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May 9, 2018 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, outdoors, news.

Press release:

The New York State Senate has passed legislation (S3025)– introduced by Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer– to protect the privacy of sportsmen.

The bill prevents the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) from disclosing sensitive information listed on hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and permit applications.

Existing law does not contain restrictions on the release of information for holders of licenses and permits. The bill would also require the DEC to establish procedures to further ensure information is protected from disclosure.

“Data breaches are truly the dark side of the electronic age, and the unauthorized release of a sportsman’s sensitive personal details is a violation of privacy that can have terrible consequences.

This legislation prevents sensitive financial information from being exposed by requiring the Department of Environmental Conservation to take proactive steps to ensure sportsmen’s information is protected,” Ranzenhofer said.

DEC installed a new database system to maintain information on sporting licenses and permits. The system includes sensitive personal details, including: individual’s first and last name, date of birth, height, eye color, driver’s license number, mailing address, telephone number, and whether the licensee is permanent 40-percent military disabled.

The bill will be sent to the State Assembly. Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther is sponsoring the bill in the State Assembly. If enacted, the bill would take effect immediately.

April 29, 2018 - 5:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama, news, nature, outdoors.

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The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama is hosted its 34th annual Spring into Nature celebration Saturday with displays, vendors, crafts and activities.

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March 30, 2018 - 5:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, crime, news, batavia, DeWitt Recreation Area.

A caller reports a 14-year-old girl is throwing rocks at geese at the DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia.

Batavia PD dispatched.

January 29, 2018 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Airport, snowy owls, outdoors, animals, news, notify.

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Area wildlife photographers were shocked and saddened Friday to find a dead snowy owl Friday afternoon atop a utility pole near the Genesee County Airport.

The DEC confirmed today that it was notified of a dead snowy owl that had been banded at that location.

National Grid, after being contacted by the DEC on Friday, assisted in recovering the animal from atop the utility pole (see video below).

Local photographer Jim Burns (who freelances for The Batavian) is a wildlife photographer and a frequent visitor to the airport, which attracts both numerous snowy owls and photographers. He said such deaths as this animal's are not uncommon. The owls fall victim to electrocution (the possible cause in this case), being hit by cars and poisoning. 

Poisoning is perhaps the most preventable cause of death of snowy owls. The owls feast on rodents and if the rodents were poisoned before becoming an owl's meal, the owl is poisoned as well.

"That's the main message to get out there," Burns said. "People should put out traps instead of poison."

Though still rare, the birds have been showing up in WNY in recent years, probably, because their northern hunting grounds are becoming crowded. It's generally the younger birds who migrate south. Burns estimated the deceased owl was no more than 2 years old.

The birds are banded by Operation SNOWstorm, which tracks snowy owls to assist in their preservation.  

The Department of Environmental Conservation asks that if you find a dead banded bird, report it on the website www.reportband.gov.

Photo by Margy Meath.Video by Oded Kalir.

January 29, 2018 - 11:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, nature, outdoors, news, pembroke.

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Jason Bell sent us this picture of a bald eagle he spotted in Pembroke yesterday.

September 29, 2017 - 4:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, outdoors, news.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“Hunting is deeply indoctrinated in Western New York culture. Nothing is more satisfying to hunters across the state than waking up early and trekking the woods with family and friends in pursuit of taking home big game.

This is a time-honored tradition passed from parents to their children and with that comes the respect and appreciation for firearms and the Second Amendment.

“I was proud to introduce and once again pass a bill authorizing big game hunting for Orleans and Genesee counties and look forward to the festivities and success of our local hunters. As a proud outdoorsman myself, I always strive to advocate for and protect our right to bear arms and of course, ensure the highest level of hunter safety and environmental conservation.

"It is crucial to receive proper training before practicing the art of hunting and always adhere to strict safety procedures when out tracking your game. Hunting is a prominent tourist attraction in our region, drawing many from across the state to our world-class hunting destinations and in doing so supporting our local small-businesses bolstering the regional economy.

"Good luck to all my fellow outdoorsmen this year and happy hunting!”

September 25, 2017 - 1:58pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Le Roy, news, outdoors, bow hunting, notify, sports.

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Melissa Bender, a resident of Le Roy, made history at the Pennsylvania Bowhunters Festival, after competing with an all-male crowd, becoming the first and only woman to win the steel boar challenge.

