By RON KOLODZIEJ
For the Recorder
As promised in last week's column, here's some additional information on the annual ice fishing contest sponsored by the Fish House Fish and Game Club.
That event will be held on Saturday, February 9, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be headquartered at the Town of Providence parking area on Route 110, 1/4 mile north of Fishhouse Corners. The weigh station at that location will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. the day of the event and you can fish anywhere on the lake. The entry fee is $20 for early-entries or $25 the morning of the event. Free chili and coffee will also be served at the weigh station tent from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The prize structure is as follows: For walleyes, prizes of $500, $250 and $100 will be awarded; for northern pike, $250, $150 and $100; and for perch $250, $150 and $100. The prizes will be awarded at the weigh station promptly at 4 p.m. There will also be a free drawing for a power auger.
Entry forms are available at many lake-area businesses or you can also enter at the above-cited parking area the day of the event. All mailed-in entries must be received by Friday, February 8. If you prefer to enter by mail, the entry form can be mailed to: Thomas Ferguson, 7420 Fishhouse Road, Broadalbin, NY 12025. Last winter this event attracted 137 registrants.
Here are a few more successful local and area buck takers. Mike Marzullo bagged a 150-pound 8 pointer; Joe Duffy took a 93-pound 4 pointer; and Matt Bramer took a 153-pound 7 pointer. George Steele of Amsterdam lucked out with a doe and a buck (7-pointer) within minutes of each other while hunting his property in the Town of Florida on Saturday, November 24. He bagged the doe first and then the buck, 20 feet beyond, when it came running to see what all the ruckus was about. George is scheduled for some shoulder surgery soon so this was truly a fortuitous hunt.
There are scant days left in this year's edition of the regular big game seasons. The northern zone regular season closes tomorrow, December 2, at sundown and the southern zone regular season closes next Sunday, December 9, also at sundown. The late bowhunting season and the muzzleloader season in the southern zone runs from December 10 to December 18. There's still time, though not much of it, to get that big buck.
The Department of Environmental Conservation will soon be able to begin assembling the data needed to come up with a total figure for the NYS seasons. Normally they prepare tentative numbers sometime in late December or early January and then release the official, final tally some time in February or so. I'll have those numbers for you as soon as they're released by DEC. I'll also have the results of several local and area big game contests in the next several weeks.
TRIBES HILL F & G CLUB
The Tribes Hill Fish & Game Club has been in existence since 1954 and for the past year or so the members of the group have been considering an expansion and revitalization of their range facility on Antlers Road, near the intersection with Route 5 in Ft. Johnson. Working carefully and deliberately for the past year or so, the club is now about 1/3 of the way through their project and recently completed the building of a club house on the range property. While not yet complete, the club house has nonetheless been built, roofed and enclosed and will soon be windowed and then doors and stairs will be installed. Following that, it'll be wired for electricity, heated and an extensive security system installed. The clubhouse measures approximately 24 X 32 feet in size and will eventually be used not only for meetings but for the club's extensive Hunter and Bowhunter Education Classes.
The archery course at the range has been modified and the gun range will soon be redirected and expanded to a 100-yard range from its current 65 yards.. However, both ranges are still currently functional and will remain so until the new modifications are made. The skeet range will also remain usable.
The club currently boasts almost 1,000 members - 300 of them new in the past year alone.
The Tribes Hill F & G Club currently conducts regular monthly meetings at the Tribes Hill Volunteer Fire Department the last Tuesday of every month though next month's meeting will be held a week early, on Tuesday, December 18, due to the Christmas Holiday the following week. When the new clubhouse is finished and ready for occupancy, the regular monthly meetings will likely be held there but I'll keep you posted on that.
The club conducted an election of officers at its Tuesday, November 27 meeting. Hopefully, I'll have the results of that election for you in next week's column.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is a big shopping day for many people, though I'll admit to avoiding it at all cost. However, have you ever wondered what people buy a lot of during those Black Friday sales? Obviously, they buy cameras, TV's, toasters and the like but consider this. I was surprised to learn that according to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), a new single day record for point-of-sale background checks was established on Black Friday, November 23. when 154,873 checks were conducted by the NICS system for persons buying firearms. That total exceeded by 20 percent the previous high of 129,166 set (guess when!) on Black Friday last year. You're all aware that federal background checks are mandated for every firearm sale at retail stores and serves as a reliable indicator of retail gun sales. During this record period for background checks, NICS reported that many retailers calling into the NICS Section experienced extended wait times or received a message saying "all circuits are busy." Fortunately, the NICS E-Check system remained operational and resulted in little delay for dealers able to take advantage of it.
When the big game season comes to an end, sportsmen have ice fishing and outdoor shows to keep them busy and keep cabin fever from taking root. We've already discussed all the ice fishing contests I'm aware of at the moment so lets review some of the upcoming outdoor shows on our annual docket.
First, there's the big Eastern Sports & Outdoor Expo at the State Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. That show will be held February 2-10, 2013 and the list of celebrities attending and giving presentations makes this 58th annual edition of the show a definite must for any true outdoorsman. The entire list of show celebrities, presentations, competitions and more is too large to enumerate here but for more info you should go to: www.easternsportshow.com on the web. A partial list of the competitions and displays on the schedule includes: elk calling, turkey calling, owl hooting, fly tying, decoy contest, taxidermy, a bowhunters challenge, and a photography contest, but there's plenty more as well. Show hours Monday through Saturday are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The general e-ticked cost is $14, or $12 for seniors, but there are discounts available as well,but you'll have to seek them out on the aforementioned site.
Then, there's the popular Adirondack Outdoorsman Show which will again be held at the Johnstown Moose Club on Route 30A,(109 S. Comrie Avenue.) The show dates are Saturday and Sunday, February 16 and 17 and the show hours on Saturday will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. I'll have more on this popular local show in a few weeks.
The weekend of February 21-24 marks the popular Springfield Sportsmen's Show at the Big E in W. Springfield, MA. This is another big show that offers a multitude of seminars, presentations, guides, outfitters, merchandise and other attractions. One of the most enjoyable aspects of attending this show is the opportunity to visit with a number of vendors and also attend a variety of seminars on subjects that may be of interest to you, and this show is no exception. It offers a number of daily seminars on everything from surfcasting to turkey and deer hunting. Show hours on Thursday, February 21 are 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, February 22, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, February 23, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, February 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The admission fee is $12 for adults but youngsters 6 through 12 years of age can enter for just $5 but kids under 6 years of age can attend for free. I make it a point to attend this show every year. It's a nice break just as you begin to think about the approaching spring weather.
This column notes with sincerest regrets the recent passing of Jerry Koller. Jerry and I were friends for close to 50 years and often hunted and hiked together. Jerry was a consummate woodsman and climbed many of the Adirondacks highest peaks. He was also a dedicated member of the Reid Hill Fish and Game Club and held virtually every office during his tenure. He was also a sportsman representative to the New York State Fish & Wildlife Management Board for many years, and served on many local and area boards and commissions as well.
My sincerest condolences go out to his family including his wife Mary, brothers Dennis and Kenneth and his sister Rosemary. He'll be missed by all.