At 6 a.m. on the first day of the new year, I was headed north to join in with 24 hunters (six of whom were kids with a parent), and a 5-year old (not hunting) to hunt my 22nd Bunny Bowl.
This year’s hunt was in a heavily wooded area in Washington County. But the real workers on this hunt were the eight barking beagles who had rabbits on the run 15 minutes after entering the woods. “Rabbit up!”, and the hunt was on.
It wasn’t long after there was a shot followed up with someone saying “got one.” None of the shots were mine, but I enjoyed listening to the dogs.
The barking and shooting continued throughout the morning. I decided to find a place to sit where I might have a chance to see a rabbit. I did get to see one, but it was a long shot and the dogs were to close to the rabbit. However, just before the hunt was ending, I was visited by a tom and hen turkey in range which I scared off when I tried to take their picture.
It was another great hunt. The final tally was seven rabbits, and it ended with Timmy Guy of Queensbury feeding all of us with some delicious venison stew and chili.
The New York State Outdoor Writers Association has chosen Robert Kazmierski for the 2019 NYSOWA M. Paul Keesler New York Outdoor Citizen Award in recognition of his efforts to create the Wildlife Sports & Educational Museum in Vail Mills.
This award is presented to an individual or organization that effectively has raised the public’s awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities and conservation issues in New York State and, at the same time, perpetuating the name of one of NYSOWA’s dearest members. The late M. Paul Keesler spent nearly five decades promoting and conserving the outdoor wonders and recreational opportunities within New York.
Bob purchased a building in Vail Mills in 2001 with his own retirement and personal savings and pushed forward with the dream. Several years and several hundred thousand dollars later, the dream became a reality when the “Wildlife Sports & Educational Museum” officially opened in 2005. It is a world-class museum, which is the “Cooperstown of Taxidermy.” It also features artifacts and inter-active exhibits which outline the history of hunting, fishing and trapping.
The museum is a non-profit education institution whose mission is to promote public understanding and appreciation of the outdoor sports and to preserve the art, artifacts and memorabilia associated with those traditions back to colonial times. Bob truly deserved this award, and I am urging you and the family visit this museum and bring the kids.
For more information, go to https://wildlifesportsmuseum.com.
YOUTH ICE FISHING DERBY
The Schoharie County Conservation Association will hold ice fishing derbies the first three Saturdays in February. The first two derbies are at Franklin Vly, and the last one at Bear Gulch Lake. Fishing hours are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Prizes will be given for largest fish caught every two hours.
DEC FREE FISHING
The weekend of Feb. 15-16 is free fishing weekend. The requirement for a fishing license is waived during this period, making it a great opportunity to try ice fishing for the first time or for experienced anglers to take loved one’s ice fishing for the first time.
New Yorkers interested in learning how to ice fish are encouraged to visit DEC’s free fishing clinics web page. For more information, go to https: www.dec.ny.gov/press/119011.html.
Whitetails Unlimited will hold their Eastern New York Deer Camp on Jan. 18 at the Red Lion Hotel on 205 Wolf Road in Albany. There will be games, drawings and social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $45 each, $35 for spouses and $30 children. The deadline to order tickets is Jan. 15. For more information and registration, go to www.whitetailsunlimited.com, or call (800) 274-5471 or Bill Bailey at (413) 244-2304 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].