WNYEF meeting focuses on NYS fisher population

At the January meeting of the Western New York Environmental Federation meeting held at Hoak’s Restaurant, on Route 5, in Hamburg, a number of topics were discussed, including the fisher monitoring program.

Readers may remember earlier in the year that the Department of Environmental Conservation was looking for beaver carcass donations, which were to be stationed at bait sites, to attract fisher sightings across the region. The DEC has teamed up with the Cornell University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Cobleskill, and Finger Lakes Community College to conduct a study of the fisher across the Southern Tier, in 2013.

Information collected on this large-scale survey will be used to determine fisher densities in the region and help guide future management of fisher populations. The results will be prepared and presented by DEC staff. In Region 9, the survey area includes Wild Life Management Units 9P, 9W and 9X. There will be three survey periods of four weeks each. During each survey period, 29 trail cameras will be deployed across a sampling grid.

It was interesting to listen to comments from around our area when the fisher study was brought up by Chautauqua County Sportsmen Federation President, Zen Olow, at the January meeting held at His Way Archery Club. Several attendees remarked about fisher sightings in our area, with one member divulging that he has at least two on his property, which were captured on his trail cameras that were positioned to photograph wood ducks on his pond. At a recent meeting of the Lakeshore Longbeards, our trapping friends also discussed how some trappers have encountered fisher in their traps, which they released. They described the animal as being very quick and quite ferocious for it’s size. A theory of where this critter has arrived from points to Pennsylvania. The unofficial word is that most of the survey sites have documentation of fisher on the cameras.

Another side note from the same WNYEF meeting announced that Deer Search, the animal recovery unit staffed by licensed volunteers that utilize licensed, trained, leashed dogs to recover wounded game animals, reports that in an eight-year period, the organization has seen an increase of half eaten deer carcasses that have been ravaged by coyotes. Despite the damage done to the animal, the hunter must still utilize their big game tag. This action is prompting a request to take a closer look at tagging rules to account for this. This action would require law enforcement help or some additional legislation to allow for special additional permit issuances.

Dan Tone, another officer from the WNYEF group, reported that turkey sightings are also down in several areas, including Wyoming and Cattaraugus Counties. If the numbers continue to fall, the state may be forced to alter the fall hunting season to protect the hens, as the issue with the turkey population revolves around the hens, not the toms. Fall is when hens may be taken.

The warm spell opened up a steelhead bonanza on the City of Dunkirk Pier on Saturday. Fish On!

Calendar:

The “Con Club ” annual Chicken Barbecue fundraiser for the “Take-A-Kid-Fishing program will be on Sunday, Feb. 23.

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.

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

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 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.