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December 6, 2016 - 12:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, news, outdoors.

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A hunter has reportedly fallen from his tree stand and is hanging by his safety harness at a location in Darien State Park.

The call came in through a third party.

Dispatchers are trying to determine his exact location.

Darien fire and ambulance are dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: Corfu fire requested to the scene to assist with manpower for a search. Staging is at the Sumner Road entrance.

UPDATE 12:55 p.m.: Mutual aid requested from Alexander fire and Bennington fire and their utility vehicles.

UPDATE(S) 1:28 p.m. (By Billie): Another hunter has found the victim and told first responders.

UPDATE 1:32 p.m.: The patient is on the ground now.

UPDATE 2:03 p.m.: The hunter was helped to the ground by the hunter who found him. He has a possible ankle injury and is being transported to UMMC. East Pembroke Fire Department's new ATV, which went into service today, was deployed and transported the patient from the woods to the ambulance.

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November 15, 2016 - 8:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, nature, outdoors, news.

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The Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge have announced the winners of their annual photo contest. First Place in the habitat category went to Dan Heale (top photo) and First Place in wildlife went to Kathy Owen (bottom photo). For more winning shots, click here.

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November 12, 2016 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, news, corfu, wildlife.

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Jessica Havens submitted this photo of a pair of bald eagles she spotted in her backyard on Pratt Road, Corfu.

October 9, 2016 - 6:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama, news, outdoors.

A hunter has reportedly fallen and broken a leg on the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama.

The hunter is located in the woods about 300 yards east of the parking lot on Casey Road.

A caller is waiting in the parking lot for responders to guide them to the hunter's location.

Alabama fire and Mercy EMS responding.

September 30, 2016 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Boy Scouts, Troop 31, bergen, news, outdoors.

This is the official Bergen Boy School Troop 31 neckerchief, which C.M. Barons shared with us in response to a post the other day about the eastern massasauga rattlesnake being listed a threatened species

Barons said his mother, Virginia, designed the neckerchief while C.M.'s father was troop leader in the late 1960s.

The design features the snake, the white ladyslipper orchid (also a rare species in the Byron-Bergen Swamp).

Boy Scouts often trade patches and neckerchiefs at jamborees and other events and Barons said the Troop 31 neckerchief is highly sought-after.

September 30, 2016 - 11:22am
posted by Genesee Chamber... in Swallow Hollow, Oakfield, news, outdoors.

The Swallow Hollow Nature Trail, located on Knowlesville Road inside Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is a fun little adventure for nature lovers. The 1.3-mile trail is a virtual biology field trip, offering an incredible variety of wildlife and natural environments. This is not only an enjoyable trail for some exercise, but has many opportunities to learn about animals and trees that inhabit the refuge.

trail 1The trail's education mission recently took another step with the addition of an audio tour which enhances the visitor’s experience. There are several audio tour signs along the way that help you get facts or answers about certain aspects of the trail. Each audio session is about a minute long and provides interesting information about where you are standing. A combination of the audio and visual is a strong learning tool. On a recent visit, this blogger learned that you walk through three different habitats along the trail: forested wetlands, upland hardwood forest and the emerging marsh. In addition to the audio tour, the trail features many educational signs that shed insight on the nature that surrounds you.Trail 6

Another great bonus is that the Swallow Hollow Nature Trail is wheelchair accessible, with one half of the trail located on a boardwalk, and another half of the trail smooth cinder walkway.

If you still have a thirst for knowledge after your nature walk, go over to the nearby Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Interpretative Center for some fun learning opportunities.

Trail 4

Trail 2

Trail 5

Trail 7

Visit www.VisitGeneseeNY.com to learn more...

September 24, 2016 - 9:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, veterans, batavia, news, sports, hunting.

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Photo and story by Alex Feig, with our news partner, WBTA.

Operation Injured Soldiers was hosting military veterans for the beginning of geese-hunting season at the Wounded Warrior House in Orleans County from Wednesday through Sunday this week.

OIS as it’s called by volunteers, began its presence in the Batavia area around six years ago when veteran Edward Spence got together with several other vets in the area, one of which was Floyd “Skip” Hulburt.

