By RON KOLODZIEJ
For the Recorder
So far, five states have contacted the parent company of Remington Arms in Ilion, extolling their virtues as Second Amendment-friendly, business-friendly locations should the company decide to leave New York State. This flurry of courtships came immediately after Governor Cuomo announced his highly touted but unpopular and abortive, "toughest gun control laws in the nation," the SAFE Act.
Not knowing what impact the act might have on Remington's business, at last count, lawmakers from Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and South Carolina have sent such letters. In and of itself, it's not unusual for other states to send such letters to manufacturers occasionally but this time there's an increasingly cogent reason for doing so. Though the letters do not mention specific economic incentives for moving to their states, the letters leave the door open by asking Remington's parent company to contact the respective state's economic development offices. This has been described as "horrific news" by the unions representing Remington's manufacturing employees, saying, "This is the worst situation we've been in as far as other states wanting to lure us away."
Since 2009, New York State has given Remington $5.4 million to expand and consolidate operations in Ilion but that alone would not keep the company in the state because it's likely they could receive even more from some other state if they decided to move.
Can you imagine what that would do to the economy in the Mohawk Valley generally, and in Ilion specifically? Remington makes several types of rifles at the Ilion plant.
ICE FISHING CONTESTS
The Fish House Fish and Game Club contest is being conducted right now and the fishing hours will be 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Three prizes will be awarded in each of three categories -- walleye, northern pike and perch -- for a total prize package of $1,850. Free coffee and chili will be served at the weigh station from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The weigh station and contest headquarters will be located a quarter-mile north of Fish House Corners, at the Town of Providence parking area on County Road 110. I'll have the results of this contest in next week's column.
Next weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 16, you can participate in the Reid Hill Fish & Game Club's Third Annual Ice Fishing Contest on Great Sacandaga Lake. This event will be headquartered at Wally's Driftwood Park Marina and the entry fee is $15 for early registrants or $20 the day of the contest. Early registrations will be accepted until 7 p.m. on Friday. There will be an 80 percent payback in prize money, with 20 percent of the entry pool going toward the club's expenses for conducting the annual Kid's Fishing Derby at the Perthshire every May.
The ice fishing contest hours will be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and prizes will be awarded for the largest trout, northern pike, walleye and perch. The number of prizes and the dollar value of each one will depend upon the number of persons registered. For additional information or an entry form you can visit Ross' Bait Shop in Hagaman, Jim's Bait Shop in Mayfield, Driftwood Park Marina in Mayfield, Tuman's Tavern in Amsterdam, Fuel & Food Store in Mayfield, Dave's Bait & Tackle in Mayfield. Loopie's Pub in Tribes Hill or Post 701 in Amsterdam. You can also call Ray at 843-3452, Penny at 843-0186 or Ed at 842-5456.
That weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16 and 17, you can also attend the two-day eighth annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show at the Johnstown Moose Club on Route 30A. There are loads of displays, seminars and vendor exhibits planned for this event. as well as authors and industry experts who will also be on hand. Brian Gosselin, representing the Northern Sasquatch Research Society will tell attendees about his 1976 encounter with a Sasquatch-like creature. Also on hand will be Alice Peck who has authored a fascinating book entitled "Peck's Lake in the Adirondacks." In this new book, Alice takes you through an interesting, all-inclusive history of the lake and chronicles her family's longtime stewardship of the surrounding area. She will also be signing copies of the book.
Door prizes of hunting and fishing gear will be drawn throughout both days of the event. In addition, the "Take Me Fishing & Hunting Raffle" will be taking place with prizes consisting of guided hunting and fishing trips. The drawing of these prizes will occur near 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, the final day of the two-day show.
Admission fees are $5 for adults and $1 for youngsters 15 and under. Show hours on Saturday, Feb. 16 are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information you can go to www.adkshows.com on the web or you can call Mike Hauser, Show Director at 725-5565.
Dave Allen, proprietor of Dave's Bait and Tackle Shop, on Bunker Hill Road, Mayfield has announced the results of his monthly ice fishing contest for January.
Chris Stankes of Northville took top honors in the walleye division with a 27 1/2 incher, followed by Don Scavig of Rotterdam with a 22 1/8 incher and Chris Stankas again, with a 22 incher.
John Hodgson of Mayfield took first and second places in the northern pike division with a 33 incher and a 32 incher.
In the yellow perch division of the event, Justin Cooper of Northville took all three spots with a 15 incher, a 14 incher and a 13 5/8 incher.
For more info on this monthly contest, or on ice fishing in general, you can call Dave's Bait and Tackle at 863-8318.
ITEMS OF INTEREST
A gun rights rally has been scheduled for this coming Tuesday beginning at 8 a.m., with speakers between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. This event will be held at Capitol Park (West) in Albany, at Washington Avenue and North Hawk Street.
Another pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment rally has also been scheduled for 10:30 a.m., on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Well in the Legislative Office Building in Albany. Similar events are also scheduled for Suffolk County and Buffalo.
Regardless of what side of the fence you're on, attend one of these rallies, meet your legislators and express your opinion.
The snow goose season has now reopened in New York State and will remain open through April 15. Snow goose populations have increased exponentially throughout their range in recent years and the Department of Environmental Conservation is hoping hunters can reduce that population at least a bit.
According to the agency, the expanded special season will increase hunter opportunity to harvest snow geese throughout the winter and early spring, when they are most abundant here in New York. The special season was established in 2008 to help reduce environmental damage caused by the overabundance of snow geese in eastern North America. Snow geese are an arctic breeding goose species that has reached record high population levels in North America in recent years -- from approximately 50,000 birds in the 1960s to more than 1 million birds in recent years.
Wildlife agencies, ecologists and environmental organizations have expressed concern about the impacts that overabundant snow geese are having on arctic ecosystems, coastal wetlands and agricultural crops. In response to those concerns, federal hunting regulations were liberalized in 2008, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service adopted a conservation order allowing states in the Atlantic Flyway to implement special snow goose harvest programs in addition to its regular hunting seasons. Based on guidance from USFWS, DEC decided to have one continuous season this year.
The special, extended season includes a bag limit of 25 snow geese per day. Hunters are also allowed to use electronic calls and unplugged guns, shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, when no co-occurring open season exists for other migratory waterfowl. The special program does not include Long Island because relatively few snow geese occur in that region of the state during spring. However, you must still use non-toxic shot, have a valid federal duck stamp and a current HIP (Harvest Information Program) number.
Snow geese are sporadic visitors to this area -- their primary flyway is a bit west of here -- but they do come through annually. Normally, snow goose hunting is a pleasant by-product of Canada goose hunting but occasionally, this year included, they come through in larger numbers and offer an excellent and exciting Spring hunting opportunity on their own.
While we're on the subject of coming events, you'll want to know that the annual banquet of the Mohawk Valley Sharp Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will still be held on Thursday evening, March 16 but due to a scheduling conflict the location has been changed from the Perthshire on Route 30 in Perth to Valentino's Restaurant on Route 5 in Cranesville. The remainder of the schedule for that evening also remains the same. The doors will be open at 6 p.m., with dinner scheduled for 7:30 p.m. For additional information you can call Mike Auriemma at 843-2432.