Despite recent snow, trails don’t open until Dec. 18

Chautauqua County sure saw a lot of snowfall on Wednesday, which might make snow enthusiasts happy.

But snowmobilers should remember that the Chautauqua County snowmobile trails do NOT open until Dec. 18.

Meanwhile, muzzleloader/late archery season is still in progress until Dec. 17, and a number of landowners that allow access for snowmobiles are still hunting. Utilizing these trails during the hunting season is potentially dangerous and could result in landowners closing access to their property. So, please, do not use Chautauqua County snowmobile trails until Dec. 18 and help spread the word.

Mike Sperry, from Chautauqua Reel Outdoors, located at 165 W. Fairmount Ave., in Lakewood, reports that Chautauqua Lake froze over earlier in the week. However, there are no reports of safe ice fishing conditions just yet. For bait and tackle, as well as ice fishing updates, visit, or call 763-2947.

Rick Miller, in Irving, reports that trout fishing on Cattaraugus Creek was still available earlier in the week, but the snowfall and temperatures may affect results. For more information, contact Miller at 934-2477.

Due to the inclement weather Wednesday, there were numerous cancellations, including the drawing for the Chautauqua County Sportsmen’s Federation raffle. It has been postponed to a later date.


The Monday night Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Fly Tyers will be taking off the next three weeks for the holidays. The tyers will resume on Monday, Jan. 5, at 6 p.m.

Have you got a turkey hunter on your Christmas list? The Lakeshore Longbeards, our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, is having a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Liberty Vineyards, located on Route 20, in Sheridan. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. They will have tickets available for their fundraiser/membership banquet that will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25, at St. Hedwigs Hall Dunkirk. The meeting is open to the public.

Chautauqua County Snowmobile Trails officially open on Dec. 18, pending proper conditions. For more information, email

Raw fur pickup schedule: North American Fur Auctions (NAFA) location is Lucky Lanes bowling alley on Route 60, in Fredonia. Time is 44:30 p.m., on Jan. 4, March 9 and April 28. The agent is Ernest Mosher and he can be reached by calling his cell phone 315-868-6275. Note: The fur must be put up and dried. No green pelts will be accepted. First auction dates are Feb. 17-23.

Fur Harvesters Auction pick-ups will be at the old Tops Market parking lot off I 90. Take exit 59. Time of the pickup is 6-6:30 a.m. Pick-up dates will be Dec. 15, Jan. 19 and March 23. The agent is Toby Edwards. He can be contacted by calling his cellphone at 518-848-0217. Only dried pelts will be accepted. The first auction date is Jan. 7, while the second dates are March 13 and 14.

There will also be a raw fur auction on Jan. 18 at the Hinsdale Fire Hall, in Hinsdale. No furs will be checked before 7:30 a.m. There will be fox, raccoon, muskrat, mink, beaver, as well as deer hides up for auction. The auction starts at 10 a.m., and will go until all furs sold. For more information, call Andy Smith at 492-0432 or Dale at 763-3416.

If you missed it, make sure you check out the Thanksgiving Day edition of the Sportsman’s Journal for information on the possibility of winning a free lifetime sporting license if you are a resident of Chautauqua County and are 16 years of age or younger. Details and forms, as well as how to become a sponsor of this neat event, can be obtained by calling Zen Olow at 640-2776.

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 the 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

The Safari Club of Western New York will be hosting their annual Game Dinner at Michael’s Restaurant on Dec. 13. The restaurant is located on Route 20. For more information and tickets, contact Jim at 510-4585, Marvin at 984-2773 or Mark at 9655-1785.

The New York State Ice Pro Am is scheduled for Chautauqua Lake on 1/18 & 19 2014 weather permitting. For more information go to

Congressman Tom Reed and Brigadier General of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Margaret Burcham, are scheduled to tour some of Chautauqua County’s harbors to discuss dredging and other issues on Dec. 17. Times and locations are as follows: Noon at Chautauqua Lake at the Carlson Community Center, which is located at 50 West Lake Road, in Mayville. At 1:55 p.m. at the Dunkirk Harbor, there will be a meeting at the Clarion Hotel, 30 Lake Shore Drive East, in Dunkirk, and at 3:25 p.m., there will be a meeting at Cattaraugus Creek at Hidden Harbor Marina, which is located at 916 Exchange Street, in Irving.

Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to Jacqueline Chiarot, Regional Director to Congressman Reed, at The deadline is Friday, Dec. 13. Reservations can also be secured by mailing a letter of interest to Jacqueline Chiarot at 2 East 2nd Street, Suite 300, Jamestown, N.Y. 14701, or by calling 708-6369.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to