Hamilton County Outdoors -- 02/12/2014
By Dick Nelson

On your mark, get set, show!

This is the time of the year when you start reading about “cabin fever,” and I’m not referring to the maple-flavored whiskey of the same name. I’m talking about the claustrophobic malady that supposedly occurs from being cooped up for a long period of time.

Actually, it’s hard to picture anyone in this day and age feeling closed in, what with Facebook, Twitter and other microblogging sites most people can’t seem to do without; not to mention the hundreds of video games generally associated with kids and adolescents, but in truth have addicted just as many adults.

Then of course there is the great ice fishing anglers have been enjoying this year, that along with snowshoeing, snowmobiling and of course shoveling are enough to keep anyone from getting bored.

Still, it’s hard to pick up a newspaper or magazine and not read where some writer doesn’t have a list of cure-all prescriptions, some as simple as taking a walk.

Outdoor writers are no different, and sometimes the cure involves moving from one indoor location to another, such as attending a sportsmen or outdoor show. It’s no coincidence the vast majority of these shows are scheduled between January and March and, despite the theme, all are held indoors.


That said, when the Adirondack Outdoorsmen Show opens it doors at the Moose Lodge Family Center in Johnstown next weekend, don’t expect to see Bullwinkle or any other 900-pound antlered animal walking along the aisles.

What you will see is a pure old-fashioned outdoor show, absent of venders hawking products that are as much out of place in this type of setting as a Smart Car would be at a boat show. Promoter Mike Hauser told me he screens all his exhibitors.

“Our events do not consist of ‘fluff vendors’ from whom we simply collect a rental fee regardless as to whether they offer items or services that cater to outdoorsmen. I am an outdoorsman and if I don’t think a vendor strictly fits the category I don’t allow them to be part of the event,” Hauser says.

The show is centered on the traditional outdoor sports of hunting, fishing, shooting, archery, trapping, boating, camping, hiking, guides, charter services, taxidermy, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, collectable knives, antique hunting and fishing gear, wildlife art, books and Adirondack furniture. Seminars are a big part of this show, each of which zeroes in on regional topics and opportunities.

Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children age 15 and under. For more information visit www.adkshow.com or contact Hauser at (518) 725-5565 or mhauser@frontiernet.net. The Moose Lodge Family Center is located at 109 S. Comrie Ave (Route 30A) in Johnstown.


The Center for Consumer Freedom, the same organization that exposed the shenanigans of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and The Humane Society of the United States, recently launched a campaign against sportsmen’s advocacy groups it says are “radical environmentalists with a hidden far-left agenda.”

Dubbed “Green Decoys,” the published report reveals how radical environmentalists are using sportsmen’s groups as camouflage to push left-wing objectives.

The campaign focuses on Trout Unlimited, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Izaak Walton League of America, Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers -- five organizations the CCF claims do not speak on behalf of America’s hunters and anglers. It alleges each is an “interconnected web of personnel and funding sources notorious for their support of radical environmentalism.”

I’m not saying CCF’s allegations against Trout Unlimited have any merit, but the not-for-profit group does have a proven track record of exposing other groups for misleading members, donors and others about finances and expenditures as well as where they stand on policy issues, and that raises concern.

Several years ago CCF campaigned against PETA and HSUS, revealing how PETA unnecessarily euthanizes animals in its care and how in 2008 HSUS provided only one half of 1 percent ($450,000) of its $86 million budget to hands-on dog and cat shelters.

Founded in the 1950s as an association of fly fishermen committed to preserving America’s trout streams and replenishing the trout population for fishing, the report states that in recent years TU has hooked up with radical environmentalists, launching tangential campaigns against energy production and opposing energy producing projects such as the Keystone XL natural gas pipeline.

The conversion, the report says, has followed multimillion dollar grants from key environmentalist foundations, including the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ($12 million); the Gordon E. and Betty I. Moore Foundation ($3.6 million); the David and Lucile Packard Foundation ($3.5 million); the Wyss Foundation ($2.1 million); and the Pew Charitable Trusts ($750,000), as well as receiving substantial financial support from Ted Turner’s foundation ($2.3 million) and the Heinz Foundation, chaired by Teresa Heinz, wife of 2004 Democratic Presidential Candidate and current Secretary of State John Kerry.

As a result, CFF alleges TU’s leadership is now stocked with professional liberals and Democrats.

According to CCF senior research analyst Will Coggin, “TU’s President, Christopher Wood, was a 2008 Obama Transition Team member and had been considered to head an office within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [The report] also revealed that Robert Masonis, TU’s vice president for Western Conservation, previously worked for the environmentalist group American Rivers and that TU’s head lobbyist, Steve Moyer, previously worked for the environmentalist National Wildlife Federation.”

“While TU began as a conservation organization for trout anglers, the group has grown more radical in its environmentalism as time has passed,” Coggin wrote in his report, further stating, “Despite its rough-and-tumble field-and-stream self-presentation, TU’s membership leans wealthy and urban while its [non-government] funders come from the highest reaches of organized environmentalism.”

If there is an ounce of truth in the CCF report, it would explain why representatives for the New York State Council of Trout Unlimited reaffirmed at its Sept. 17, 2013 general meeting, a 2009 resolution opposing any exploitation of the Marcellus Shale gas deposits.

You can read the entire Center for Consumer Freedom report by visiting www.greendecoys.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/green-decoys-report.pdf.


New York State Rifle and Pistol Association President Tom King recently announced its membership has nearly doubled since the passage of the NY SAFE Act. “Our individual membership has increased from 22,000 to more than 41,000 in the space of one year,” King said.