The festival is held in Forksville in the middle of September, every year since 1957. It is the oldest gathering of bowhunters in the world.

“People come from all over the place to go,” Bender said.

The three-day event offers a variety of shooting activities and events designed to prepare the Bowhunters for the upcoming archery season. The festival features the famous “Forksville Running Deer” target, mechanical bear and turkey targets, pop-up and moving small game targets, a timed clay pigeon shoot, stationary targets set at variable distances, and three game trails designed with all 3-D targets.

The grand prize for the steel boar challenge, was a wild hog hunt, which drew Bender to competing.

“It was really neat because they had never had a girl win it before,” Bender said. “They were super excited for me.”

Bender’s love for archery began after she went hunting with her husband.

“When I was out hunting, I hit a deer,” Bender said. “We tracked it for two days and we never found it.”

Bender decided that she wanted to be a better shooter, so she started with the help of a local archery organization.

“The people down there [at C&C Archery] are so willing to help anyone,” Bender said. “Especially young people in becoming better shots, either in archery, in competitive form, just for shooting, or just in hunting.”

C&C Archery, in Le Roy, has an indoor archery range, with all different kinds of targets. They offer a variety of services and products to help anyone be successful.

“If I hadn’t gone down there to sign up for [archery] leagues, I obviously would have never had the opportunity to win that challenge.”

Bender hopes to continue strengthening her archery skills to become a more ethical hunter.

“I want to have a better shot so that I don’t have to go through what I went through a year ago,” Bender said.

September 15, 2017 - 1:51pm

Come explore the active and adventurous sport of Orienteering! Learn how to find your way without batteries or a cell phone signal, by using a map and compass.

All materials provided, no experience needed.

Orienteering is a family friendly sport for people of all ages and ability levels. Join us at the Genesee County Park & Forest for the Orienteering Event with the Rochester Orienteering Club from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 30th.

This program is FREE!

Beginner class and basic training will be given from 9 to 10 a.m. Orienteering start is open 10 a.m. to noon. All courses close at 3 p.m.

Please preregister by calling 585-344-1122.

Perfect for individuals and families who love the outdoors. Come have some fun and find your way in New York State’s first County Forest.

More information on the sport of orienteering and the Rochester Orienteering Club can be found at http://roc.us.orienteering.org or https://orienteeringusa.org

September 14, 2017 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, news, michael ranzenhofer.

Press release:

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer today has launched a 2017 Hunters and Sportsmen Survey.

“Sportsmen and women share their opinions with me every year about hunting issues, and I believe that it is important to listen to their thoughts,” Ranzenhofer said. “That is why I hope that you will consider answering a quick 10-question survey.” 

Residents can complete the survey online by visitingranzenhofer.nysenate.gov. The legislative survey asks questions about hunting and wildlife management in New York State, including crossbow hunting, antler restrictions, and other issues.

“I would like to know how hunters in the 61st Senate District feel about these issues,” Ranzenhofer said. “It is imperative to promote and expand responsible conservation practices while ensuring that future generations have access to quality hunting experiences. I remain committed to working with sportsmen organizations across our state to expand hunting opportunities.”

Sept. 23rd is recognized as National Hunting and Fishing Day. New York ranks third in the nation– behind only Texas and Florida– with nearly two million sportsmen and women hunting and fishing across the state.
 

July 26, 2017 - 11:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, news.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer's bill (S5064) to permanently allow the use of rifles for big game hunting in Genesee County has been signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. 

Senator Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to report that a new law will allow sportsmen in Genesee County to continue using rifles for big game hunting for years to come. The practice has proven to be successful since first enacted in 2015. Without action, the existing law would have expired later this year. That is why I worked throughout the 2017 Legislative Session to make the existing law permanent. Now, Genesee County will join other rural communities across New York State with a permanent provision.”

June 23, 2017 - 10:05am
posted by James Burns in news, wildlife, Bald eagles, outdoors, Le Roy.

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For the second year in a row, a nesting pair of bald eagles has successfully raised a chick that has fledged. The bald eagle family featured in these pictures resides east of Le Roy along a creek.

There are an estimated five nesting pairs of bald eagles in Genesee County. Two nesting pairs make Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge their home. 

This year we were able to find out some information on the male eagle of the pair outside Le Roy. "Ed," as he has come to be known, was born 45 miles away in Allegany County in April of 2010.

