Resident goose season opens across WNY

If you awaken to the sound of shotgun fire, be advised that the early goose season, also refereed to as the nuisance goose and resident goose season opened today across most of Western New York.

The NYS DEC on Monday announced several changes to the early goose season. Season dates for most of NYS will be Sept. 1 until Sept. 25. Lake Champlain and Central and Eastern Long Island will open on Sept. 3, and Western Long Island is closed. The daily bag limit is 15 per day instead of eight.

In addition, three other rule changes will be in effect: During the September season only, shooting hours will be extended one half hour after sunset, instead of the usual closing at sunset; and hunters will be allowed to use electronic calling devices to entice geese within shooting range (usually 50 yards or less). Hunters will be allowed to use shotguns capable of holding more than three shells at a time, but no more than seven. The only time or place where these three measures are not allowed are during Sept. 21-22 in the Northeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zone. That is the Youth Waterfowl Hunt weekend in that area when juniors will be allowed afield hunting both ducks and geese.

Federal regulations do not allow the special measures for Canada geese whenever any other waterfowl hunting seasons are open. Updates on the regulations are on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28496.html. To participate in this liberal September goose season a hunter must have: 1) a 2012-13 (last year’s) hunting license with small game hunting privileges. These licenses remain valid through Sept. 30, 2013. 2) Hunters must be registered in the NYS Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program called HIP. The HIP registration expires on June 30 annually so hunters must register now to hunt during September. To register in HIP, call toll free 1-888-427-5447 (1-888-4 ASK HIP) or visit www.NY-HIP.com. In addition, hunters 16 years of age or older must also have a new (2013-14) federal duck stamp to hunt during the September goose season Federal duck stamps cost $15 and are available at most post offices or sporting goods stores like Wal-mart. They are also available by calling toll free 1-800-852-4897 or at www.duckstamp.com. Note* Stamps must be signed across the face by the hunter before they become valid, but they do not have to be attached to the hunting license.

Before you know it, archery season will be here,in the southern zone with the season opener on Oct. 1. That’s one month away and most prudent bow hunters have been practicing for months now, if not year-round. It’s not too late to hone your skills and make sure your equipment is ready for the big day..Note* There is an excellent column on bow hunting in the latest issue of New York Game & Fish about a father and son deer hunting team from Jamestown, who took two trophy-class bucks last year in high pressure areas. The column is by Steve Sorensen and includes a lot of useful information about deer calling. Check it out!.

If you are out in the woods or fields hunting, scouting or putting up tree stands be advised that deer ticks can become a nuisance and pose a health threat. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and self examination after trips afield are advised. Using products containing DEET are also proven effective deterrents for ticks.

Labor Day is also the herald of the end of boating season but don’t put the boat away too soon. There is still a lot of nice weather and great fishing ahead. Enjoy the long weekend.

Calendar:

FREE fly tying and fly fishing classes will resume on Monday evenings at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club starting Monday, Sept. 16 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Fly tyers at all stages are invited to attend, from beginners to expert. The Monday night tyers will provide fly tying vises and all materials for anyone who would like to learn how to tie a fly or how to start fly fishing. Ken Hollander and Willie Fedrick along with guest tyers will provide the know how, in a safe enjoyable facility located at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Mullet Street in Dunkirk. Note this group of fly tyers made their services available at the Great Lakes Experience, The “Con Club Take-A-Kid Fishing day” and at the Chautauqua County Fair grounds in the conservation building. You get to keep what you tie and will receive one-on-one attention. FREE! No registration required, just show up!

LOC Fall Derby on Lake Ontario – Species are salmon and trout from any port. The event is from Aug. 16 until Sept. 2. Log onto www.loc.org for details.

Walleye Hunter Shootout – Port Maitland Lake Erie, Canada. Target species are walleye. Fish out of Grand River Dunnville, Ontario. Four walleye/one day. Sept. 7. Email: fishmaster@hotmail.com.

Upcoming trapping classes – Falconer Rod & Gun Club located on the Buffalo Street extension in Falconer, Wednesday Sept. 25 from 6-10 p.m., returning on Friday Sept. 27 from 6-10 p.m. Register at first class. Limited to 30 students.

Trapping class at Westfield Fish & Game on Oct. 4 from 6-10 p.m., returning on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call Rich at 595-3917 for a work book. Limited to 35 students.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club bow course will be held on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The course has reached its capacity size of students. The instructors ask that those who signed up be sure to attend. The trapping course will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

The Lake Erie Seaway Trail Center, Route 5 in Hamburg will feature Bruce Fisher, professor of economics at SUNY Buffalo, speaking on the economics of Lake Erie on Thursday Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public and free.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host their Memorial shoot & Gun Raffle on Sept. 15.

The Annual Hunting Expo held at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, contact Jim Buck at 569-6810 or visit www.yorkpennshows.com.

There will be a gun show at the Frewsburg Firemen’s Rec Hall, 25 Hazzard St., in Frewsburg, on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. Call 569-6810 for more information.

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