Free lifetime license winners named

Photo by Gene Pauszek Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello selects one of the winners for the Free Lifetime License Giveaway sponsored by the Chautauqua County Sportsmen Federation and Friends.

Monday night fly tying at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club had a few extra visitors last week.

Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello was the invited guest of Zen Olow, who is the president of The Chautauqua County Federation of Sportsmens Clubs. Olow is heavily involved in numerous other organizations with the best interests of the hunting and fishing/trapping fraternity, too. On Monday the group’s mission was to select the winners of the annual Free Lifetime Sportsmen Fishing and Hunting License Giveaway, for Chautauqua County youths.

This program was made possible by concerned persons and organizations who donated, goods, services, funding and their time to make this effort another huge success. This year, $7,000 was generated to fuel the program. Lifetime licenses are expensive, and the price tag escalates as the youths get older. For instance, for newborns up to the age of four, the licenses cost over $300, ages 5 to 12 cost over $500 and the next group is over $700.

Olow and his committee hand out free applications year round at many of the rod and gun clubs, at various stores, and especially at the Conservation Building during the Chautauqua County Fair. The only stipulation to win is the youths must be a resident of Chautauqua County, and be under 18 years of age. The license is non-transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash value.

This year’s winners were: Kaelynn Cunningham won the Fannie Graham Memorial license, then Brant Joy and Parker Howlett. Louie Dolce was selected as an alternate. In the next age group, the winners were: Stefina Szumigala, Victoria Tate, Brian Schrantz, David Frost, Levi Graham, Copra Stahram, Nathan Graham, Quinn Putnam and Austin Eckman. The two alternate selections were: Jackson Gollnatz and Sean Strons. In the final age group the winners were: Bensam Schrader and Jeffery DeYoung. The alternate was Dylan DeJesus-Skelly. The middle age group had the most selections due to that group having the most entries.

Rosemary Olow commented that a published survey indicated that youths tend to lose interest in the outdoors as they get older due to homework, inclement weather conditions, and other activities. Chautauqua County, together with Erie County, has given away 100 lifetime licenses in the span of a few years. The Sportsmen consider it a wise investment in the future of our youth and our outdoor programs. Congratulations!


The next gun show is on March 17-18 at the Harborcreek Fire Department Social Hall, located at 7275 Buffalo Road, U.S. Route 20 (located between North East, Pa. and Harborcreek, Pa.)

The Eastern Lake Erie Charter Association will be having a meeting on Friday, March 23, starting at 7 p.m. at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. Topics covered will include: Volunteers needed for Friday, June 29 for the WNY Heroes Fishing (disabled veterans), The Innovative Fishing Tournament at Chadwick Bay Marina on Aug. 24-25, VIP day fishing on Aug. 8, and more.

There will be a free Hunter Safety Training course at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club on March 28 and 29 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Two day attendance mandatory. Call Vince Luce at 753-6347 for registration information, or go to the DEC email address.

There will be a free hunter safety course at the Con Club on April 18 and 19 from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Two day attendance. Call Gary at 366-3397 for information.

On April 14-15, there will be a gun show at Ashtabula County Fair Grounds at the Expo Center Building, located at 127 North Elm St., Jefferson, Ohio. For more information, contact Larry Spicer at 792-9972 or email

The Western New York Sport & Travel Expo held at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg will be a four day event from March 8-11. Check out for more information.

Billed as New York’s longest running tackle show, The Lockport NY 2018 Icebreakers will be held at the Elks Lodge, located at 6791 Canal Road, Lockport, on Saturday, March 24 from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. This is a great place to see old tackle, and connect with people involved with buying and selling antique fishing gear. For more info call Dan Bedford at 713-9410 or email

The first annual Lake Erie Outdoor & Fishing Show is scheduled for April 21 at the Clarion Hotel Marina and Conference Center from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. They are still looking for vendors. Call 366-3000 ext. 420 or email

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 in 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 are Wednesday 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

The Great Lakes Experience Festival in Dunkirk will return this year on June 9 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The event will once again be held in Memorial Park. More details at a later date. 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 St., Dunkirk, NY 14048, or call the sports department 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 email