One of the most pleasant pastimes of area readers is watching for wildlife during the change of seasons.
The back drop of white from a recent snowfall makes sightings a little easier sometimes. I enjoy looking for deer and wild turkeys as well as smaller song birds, especially if I'm the passenger, not the driver.
On a recent trip to Jamestown, along the roads less traveled, my friend Zen Olow and myself saw a bald eagle perched on a tree limb over some open water on Chautauqua Lake. We also saw a large flock of turkeys along Route 394. One flock had to have at least 50 birds and a few 100 yards further we saw a smaller flock of about a dozen. It was cool!
OBSERVER?Photo by Gene Pauszek
Wild Turkeys are easier to spot with a backdrop of snow.
Emilio Rende, who works for the Department of Environmental Conservation, also shares a passion for wild turkeys. He is asking readers to participate in the annual winter flock survey which runs from January until March 31. Information can be found on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48756.html.
The DEC is also initiating a turkey trapping project this winter. They would like to band hens in the region to determine hunting and survival rates. If you are a land owner and would like to participate, call 372-0645.
Last year, the DEC received 629 reports totaling close to 10,000 birds. That was about a 2 percent decrease from the 2011 sightings. During a committee meeting with National Wild Turkey Federation director Marty Huber, we learned the NWTF with the help of it's members hope to concentrate on providing more sustainable habitat for the turkey population in the near future. If you would like to get involved, read the Calendar for NWTF activities.
They are back! Willie Fedrick, Ken Holendar, Monte Kennedy, and the rest of the fly tying group will be back again on Monday evenings (6-8 p.m.) at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. The Con Club Fly Tyers have all the equipment you will need to learn how to tie your own flies. No matter what level you are at from beginner to advanced, you can come and have a good time - and it's all FREE. They will provide the vises, hooks and fly tying material. Youngsters accompanied by a parent or guardian are most certainly welcome. See You there!
There will be a gun show at the Westfield VFD Exempts Building, located at 75 Bourne St., Westfield on Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Jan. 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, call Jim Buck at 569-6810.
The Sportsman's Show at the Seneca Allegany Events Center (I-86- Exit 20) will be Feb. 16 -17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Go to www.yorkpennshows.com for more information.
The NYS Region 9 Erie County Trappers Association Fur Auction will be on Saturday, Feb. 2 at S&S Taxidermy & Archery Pro Shop, located at 455 South Cascade Drive (Route 219) Springville. For more information, call 592-2404.
Fur check in time is from 8 a.m. Auction time at 10 a.m. There is a 5 percent commission fee for all sellers. Food will be available from the Boy Scouts. For more information, call Patti at 337-2556.
On Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Southtowns Walleye Hall, there will be a flea market-type sale of used fishing and hunting equipment, with free parking, free entry and food and drinks available. Tables are $20, with reservations due by Jan. 17. Call 649-8202 for information.
A six-week fly tying class will begin on Jan. 23, at the Lake Shore Central Middle School on Erie Road, in Angola, from 6:30-9 p.m. All equipment is provided and you will learn all aspects of the sport. The course is taught by Ray Marks with the federation of Fly Fishers. Enroll at Lake Shore Community Education at 926-2270, or call Marks at 549-1977 for more information. The course fee is $48 plus a lab fee of $10. payable on the first day of class.
The local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Lakeshore Longbeards, will hold their annual membership /fundraiser banquet on Feb. 9, at the Kosciuszko Club, in Dunkirk. The Long Beards are als looking for Scholarship submissions from all local high school seniors. For more information, find the National Wild Turkey Federation online, and look for scholarship information. The deadline for scholarship submission to be eligible for statewide and national awards is Jan. 15, 2013.
Announcing the NYS Ice Pro-Am Tournament Series: There are three Main Tournament Events scheduled (If the ice cooperates). The first was on Tupper Lake, from Jan. 4-6. The second is on Chautauqua Lake, and is scheduled for Feb. 15-17. The final event is on Sodus Bay, from Feb. 22-24. There are three divisions: Professional (1-2 anglers per team). The entry fee is $160 per team. There will also be an Amateur Division, which will be for singles or pairs. The entry fee is at $90 per team. The Open Division, which is for single anglers, is the final division. The entry fee is $40. Check the official tournament website at www.NYSiceproam.com. The official Tournament email address is info@FK sportfishing.com.
The Northern Chautauqua Beagle Club will host its annual rabbit hunt TODAY The hunt is open to all area hunters. You can enter the day of the event at the club house located 8455 Fredonia Stockton Road in Fredonia from 6-8 a.m. Entry fee is $5. Awards and hot food available at the club around 3 p.m. For information, call Pete Criscione at 366-8989, Liz Dorman at 595- 3993 and John Depew at 789-5522.
For those of you interested in taking a NYS Pistol Permit Class, there will be one held locally on Jan. 26 from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. For information, call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.
The Jamestown Rifle club will hold Pistol classes on Jan. 27, Feb. 24, March 24 and April 28. You must be 21 years of age and a resident of Chautauqua County. All classes begin at 1 p.m. and last around four hours. Call Pat Hayes at 484-9301 for information.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.