Saturday's heavy rainfall, followed by strong north winds, will put offshore fishing on hold for awhile.
Look for a strong run of trout to be in area streams once the water levels subside and the water clarity improves. With an increase of water level like we have experienced, the fish may very well take the opportunity to run as far upstream as the level and barriers will permit.
This columnist took the opportunity to catch up on some reading Saturday and found an interesting article in the latest issue of the National Wildlife Federation titled "Living with Snakes" by Alexander V. Badyaev. The article deals with a complex relationship with ground squirrels, rattlesnakes and birds.
These bald eagles were spotted in?Northern Chautauqua County by an?OBSERVER reader.
The article is accompanied with some excellent photography and shows how a ground squirrel reacts when it finds a snake coiled up in hiding. It throws dirt and stones on top of the snake while chattering and waving it's tail. The snake will often remain still and accept it's new camouflage and wait for birds. The venomous snakes also use the new camouflage to keep from being hunted by birds of prey like road runners, hawks and owls. One more piece of information was the mature ground squirrels reportedly are immune to the rattlesnake venom while it's young offspring are not.
Further in the magazine is an article which might appeal to a larger audience. The story is titled "Thwarting Backyard Thieves" by Doreen Cuble. It deals with a variety of innovations that will impede squirrels from raiding your bird feeders.
Speaking of thieves, I recently heard a story about a landowner who had just put up a few brand new tree stands on his own property, only to find that someone had already stole them. With many cell phones equipped with cameras and video and camera equipment coming in a variety of sizes and price ranges, it might be a good idea to record any suspicious behavior you might encounter afloat or afield. Slob hunters and thieves make it tough to gain access to private land, so keep your eyes open. Enscribing your name with an engraving tool or a dremel tool could make a thief think twice, or speed up your recovery if a theft occurs. Keep a photocopy for your records for insurance purposes also.
Especially during hunting season, we hear a lot of interesting stories about someone's hunt, or close encounter of a wild kind. If you would like to share a story with our readers, feel free to give me a call at 366-1772 or 467-2079 or call the OBSERVER at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 5 p.m. Be sure to leave your name, a time to call and your phone number. If possible, I would prefer to take your photo so it will not be misplaced, or it contains all the necessary information. Avoid displaying blood, or the gut cavity, and remember to treat the fish or animal with respect. In a safe manner, display the weapon which was used to harvest the game. If game fish are the subject on a fishing trip, display the rod & reel outfit, whether fly rod, center pin, spinning gear.
Bow season opens up Oct. 1 in Western New York. There is still time to sign up for archery contests, but hurry. Also, the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will continue their non-perishable food collection "Hunters Helping the Hungry" during the Big Game hunting season. Club members are reminded to bring their canned goods to the club, for donation to be distributed during the Christmas holiday season. Thanks!
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host a 3-D target shoot today from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Adults at $10 and kids ages 13-17 shoot for $5. Any questions, call Rob at 485- 3773.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will also host a 200-yard rifle/gun shoot Sunday, Oct. 6, with registration from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Classes will be open sight and scope. Cash prizes will be awarded at the shoot. The format will be timed shooting with three rounds standing, three rounds prone, three rounds kneeling and one round off a bench. The scoring will be based on a point system. Call 485-3773 for more information.
Charles Alsheimer, renowned wildlife photographer/writer and editor of Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine, will return to our area to present his new video program "Whitetails, A Photographic Journey Through The Seasons." Alsheimer will be the guest speaker at the West Portland Baptist Church sportsmen's dinner, held at the Mission Meadows Camp located on Route 430 in Dewittville. This facility has a smaller capacity than the previous building, so the committee is limiting the tickets to 250 people. There will be a nominal fee of $5 per ticket. This event is likely to sell out, so the committee requests you order your tickets as soon as possible. To order, email WestPortlandBC@fairpoint.net or call 326-3417. The event is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 27. The doors will open at 5 p.m., with dinner served at 5:45 p.m., and the presentation around 7 p.m. A number of wild game specialties are usually available as well as some superb home cooking from the ladies on the committee. If you would like to bring a dish to pass, it would be appreciated. You can make your checks for this event payable to West Portland Baptist Church mailed to West Portland Baptist Church, 7081 E. Route 20, Westfield, N.Y. 14787.
The Ellery Snow Cruisers will present their 22nd annual Snowmobile outdoors sport show on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Village Casino, in Bemus Point, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The event will feature a live auction starting at 2 p.m., new vendors, Chinese auction, Music provided by the Harbor Knights from noon until 2 p.m., and raffles. for more information, go to www.ellerysno-cruisers.org
Free fly-tying and fly-fishing classes have resumed on Monday evenings at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, from 6-8 p.m. Fly tyers at all stages are invited to attend, from beginners to expert. The Monday night tyers will provide fly tying vises and all materials for anyone who would like to learn how to tie a fly or how to start fly fishing. Ken Hollander and Willie Fedrick, along with guest tyers, will provide the know how, in a safe, enjoyable facility located at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, on Mullet Street, in Dunkirk. Note: This group of fly tyers made their services available at the Great Lakes Experience, The NCCC's Take-A-Kid Fishing day and at the Chautauqua County Fair grounds in the Conservation Building. You get to keep what you tie and will receive one-on-one attention. No registration required, just show up!
Upcoming trapping classes - Falconer Rod & Gun Club located on the Buffalo Street extension in Falconer, Wednesday Sept. 25 from 6-10 p.m., returning on Friday Sept. 27 from 6-10 p.m. Register at first class. Limited to 30 students.
Trapping class at Westfield Fish & Game on Oct. 4 from 6-10 p.m., returning on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call Rich at 595-3917 for a work book. Limited to 35 students.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club trapping course will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
The Lake Erie Seaway Trail Center, on Route 5, in Hamburg, on October 24 will feature guest speaker Cameron Daboin, founder of the Greater Western New York Paranormal Society speaking on "Paranormal Activity" at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public and free.
The Annual Hunting Expo held at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, located at 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, contact Jim Buck at 569-6810 or visit www.yorkpennshows.com.
There will be a gun show at the Frewsburg Firemen's Rec Hall, 25 Hazzard St., in Frewsburg, on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. Call 569-6810 for more information.
The 48th annual Shooters Committee on Political Education (SCOPE) banquet will be held on Oct. 11, at Lucarelli's Banquet Center, which is located at 1830 Abbott Road, in Lackawanna. For more information on SCOPE and other events, go to scopeny.org/events.html
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.