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Scattershots (Dec. 5)

Ladies Shoot N’ Hoot features shooting champs

The next Ladies Shoot N’ Hoot set for Dec. 8 at the North Forest Rod and Gun Club in Lockport will be featuring two shooting champions for instructional purposes. Doug Thompson of Wilson, two-time state sporting clays champ and Ashley Butcher of Lockport, one of the top lady sporting clays shooters in the country, will be on hand to share tips on shooting 5-Stand and Sporting Clays starting at 1 p.m.

Butcher is also a Syren Caesar Guerini shotgun representative and she will let people try these shotguns if you are interested. You will have the opportunity to shoot over-under or semiautomatic guns to help determine which you prefer. She will also give tips on what to look for and how to be properly fitted for a shotgun. For more information on the Ladies Shoot N’ Hoot, contact Colleen Gaskill at 628-9023. You must preregister for the instruction session. Cost is $25 for adults, $20 for 12 to 18 years of age.

LOTSA Salmon School sold out

For over a decade, the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association has set a high standard by offering Lake Ontario salmon fishermen an extensive salmon school – a full day of in-depth angling information. The last six years, it has been part of the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls (set for Jan. 18-20, 2019). If you were planning on attending this special Chinook instruction on Jan. 19, you are too late. According to LOTSA President Joe Yaeger, the Salmon School is already sold out. A total of 170 seats have already been reserved, the earliest ever for this unique learning opportunity.

There is an opportunity to get on to a waiting list. Send an email to Alan Sauerland at lotsa1.org@gmail.com to be contacted should there be a cancellation. Check out the LOTSA website at www.lotsa1.org for more information. Speakers this year are Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters, Capt. Pete Alex of Vision Quest Sportfishing and Capt. Andy Bliss of Chasin’ Tail Adventures and a longtime member of the Cold Steel Sportfishing team.

In the meantime, the Expo will be offering plenty of other seminar opportunities for salmon from the likes of captains like Vince Pierleoni, Bob Songin, Lucas Faulkner, Mike Lavender, Scott Richardson, Mark Penner and many others focusing on salmon and trout for every level of expertise. There are similar offerings for walleye, bass, perch, streams, electronics and more. In fact, there will be nearly 200 free seminars this coming Expo, the most ever. Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com.

The Fishing Beat (Dec. 5)

SCI game dinner Dec. 7

The Western New York Chapter of Safari Club International will be hosting its popular wild game dinner on Dec. 7 at Michael’s Banquet Hall, 4885 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. This 24th annual event will feature a variety of game and roast turkey with all of the trimmings. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner begins at 7 p.m. Donation is $45 for a ticket. Seating is limited and you must have a ticket.

This is one of the group’s biggest fundraisers of the year. Contact any SCI director or call Bob Keicher at 998-1353 for more information.

Holiday promotion to help habitat, access

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation is offering a special promotion through Dec. 14 that will improve fish and wildlife habitat, as well as increase access for outdoor recreation. Purchasing a $5 Habitat and Access Stamp will do all of that when you try to help our natural resources. Once you purchase a stamp, DEC will send you a collectible 2018-19 Habitat Patron pin featuring a barred owl.

During this promotional period, if you purchase seven stamps in one transaction ($35), you will receive an entire collector series of seven pins which include the barred owl, beaver, whitetail deer, wild turkey, wood duck, bluebird and woodcock, as well as another barred owl pin.

DEC will mail pins in time for Christmas. If you have questions or would like to make a special pin request, call the DEC license sales hotline at 866-472-4332 (Monday to Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.) by Dec. 14.

Pa. bear take nearly 2,000

Pennsylvania’s four-day black bear season last month saw a 10 percent increase over 2017 when 1,993 bruins were harvested Nov. 17-20 by hunters in the Keystone State. The final day saw 365 bears taken, more than the third day. This information does not include archery or other early-bear season harvest information.

During the statewide season, bears were harvested in 55 counties. The top 10 bears processed at check stations were estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 600 pounds or more. The largest bear taken was a 780-pound male harvested by rifle in Forest County on Nov. 19. The next day, a 708-pound male was checked in at a Luzerne County check station. The top bear hunting county in the state was Clinton County with 128 bruins.

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