Waterfowl ID classes in August
Waterfowl hunters looking to improve their species identification for birds in the field can sign up for one of the New York Waterfowl Hunter Education courses in August. In addition, this course is mandatory should you decide to hunt any of the national wildlife refuges, state wildlife management areas or state parks that offer waterfowl hunting opportunities. You must first register for a course at https://register-ed.com/programs/new_york/129.
Once registered, you must complete the assigned homework by the start of the class. This can take several hours. Direct reference can be made to “Ducks at a Distance: A Waterfowl ID Guide” that can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/92272.html. If you have any questions on the homework, call 379-6376. The following courses are coming:
- August 3 – Beaver Island Clubhouse, 2136 W. Oakfield Road, Grand Island, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- August 18 – Alden Rod and Gun Club, 12 County Line Road, Alden, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- August 19 – Somerset Conservation Club, 1129 Johnson Creek Road, Barker, from 6 to 10 p.m.
Summer wild turkey survey starts August 1
The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation is looking for some help in locating wild turkeys across the Empire State. For more than 20 years, the state agency has called upon the help of citizen scientists to help complete a Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey during August. This will allow wildlife biologists to track wild turkey populations and assess how many young of the year birds were produced by hens.
The August survey asks participants to record the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkeys observed during normal travel. This will help DEC gauge the reproductive success of the birds and help predict fall harvest potential. You can print a copy of a form to fill out or you can submit information online, but not both. Find out more information at https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48732.html.
Orleans County fishing derby August 3-18
The next contest on the Lake Ontario fishing derby calendar is the popular Orleans County Rotary Derby, slated for August 3 to 18. Boundaries are from the Niagara River to the Genesee River with plenty of weigh stations to make it easy for registering a big fish. This year, the weigh stations include The Boat Doctors in Olcott; Narby’s, Point Breeze Marina and Captain’s Cove in Point Breeze. Grand prize for the biggest salmon is $4,000. Species categories include salmon, brown trout, lake trout and rainbow/steelhead.
Minimum weights and sizes are in place for this contest. All trout must be at least 10 pounds and lake trout must be at least 30 inches long. Salmon must be a minimum of 20 pounds to be entered. For more information on the derby, sponsored by the Albion Rotary Club, visit the derby website at http://www.rotaryfishingderby.com.
DEC accepting sponsored pheasant hunt applications
Applications are being accepted by the state’s DEC from groups interested in obtaining pheasants for use in sponsored hunts. Examples of sponsored hunts include programs involving veterans, people with disabilities, women, youth and/or beginners. These hunts allow for participants to engage in the outdoors, learning important skills, hunter safety and ethics. They also part of a memorable experience that could lead to future participation in hunting and the outdoors.
Sponsored hunts are free, organized by an individual, club or organization. A total of 2,000 pheasants are raised every year for the specific purpose of providing birds for sponsored hunts. Up to 50 game farm-raised birds are available for an event. To receive an application, contact the regional DEC office in the section of the state the hunt will take place. In Region 9, the number is 372-0645. The deadline for applications is September 1.