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Greg O’Hara

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Hamilton County Outdoors By Ron Kolodziej

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - Updated: 8:20 PM

Greg O'Hara joins NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame

Last Saturday evening, April 27, I attended the 30th Anniversary and Induction Banquet of the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in Canastota.

I was inducted into the Hall of Fame (located at the Wildlife and Sports Educational Museum in Vails Mills) and look forward to these annual gatherings to greet and welcome the new inductees. As a matter of fact, I currently serve on the group's Board of Directors.

This year we welcomed seven new members to the Hall, including Larry Becker of Gainesville, Chuck Booker of West Amherst, Greg O'Hara of Inlet, Diane Macielewski of Elma, Frank Miskey Sr. of Elma, Stan Pascoo of West Nyack and Art Segool of Orchard Park. A special Media Award was presented to Steve Piatt, publisher of New York Outdoor News magazine.

It was a very well attended event that included guests, past inductees, friends and families of the members and a number of dignitaries.

Greg O'Hara of Inlet is a NYS-licensed guide who has been involved in Adirondack Search and Rescue activities for many years. In 2003 he founded CASART (Central Adirondack Search and Rescue Team), which involved recruiting volunteers, raising funds, obtaining equipment and providing training in the many skills necessary for this mission.

In the past decade CASART has been involved in some 40 search and rescue missions. Greg has also presented many seminars on his "Hiking Safety" program in schools and camps and to Adirondack visitors. His election to the Hall of Fame is well deserved. A plaque dedicated to Greg will soon be placed in the Hall of Fame display at the museum.

FOUNDED IN 1983

The NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame was founded in 1983 and its first inductions followed. The Hall, including all its plaques and memorabilia, was housed in the Gander Mountain Store in New Hartford for several years but, thanks to the generosity of Bob Kazmierski, owner and founder of the Wildlife Museum in Vails Mills, the entire display was moved to his facility. Bob also arranged for a remodeling effort and gave up some of his museum gift shop space for the Hall of Fame, allowing it to have its own free-of-charge room.

For those unfamiliar with it, the Wildlife and Sports Educational Museum is located near the intersection of state routes 29 and 30 in Fulton County. It contains thousands of mounted animals from New York state and beyond, as well as old and modern fishing tackle, guns, trapping equipment and much more. It's truly a fascinating place to visit.

IT'S THAT LYME OF YEAR

This is a good time to mention that deer ticks have become an increasing problem this year, especially for turkey hunters. Deer ticks can carry Lyme disease. The first cases of Lyme disease "clustering" were identified in Connecticut, but reference to the disease dates all the way back to 1883 in Germany.

According to the NYS Department of Health, Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by deer ticks. It can affect people of any age. Those who spend time in grassy and wooded environments, including turkey hunters and hikers, are at increased risk of exposure. Adult ticks are most active from March to late-May and mid-August through November, depending of course on the weather, but they remain a threat during all the warmer months.

Examine your clothing carefully after every hunting trip and brush off any ticks you find, before they can attach themselves to your skin. In most cases tick attachment takes 36 hours or more, so you do have plenty of time to take preventive action before the tick begins its work.

SYMPTOMS

Not all deer ticks are infected with the disease, but if one or more do embed themselves the first symptom you'll likely see is a rash resembling a bulls-eye or solid patch about two inches in diameter around or near the site of the bite.

Early symptoms of Lyme disease normally occur within three to 30 days after the bite of an infected tick and, as it progresses, can include chills and fever, headache, fatigue, stiff neck muscles and/or joint pain and swollen glands. If not detected and treated in these early stages, the symptoms can worsen and more severe ones can develop. Lyme disease treatments have become more effective, but if undetected or allowed to progress the disease can cause severe and long-lasting effects.

If you discover a tick has embedded itself, your best bet is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early treatment with antibiotics almost always results in a full cure, though the chances for a full cure decrease as symptoms increase and treatment is delayed.

PREVENTION

Insect repellents can be effective deterrents against tick bites, and those containing DEET or permethrin are particularly effective. The DEET acts as a repellent while permethrin actually kills the ticks and other insects that come in contact with it. However, some people may be sensitive to one or both of these products, so care should be taken before using them. If you do use a chemical repellent, apply it sparingly but thoroughly around your boot tops and trouser and shirt cuffs. Also, wear gutting gloves when field dressing a turkey.

Other simple tactics that can help minimize the possibility of tick bites involve tucking your trouser cuffs into your socks and being certain your shirt is tucked into your trousers, since these and other ticks can be found not only in turkey country but might even be picked up when walking through vegetation while taking your dog for a walk. Also, after your walk or hunt, be careful of the clothing you wear.

I prefer to remove those in my garage or cellar and throw them into the washer immediately. If that's not an option, put the clothes in a plastic bag, sprinkle in permethrin and seal the bag.

     

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