Longbeards hold annual banquet Saturday

The local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Lakeshore Longbeards, conducted their 14th-annual Hunting Heritage banquet Saturday. The event was held at St. Hedwigs Hall, located at 324 Townsend Street, in Dunkirk.

This event has always been held in Dunkirk sharing locations with the Kosciuszko Club, of Dunkirk, and St. Hedwigs Hall. Having an event like this in late January, or early February, can be risky due to the weather. Early weather predictions called for extreme cold temperatures and driving snow.

The Longbeards committee members had to make a commitment to holding the event no matter the weather, so on Monday evening, they made the call the event would go on. The Longbeards had commitments from close to 150 patrons, which is one of the reasons the group opted to go to a larger hall this year.

The vast majority of the patrons are also hunters, if not land owners, so the weather would most likely not be a deterrent. Lots of the members have some involvement with grape farming, or related agriculture, so this time of year is their down time compared to spring, summer and fall. Money generated by this event, and similar ones held through out the United States, will provide habitat for wildlife like wild turkey, deer, rabbits, etc.

The NWTF also provides funds for college scholarships such as The Juniors Acquiring Knowledge & Ethics (JAKES) event, which is a youth program scheduled for July 19, this year, at the Westfield Fish & Game Club and the seed corn program, in which landowners can purchase a bag of seed corn for a fraction of the cost of seed.

The seed is then planted and left unharvested for the purpose of feeding turkeys and wildlife during the winter. Judging by the weather we have been experiencing, it could be a tough one on the critters this year. Thanks go out to all those who made this year’s banquet a success!

Tim Thomas, from the NYS Ice Pro-Am Tournament, reported that about 80 people signed up for the open division and 14 teams for the pro division of the ice-fishing event held on Chautauqua Lake last weekend. The walleye had lock jaw with only one keeper-sized fish entered by the pro division’s Mitchels’ Bait & Tackle from around Rochester. No keeper-sized walleye were submitted in the open division.

First-place pan fish was won by Martin Schweitzer with a crappie weighing in at .98 pounds. Mark Vogt weighed in the heaviest yellow perch at .51 pounds. Anglers who did weigh in fish, reportedly walked away with generous amounts of tackle provided by the sponsors Plano, Frabill Clam Corp., Ice Armor, Aqua Vu, Automatic Fisherman, Joe’s Jerky, Poly Stic Glo, Jammin Jigs, H. T. Enterprises and Indian Hill Ice Traps.

The next events in the series will be on Tupper Lake on Feb. 15-16 and Sodus Bay on Feb. 22-23. For more information, go to www.NYiceproam.com.

Calendar:

The Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo will take place Jan. 24-26 at the Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center. The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association will have a flea market Jan 26. The main show will feature guides, outfitters and the BASS School. Visit www.NiagaraFishingExpo.com for more information.

The Monday night Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Fly Tyers will meet Monday evenings at 6 p.m., weather permitting. The event is open to the public free of charge.

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, 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.

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 www.sullivancountysportsmensfederationny.com.

A recent email announced the Harrisburg Pa. Sportsman’s Show is back with the backing of the National Rifle Association. The Harrisburg show schedule is Feb. 1-10 with Country Western star Trace Adkins performing Feb. 8.

Gun Shows: 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., Salamanca, will be Feb. 22-23. Call 569-6810 or log on to www.yorkpennshows.com.

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