By Stephen George
For The Leader-Herald
The Capital Region Pheasants Forever Chapter held its annual fundraiser and banquet at the Hales Mills Golf Course in Johnstown on Sept. 18. The sold-out event was attended by 170 people and over $12,000 was raised for local projects.
The great thing about Pheasants Forever chapters is the fact that all money raised by the chapter, with the exception of membership fees, stays with the chapter and is used to finance local projects. With the money raised this year, the Capital District chapter has held two youth pheasant hunts, and a veteran’s-only hunt. In the coming few months, another veteran’s hunt is planned, as well as two women’s-only hunts. The pheasants are purchased and stocked by the chapter volunteers.
The hunts are free and open to members and guests. To find out more about the chapter and the programs, call chapter president Guy Famiano at 802-282-6642. Be sure to follow the chapter on Facebook, too.
The New York State Outdoor Writers Association (NYSOWA) held its annual conference in Saratoga Springs from Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the Hyatt Place. Each year, NYSOWA holds a “Spring Safari” and a fall conference in various locations around the state, so the local areas can showcase their outdoor resources and businesses.
The Capital District Fall Conference was held in Malta, and outdoor writers from all over the state were able to hunt, fish and paddle in and around the Capital District. The group of writers attended workshops at the Capital District Sportsman’s Center and 4-H Shooting Sports Training Center. They were offered a tour of the Grafton Lakes State Park, and some went fishing at Hadlock Pond. To top off the event, its annual awards ceremony and banquet was held at the hotel.
Back in May, I put together the Safari in Fulton County, and the group was able to turkey hunt, fish the Great Sacandaga Reservoir, canoe local ponds, take in some local foods and beverages at local brew pubs, tour the Pine Tree Rifle Club and tour the Slipstream Canoe factory in Broadalbin. The event was held at the beautiful Broadalbin Hotel.
The National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) was in Albany recently to work with the NYS DEC Hunter Education executives on upcoming hunter education programs. While in the area, NBEF Executive Director Marilyn Bentz, of Rapid City, South Dakota, was able to tour the Wildlife and Education Museum in Vail’s Mills. The museum has agreed to provide a glass display case that will contain NBEF history and item from Bill Wadsworth, the founder of NBEF and originator of the bowhunter education program. Bill was a New Yorker and started bowhunter education and the NBEF to get archery hunters trained and educated in ethical and effective bowhunting methods and strategies. The glass case will contain NBEF organizational historical documents, Bill’s personal longbow, some of his personal hunting gear, arrows from successful hunts from the 1960’s and poster of the NBEF’s history.
In gratitude for offering the display case, the NBEF donated a $1,000 check to the museum. I encourage anyone with an interest in the outdoors, not just hunting, to take a tour of the museum. It contains hundreds of mounts of animals from around the world; historical information and equipment for hunting, fishing and trapping, as well as a wonderful gift shop. To find out more about the local treasure, go to www.wildlifesportsmuseum.com.