The Chautauqua County Sportsmen Federation held their annual banquet and awards dinner Monday evening at the beautiful Lakewood Rod & Gun Club.
This annual event has since been renamed the Harry Probst Memorial dinner in honor of our former president/mentor who has passed away.
For those of you who never met Harry, the NRG platform located over the hot water discharge is named the Probst Platform in his honor for some of the tireless work he did for the sportsmen in New York and in particular in Chautauqua County.
Pictured, at left, from left to right are: Zen Olow, Jordan Carris, Phyllis Caloren and Anthony Spann. Spann won the Captain Dave Caloren Memorial Sportsmen License.
Pictured at right is Captain Larry Jones, left, listening as Captain Dan Dietzen reads the Memorial of Captain Dave Caloren. Dietzen recalled working with Captain Dave.
This was a banner year for the event as over 210 people showed up, including numerous members of the Department of Environmental Conservation and members from the Erie County Sportsmen Federation as well as Niagara County.
After dinner, many clubs take advantage of the get-together to present service awards to their members.
This year the Falconer Rod & Gun Club presented Duke Johnson with the Conservationist of the Year award.
The Falconer Rod & Gun Club presented their youth award to Thomas Cybart and Knut Burstrom. The adult award presented by Floyd Prine and President Thomas DiDomenico went to Jerry Lyon .
The Westfield Fish & Game Club service award went to Rob Graham.
Chautauqua County Sportsmen Federation President Zen Olow then took over the presentation, or as Olow likes to say, "I'll wing it!"
Jan Baldwin was recognized for her work as a county clerk who was very involved in scheduling courses for hunter and trapper education as well numerous other activities in the sporting field. Baldwin has accepted a position at Alfred College.
The Federation recognized the many years of service by Senior Wildlife Technician for Region 9 Mark Kandel who plans on retiring in August after 36 years of service.
The Presidents' award went to two people, Captain Lance Ehrhardt of Sassafras Charters, who generously donates free fishing charters to various fundraisers for both Chautauqua and Erie County and most recently has joined the Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory team.
The second recipient was Monte Kennedy, who founded the Monday Night Fly Tying club along with Ken Hollander and Willie Federick. Kennedy also is a member of the CCSFAB.
The Club of the Year award went to the Eastern Lake Erie Charter Association for their generosity and help in promoting the free sportsmen license giveaways for Chautauqua County and Erie County youths under the age of 16. Accepting the award was President Captain Larry Jones.
Olow then presented this year's winners of the free sportsmen's licenses with certificates commemorating this event.
Attending the banquet were winners Henry Malarky, Paul Majchrzak, Tristian Olsen, Owen Lewis, Samantha Newman, Cope Rissel and Anthony Spann. Missing was 3-year-old Robert Orgass.
Before concluding the evening, Captain Dan Dietzen read a memorial that was prepared by Phyllis Caloren. Caloren donated a sportsmen license that was won by Anthony Spann, in memory of her husband Captain Dave Caloren. Captain Dave enjoyed being in the company of others, especially youngsters who enjoy the outdoors.
Note that the Chautauqua County Sportsmen Federation has started their fundraiser for 2014 with tickets for a Ruger Winchester Magnum 300 rifle and scope and four fishing charters as prizes. Applications for entry in the free license giveaways will be available at local sporting clubs, sponsors and by calling Olow at 640-2776. Good luck!
The Monday Night Fly Tying group at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will be taking an extended break after Monday, April 14. The guys plan on doing some fishing and ask the regulars to show up for a group photo. The gang will be around for the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Take-A-Kid Fishing event June 7. They also plan to help out at the Great Lakes Experience, which is June 21. The group will meet Monday at 6 p.m.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club has a list of activities planned for this year, starting with a huge yard sale at the club property on Saturday, May 3, starting at 9 a.m. Anyone interested in selling gear, boats, cars, farm equipment, etc. can rent a spot by calling Tom at 680-0209, or Kim at 450-4659. Sorry, no guns.
The Bear Lake Club will also hold a trail camera contest May 18 and Sept. 14. Send pictures to the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club, P.O. Box 151 Stockton, N.Y. 14784, or bring your pictures to the club the day of the contest. Entry fee is $5 per photo. You can enter new and old photos, and the public is invited to attend to help vote on the winners. For more information, contact Tom Kessler at 680-0209 or Tim Abbey at 792-6519. The Bear Lake Club will host 3-D archery shoots May 18, May 25, June 22, July 13, Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot June 8 and Sept. 21. New Members are welcome and the club's monthly meetings are on the first Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. They start the meeting off with a hot meal, so come hungry.
Hanover Fish & Game will host a 10-week trap league, starting March 30. Cost for the league is $20, plus $5 per week for shooting. Shooters must have four weeks shot by April 27. Shooting will be Sundays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. For more information, contact Mike Nasal at 679-6059 or Mark at 713-2776.
The next meeting of the Great Lakes Experience Planning Board will be today, at noon, at the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator, which is located on Central Avenue in Dunkirk. Plans are being made for the GLE to take place at Dunkirk's Memorial Park on June 21.
There will be a gun safety course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on April 16-17 from 5-10 p.m. Two-day attendance is mandatory. Call Gary at 366-3397. There will be another two-day course given Aug. 27-28. Note these classes are limited to 35 students. Another two-day course will be on Sept. 24-25 with the same time frame.
The trapping course at the Con Club will be Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Limit 60 students.
Raw fur pickup schedule: North American Fur Auctions' (NAFA) location is Lucky Lanes bowling alley on Route 60, in Fredonia. Time is 4:30 p.m., on April 28. The agent is Ernest Mosher and he can be reached by calling 315-868-6275. Note: The fur must be put up and dried. No green pelts will be accepted.
If your club is hosting a shooting event, or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.