“Ed Spence and I and a fellow veteran, we had talked about establishing OIS in New York, and once it was established Ed Spence just took off with it.”

Skip had just gotten back from another successful hunt but his focus was on a fellow soldier, “My main focus was Jack who is a Vietnam veteran. This is his first time waterfowl hunting so I wanted to get him into it and see how he likes it, and that's a lot of why I do this. I'm not as bad (off) as some of these guys. I'm pretty mobile still.”

Jack Olson, a Vietnam vet, lives just down the road from the Warrior House and was very grateful for the opportunity.

Olson said “I had a good time, I enjoyed it.  Great people, great guides, great veterans I was with.  All good, all good, nothing bad I can say.”

Olson. like many veterans. is not just receiving help but is providing for others like himself.

“I think more people should get involved in veterans organizations and volunteering at the Batavia VA," Olson said. "I am myself a volunteer at the VA and it's a very rewarding experience and there's always stuff to do. Somebody will find something for you to do at the VA.”

For more information on Operation Injured Soldiers, you can visit www.injuredsoldiers.org or message Edward Spence on Facebook.

September 17, 2016 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Godfrey's Pond, Stafford, outdoors, sports.

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The folks at Godfrey's Pond hosted an open house today, called Hunting and Fishing Days.

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September 9, 2016 - 11:39am
posted by Genesee Chamber... in Genesee County Park, Bethany, news, outdoors.

Genesee County Park & Forest is back at it with yet another awesome educational event.

Join the county park for Monarch Watching from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17th. Learn about the fascinating lives of Monarch Butterflies. Explore their world and find out what people are doing to help out!

$5/person, $10/family. Space is limited, pre-registration is required! Call 585-344-1122!

Five Fun Facts about Monarch Butterflies to prepare you for migrating season:

1. Monarch Butterflies migrate through our region in mid-September.

2. A monarch caterpillar can eat a whole milkweed leaf in under 4 minutes! Monarch caterpillars gain about 2,700 times their weight in two weeks.

3. Monarch butterflies smell with their antennae.

4. Monarch butterflies taste with their feet, using special receptors called tarsi.

5. Monarch butterflies ride updrafts of warm air to help complete their 3,000-mile migration at the end of each summer. Monarchs have been seen gliding at altitudes as high as 11,000 feet!

Visit www.VisitGeneseeNY.com to learn more...

June 25, 2016 - 7:10pm

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Bell Barone (pictured below) was among the dozens of kids who turned out today for the annual Fishing Derby at DeWitt Recreation Area sponsored by the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club.

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May 16, 2016 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, trees, crabapples, news, nature, outdoors.

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The crabapple trees in Alexander are once again in bloom. We wrote last year about the fascinating history of Alexander's crabapple trees.

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May 9, 2016 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in forget-me-nots, flowers, batavia, outdoors, news.

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It's been six years since we visited the garden of Dennis Wood on West Main Street, Batavia, but the forget-me-nots seem especially impressive this year.

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May 9, 2016 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, batavia, Batavia HS.

This video is from Christopher Weicher at Batavia High School. He said each year the same mallard duck returns to the school to lay her eggs in the courtyard, where's sheltered from predators. The problem arises after the ducklings hatch and have no way on their own to get out of the courtyard for food and water, so staff gently nudges the family toward the doors and the great outdoors.

Saturday, Amy Scott sent in these pictures of city firefighters saving ducklings from a storm drain.

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April 24, 2016 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, elba, news, hunting.

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Anthony Zambito, 12, of Elba, got his first turkey on his first hunt this morning in Elba with his uncle Kelly Creegan.

April 23, 2016 - 1:36pm

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As part of an Earth Day observance, volunteers came out to the DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia to help with spring cleanup.

The walk around the park was about more than just trash pickup. It included a guided nature walk led by Amy Jessmer, from Albion, with a degree in environmental science from SUNY Brockport, where she is currently working on her master's degree. Jessmer spoke about native and non-native species and the environmental balance of the lake and surrounding habitat.

