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May 15, 2019 - 5:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GC Park & Forest, outdoors, wildlife.

Press release:

Explore and enjoy the outdoors this Saturday, May 18th, at the Genesee County Park & Forest!

Morning Guided Dog Walk

Bring your best friend and join us for a guided dog walk through the Genesee County Park & Forest onSaturday May 18th, Saturday June 8th and Saturday July 13th from 10 to 11 a.m.!

This guided walk is great for socialization and healthy exercise! Meet at the Interpretive Nature Center. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Current license or proof of up-to-date rabies vaccination is required.

Aggressive dogs will not be allowed to participate. Cost is $5/dog. Preregistration is required! Call (585) 344-1122 to register!

Afternoon Pond Discovery

Dive into some wild creature encounters with Pond Discovery from 1 to 3 p.m. Be prepared to get muddy and wet!

You will be using a net and sharing a bucket of water to catch animals, and then identify and learn about them from a Naturalist Guide. Meet us at the Interpretive Nature Center at Genesee County Park & Forest. All equipment is provided, just bring yourself and a camera!

Cost is $5/person, $10/family, call 585-344-1122 to register!

Evening Full Moon Owl Prowl

Explore the secret world of owls on a full moon night with our Full Moon Owl Prowl Hike from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Listen for the sounds of nocturnal wildlife and learn about owls! Hear full moon folklore and visit owl habitats.

Anything can happen on an Owl Prowl! Meet us at the Interpretive Nature Center at Genesee County Park & Forest.

Cost is $5/person, $10/family, preregistration is required! Call 585-344-1122 to reserve your spot!

Preregistration is required for all programs. To register call (585) 344-1122.

For more information visit our website here, or email Shannon Lyaski at [email protected] or phone (585) 344-1122.

May 11, 2019 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news, animals, outdoors, wildlife.

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Photo submitted by Dylan Brew.

May 8, 2019 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in birds, outdoors, news, batavia.

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Neither Billie nor I know our birds very well. We spotted this red-breasted bird in our backyard and are curious about what kind of bird it is.

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UPDATE: It's a rose-breasted grosbeak. Fellow Southsider Jason Smith sent over a video of one in his backyard.

May 6, 2019 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, ducklings, batavia, City Fire.
Video Sponsor

City of Batavia firefighters responded to West Main Street, Batavia, in front of Tops, this afternoon, after at least three ducklings were seen falling into a storm drain. Three ducklings were rescued.

April 24, 2019 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, news.

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Spring is in the air.

Local photographer Dylan Brew shared this photo with us of an Eastern bluebird.

March 17, 2019 - 2:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, batavia, news, outdoors.

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Frank Capuano took this picture of an eagle he spotted this morning feasting on a carcass in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

January 9, 2019 - 8:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, animals, outdoors.

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Here's something you don't see every day: A ring-necked pheasant in the city.

Joanne Fleming spotted the bird by Pizza Hut yesterday afternoon.

November 12, 2018 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, news, Alabama.

A hunter has apparently called into emergency dispatch and reported that he's lost in the swamp near Sour Springs Road, Alabama.

There's no report of the hunter being in distress.

Deputies are responding to assist. 

August 19, 2018 - 1:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bear, animals, outdoors, Alabama, news.

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Reader Chris Brush says he and his family were heading to church this morning when they spotted a black bear off Judge Road, Alabama.

"We were passing by a cornfield on the north side of the road between Gorton and Maple when we saw the bear. Looked as though he was wanting to cross the road to the south side of 63. We turned around to see if he was still there, and found him about 10-15 yards from the edge of the road."

The map, he says, is of the approximate area where they saw the bear.  

July 23, 2018 - 2:39pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in Camping, chamber of commerce, news, outdoors, tourism.

The wind whistling through the trees, the sun peeking through the clouds, and just around the corner, a bird is singing. There’s no better way to start your morning than surrounded by nature, and no better way to get in touch with your outdoorsy side than by pitching a tent and setting up camp.

And truly, how great is camping? With the aroma of marshmallows in the air, the sound of the crackling fire, and the stars burning bright overhead, it’s one surefire way to relax, recharge, and reconnect with nature.

Luckily for those in the area or visitors wanting an easy outdoor getaway, Genesee County is home to some seriously awesome campsites.

