The Yates County Youth Turkey Hunt began in 2010 as a collaborative effort involving Lt. Matt Lochner, Dale Lane of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and a dedicated group of callers and volunteer sponsors. The idea was to increase and promote hunting opportunities for young people in and around the Finger Lakes region.

Over the past few years, this event has provided a positive experience for over 350 first-time turkey hunters.

This year’s event kicked off with a presentation dinner at the Seneca Lake Duck Hunters Club, where DEC Lt. Kevin Thomas discussed hunting ethics before going over the top four firearm safety rules. fire.

Jason Pollack, champion competitive turkey caller, led a seminar to teach kids how to use mouth calls that he tailor-made for each young hunter participating.

Thanks to the generosity of Penn Yan Moose Lodge, New York State Conservation Officers Association, Schuyler County Sheriffs Association, OF Mossberg and Sons, Rock Ridge Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Velocity Outdoors, Eagle Eye Outfitters and many other local sponsors, all 29 participants received a turkey vest, hat, gloves, face mask, calls, gun case and Dead Ringer sights. Four young hunters were raffled off to receive high-powered air rifles, and five lucky hunters won new, fully-equipped shotguns for turkey hunting.

Thanks to the time and effort of the volunteer decoys, the young hunters harvested 15 turkeys during the two-day event.

After the Sunday morning hunt, everyone gathered for photos and a lunch courtesy of the Seneca Lake Duck Hunters Club. All the kids received prize packs ranging from hunting gear to blinds and lures, even a lifetime sportsman’s license courtesy of Penn Yan Moose Lodge.

The largest bird was harvested by Kalliope Finger, a 21.3-pound three-barbed tom sporting 10.4-, 8.3-, and 8.2-inch barbs and 1-inch spurs. His impressive turkey will be ridden as a full mount provided by Jesse Lapp-Deer Run Outfitters.

For more information on this great event, check out the event’s Facebook page @YatesCountyYouthTurkeyHunt.

People who helped organize the event: Dale Lane-Eagle Eye Outfitters; DEC Capt. Bill Powell, Lieutenant Kevin Thomas, Inv. Scott Angotti, Inv. Josh Crain, Officer Ron Gross, Officer Tim Brown and Officer Ike Bobseine;

Scott Southerland and his team at the Seneca Lake Duck Hunters Club; measurer Tom Lochner; and photographers Cleo Pollack and Donna Richardson.

The full list of sponsors is as follows: Rock Ridge Outdoors-Dead Ringer/The Grind; Tobehanna Creek Chapter-Whitetails Unlimited; Dave Allen-All Outdoors; Sand and Gravel Roy Howell; New York State Conservation Officers Association; Seneca Lake Duck Hunters Club; Barrington Gun Club; the Himrod Conservation Club; Taxidermy by Jessie Lapp; Middlesex Conservation Club; Don Barrett-Barrett’s Bowhunting; Velocity Outdoors-Crosman Corp. ; OF Mossberg and Sons; Penn Yan Moose Pavilion; Branchport Rod & Gun Club; Knapp and Schlappi Lumber Co; Automotive and Marble Glass; and Eagle Eye Outfitters

The following volunteer guides accompanied the young hunters to make this event possible: Ike Bobseine, Matt Lochner, Jason Pollack, Brendon Smalt, Mike Pollack Jr., Mitch Leahman, Kelly Raab, Joe Micciche, Tim Ribis, Dale Lane, Chris Reed, Carl Sands, Drew Spencer, Anthony Forte, Matt Kautz, Dave Stratton, Ron Gross, Jeff Dean, Scott Martin, Roy Howell, Jeff Curn, JT Thomas, Jason Edmister Sr., Jason Edmister Jr., Kevin Thomas, William Powell , Joe Knapp, Scott Angotti, Tim Brown, David Ayers, Phil Huber and Austin Fingar.

Spring LOC Derby

The Spring Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby, the first major salmon and trout fishing contest of the year, began May 6 and runs through May 15.

The grand prize for the largest salmon will be $15,000. Over $44,000 in cash prizes will be up for grabs, including $1,100 in daily prizes for the biggest fish in each of the four species categories: salmon, brown trout, lake trout and walleye. Daily prizes are $500 for salmon and $200 for each of the other three divisions.

Admission is $40 for adults and $20 for children 10 to 15 years old. Register for a day for $20 (adult) or $10 (youth). Season pass options are available to save you $10 based on all three events. Take advantage of these $10 savings and join the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association ( to become eligible for additional prizes for the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member. In the spring, the LOTSA prize is $1,000.

There are many weigh stations and check-in points along the shore of the lake. For more information on the derby, visit the LOC website at

Erie children’s derby

An exciting new addition to the youth fishing events will take place on May 21 in Clyde.

The Erie Canal Kids Free Fishing Derby is sponsored by Clyde SPAN, the CS 21st Century School program and the Student Anglers Association. Kids ages 7 to 15 are available to fish during the event which begins at 7 a.m. and continues until 2 p.m. Weigh-ins are scheduled for 1 p.m.

The inaugural derby will take place at Canalside at Lauraville Landing and is coordinated with the opening of the Erie Canal. Registration is compulsory and each participant receives a gift.

To register or learn more, call (315) 415-7958 or (315) 573-0903.

Birding Update

My various recordings of birds arriving and departing span decades.

Currently, my eight-year-old home in North Wolcott is surrounded by 50 acres of woodland. Prior to that, I spent 20 years in Port Bay and another 20 in New Hampshire. At each location, I jotted down the migratory journeys of my avian friends in my bird books.

Three different Peterson Field Guides are complete. I use the blank pages near the preface and the index.

My Sibley guide to birds is now complete, so I place a notebook page in the back flap.

Why am I disclosing all this information to readers? I do not know.

Anyway, bird migration fascinates me. Now that “bird professionals” have developed miniature transistors on small birds like juncos, we birdwatchers are learning all about it.

Pick up Scott Weidensaul’s latest book, “A World On The Wing,” if you really need to humble your existence. What amazing facts!

It is now May 4 and according to my information, hummingbirds are expected. For the past six years at Wolcott they have arrived between May 5th and May 7th.

My rufous-breasted cardinal arrived on May 1, the phoebe flew on April 25, and my juncos returned to their breeding grounds in southern Canada on April 24. Simply amazing things.

It’s time to go place the hummingbird feeders and give them some good sugar, but I’ll wait a bit for the rain to end. After all, I’m just a spectator, a fair-weather Homo sapien.