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Bill Hilts Jr.


Outdoors

All that is now, And all that is gone, And all that’s to come, And everything under the Sun is in tune, But the Sun is eclipsed by the Moon.  – Pink Floyd, “Eclipse” from The Dark Side of the Moon It was no coincidence that Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse” came to my mind as I sat down to write this week’s column. Just like Joel Spring’s new book “Strong is the Curren…

Outdoors

With the Southern Zone regular big-game opener kicking off Saturday, look for decreased fishing pressure in WNY waters. There are still plenty of fish around. However, if you are fishing off the beaten path, it’s not a bad idea to wear some fluorescent orange. Better to be safe … Lake Erie and tributaries According to Drew Nisbet, fishing manager with The Orvis Shop …

'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 …

Nov. 8 – Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs monthly meeting to be held at the Southtowns Walleye Association’s clubhouse, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg starting at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 – Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association meeting at the Northern  Chautauqua Conservation Club, foot of Mullet Street (off Route 5), Dunkirk starting at 6:30 p.m. Open to the pub…

Outdoors

It was opening day for the Western New York waterfowl seasons, both ducks and geese, and we were going to be facing some difficult hunting conditions. It was windy and rainy, perfect weather … if you are a duck or goose. This isn’t the first time we’ve encountered conditions like these for an opener. It is the end of October. In the past, we’ve used layout blinds, layin…

Niagara River Habitat projects meeting Nov. 15 A public meeting to outline four habitat restoration projects in the Niagara River is scheduled for Nov. 15 at the William Kaegebin Elementary School auditorium, 1690 Love Road, Grand Island from 6-8 p.m. with a 30-minute presentation to begin at 7 p.m. The projects included are the East River Marsh at Beaver Island, Burnt …

Outdoors

A wise old charter captain once said, “The fish are where you find them.” While he was being noncommittal as to where he’d been catching (not just fishing), there is some truth to that statement. Despite some crummy weather conditions throughout the region, there always seems to be places you can wet a line and catch fish … if you can find them. Lake Erie and tributaries …

Outdoors

Crossbow season for big game in the Southern Zone of New York’s early archery season opens Saturday. Thanks to a special inclusion as part of the governor’s executive budget bill in April 2014, the use of the crossbow was finally allowed during the last 10 days of the Northern Zone archery season and the last 14 days of the Southern Zone early archery time frame. They c…

Outdoors

Weather really hasn’t been cooperating for fair weather fishermen, but those who have braved the elements have been rewarded with some nice fish. Rains could impact many of the tributaries this week. Lake Erie and tributaries Limited opportunities for lake fishing still resulted in a few nice catches. Jim Reichert of Marilla hit the eastern end of Lake Erie casting X-Rap…

Outdoors

Coho salmon study ongoing A Coho salmon study is continuing in the tributaries of Lake Ontario to help evaluate the effectiveness of stocking strategies that have been underway through the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. Anglers can help the effort by saving the heads of Coho salmon that are caught, filling out the information on a sheet that is provided…

Outdoors

As we worked the fields at Wilson-Tuscarora State Park, I had a flashback of days gone by. I was teleported to the 1970s, when pheasants were plentiful in Niagara County and Western New York. It seemed like an out-of-body experience as I carried a Remington 20 gauge behind a pair of working dogs, German shorthaired pointers named Blitz and Greta. The autumn foliage was …

Outdoors

Oct. 24 – NYS Outdoorsman Hall of Fame Annual meeting, Onondaga Lake Parks Administration Office, 106 Lake Drive, Liverpool, starting at 7 p.m. RSVP to Steve Wowelko at wowelko@juno.com. Oct. 25 – Duck blind drawings will begin (every Thursday) for Joseph Davis, Fort Niagara, Wilson Tuscarora and Golden Hill state parks at the Fort Niagara Maintenance Building starting …

Outdoors

Story Memorial Pheasant Hunt raises $3,000 Forty-three hunters participated in the inaugural Patrick Story Memorial Pheasant Hunt on Sunday to benefit the newly formed One Story at a Time Foundation in memory of the Clarence resident. A total of $3,000 was raised because of the special hunt, which was held at Ringnecks on Broadway, 2407 Broadway, Darien Center. Steve Pana…

Outdoors

Tributary fishing improved off Lake Ontario and Lake Erie seemingly overnight as salmon and trout turned on. With the advent of additional hunting seasons opening, it should help lessen fishing pressure. In the meantime, with the outstanding fishing in Western New York, we will have to be more accepting when it comes to sharing our natural resources. Lake Erie and tributa…

As hunting seasons slowly grab hold of anglers (big game archery season is on, pheasant season opens Saturday and waterfowl seasons up on Oct. 27), there are less people fishing … so there are more fish to catch. The cold weather could be that trigger that really turns things on in the streams. Lake Erie and tributaries Action is the lake is still good to very good i…