Deer may be hard to find

Sportsman’s Journal

Ian Riedesel, 15, of Mayville was hunting with family and a friend opening day when he got his first buck, an 8-point in Portland on family property. Submitted Photo.

It’s nice weather if you are a duck. Wind, rain, snow and sleet near freezing temperatures, lots of open water and plenty of cut corn fields all make for a late duck season that’s a waterfowler’s dream. Usually, the Dunkirk Harbor would be a primary duck hunting spot, especially when the smaller bodies of water become ice-covered, but with fluctuating temperatures keeping hard water conditions at bay, there are plenty of areas to hunt.

Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Stow said that Chautauqua Lake is loaded with a wide variety of waterfowl. Even if you don’t hunt ducks, a leisure ride around the big inland lake will exhibit a wide variety of ducks and geese, so be sure to take your binoculars. Skip did say that there has not been a lot of fishing effort lately. Weekends draw the out-of-town crowd pursuing walleye. They can be found either on the edges or entrenched in the deeper holes.

The shoreline continues to offer a steady yellow perch bite, too. Rick Miller in Irving said that Cattaraugus Creek has been muddy and fast recently, so anglers have been doing better on trout in the smaller hard bottom creeks, like Silver Creek and Walnut Creek. Chautauqua Creek has also seen a lot of fish and fishing activity at times. There has not been much action in Dunkirk lately.

A lot of deer hunters have had success filling their venison tags, but this is traditionally the time of year when it can be hard for some hunters to find their prey. Almost every deer hunting publication from all points of North America will tell us that once the season starts, most deer will head for the thickest, nastiest, most out-of-the-way deer cover they can find. They will also stay on the fringe of the city and towns, or on “Posted” property. Waiting all day in a tree stand doesn’t always work now. Small co-ordinated deer drives, stalking or watching food sources before or after a storm front seem to be a better option. Being lucky doesn’t hurt either. Hunt safe!

Calendar: The Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association will be having a meeting at 7 p.m. at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Friday. It is open to the public.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will once again be hosting a Hunters helping the Hungry program. Members of the Con. Club are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the club on Tuesdays during the hunting season. All food and monetary donations will then be turned over to our local charities for distribution to the needy prior to Christmas. Time is running out! Help make someone’s holiday a little happier. Put a few cans of food in your vehicle today.

Our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will be meeting on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at Liberty Vineyards located in Sheridan on Route 20. Agenda will include finalizing plans for the membership/fundraiser banquet to be held in January at the Koscuisko Club in Dunkirk. The meeting is open to the public.

The Western New York Safari Club Will host their 25th annual game dinner on Friday, Dec. 13 at Michael’s Banquet Facility located at 4885 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg. The doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. There is a $45 donation. For information call Terry at 472-2380.

Duck Season in our area (Western Zone) is a split season, that re-opened Nov. 30 until Jan. 5. Canada Goose season for our area, which is considered the South, is from Oct. 26 to Jan. 13, with a daily bag limit of five geese per day.

Upcoming gun shows include: Dec. 14-15 at the Harbor Creek Fire Dept Social Hall located at 7275 Buffalo Road – US Route 20 (located between North East, PA and Harborcreek, PA. Shows are from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Adults are $5 and children under the age of 12 are free. For more information contact Larry Spicer at (716) 792-9972 or go to LRgunshows@gmail.com or website LRsportingevents.com.

Children of the Stream will present weekly free fly-tying classes every Tuesday from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. in the Costello Room in the Rockefeller Art Center at the State University of New York Fredonia, starting Aug. 27. Children ages 12 and up, including adults are welcome and encouraged to attend. All tools and material will be provided for free.

On Jan. 4, 2020, the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club will be sponsoring free fly tying classes for youths and adults. Theses courses will be absolutely free. All materials and equipment will be provided. These FREE classes will continue for the next three Saturdays at the Lakewood Club from 9 a.m. until noon. Free pizzas and beverages will also be provided. Instruction will be provided by the mentors from Kids On the Fly. You are invited.

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.