Deer, skunk, fox, squirrel population on the rise

Attending the meetings of the Lakeshore Longbeards, our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, is always a good time – especially the discussions that take place after the main agenda is covered.

All the committee members are avid outdoors men, and Tuesday, the discussion turned to the numerous young deer that are being sighted everywhere.

Bob Turk, who operates a deer farm on Route 20, commented he and his wife Judi received numerous phone calls from people who encountered fawns on their property, and what should they do with them.

“Leave them be,” he said.

Most likely, their mother is nearby keeping an eye on them, and if humans interfere, they may abandon the young. The same goes for all young wildlife. Other wildlife populations that seem to be on the rise this year include fox, skunks, squirrels inside the city limits, Canadian geese and mallards. Turkey numbers seem to be down again.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced this weekend is Free Fishing for New York residents and visitors. You will not be required to have a fishing license to fish in New York’s 7,5000 lakes or ponds or more than 50,000 miles of rivers and streams throughout the state this weekend. Enjoy! The weather is supposed to be beautiful.

Remember the free Lew Mead Memorial fishing contest on Cassadaga Lake is this Saturday.

According to the fishing report given by one of our most respected authorities on yellow perch, last Friday was a good day for “catching not fishing.” Most everyone who was out in the Dunkirk perch grounds limited out. However, Saturday was a reversal of good fortune as the wind turned into a north east and shut the bite down. Emerald shiners moved into the shallows over the weekend and into the early part of the week, and the perch bite seemed to shut down locally. Rick Miller in Irving reported a number of anglers did well fishing for perch off the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek during the weekend. Again, the questionable weather reports are keeping a lot of anglers on shore, with the threat of thunderstorms and severe winds and rain. Miller reports walleye have been caught in about 65 feet of water fishing west of the “Cat” by St. Columbians.

Walleye catching has also been tough with limit catches reported out of Dunkirk in 70 feet of water on Saturday and a lot of head scratching and searching the next day. Again the wind seemed to be the culprit.

One of the “Hot Lures” reported out of the Sturgeon Point area for walleye has been the 3-D worm harnesses in Nuclear black.

Skip Bianco reported taking first place in the small mouth bass division during an all species event held last Saturday on Chautauqua Lake. Bianco’s catch measured 21 inches and weighed an approximate six pounds. Warner Bar and Victoria have been producing some big yellow perch and good bass fishing and musky anglers have been connecting with fish on the north end, on the weed lines and at the south end the fish are suspended about six feet down. Salmo’s in perch color are hot and jerk baits like raptors are also good


The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host 3-D archery shoots on July 13, Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot on Sept. 21. New members are welcome and the club’s monthly meetings are on the first Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. They start the meeting off with a hot meal, so come hungry.

The Lakeshore Longbeards, our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, July 08 at 7 p.m., at Liberty Vineyards, which is located on Route 20, in Sheridan. The agenda will focus on the Youth Day event called JAKES Day, which will be held on Saturday, July 19 at the Westfield Fish & Game Club located on Ogden Road in Westfield. The meeting is open to the public.

The Cassadaga Lakes Association will be holding its 21st annual Lew Mead Youth Fishing Tournament this Saturday, June 28, at the DEC boat launch on Dale Drive, Cassadaga from 7 until 11:30 a.m. The contest is free and open to youths 16 years of age and under. Sign up at the DEC boat launch site before fishing. Youths up to the age of 16 years of age are eligible.

Our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, The Lakeshore Longbeards will be presenting a Youth day event called JAKES Day on July 19. Sign in starts at 9 a.m. and the groups will visit various learning stations located at the Westfield Fish & Game Club located on Ogden Road in Westfield. Youngsters must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and there is a $10 fee which will cover membership in the NWTF, the cost of a t -shirt, lunch for the kids and guardians as well as turkey box calls and other goodies. To sign up call Bob & Judi Turk at 934 4538. Same day sign- in is also available but makes accurate planning difficult. The Longbeards are also looking for volunteers to dispense food, and general assistance. Thanks!

There will be a two day gun safety course at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club on July 10 & 11 from 5 until 10 p.m. You must register on the DEC website to attend this course.

There will be a Pistol Course on August 16th at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Note that the price for attending these courses is now set by the county, and is now $75. Pre-sign for the course by calling Gary at 366-3397

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. I also am available to take photos and hear your success stories by calling 366-1772 or 467-2079.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to