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Scattershots for April 10, 2019

2 the Outdoors Environmental Forum April 17

Ever wonder what the future holds for our natural resources? The next 2 the Outdoors Environmental Forum will explore the future of our planet through the eyes of three young environmental stewards with the theme “Our Mother’s Future: Youth and the Environment.” The forum will be held on April 17 at Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo, starting at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. and there is no charge to attend.

Speakers for the evening will be Mary Ronan, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Coordinator; Josh Klostermann, a young naturalist; and Grace Kress, a political activist. For more information, feel free to contact Terry Belke at

NMA celebrates silver anniversary

The Niagara Musky Association celebrated its Silver Anniversary in style as a sold out crowd of 150 people convened at the Pearl Street Grill in Buffalo last Saturday night. In addition to fine food and beverage, special awards were handed out over the course of the evening.

The Bill Mendel Memorial Award was given to Mike Fretthold of North Tonawanda for his dedication to the annual beaver abatement program and clean-ups of Strawberry and Motor islands. The Tim Wittek Memorial Award went to Gary Melnyk of Buffalo for his continued volunteerism with NMA and the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. The NMA Memorial Award went to long time member James Reynolds of Webster, a former president of Muskies, Inc., Chapter 69. His continued dedication and preservation of the Niagara River/Buffalo Harbor musky population was recognized. The John Henning Memorial Award for the largest musky released in the lower Niagara River was Joshua Kane of Buffalo with a 47-inch fish. Check out the Fishing Beat this week for the Top 10 muskies in 2018.

NMA special recognition awards were given to DEC Region 9 Aquatic Biologist Justin Brewer and DEC Habitat Ecologist Tim DePriest for their outstanding contributions to the protection and rehabilitation of the fisheries resources in the Niagara River.

SWA tourney offers $10,000 prize

The Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY made a huge announcement this week in promoting its 35th annual Walleye Derby slated for June 8-16 in Lake Erie. In addition to the over $100,000 in cash and prizes that will be up for grabs, the club will offer a $10,000 bounty for the first person to weigh in a walleye 13 pounds or heavier during the derby.

The Sunset Bay Beach Bounty Fish is being sponsored by Cabana Sam’s Sunset Bay Grill. For more information on the tournament, check out or call 649-8202.

New York’s final deer harvest numbers

New York big game hunters connected on nearly 228,000 whitetail deer during the 2018-19 seasons, a 12 percent increase over 2017-18 numbers according to a recent release this week from the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. It was nearly a 50/50 split for the estimated buck take (113,385) versus the antlerless deer numbers (114,402).

The antlerless harvest is 20 percent higher than last year and the buck take is 5 percent higher. In the Northern Zone, the total deer harvest was almost 29,000 animals while the Southern Zone check in with just under 200,000 deer.

Hunters reported 51 percent of their harvests, compared with 50 percent in 2017. This is significant in that previous reporting rates were around 45 percent. It also appears that the DEC’s “Let young bucks go and watch them grow” initiative is working. Nearly 59 percent of the state’s buck harvest last year was 2.5 years of age or older, the highest percentage ever. In 2017, that percentage was 55 percent. Ten years ago, it was 40 percent and in the 1990s, it was 30 percent. Close to 2,500 deer were tested for Chronic Wasting Disease this past season. All came back negative.


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