Firearms season opens Saturday for deer, bear

Fishing for trout is your best option lately with wind, rain and snow making off-shore fishing all but impossible.

Cattaraugus Creek is high and dirty again after the monsoon like rainfall we had earlier in the week that eventually turned to snow. Smaller hard-bottom creeks like Canadaway, Chautauqua, Walnut, 18 Mile and Silver Creek have been fishable or will be soon. Look for vacant streams as deer season opens on Saturday.

Deer hunters are reminded that the regular firearms season for deer and bear hunting in the Southern Zone opens at sunrise on Saturday and will remain open until sunset on Sunday, Dec. 8. It is estimated that 85 percent of New York State’s 550,000 licensed hunters will participate at some time during this period. In addition, the Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that about 60 percent of the deer harvest will occur during this time frame, as well as 30 to 60 percent of the state-wide bear harvest.

Deer hunters are reminded that crossbows are no longer a legal hunting implement for big-game hunting in the state. Also, to help prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), hunters are prohibited from bringing whole deer carcasses and some carcass parts into New York from any state or providence with CWD, including Pennsylvania.

Junior hunters ages 14-15 can hunt deer and bear with a firearm when accompanied by an experienced adult or guardian. All successful hunters must report their deer harvest within seven days. You can call toll free at 1-866-426-3778. Venison donations will assist less fortunate families. Good luck and hunt safe.

If you tag a deer, and would like a photo to appear in the Sportsman’s Journal, call 366-1772 after 2 p.m. or 467-2079. Photos can also be sent to


The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will continue its non-perishable food collection “Hunters Helping the Hungry” during the big game hunting season. Club members are reminded to bring their canned goods to the club for donations to be distributed during the upcoming holiday season. Times are hard and the need is greater than in years past.

Free fly-tying and fly-fishing classes have resumed on Monday evenings at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, from 6-8 p.m. Fly tyers at all stages are invited to attend. 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: Participants will get to keep what they tie and will receive one-on-one attention. No registration required, so just show up!And wish Willie a happy 59th birthday!

The Forestville Fire Department will offer a ‘Deer Hunters’ breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes, hash-browned potatoes, coffee and juice for a friendly price, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Proceeds will be used to purchase firefighting equipment and gear. This breakfast special will be available for take-out, or dine in, on every second Sunday of each month. You don’t have to be a deer hunter to stop in and enjoy. This deer hunter breakfast will also be available Nov. 16, which again, is opening day of deer season from 4-10 a.m.

If your club is hosting a shooting event, or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar.

The Federation of Sportsmen from Sullivan County are hosting a three-day Coyote hunt from Feb. 7-9. They offer a $2,000 grand prize for the heaviest coyote weighed in for the three-day hunt, a $200 daily prize for the heaviest coyote in each of the three days of the hunt, a $100 prize for the heaviest coyote taken by a youth (12-15 years old) and a $100 prize for the heaviest coyote taken by a female hunter during the three-day event. $100 will be awarded for all other coyotes weighed in during the three-day event. Early registration post marked by Jan. 27, will be $30 per hunter, which will include the three-day hunt, a weigh-in dinner held at White Sulphur Springs Fire House, located on Route 52 (exit 100 off Route 17). After Jan. 27, the entry fee is $40 with the deadline of 7 p.m. sharp on Feb. 3. For details, visit the website at

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to