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Bill Hilts Jr.


Outdoors

If you were thinking about taking up fly fishing or know someone who is involved with the sport and you’d like some help selecting the right Christmas gift, look no further than Orvis Buffalo, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 7. This special VIP after-hours event is perfect for gift selection and insight into fly fishing. In addition there …

The North Forest Ladies Shoot N’ Hoot Program in Lockport will be taking it on the road for December as they head to Wolcott Guns, 3052 Walden Ave., Depew on Dec. 9. The ladies will be enjoying some archery activities on the range and also using a 3-D bow simulator. There are five lanes with the range simulator, allowing distances from 5 to 30 yards at bullseye and 3-D …

Outdoors

Due to heavy rains on opening day Nov. 18, the Pennsylvania four-day regular bear season harvest is down some 30 percent according to early projections by the state’s Game Commission. A total of 659 bruins were checked in by Keystone State hunters after the first day of the season. By the time all four days were completed, the harvest ended up at 1,796 black bears. This…

You only have a few days left to take advantage of the New York Power Authority’s fishing platform located in the gorge area of the Lower Niagara River. It closes on Dec. 3. In addition, the power project will also be closing the stairs leading down to the shoreline near the fishing platform, the fishing area in the upper river near the water intakes, as well as the fis…

Outdoors

Like a bad record, high winds on Lake Erie forced Niagara River fishermen to stand down the beginning of the week after things were starting to clear nicely for shore and boat fishermen last weekend. The only reprieve was good tributary action off both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in most streams. Musky and bass seasons close (for the most part) on Nov. 30.  Read on. Niag…

Outdoors

Like the Beatles hit song “Getting Better,” New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Lake Erie Fisheries Research Unit is doing their best to do just that – make things better in Lake Erie’s tributaries for trout … and trout anglers. Some big alterations are taking place in 2018, which may be the perfect segue into David Bowie’s “Changes.” At the top …

Outdoors

A distant shot echoed through the woods last Saturday morning – a starting gun signifying opening day of the Southern Zone big game regular season. The forecast called for massive amounts of rain with wind and we hoped the weather predictions were wrong. It was in the 30s temperature-wise and we wondered if there was a chance we would see snow instead of rain. That would b…

Outdoors

The Southern Zone big game season is now open, perfect timing if you are an angler looking for lightened fishing pressure when there are still plenty of fish around. The key is to find some fishable water after recent storms put a hurt on area waters. Lake Erie and the tributaries were not looking good at the time of this report, the lower Niagara River was muddy for boat …

DEC’s Region 9 Wildlife Biologist Connie Adams is the featured speaker at the next meeting of the Western New York Chapter of Trout Unlimited on Nov. 28. The focus of her presentation will be “Nuisance Wildlife in Your House and Yard.” The meeting is open to the public. Meeting location is the Donovan American Legion Post, 3210 Genesee St., Cheektowaga. Fly tying instru…

Outdoors

If you are a fan of Devil’s Hole State Park, there had to be some disappointment when it was announced last summer that the popular access point was closed down for renovations. The stairs would be closed until Spring of 2018. Change that. The stairs are now open as of last weekend, great news for anglers and hikers. The $645,500 project, which consisted of removing and…

Expanded beaver populations at several state Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) has DEC’s Region 9 Bureau of Wildlife biologists looking for some help from their trapping friends. Six WMAs located in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties have seen beavers causing difficulties with ponds, marshes and impoundments. It’s time to take some action. Biologists are asking…

If a new shotgun is on your Christmas wish list this year, you might want to head over to the North Forest Rod and Gun Club in Lockport on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ashley Butcher of Lockport, one of the top lady clay shooters in the state, will be showing off three  shotgun manufacturers – Caesar Guerini, Syren and Fabarm USA. A variety of demo guns will be…

Outdoors

  If you are a fan of Devil’s Hole State Park, there had to be some disappointment when it was announced last summer that the popular access point was closed down for renovations. The stairs would be closed until Spring of 2018. Change that. The stairs are now open as of last weekend, great news for anglers and hikers. The $645,500 project, which consisted of re…

Outdoors

It's crunch time for musky anglers as the season starts to wind down. Here are a few tips from local musky experts: Rick Kustich of Getzville, noted fly fishing book author whose most recent book “Hunting Musky with a Fly” is now available at Orvis-Buffalo in Williamsville. “To catch a musky on a fly is always a great challenge,” says Kustich. “In late fall, musky …

Outdoors

Jim Lorentz, born in Waterloo, Ontario, is someone with whom every hockey fan in Western New York should be familiar.  He spent his last six NHL seasons wearing No. 8 with the Buffalo Sabres back in the early to middle 1970s, enjoying his best seasons as a player. In 1974-75, he scored 70 points as the Sabres made it to the Stanley Cup finals against Philadelphia. If th…