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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New York Conservation Officers Association to be honored

The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame (NYSOHOF) is an organization dedicated to conservation and preserving the tradition of outdoor sports. Its main function is to induct men and women who have devoted many years to enhancing the outdoor sports or major accomplishments. In addition, the NYSOHOF periodically recognizes outstanding effort and achievement through their special awards. These are distinct from induction into the Hall of Fame but are considered prestigious recognition for some outstanding job. One such honor is the Extra Mile Award.
Conservation and law enforcement professionals do an important job in protecting the state’s resources ranging from fish and wildlife to the health of the environment. They regularly enforce the laws protecting fish and wildlife, monitor pollution and at times, they even put their lives on the line. Yet even with all of these responsibilities many of them go beyond the call of duty to help educate the public or create a new generation of ethical sportsmen and stewards of our natural resources. This “extra mile” that they often go can take many forms.
The NYSOHOF recognizes the importance of efforts such as those that the conservation and law enforcement professionals do regularly without fanfare. The NYSOHOF wants to publicly recognize these men and women and will annually select deserving candidates for the Extra Mile Award and honor them at the annual banquet. This year’s award goes to the New York Conservation Officers Association.
The New York Conservation Officers Association (NYCOA) was started in 1986 and its members include both active and retired officers. Each year this association raises money through raffles and golf tournaments to help support its members and to sponsor hunting, fishing and trapping events for our youth. They sponsor kids to DEC camp each year and award college scholarships.
This organization has donated a substantial amount of money each year to help other groups sponsor youth hunting, fishing and trapping events all across the state. In addition many of the officers help them connect with the local sportsmen’s organization in their area and often donate their personal time as well.
The NYCOA held golf tournaments to raise money for the “Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation Inc.” and have donated over $50,000 to the “Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation” from these events. Each year NYCOA supports fishing clinics for children and the disabled, women’s outdoor education clinics, youth duck, goose, turkey and pheasant hunts, and firearms safety and marksmanship classes with financial aid and mentoring.
Because of their time and effort spent beyond their required duties and for promoting worthwhile causes in the field of conservation and outdoor sports, the NYSOHOF has selected the New York Conservation Officers Association for the Extra Mile Award for 2015.
NYCOA will be honored at the Annual Banquet to be held Saturday, April 25 at the Rusty Rail in Canastota. That same evening Teri Maciag will receive the Sportsperson of the Year as reported last week. Among the regular inductees will be Dave Simmons who has been active in Madison County Friends of NRA among other organizations. Friends, family and the public are invited. Registration and social hour will begin at 4:30 p.m. with dinner served at 5:30 p.m. Reservations may be made by April 18 by calling (315) 363-3896 or (315) 829-3588.
IFHCNY: Independent Fur Harvesters of Central New York will hold its next meeting on Sunday, April 12. Food served at 1:30 p.m. with meeting scheduled for 2 p.m. On April 18 there will be a Trapper Training Class. Call Rich Palmer at 720-5227 if you can help with this class. The Annual Spring Banquet will be April 19 at Empire Buffet in Dewitt,
Turkey Season: Spring turkey hunting season is less than a month away so many hunters are getting eager. With the milder weather and disappearance of most of the snow cover, flocks of turkey have been spotted in fields throughout the area. Remember that they are searching for available food and this may not be the spot that you will find them in when the season opens in May. When scouting remember to view them from afar with binoculars to avoid spooking them. Make sure that you leave the calls at home and avoid the temptation since you don’t need to “educate” these already wary birds. Youth hunting weekend will be April 25 and 26 when youngsters get the opportunity to hunt under the supervision of an adult family member.
Cicero Lions Club Walleye Derby: The Cicero-Mattydale Lions Club will hold its 37th annual walleye derby on opening weekend of the season on Oneida Lake and the lower tributaries. Dates are May 2 and 3 with fishing from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday. There will be over $3,500 in cash prizes for the top 25 fish based on length. There will also be daily draw tickets and tagged fish prizes.
All entries must be weighed in between the hours listed above and fish must be live. For complete rules and details, as well as weigh stations, check the website or e-mail
Learn the Sport of Fly Fishing: Learn about fly rods, lines, leaders, how to tie knots, how to cast and where to find fish. The cost of this four session class is only $60. Everything you need will be provided. As an added bonus all attendees will receive a one year membership in Trout Unlimited (a $35 value), plus a copy of the book Fly Fishing Tactics (a $7.50 value).
The class will be held every Wednesday in May (May 6, 13, 20, 27) from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 pm at the Fenner conservation club, 3479 Cody Road, Cazenovia. For more information or to sign up, call Steve LaVancher at 436-9432 or visit the website at
Madison County FNRA Banquet: The Madison County Friends of NRA will hold its annual banquet on Saturday, May 16 at the Rusty Rail in Canastota. From 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. there will be cash bar, games and silent auctions. At 6:00 p.m. will be a buffet dinner followed by live auction. Proceeds will benefit central NY projects such as local shooting sports, youth education programs, firearms safety programs, range improvement and conservation programs in NY State.
Table reservations with bonus tickets in a variety of options are available by mail, phone or website Deadline for banquet reservations is May 1. Call Ralph Meyers at 264-1087 for tickets or information.
VNSP Events: Vernon National Shooting Preserve announces that the full range course is now ready for sporting clays. The Ruffed Grouse Society Shoot will be April 18. A NYS Hunter Safety Course will be held April 18 and 19. Call 796-4587 to register or for more information.
VNSP will conduct two Novice Shooter Clinics on Saturday, May 2 and Saturday May 9. Learn the Fundamentals of Gun Safety, Introduction to gun maintenance and basics of shooting including topics like grip, stance, lining up your sights, loading and unloading your new firearm. Instruction by professional, certified instructors will cover pistol, rifle and clay pigeon shooting with your shotgun.
Register for one of the two dates. Cost is $25 for two to three hours, dependent on class size. Expect to shoot 50 rounds of ammunition (not included). Clinic size limited to 10 new learners. Preregistration required. Call 315-829-2529, leave name and date you want to attend or email
Oneida Lake Team Walleye Trail: After a successful year in 2014, the Oneida Lake Team Walleye Trail has big plans for 2015. They have announced that there will be four tournaments this year on May 17, June 28, July 26 and August 23. We will have details as the dates approach. For more information check the website at


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