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Hunting, fishing, trapping are well-represented at Youth Fair

Photo contributed

Local teens check out DEC's "Living Stream" trout tank at the Greene County Youth Fair.

August 5, 2019 06:00 am Updated: August 5, 2019 06:44 am

Hunting, fishing and trapping were once again well represented at the 2019 Greene County Youth Fair. This would not have been possible without massive support from DEC and our local sporting community. 
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank DEC’s Mike Clarke and the folks from his Region 4 Bureau of Wildlife, the Rome Hatchery staff, (who worked closely with Walt Bennet and Dick Steele), “I Fish NY”, Lt. Beiter and the ECOs, Dana, Bruce, Bill, Tom, Dick, and Hank from the Greene County Federation of Sportsmen, and Bob, Les, Harry, and Mike of the Cairo Fish & Game Club. Without their tireless, continued support of getting our youth off their screens and out in the fields & streams, the fair’s success would not have been possible.
The Greene County Federation had a strong showing with solid interest in their animal and “rifles for raffle” displays. Cairo Fish & Game had a similar set-up with full wildlife mounts and an over/under on hand up for raffle and seemed to be busy interacting with a lot of passersby.
DEC had wildlife and fisheries technicians on hand with a great array of fur, skulls, traps, and animal track identification tools. “I Fish NY” conducted casting games under the tent with lots of satisfied customers who caught “lunker” plastic fish with casting plugs. 
ECOs got a lot of interesting looks and response from kids as well as adults with their adult alligator head on the table in front of the officer’s station. They especially got some double takes  when they asked where the gator came from which ECOs calmly responded, “Right across the field out of the Shingle Kill.” They may have had one or two people wondering, but most caught on to the good-natured ribbing right away. ECO Bauer and K9 Woods were on hand as well.
Of course, the big draw was DEC’s “Living Stream.” That’s the trout tank trucked in all the way from DEC’s Rome Hatchery in Central NY. All the kids, and quite a few adults, fixed their gaze upon a big breeder rainbow trout that went well over 20 inches. 
Other big trout in the tank were good size brown and brook trout. At the end of the fair all the trout were successfully released into an area lake. 
NY Bowhunters Ed and Rich manned the archery booth as kids, adults and even county legislators attempted to deflate a few balloons or arrow a “wild boar” or “deer.”   
One great suggestion I heard for next year to draw more traffic past the hunting, fishing & trapping gauntlet was to have the appropriate federation member club park a bass boat or fully camo’d duck boat complete with decoys on display outside the tent. 
That makes a lot of sense and would be a great addition to get fairgoers into the hunting and animal display tent. It would however demand some volunteers to step up to help keep our youth outdoors. 
A number of folks showed interest in signing up to take the Hunter Safety Course as an astute wildlife technician that specializes in that area handed out cards making that process simpler. She also said maybe next year she would bring in a booth with a laptop with a “hot-spot” to allow fairgoers to actually register for classes right then and there. I think that’s a great idea that’s in line with DEC’s R3 hunter recruitment program designed to increase participation in hunting.
A number of youths and their parents signed up to be notified of details of the early Youth Pheasant Hunt in Greene County scheduled for its opener on September 28th 2019. Others thanked the federation for helping start their or their kid’s hunting career at last year’s fair which I believe is the true measure of the success of the effort. 
Happy Hunting, Trapping, & Fishing until next time.
Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS. 
News and Notes
The 25th Annual Columbia Greene Friends of NRA Banquet — August 10 
The 25th Annual Columbia Greene Friends of NRA Banquet will be held on August 10th at Anthony’s Restaurant & Banquet Hall on Route 23B in Leeds. Cash bar from 4-6 p.m. with appetizers, games, and silent auction, prime rib dinner buffet at 6 p.m. 
Help preserve the future of our shooting sports by attending this event. For tickets and more information, go to their website at www.friendsofnra.org/eventtickets or email columbiagreenefnra@gmail.com  
The next Lake Taghkanic Bass Tournament will be held at West Beach at Lake Taghkanic, next Saturday, August 10 from 4-11 a.m. All are welcome to compete. For more information, call Bill Johnson at 518-537-5455. 
Roe-Jan Creek Boat Club Annual Chicken BBQ
This event will take place on August 11th.  Grounds open at 1 p.m., dinner at 3 p.m. Cost for adults is $12, kids $6. Call Barbara at 518-828-7173 for more information, or the club at 518-828-5954 to leave a message with a call back number.  
NY Bowhunters Still Has Slots for their Bowhunters Youth Camp on August 24 and 25 
The local chapter of NY Bowhunters is seeking kids aged 11 through 16 to attend their free Bowhunters Youth Camp scheduled for August 24th from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sunday August 25 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. It will be held at the Earlton Fish & Game Club at 56 Potic Creek Road in Earlton. 
All attendees earn their NYS Bowhunter Safety Certificate. The staff includes a former collegiate archery coach, and the program features woodsmanship, tree stand use and safety, land navigation, blood trailing, knot tying, plus much more. 
Equipment will be provided, or you can bring your own. Lunch will be provided both days. All expenses are covered by the volunteers of NY Bowhunters. You must pre-register as slots are limited. Contact NYB Region 4 Representative, Ed Gorch at 518-634-7139, or via email at oldbowman48@gmail.com to register or for more information.
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