Longbeards celebrate at 20th annual fundraiser

Sportsman’s Journal

Photo by Gene Pauszek Regional Director of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Marty Huber and the local chapter of the Lakeshore Longbeards held another successful banquet on Saturday in Dunkirk.

Our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation — called the Lakeshore Longbeards — celebrated their 20th annual fundraiser banquet on Saturday, at the Kosciuszko Club, located on Nevins Street in Dunkirk. With dedicated committee members following the lead of Chairman Scott Dibble and Eastern Regional Director Marty Huber, they were able to enlist the aide of numerous dedicated turkey hunters from around the area to raise funds, to help preserve Habitat for area wildlife.

The focus of the effort is wild turkey, but other species also benefit. The crew has also sponsored a Youth education campaign titled “Jake’s Day” for most of those 20 years that gave youngsters a hands on look at the outdoors, that they may have only seen on T.V. or their computer/phone. Without the support of sponsors and those who attend the dinners, these programs would not be possible. Committee members have come and gone through out the years, but the stalwarts of the group have been Huber and Dibble, Gary Dudek, Rich Lazarczyk, Bob Turk and his son Robert Jr., Gary Burmaster and Leroy Franklin.

Gary Huber will be leaving his position as Regional Director on Jan. 12, 2019. Someone new will take over, they usually do. What will be needed is some new faces to help take on the work load of those other Longbeards, who are turning into “gray beards” if you get my drift. Twenty Years of great work is something to be proud of, so thank all of you who made it possible. Dare I say, “Dilly, dilly!”

At the last meeting of the Western New York Environmental Federation, NYSDEC Ken Baginski commented that the early reports on the 2017 deer harvest indicate that in the Southern Zone the deer take was up by roughly 11 percent.

The season had a slow start but improved as the season wore on. There were some nice bucks harvested in our area also. Fur Bearer surveys are ongoing, and there have been confirmed reports of otters now in every county. There have also been a number of snowy owl sightings. The bear harvest statewide was down, with a report of 132 in our region.which is an increase from last year. The bear did not den up early this year, due to the warm weather. Three bears were legally harvested in Letchworth Park this year. Allegheny State Park was half open to rifle/pistol hunting and Sunday hunting this year. They will evaluate the other side (Quaker) for further future expansion. Evangola State park is also seeking information on a similar program.


Our local chapter of Duck’s Unlimited will be holding their annual membership/fund raiser banquet on Feb. 24 at the Beaver Club. There are about 25 tickets left. Contact Ron Romance or any committee members soon.

The Friends of the NRA will be holding their banquet also on February 24 at the American Legion Samuel Derby Post 556, located at 9 Meadow Lane, Frewsburg. Dinner is from 5-6:30 p.m. For more information contact Jennifer Schmitt at (716) 487-2487 or log on chautauquacountyfriendsofnra@yahoo.com.

The Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor EXPO will be held on Jan. 19 at the Conference and Events Center in Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St. Niagara Falls, NY 14303. This event is geared towards anglers who love fishing the Great Lakes. For more information visit : www.NiagaraFishingExpo.com.

On Jan. 27-28 there will be a gun show at Conneaut Lake, Pa., at the Conneaut Lake Sportsmans Association located at 11861 Sportsman Road (off Route 18).Conneaut Lake PA. 16316. Show hours are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for Adults and Children under 12 years of age FREE with an adult. The next Gun Show is on March 03 and 04 at Hickory Post VFW located at 5550 East State Street US Rt 62 East of PA 18- West of Mercer on 62 Hermitage PA.

Another Gun Show will be on March 17 & 18 at the Harborcreek Fire Dept. Social Hall located at 7275 Buffalo Road, US Rt 20 (located between North East PA and Harborcreek PA. 16421.

On April 14 and 15, there will be a gun show at Ashtabula County Fair Grounds at the Expo Center Building located at 127 North Elm St. Jefferson, Ohio 44047. For more information, tables etc, contact Larry Spicer at (716) 792-9972 e-mail LRgunshows@gmail.com

Monday night, free fly tying courses at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club are from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Tying vises, instruction and materials are all provided free. No registration is necessary. The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club is located on Mullet Street Dunkirk. Turn towards the lake at the Country Fair store located on Lakeshore Drive west (Route 5)

The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program will be starting its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. Classes will be on Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com.

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or any other outdoors event, and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second Street, Dunkirk, N.Y. 14048, or call the sports dept. at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.

Note: If you have a big-game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000, ext. 5, after 6 p.m. or e-mail Sports@observertoday.com.