He then went on to say how NYSRPA has already spent over $450,000 in legal fees and is prepared to bear whatever cost is required to defeat the NY SAFE Act, adding “the recent decision by Chief U.S. District Judge William Skretny bodes well for our cause, inasmuch as the ruling pronouncing the seven round limit on magazine capacity violated the Second Amendment leaves the door open for a favorable ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court.”


In a related matter, the Shooter's Committee on Political Education (SCOPE) has scheduled a NY SAFE Act protest rally in Albany for April 1, which in my opinion is not a good date, inasmuch as a lot of gun-owning fishermen aren’t going to break from tradition of opening the trout fishing season with family and friend to attend a rally, regardless of its importance. Not that they shouldn’t. But with so many other days to choose from, I think April 1 was a poor choice.

Obviously SCOPE President Steve Aldstad is not a trout fisherman, because when I e-mailed him about it he wrote back, “People can wait one day to go fishing.”

Aldstad may be right, and I hope he is. I guess we’ll just have to wait until April 1 to see which of us is the bigger fool.


New York’s trapping season is winding down; it closes -- with the exception of mink and muskrat -- Feb. 15. So what can trappers expect to get for pelts? Well, at a recent fur auction in Kansas muskrats sold for $10; red fox for $37.50; raccoons, $13.23; mink, $16.50; coyotes, $20; beaver, $11.83; bobcat, $115.78; weasel, $5; skunk, $2; and possum, $0.83.


The DEC recently awarded nearly $135,000 in grants to 13 shooting ranges to revitalize and improve their operations and public access and promote the responsible use of firearms. Funding for the program came from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration program, based on a federal tax on firearms and ammunition made available to state fish and wildlife agencies for their sportsman education activities.

Each successful applicant provided a match of at least 25 percent of the project. These grants allow recipients to enhance their ranges or build new facilities, including ranges, storage units, accessible restrooms, roads, parking areas and hunter education classrooms. Among the 13 recipients were the Sprite Club in Dolgeville, which received $6,958 for the construction of a 100-yard rifle range; and the Middleburgh Rod and Gun Club in Middleburgh that received $6,956 to replace a trap machine.

The 2014 Shooting Range Small Grants Program application will be available March 1. For the most updated information on the program visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89577.html. For questions or comments regarding the program contact Melissa Bailey at mrb323@cornell.edu or call (315) 793-2515.

Dropping anchor ‘til next time.

To contact Dick Nelson with event or club news or to send a photograph email dnelsonrecorder@aol.com or outdoors@recordernews.com. Events should include the what, where, when and cost (if any). Photographs should include name of subject(s), town of residency and a brief description of the photo.


Feb. 22 -- Reid Hill Fish and Game Club Third Annual Ice Fishing Derby, Wally’s Driftwood Park, Mayfield, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Cash prizes in four categories -- pike, walleye, trout and perch. Entry fee is $15 pre-registration, $20 derby day. For more information on this one contact Clem DaBiere at 518-843-2063 or Ray Fyfe at 518-843-3451.

?Feb. 20-23 -- 31st Annual Springfield Sportsmen and Boat Show, Big E Exposition Center, Springfield, Mass. Hours: Thursday 3-9 p.m.; Friday 12-8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $13 for adults, $5 ages 6-12, and free ages 5 and under. Contact 413-467-2171. Website: www.osegsportsmens.com.

Feb. 22 -- Speculator - Lake Pleasant - Piseco Fish & Game Club 12th Annual Lake Pleasant Ice Fishing Contest. Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Register at The Inn at Speculator 5-8 p.m. Friday and 5-9 a.m. Saturday. Includes a buffet at The Inn. Four categories: trout, pickeral, perch and walleye. Cash prizes totaling $2,000. Payouts every hour for perch. Weigh-in at LP Marine. speculatorchamber.com.

Feb. 25 – Tribes Hill Fish and Game Club meeting, Tribes Hill Fire Department, 280 Mohawk Dr, Tribes Hill 7 p.m. Club meets the last Tuesday of every month (except July and December). New members welcome. Contact Mike Hughes at 518-528-2986 or by email at mhughes1@nycap.rr.com.

?Feb. 27 - March 2 -- 37th Annual World Fishing and Outdoor Exposition, Rockland County Community College, Suffern, NY. Hours: Thursday, 2-8 p.m., Friday, 1-8 p.m., Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $13 adults, $3 under age 12, under age five admitted free. Directions: New York Thruway, Exit 14B, Airmont Road and follow signs. For information call 603-431-4315. Web site: www.sportshows.com.

March 1 -- Adult Child Fishing Derby, Long Lake. Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fish any of the waters of Long Lake, Lake Eaton or South Pond. Cash prizes for pike, perch and trout. Sponsored by the Long Lake Fish and Game Club. No entry fee. Registration starts at Town Hall at 8:30 a.m. (518) 624-2145 for more.

March 1-2 -- Schroon Lake Fish and Game Club 2014 Schroon Lake Ice Fishing Derby. Hours: 6 a.m. March 1 through 4 p.m. March 2. Three categories: trout, salmon and northern pike. There will also be a cash prize for the heaviest pickerel and perch. Pre-registration $12 through Feb. 23 and $15 after. Send a check made out to the S.L. Fish & Game Club with a printed list of entrants’ names, complete addresses including zip codes and phone numbers to POB 725, Schroon Lake NY 12870 to arrive by Feb. 22. Email to SLFGClub@yahoo.com.