote speaker when the Western New York Chapter of Trout Unlimited holds its monthly meeting Nov. 27 at the Donovan Post, 3210 Genesee St., Cheektowaga. Fly tying will commence at 6 p.m.

Immediately following the fly-tying session, Kustich will be talking about fishing muskies on the fly, the topic of his most recent book “Hunting Musky with a Fly.” Inland musky season, which also includes the Upper Niagara River and Lake Erie for this ending date, closes Nov. 30. However, the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario will have until Dec. 15 to chase muskellunge.

Three-F Club Winter Skeet League starts

If you’re looking to have some challenging winter fun in the snow and wind, consider joining the Fin-Feather-Fur Conservation Society – the Three-F Club – for its Winter Skeet League. The shooting has already started, kicking off Nov. 7. It’s a handicap league open to members and non-members. Sign up as a team or sign up as an individual and a team will be assigned to you. Your first six scores for the league must be shot by Jan. 20, 2019, and you can shoot ahead as far as you want. The second five scores are due Feb. 24 and the last five scores are due March 31.

Shooting takes place Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Cost is $7 per week, which includes targets, prizes and banquet money. If you are interested, stop down to the club located at 904 Swann Road, Youngstown, or call 754-2293 for more information. It's a blast.

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