Legal starting and ending times for most hunts in New York State are set at sunrise and sunset.

Last week, a Notebook entry included a report that Dave “Forrest Fisher” Barus had taken a nice buck at 5:40 p.m. on Monday (Nov. 5) evening. Barus, a high-tech, law-abiding hunter/reporter harvested this deer the day after the switched to Daylight Savings Time.

Barus had not reset his watch and recorded the DST rather than the Standard Time of 4:40 p.m., well before the 5:02 p.m. sunset listed for that day.

In recent years, sportsmen often bring up starting and ending times for legal hunting in this state. New York allows only open hunting starting one half hour before sunrise each day during the spring turkey season in May and during waterfowl hunts.

Pennsylvania and Maryland allow small- and big-game hunting hours from a half hour before sunset to a half hour after sunset.

A handy “Sunrise & Sunset” listing of shooting hours, including a map for time zones, appears on page 88, the second-last page, of the current “New York Hunting and Trapping Official Guide.” Or, this table and all regulations can be brought up smartly on a phone or computer screen at

Boat trip of a lifetime

When Jim and Cathy Catalano go through the many thank-you letters after trips young and adult passengers with impairments enjoyed, they often read of the pure joy of motor sailing out of Buffalo Harbor aboard the Excalibur Leisure Skills vessel.

Some go out to catch fish, some go along for the ride to assist passengers and all enjoy the sights, sounds and waterfront smells of the Great Lakes and the Buffalo, Erie County and Canadian shorelines.

Last season, despite a curtailment two weeks early due to damaged running gear, the vessel accommodated nearly 1,800 “differently abled and disadvantaged Western New York residents,” Catalano noted. Funding for the program comes from individual donors and government sources, and the program has lost state funding for the last three boating seasons.

During this season of gift giving and receiving, outdoors folk might consider making a year-end, tax-exempt donation to this special program.

Contributions can be mailed to: Excalibur Leisure Skills Center, 90 North Dr., Buffalo, NY 14216. For more details, call 831-3188 or go to

Draw of a lifetime

Any kid under the age of 16 and a resident of Erie County can have his or her name entered in an Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs free drawing for a New York State Lifetime License.

Four winners’ names will be drawn during the December ECFSC meeting at the Bison City Rod and Gun Club on Dec. 6; licenses will be presented to the winning youths at the federation banquet in March.

For an application and complete entry rules, visit and click on “Youth lifetime license giveaway.”

Blind drawings

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation continues its duck blind drawings for the area’s northern parks: Fort Niagara, Wilson Tuscarora, and Golden Hill State Park.

Drawings wwill begin at 5:30 p.m. sharp on Wednesdays in November, Dec. 5 and 26 and Jan. 2 and 12.

Entrants must have a current small game license, a Federal Migratory Duck Stamp, a Harvest Information Program (HIP) Number, and show proof of the completion of a state Waterfowl Identification Course. For more details, call 745-7273.