I was able to get a couple pictures of the bands on his ankles. The blue band is from NYS and was put on him when, now retired, Department of Environmental Conservation eagle biologist Pete Nye tagged him and a sibling in the nest. If you look carefully at the blue band you can see it is hand engraved with the code ED. That code is entered in Pete’s notes with the information about the nest he was found in.

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This year the pair settled into the nest in March. Eagles do mate for life and frequently use the same nest every year. 

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The male eagle usually never returns to the nest with out food or materials for the nest. The eaglet is about a week old in this picture.

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When Ed does return empty-handed, it appears to be frowned upon by his mate. Female bald eagles, as well as most female raptors, are bigger than the males. 

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Feeding an eaglet growing that quickly is a full-time job. Fish seem to be the staple with an occasional rabbit. This year they managed to get a fawn into the nest. Look closely and you can see the hoofs. This fawn may have been a stillborn. Eagles are well known for hunting live prey but do scavenge for food as well.

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This is the eaglet at about 8 weeks old waiting for breakfast.

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Video of eaglet beginning to learn to fly 

June 13, 2017 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, hunting, outdoors, news.

Press release:

A bill (S5064) continuing the use of rifles for big game hunting in Genesee County indefinitely has passed the State Senate. Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer is the author and sponsor of the measure in the State Senate.

“Use of rifles for big game hunting has proven to be successful throughout the last two years,” Ranzenhofer said. “Many other rural communities across the state have a permanent provision, and this legislation would set it in stone for Genesee County.” 

In 2015, Senator Ranzenhofer spearheaded the effort at the State Capitol to pass a new law (Chapter 68 of the Laws of 2015) that initially allowed the use of rifles in Genesee County. The law expires Oct. 1st of this year. The Genesee County Legislature has requested that the current expiration date be removed.

“Expanding opportunities for sportsmen is important to me. Without legislative action, Genesee County residents would no longer be able to hunt big game with a rifle. I am proud to get the bill approved in the State Senate, and I am hopeful that the State Assembly will follow suit,” Ranzenhofer said.

The bill is currently on the Assembly Agenda. If enacted, the bill would take effect immediately.

In the Fall of 2014, the Genesee County Legislature and Genesee County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs requested the inaugural legislation. Prior to the enactment of the revised statute, environmental conservation law only authorized the use of pistols, shotguns, crossbows, muzzle-loading firearms or long bows when hunting deer from the first Saturday after Nov. 15 through the first Sunday after Dec. 7.

June 3, 2017 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama, fishing, outdoors, news.

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A couple dozen young anglers turned out this morning for the 26th annual Youth Fishing Derby at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

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Among the young fishermen were Henry and Darel Matthies, of Newstead, with father Ken.

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Harry Gugino, of Buffalo.

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February 21, 2017 - 8:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, outdoors, news.

A Bergen resident is reportedly in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital after a hunting accident yesterday in the Town of Sweden.

Robert Williams, 32, of Peachy Road, Bergen, was reportedly in a field on Lake Road, Sweden, when he was shot in the abdomen by a coyote hunter.

Brett Blackburn, 46, of Sweden, has been charged with assault, 2nd.

According to authorities, Blackburn and his son were hunting at about 6:30 p.m. Monday when they observed movement in the field. Blackburn used a light to illuminate the area of movement. He said he observed light and thought the reflection to be the eyes of a coyote. Blackburn reportedly fired his rifle and then heard someone yell. 

Blackburn assisted Williams while his son ran to a nearby residence to call 9-1-1.

When Monroe County deputies arrived at the location on foot, they observed Williams on the ground and Blackburn rendering aid. Town of Sweden fire arrived on scene along with EMS personnel and evacuated Williams to a waiting ambulance.

Blackburn, of Covell Road, was arraigned in Sweden Town Court and bail was set at $1,500 cash or $5,000 bond. He is no longer in custody.

Our news partner 13WHAM assisted with this story.

December 20, 2016 - 1:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, outdoors, news.

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Tim Hens clears snow from the new outdoor ice skating rink at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia and he said the rink should open today, but if not today, tomorrow.

The rink was made possible when the Town of Oakfield donated it to the county for use in DeWitt.

Most days while there is ice will be open skating, Hens said, but he anticipates having puck and stick days (no hockey games, and there are no nets) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Staff from Cedar Street Sales and Rentals are helping maintain the rink during the winter.

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.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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