The Chautauqua County Sportsmen Federation met at the beautiful Lakewood Rod & Gun Club on the shore of Chautauqua Lake Monday evening to celebrate and rekindle fond memories at the annual Harry Probst Memorial Dinner. Harry was a friend of sportsmen and was well-known locally as well as in Albany. He resided in Ripley and was a carpenter by trade. Probst knew how to build lasting friendships and mend fences between political opposites to achieve a common goal. The wooden structure over the NRG warm water discharge area - Probst Platform - was dedicated in his honor while he was still with us.
When he passed away a few years ago, he left a big pair of shoes to fill. Sinclairville resident Reid Johnson took over as acting president of the federation. Johnson was recognized for his work at a difficult time by newly elected president Zen Olow. Olow, acting in his own words as a "newbie," addressed the crowd and welcomed 160 guests to possibly the largest federation dinner ever. Representatives from surrounding counties, including Erie and Cattaraugus, complimented members of the Department of Environmental Conservation and supporting members of the Chautauqua County Federation. After an excellent dinner SCOPE President Steve Alstad addressed the pro-gun crowd with news on the on-going battle for gun owners' rights. He thanked those who supported the gun owners' recent March on Albany and cautioned us that there is still a long way to go. Remember to contact our legislators in support of gun rights often.
Jan Bobseine has been doing just that and, much more recently, she was instrumental in recruiting numerous new lifetime memberships to the National Rifle Association, generating thousands of dollars to help repeal the unjust legislation that was trying to pass through. Bobseine, the mother of five children who are all involved in the service or law enforcement, received the coveted Conservationist of the Year Award.
SCOPE President Steve Alstad, who addressed the crowd at the 2013 Harry Probst Memorial Dinner at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club April 15.
Federation President Zen Olow presenting the Conservation Club of the Year Award to Gary Huber, Gary Katta and Richard Schrantz of Deer Search.
Jan Bobseine receiving the Conservationist of the Year Award.
DEC Wildlife Technician Bob Lichorett, who was recognized for his dedicated years of service.
The Lakewood Rod & Gun Club presented their Recognition Award to club president Larry Dorler. The glowing recognition praised Dorler as "the best president this club has ever had."
Robert (Bob) Lichorett was cited for his long-term and dedicated service as a DEC wildlife technician.
Recently retired ENCON officer Dennis Gowan was also remembered for his numerous years of service. DEC Lieutenant Gary Bobseine, who is also retired, accepted Gowan's award.
The Conservation Club of the Year award went out to Deer Search. Deer Search is a not-for-profit organization whose members dedicate their time and energy assisting hunters in locating wounded big game that would otherwise go undetected. With the use of licensed, leashed and well-trained dogs, the members provide a last-ditch effort to assist hunters in locating their prize.
Next year's dinner goal is 200 attendees. If you or your club would like to join or get involved with the organization, call Olow at 640-2776 .
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club is back in action with their 3-D archery shoots. The club will host a shoot today from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The Bear Lake Rod &?Gun will also host a 3-D archery shoot on May 5 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. as well as Sunday, May 19. They will also offer a special night shoot, featuring raccoon targets, on Saturday, May 11 at 8 p.m. Watch for their special rifle shoot on June 9, featuring a 200-yard open rifle shoot from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.. For more information on these shoots or on the Bear Lake Club, call either Rob at 485-3773, Tom at 680-0209 or the club house at 595-3334. All shoots are open to the public.
The Bison City Rod & Gun Club will host their annual Hunting and Fishing Flea Market Saturday from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. Available tables are first come first served. The club is located at 511 Ohio St. Buffalo. Call Dick Hurd at 725-8805 for information.
The Lakeshore Longbeards, our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, will host their next meeting Tuesday at Liberty Vineyards on Route 20 in Sheridan. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. Note that if you are a paid member of the NWTF, you can purchase a bag of Round-Up ready-seed corn for $15 each. If any additional corn is still available, you might still be able to join the NWTF and purchase it at this low price.
Legal gun owners know well that they are facing some of the toughest gun legislation in our country's history and quite possibly illegal legislation, at that. Put your money to good use by investing in an organization that will always fight for your rights to keep and bear arms, the Friends of the NRA. They will be holding their annual fundraiser banquet at the American Legion Samuel Derby Post located at 4 Meadow Lane in Frewsburg Saturday. For tickets and information, call Tom Kelly at 736-4386.
The Jamestown Rifle Club will hold a pistol class April 28. You must be 21 years old and a resident of Chautauqua County to participate. The class begins at 1 p.m. and lasts about four hours. Call Pat Hayes at 484-9301 for information.
The Lander, Pa. Sportsmen's Show continues today. Call 814-757-9466 for information.
If your club is hosting a hunter safety training/archery/trapper/pistol course, turkey shoot or any outdoor-related event , call 366-1772 or 366-3000 ext. 5 after 5 p.m.
Just a reminder that all entries for the Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board Essay Contest should be submitted by April 26 to: CCSFAB, Office of the County Executive, Gerace Office Building, 3 North Erie St. Mayville, NY 14757.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Take A Kid Fishing Day is set for June 8. Sign-up sheets will be available at the Club on the weekends.
Saturday, June 15 marks the first time the Fish and Wildlife Festival will be held in Dunkirk. This event is a sister event to the one held in Buffalo since 2001. More information to come.
The Cassadaga Lakes Association will host their 20th annual Lew Mead Youth Fishing Tournament June 29 at the DEC boat launch on Dale Drive in Cassadaga from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. This event is free for all youth ages 16 and younger. If you would like to donate a door prize, volunteer or are looking for more information, call 595-3950
Several safe boating courses are being offered in the area. These New York state-approved classes are required for anyone between 10 and 18 years old to operate a motor boat and everyone age 14 and above to operate a personal watercraft like a jet ski. There is no pre-registration required for any of these courses. All registration will be done on site. Parents of attendees under the age of 18 must sign a release form. There is a course May 4 at the Cassadaga American Legion, 228 Maple Ave., Cassadaga. The course starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Bring a bagged lunch.
The course on May 11 will be at the Lawson Center, 73 Lakeside Dr., Bemus Point from is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with lunch provided.
On May 18, the course will be at Southwestern Middle School, 600 Hunt Road, Jamestown from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring a lunch.
Finally, on June 15, the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will host the course at 1 North Mullet St. The course is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with lunch provided. These courses are free to anyone ages 10 to 17. Those attendees age 18 and over will have to pay a $10 fee to New York State prior to receiving the certificate card.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist.
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