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An online space for outdoorsmen from CNY and beyond. Tell us about the one you caught or the one that got away.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas wishes

Merry Christmas to all of our readers. Over the years I have learned that many people in addition to sportsmen read this column. Many enjoy the outdoor themes, others are interested in the issues and many enjoy finding out about people they know making the news. Thanks to all of you who have given information, advice or encouragement this year and in the past.
As I have mentioned previously in this column, remember the real meaning and spirit of the holiday we celebrate next week. It is always good but especially at this time of year to remember the less fortunate in our community, the landowners who let you enjoy their resources and others who have made your enjoyment of the outdoors possible.
I am sure that all of you have been good and that Santa will smile favorably when he goes over your names on his list. As we have mentioned in other years, Santa is especially pleased with the many volunteers who have taught hunter safety classes, helped with fish stocking and similar tasks. Santa also is happy with the people who have made special efforts for youth hunts, kids fishing derbies and other activities.
On the other hand Santa is certain to leave lots of coal in the stocking of Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, chairman of the Conservation Committee, who personally refused to allow a vote on the crossbow bill which a majority of sportsmen were in favor of.
Santa will probably have to have a couple special deliveries of coal from Hazleton, Pa. to fill the stockings of many of the environmental extremist groups who have been pushing their narrow agenda of keeping much of the Adirondacks off limits to the average sportsmen. In fact, he should dump a truckload on the porches of the leaders of “Protect the Adirondacks” and the Sierra Club for their frivolous lawsuits against the creation of trails in the Adirondacks and their efforts to block development that would benefit the people of Tupper Lake.
In the past we have given ideas of shopping locally or giving gifts of yourself. If you need a last minute Christmas gift for someone, consider a membership in a conservation organization or some of their merchandise. For the bird lover on your list check out for membership on the mailing list and other benefits. Another worthwhile cause is saving the Seneca white deer herd, the largest of its kind in the world. See for details.
My wife Carol and I would like to extend our heartfelt wishes that everyone has a great holiday season spent with friends and family. We hope that the peace and joy extend not only through this season but throughout the coming year. Merry Christmas!
Steel Report: Holiday activities and the nasty weather have kept most anglers away from the steelhead fishing. Cold temperatures and lake effect snow earlier this week have made it uncomfortable for anglers, as well as difficult to fish. On the Oswego River, the fishing for shore anglers was very difficult but some nice fish were taken from driftboats. Whitakers Sports Shop in Pulaski reported a similar situation on the Salmon River. Fishing was slow although the anglers from drift boats took some steelhead on lures and an occasional pink egg sack. Slush ice was a factor on the Salmon River, especially in the earlier part of the day.
Lake Ontario Outdoors and Adirondack Outdoors: FishNY announces that the winter editions of its two magazines, Lake Ontario Outdoors and its newest publication Adirondack Outdoors, are both available locally. The magazines focus on winter sporting opportunities including ice fishing, steelhead fishing, skiing and other popular activities of outdoor sportsmen. Lake Ontario Outdoors is an inclusive outdoors magazine encompassing the upstate region while the new Adirondack Outdoors is the only publication that devotes its attention on sportsmen’s interests in the Adirondack region. Locally there are free copies available at Corner Diner in Sherrill, Sweet Temptations Café in Oneida, Herb Philipsons and Hanifin Tires.
“Wild Hogs Not Fair Game”: New York State DEC announced the proposal of new regulations that would prohibit hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars in New York. The proposal is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness of DEC’s statewide eradication efforts. Public comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted until January 25, 2014. Wild pigs are a great threat to natural resources, agricultural interests, private property and public safety wherever they occur. “Many hunters have offered to assist our efforts by hunting for boars wherever they occur, but experience has shown this to be counter-productive,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. Shooting individual boars as opportunities arise is ineffective as an eradication method and this often causes the remaining animals to disperse and be more difficult to remove. The full text of the regulation change and instructions for submitting comments can be found on DEC’s website at Comments on the proposed regulations can be sent by email to or mailed to: Kelly Stang, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.
Possible Record Muskie: Waterwolf Charters has made the news again with a possible new record muskie taken on the St. Lawrence River out of Clayton. The IGFA, which maintains records of catch and release muskellunge based on length, is waiting to certify the catch by John Forjohn of Ambler, Pa. who was fishing with Capt. Bob Walters and First mate Darryl Raate. The fish measured 51.8 inches on the special measuring device before being released. IGFA keeps records of the fish measured and photographed on the certified device. The Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame based in Hayward, Wis. keeps records based on weight and those fish, including one caught by Bob Walter’s charters a couple years ago, are larger. Walters acknowledged that larger fish probably have been caught and released but they were not measured and certified.


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