Welcome to the month of May. One of the busiest months of the year for the outdoors-minded person.
You have spring turkey season, walleye season opening statewide, the lunker bass season on Lake Erie, crappie fishing ready to bust open, a trout and salmon feeding frenzy on Lake Ontario, bullheads and catfish on the prowl, yellow perch fishing ready to get started any day now and only 24 hours in a day.
Add to the fact that a lot of these activities may be impacted by an extended winter, there should be a lot of action in the next few weeks.
At top left is Fredonia resident Giovani Russo, who bagged his first turkey on Opening Day of Youth Turkey Season.
At top right, Richard Pchelka recently caught a trio of catfish in the Cattaraugus Creek.
Above is 12-year-old Devin Battin-Haskell with his first Spring Turkey.
Readers should note that there were a bunch of success stories from the youth turkey hunt weekend and there is a limited amount of space to publish the photos, so I will put them in my column whenever possible. Please be patient!
Devin Battin-Haskell found first-year success while hunting with Kenton Knapp in Stockton last Sunday.
The duo were set up before dawn with a few dekes and Knopp worked his sweet-talking magic on a mouth call when the amorous tom made his appearance. Devin stayed in control and tipped the big bird over with one shot from his 20-gauge Remington 870.
Devin's first bird will be hard to beat as the tom weighed in at 25 pounds sporting an 8-1/4-inch beard and 1-1/4-inch spurs.
Fredonia resident Giovani Russo, another 12-year-old hunter, also had good fortune last Saturday.
The submitted information reported that Giovani took the tom at 32 yards with one shot. His bird weighed 20 pounds and sported a 9-inch beard and 1-1/4-inch long spurs. Lady luck was with Giovani as he had to pass up a shot at a smaller, younger jake that didn't present a close enough shot. Congratulations!
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club, would like to thank all the people who attended their first annual flea market, which was held on Saturday, a success.
The rain held off for most of the day with a stream of people providing interest for the vendors. Their monthly meeting is today at 4 p.m. at the club house and new applications are being accepted. The public is invited.
This cold weather and precipitation will keep the trout active as well as lots of bait in local streams, probably for the next few weeks. Enjoy!
There will be several benefits for Brian Noody, the owner of WestWind Archery/Taxidermy, who suffered a devastating property loss due to fire. Events are starting at 1 p.m. today.
The Nickel Plate Depot will host a spaghetti dinner that will include a Chinese auction, big-ticket raffle items, live entertainment, auction, photo booth, fun bike run and more. For information, contact Ashley Dumas at 680-8384 or 597-6953.
Application forms for the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club's Take-A-Kid Fishing Day, on June 7, are available now at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club.
The Chautauqua County Committee Friends of the NRA announced they will present their 19th annual banquet on Saturday, May 10, at the Samuel Derby Post located in Frewsburg.
The doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner, and will be followed by live and silent auction items, as well as drawings and numerous door prizes featuring wildlife art, shooting accessories and NRA specialty items.
Point Blank Outdoors, a group of local outdoorsmen, will appear on the sportsmen's channel in May with film footage from the Dunkirk area.
The show will air Saturday, May 10, at 7:30 a.m., Monday, May 12, at 1 p.m., and Friday, May 16, at 4 p.m.
The Bear Lake Club will hold a trail camera contest May 18 and Sept. 14. Send pictures to the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club, P.O. Box 151 Stockton, N.Y. 14784, or bring your pictures to the club the day of the contest. Entry fee is $5 per photo.
You can enter new and old photos and the public is invited to attend to help vote on the winners.
For more information, contact Tom Kessler at 680-0209 or Tim Abbey at 792-6519.
The Bear Lake Club will host 3-D archery shoots May 18, May 25, June 22, July 13, Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot June 8 and 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 with a hot meal, so come hungry.
Southtowns Walleye will host a one-day yellow perch contest on May 17 for $10 per entry. Cash prizes, free perch dinner and lots of fun are on the agenda. Participants must be a member.
Southtown Walleye's annual walleye tournament is June 7-14. Must be a member and there is a $35 entry per contestant. Note that there will be numerous prize giveaways at the monthly meetings in May and June for members entered in the walleye tournament. Be sure to bring your tournament form or sign up at the May meeting.
Southtowns Walleye will also host a chicken barbecue on Saturday, May 10, from 4-7 p.m. The barbecue is open to the public.
The Cassadaga Lakes Association will be holding their 21st Annual Lew Mead Youth Fishing Tournament on Saturday, June 28, at the DEC boat launch on Dale Drive, in 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 site before fishing. More information will be published at a later date.
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.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.