Cautionary tales of keeping wild life captive

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek This lively box turtle was on display at the Audubon Society.

I haven’t caught or seen any turtles in the wild in a long time. A few years ago, I spied a large snapping turtle trying to cross Route 20 in Irving. I signaled and pulled off the high way and carefully picked up the large turtle and put it in the back of my pick-up truck and released the reptile at the boat launch in Irving. Recently while attending a Chautauqua County Sportsmen Federation meeting at the Jamestown Audubon, I checked out some of the cool live exhibits including the turtles and fish that were on display. I still like frogs, turtles, snakes and reptiles.

An interesting article on the front page of the July 26, 2019 issue of NY Outdoor News got my attention, stating “Reptile Seizure case is the largest in state History.”

A 71 year old man from Allegany in Cattaraugus County is looking at a fine of over $100,000 and/or up to 33 years in prison. The guy had in his possession three live King cobras, Gila monsters, and numerous endangered species of turtles, including bog turtles, box turtles, Blanding’s turtles, snappers and spotted turtles. Wow! Can you imagine if any of his cobras got loose? It happens.

Check out Guardians of the Everglades on television for a look at what can go wrong when non-native species make it into an ecosystem. The characters of the Everglades series look for live boa constrictors, bare handed and sometimes bare footed that are capable of eating mature alligators. Like they say on the old “Laugh-IN” TV show, “Very interesting, but not funny!”

The walleye fishing on lake Erie has moved out to 65 to 100 feet of water. Most reports indicate the fish are scattered and do not show up in large groups on your electronics, but using 5 to 7 colors of lead core, dipsey diver presentations and downriggers will all help you get a limit of walleye. Rick Miller in Irving reports that the yellow perch fishing has improved out of the “Cat.” The last hot spot was in 51 feet of water. Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Stow reports that the walleye are still on the weedline at Chautauqua Lake, but seem to be moving to deeper water. Yellow perch and other panfish are active lake wide and large mouth bass and musky activity continue to improve. Skip did hear reports of lots of walleye being taken at North East Pa. with a 34 inch walleye reported.

Calendar: Aug. 23 and 24 are the dates for one of the last walleye tournaments locally. This event is Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge run by Jim and Diane Steel. Entry fee is $500 for the main event on Saturday and an additional $100 for the Big Fish Friday event. For more information contact Steel at 481-5348 or go to www.innovative-outdoors.com

The 43 annual Greater Niagara Fall Classic Fish Odyssey Derby, a multi species fishing event is Aug. 17-25. Kids fish free with $14,000 in prizes. Go to www.fishodyssey.net.

The Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Fall fishing derby is Aug. 16-Sept. 2. Go to www.loc.org.

Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge out of Dunkirk is Aug. 23-24. Contact Jim Steel at 481-5348 or go to www.innovative-outdoors.com.

There will be a Hunter Safety Training Course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Aug. 21 and 22 from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Two day attendance is mandatory. There will be a bow course at the Con Club on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The trapping course will be on Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

There will be a bow Course at the Westfield Fish & Game Club on Sept. 11 and 12, from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. There will be a Trapping Course at the Falconer Rod & Gun Club on Sept. 25 and 27, from 5:30 p.m. until 10. For more information Call Gary at 366-3397.

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, 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 sports@observertoday.com

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