Ice begins to build on local waters

There is a lot of hard water after the recent cold snap which had many people referring to the Blizzard of 1977, and other memorable frigid events.

The Dunkirk Harbor has a layer of skim ice over most of the former open water with ice shoves also moving inside, occasionally. There were only patches of open water in the extreme west end of the harbor when I did the cruise. Even the geese decided to head for shore, rather than sit on the cold water later in the day. It might have even been too cold to fly Tuesday morning, as I spied a morning dove huddled atop a street side snow bank when I went to start my truck. I intended to take a photo of the shivering critter, but even my camera didn’t want to start. By the time I took my camera inside and it warmed up, the dove was gone. If you are into bird watching in the Dunkirk Harbor, look for the Perigrine falcon nest (box) that was installed on the tallest NRG smoke stack by the Department of Environmental Conservation back on Nov. 14, 2013. By Nov. 17, two adult perigrines were seen at the site, and on Nov. 20, a female was seen at the nest. The DEC hopes the pair of birds will remain at the site until the spring and will hopefully nest there too!

Chautauqua Reel Outdoors Bait & Tackle shop, located at 165 W. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, reports there is at least 5-6 inches of ice on parts of Chautauqua Lake with perch and walleye active at Burtis Bay and smaller-sized walleye hitting at Warner Bay. Hogan’s Hut in Stow reports several customers declared there was 8 to 10 inches of good ice at Burtis Bay and several anglers reported hooking up with keeper-sized walleye. The Pro AM Ice tournament is scheduled for Jan. 18-19 with a back up scheduled for March. The weather forecast for that weekend has temperatures in the 50’s.


The Lakeshore Longbeards, our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at Liberty Vineyards, located on Route 20 in Sheridan. The agenda will include last-minute details for the Membership/banquet on Jan. 25 at St. Hedwig’s Hall, located on Townsend Street in Dunkirk, as well as reviewing the scholarship applications. The Longbeards will also meet at Liberty Vineyards on Monday, Jan. 20 for a final head count for the banquet.

The Monday night Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Fly Tyers will resume on Monday, Jan. 12, at 6 p.m. Weather permitting. The event is open to the public, free of charge.

Gun Owners are asked to participate in the “Fire One Shot at Noon!”on Jan. 11, 2014 in protest of the NYS Safe Gun Act. Organizers of the event, the Springville Field & Stream Club are urging legal gun owners to participate in a safe and legal manner and to spread the word on the event. Go to

Chautauqua County Snowmobile Trails officially opened Dec. 18. For more information, email

The Southtowns Walleye Association, located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg will host a Used Fishing and Hunting equipment sale (no guns or ammo) on Jan. 18, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tables are limited and will cost $20. There will be free parking and entry.

Raw fur pickup schedule: North American Fur Auctions (NAFA) location is Lucky Lanes bowling alley on Route 60, in Fredonia. Time is 4:30 p.m., on March 9 and April 28. The agent is Ernest Mosher and he can be reached by calling 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, 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 March 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 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 New York State Ice Pro-Am is scheduled for Chautauqua Lake on Jan. 18 and Jan. 19, weather permitting. For more information go to

Gun Shows: The Ashtabula County Sportsman’s Gun Show in Jefferson Ohio will be on Jan. 18-19 at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds located at 127 N. Elm, For more information call 569-6810.

The Chautauqua County Sportsman’s Show will be held on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26 at the Chautauqua Lake Auction Center located at 2118 Magnolia Avenue, in Ashville.

The Sportsman’s Show at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, which is located off I-86 at Exit 20, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., in Salamanca, will be on Feb. 22 and 23. Call 569-6810 or log on to

The Frewsburg Gun Show at the Frewsburg Firemans Rec Hall located at 25 Hazzard St., in Frewsburg. The show will be held on March 8 and 9.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to