Skyline Camping Resort

Skyline Camping Resort is your “one stop for family camping fun.” Located atop scenic rolling hills, they boast over 300 campsites with 275 of those sites offering water and electric hookups. Families can enjoy three wading and swimming pools, a pond for fishing, and recreational activities (shuffleboard, basketball, volleyball, horseshoe) for all ages. Send the kids out to enjoy a game of tennis or mini golf, or to play the old-fashioned way at the playground and burn off that pent up energy. Then hype them back up with a candy bar at Skyline’s mini on-site Grocery Store. With something for everyone to enjoy, one weekend just won’t be enough!

Southwoods RV Resort

Southwoods RV Resort is a family friendly campsite in a park-like setting. What does that mean? It means that kids can explore and play on the playground, in the game room, hop in the swimming pool or take to the special wagon rides, while others enjoy the bike track, hiking trails, sand volleyball court or mini-golf course. More than 200 spacious campsites with full hookups for RVs, a propane station, laundry facilities, and more mean that there is room for everyone to camp out and enjoy Southwoods all summer (and fall!) long. The Resort also hosts special events like coffee and donuts, casino night, and live music on holiday weekends.

Lei-Ti Campground

Lei-Ti shows guests how to enjoy LEIsure TIme the right way in Western New York. Started in 1971, the campground has been voted one of the top 100 campgrounds in North American by Woodalls readers. And it's easy to see why - with two huge playgrounds, golf cart sales, swimming in the pool or at Leisure Lake beach, fishing, a rec. lodge (complete with an arcade and fitness room) and live entertainment, activities and events! It's an extended camping trip that's going to feel just like home - busy, fun, relaxing, and with all the amenities you could ever need. 

Cherry Hill Campground

Cherry Hill Campground takes you straight back to the basics, while also offering a crazy convenient location - just across from Darien Lake Theme Park! Enjoy lush, shaded campsites or a lean-to cabin with double doors that close for privacy. Cherry Hill is pet friendly and each site comes with a picnic table and fire ring. 

The Ridge NY

Formerly known as Frost Ridge Recreation Area, The Ridge is a campground that takes its entertainment seriously. The site boasts a pool, camp and farm store, playground, and The Big Ridge Restaurant serving up homemade and homegrown meals. They also hold regular “Jam at the Ridge” concerts featuring local and statewide bands. Concerts are open to the public for single access into each event, but campers staying on property get special passes allowing in-and-out access to come and go as they please. The Ridge is truly where the fun is!

Darien Lakes State Park

Hills, woodlands, ravines, streams, a sandy beach and the 12-acre Harlow Lake make up Darien Lakes State Park. Campers can take their pick of where to park their stuff – choosing from a total of 154 campsites, 141 with electricity and 13 primitive sites without. When you aren’t exploring the trails, fishing for largemouth black bass, or playing a round of 18-holes on the Angry Apple Disc Golf Course, you can make your way over to “Picnic Island” and enjoy a snack while surrounded by the serene views of nature.

Darien Lake Amusement Park Campground

Whether you’re relaxing after a day of thrills at the amusement park, or just getting away from it all, Darien Lake Campgrounds are a great way to unwind. Pitch a tent, pull an RV in, book a cabin rental or settle in to a “ready-made” glamping site nearby picturesque Darien Lake. Lodging Packages offer the best value for those looking to do it all – enjoy the outdoors, hit the waterpark, ride the roller coasters, and enjoy a weekend with family or friends.

Sleepy Hollow Lake

Sleepy Hollow Lake is 104 acres of camping fun! It’s kid friendly, pet friendly, and home to beautiful walking trails and easy waterfront access. The camp has drive through RV sites, tent camp sites, and cabin rentals, with water, electric, on-site restrooms, picnic areas, and more. Each month they host special events ranging from pancake breakfasts and roast beef dinners, to flea markets, hayrides, petting zoos and horseshoe tournaments. There’s always something happening at Sleepy Hollow -- the place to make and preserve memories that last a lifetime.

It doesn’t matter which you choose or where you want to park it, family memories and outdoor fun await! For more information on these sites or other local offerings, check out the camping page on www.VisitGeneseeNY.com.

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.”

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