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The water level of DeWitt is exceptionally low. George Squires, retired from the county's soil and water department, said he doesn't believe he's seen it this low since the 1980s.

April 12, 2016 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, Le Roy, news.

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Eric Almeter sent in this photo of a fox he spotted trotting through Le Roy at Route 19 and Union at about 8:30 this morning.

April 11, 2016 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, alexander, news.

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A reader sent in this picture from Sunday afternoon of a young bald eagle that he spotted feasting on a fawn that was dead near the side of the road on Dodgeson Road near Ridge Road, Alexander.

March 7, 2016 - 6:52pm
posted by James Burns in Le Roy, wild life, Bald eagles, outdoors, news.

Bald eagles are using a nest on Oatka Trail, just outside of Le Roy.

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Harassing, disturbing or injuring a bald eagle is a federal offense and carries a penalty of up to $20,000 and/or one year in jail. Remember that bald eagles should remain undisturbed, and it is important that they conserve energy during the winter months.

Bald eagle viewing tips from the NY Department of Conservation to help you to have the best possible experience:

  • Use a designated bald eagle viewing site;
  • Scan the tree line for eagles that are perched in the treetops;
  • Look overhead for eagles soaring high in the sky;
  • Check ice floes or river islands for eagles sunning themselves or enjoying a meal;
  • Arrive early (7 to 9 a.m.) or stay late (4 to 5 p.m.), when eagles are most active;
  • Be patient -- the key to successful viewing is patience.

For the safest and least intrusive bald eagle viewing, we recommend the following "Eagle Etiquette":

  • Remain in or immediately next to your vehicle, and don't approach eagles closer than a quarter mile; Avoid roosting areas;
  • Refrain from loud noises: honking horns, door slamming, radios playing, yelling, etc.;
  • Keep pets at home;
  • Use binoculars or spotting scopes instead of trying to get a little closer;
  • Don't do anything to try to make the bird fly;
  • Respect private property and avoid restricted areas.
January 13, 2016 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in hunting, outdoors.

A letter from a constituent about a bullet that passed through the walls of his house on Bank Street in November prompted a discussion among County legislators during the Public Service Committee meeting Tuesday afternoon about the merits of a recently enacted local law that allows long guns to be used during hunting season.

Legislator Ed DeJaneiro expressed the most concern about the law.

"This bullet passed through two windows and continued on and I think it's just a matter of time before something is going to happen and everybody's going to say, 'Oh, my God," DeJaneiro said.

Bill Moon reported the incident to the police and the Department of Environmental Conservation investigated and determined the bullet likely came from a .30-caliber weapon.

In his letter, Moon expressed concern that there are just too many irresponsible people out there to allow long rifles in a county like Genesee where the land is mostly flat.

"We were very fortunate not to be home at the time of the incident and so escaped possible harm or death," Moon wrote. "Every day that we got up and saw the damage reminded us how close we were to an immediate danger. Some other person or child playing in a yard may not be so lucky next time."

The local law was enacted at the request of a group of gun owners who noted Genesee County was one of the few counties in the state that didn't allow long rifles for big game hunting. The Legislature passed a resolution asking the State Legislature to change the local law, which it did last year at the urging of Senator Mike Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Legislator Mike Davis noted that the county can't repeal the law and can only look to the State Legislature not to renew it when the sunset provision rolls around in October 2017.

"At this point, I think we can just keep our fingers crossed and hope there isn't an incident that's going to make us all feel different about this law," DeJaneiro said.

DeJaneiro suggested the County Legislature needs to seriously reconsider the law.

"These weapons are not needed for hunting deer in a highly populated, flat area," DeJanerio said.  

Long rifles are better suited to a county like Wyoming, with hills and valleys where hunters can better take advantage of the capabilities of a long rifle to take down prey.

Committee Chair Marianne Clattenberg said she brought the letter to the meeting and put the discussion on the agenda because Moon is one of her constituents and he has a right to have his concerned heard. 

"This will come up again next year and let's hope this is an isolated incident," Clattenberg said.

December 29, 2015 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, birds, nature.

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Some of the activity at our bird feeder this afternoon.

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