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Scattershots: Evans Rod and Gun to host sight-in day for hunters

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matt wilson wheatfield smallmouth bass october slamfest

Matt Wilson of Wheatfield with a couple nice smallmouth bass he caught in the October Slamfest last Sunday.

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With the regular big-game hunting season for the Southern Zone set to open Nov. 19, now is the time to get your firearms sighted in and ready to go for the big day. To accommodate local hunters who may not have a place to sight in their guns, especially with the closure of the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area public shooting range earlier this year, Evans Rod and Gun Club will offer a “Sight-In Day” on Nov. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The club is located at 864 Cain Road, Angola.

Any hunting firearm can be sighted in. Shooters can shoot from 50 to 250 yards from covered, solid concrete shooting benches. Shooters must supply their own paper targets, ammunition and staple gun to affix targets. There is no limit to the number of firearms that can be sighted in. However, there is a cost of $20 for the first 30 minutes and $10 for each 30-minute session after the initial cost and session. Targets can be replaced at 15-minute intervals. For more information, contact Fred Lima at 479-4833 or Bob Putzbach at 983-4778.

WNY Chapter of Trout Unlimited celebrates 50 years

The Western New York Chapter of Trout Unlimited will celebrate its belated 50th anniversary at the general meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. It will be held at the Orvis Buffalo store located at 4545 Transit Road in the Eastern Hills Mall. The chapter was chartered in 1970, and a celebration was in the works for March 2020. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit. “Better late than never,” said Chapter President Joe Morgan.

Join them for a night of food, refreshments and other fun activities including raffles and memorabilia. It is free for current TU members, and the group is asking for a small donation from nonmembers. Signing up as a member is another option. If anyone has pictures from past projects and events, stories or anything else they would like to share, please bring them to share with the group. There will not be a speaker for the October meeting. Guest speaker for November’s meeting is Chris Murphy from Trout Power. This is a grassroots organization that explores the Adirondack Mountains searching for native populations of brook trout.

EHD returns in New York deer

For the third consecutive year, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease has returned to white-tailed deer found within the Empire State. This year, the disease was confirmed in eastern Dutchess County in early August, followed by western Rensselaer and Suffolk counties later in August. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation has received more than 165 reports of suspected EHD, and the agency is working on other samples in an effort understand why these outbreaks occur. Fortunately, the outbreaks reported this year have been more localized than the outbreaks in 2020 and 2021. For those years, more than 1,500 deer suspected to have EHD were reported to DEC by the public.

EHD is a viral disease that is transmitted by biting midges (also called no-see-ums or punkies). The disease cannot be transferred from deer to deer and humans cannot be infected from a diseased deer or bites from midges. Symptoms include small hemorrhages or bruises in the mouth and nose, as well as swelling of the head, neck, tongue and lips. The deer may appear dehydrated or lame. They may be found in or near water sources. The first hard frost should kill the midges and stop outbreaks in an area. If you suspect that a deer may have contracted EHD, follow this link and report it to DEC as soon as possible.

Nov. 11 is Free Fishing Day

The next free fishing day in the Empire State is Nov. 11, Veterans Day. This one is dedicated to men and women who have served our country, but everyone gets to celebrate by allowing everyone to fish for free. However, you must adhere to the rules and regulations for the body of water you fish. Find more details at dec.ny.gov.

Now is a good time to make plans to fish a Great Lakes tributary, an inland stream or a lake or pond. Take a veteran with you to share your passion. Bring a friend or family member to show why sportfishing is one of the nation’s most popular outdoor activities. For more information on fishing in general, visit takemefishing.org.

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