DEC accepting applications for Pheasant Release program

The Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting applications for the Pheasant Release program.

Birds raised during this program will be used to enhance pheasant hunting opportunities in New York State. The program provides pheasant hunting opportunities through a partnership amongst the DEC, sportsmen and women, 4-H youth and landowners who are interested in rearing and releasing pheasants.

The day-old Chick program has been around since the early 1900’s. In the old days, the eggs and chicks were distributed to farmers and rural youth. Now, the day-old chicks are available at no cost to those who are able to provide a brooding facility, a covered outdoor rearing pen and an adequate release site. Those applicants who are approved can expect to receive day old chicks in April, May or June. No chicks obtained from the Day Old Chick program can be released on private shooting preserves and all release sites must be approved in advance by the DEC and they must be open for public pheasant hunting opportunities. This program is funded through the State Conservation Fund from license fees paid by hunters, trappers and anglers.

Note that daily care is necessary to monitor the health of the birds and ensure there is adequate feed and water for the chicks rapidly growing. These birds may be released as soon as they are 8 weeks old, but no later than Dec. 1. Individuals interested in this program should contact the DEC Regional office for applications and information. Applications are due by March 15.

For Region 9, which includes Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Niagara and Wyoming counties, call 372-0645 or write Region 9 DEC 182 East Union, Suite 3, Allegany N.Y. 14706-1328.

The SAFE Sportsmen’s Outreach will host its second Annual Wild Game Banquet and Auction on Saturday, March 16 at the Busti Church of God, 996 Forest Ave., Busti. The dinner will include a variety of foods -buffet style. There will be door prizes, and silent auctions for the whole family. Tickets are $10 per person. Brent Henderson, a professional hunter and musician, will be the keynote speaker. He has hunted in 30 countries and 49 of the United States. His travels include bowhunting in Africa and caribou in Alaska. He is prostaff for Bear Archery, Grim Reaper Broadheads, Woodswise, Gold Tip Arrows and has written numerous magazine and internet articles. He also is an accomplished fisherman, a major label recording artist and the author of the book titled “Drivetime Adventures.” He is one of the most sought after Full Time outdoor Ministry presenters in the industry. For banquet reservations or tickets, contact Lee O’Brien at 720-0115.

Calendar:

Walleye Season Closes March 15.

The next meeting of the Southtowns Walleye Association is Thursday, March 21, at their clubhouse located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., and is open to the public. Note that the Southtowns Walleye official newsletter ‘The FISHLINE’ now has a new editor Dennis Young, who replaced Sue Guenther. Guenther is still active on the Board of Directors and other committees. The new editor has a new feature called ‘The Captains Corner,’ which will feature articles from Capt. Don Ruppert of Wave Tamer Fishing. If you are looking for some excellent tips on fishing and competitive fishing, check it out. You have to become a member to receive the newsletter. In order to fish their tournament, which is from June 8-16, you will also have to join, so why wait? For more information, log on to www.southtownswalleye.org, or call 649- 8202.

The New York Walleye Association hosts its monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at the American Legion Niagara Frontier Post No. 1041 at 533 Amherst Street, in Buffalo. Their newsletter is also filled with fishing facts. The N.Y. Walleye Club hosts the two-day tournament the AMARA-CAN Walleye Classic, which is based out of the Chadwick Bay Marina, and will be held on July 13 and 14. This contest is a team event. For more information, contact Tom at 876-6425 or Bob at 875-8148.

Notice: The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Fly Tyers, Fedrick, Hollander, Kennedy and Rasmus. Will NOT be tying flies this Monday at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. The hall floor will be in the process of re-conditioning for one week. The guys should be back in operation the following Monday.

The Jamestown Rifle Club will hold pistol classes March 24 and April 28. You must be 21 years old and a resident of Chautauqua County. All classes begin at 1 p.m., and last around four hours each. Call Pat Hayes at 484-9301 for information.

Gun Shows:

Harbor Creek Pa., at the Harbor Creek Fire Department Social Hall, located at 7275 Buffalo Road – US Route 20 – on March 16-17. Call 569- 6810 or log on yorkpennshows.com.

Little Valley Sons of the American Legion present their 2013 Sportsmen’s Show at Green Gable Village 4343 Whalen Road, Great Valley off Route 219 between Salamanca and Great Valley on March 16-17. Call 938- 6929 for information.

Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. will host their Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds, Route 353, Little Valley, on April 13-14. Call 938- 6928 for information.

Lander, Pa., Sportsmen’s Show will be April 20-21. Call 814-757- 9466 for information.

The Westfield Fish & Game Club will host its annual Ham & Steak Shoot on April 14 at their club house located on Ogden Road. The event will be held rain or shine. All legal centerfire firearms will be permitted. Ammo supplied for birdshot and deer slugs. The .22 Caliber shoot, which will be held indoors, is a bring-your-own-ammo event.

The 18th annual friends of the NRA banquet will be on Saturday, April 27 at the Samuel Derby Post in Frewsburg. For tickets and information, contact Tom Kelly at 736-4386

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to sports@observertoday.com.