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Seven youths now can look forward to a lifetime of outdoors enjoyment.

The Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs youth lifetime sports license program gathered enough support to present seven winning youngsters with lifetime licenses in a variety of categories. Recipients received their licenses during the ECFSC awards banquet held March 2.

Joe Jemiolo, program coordinator, was impressed with responses from entrants and sponsors in the first year of the program. More than 1,400 applications were entered; major sponsorship came from the West Herr Group, Deer Search, Sassafras Charters and Mostly Musky Charters.

“We are planning to present 10 licenses during this year’s program,” Jemiolo said of the program which is open to all youths who are under the age of 16 by March 31 and reside in Erie County.

A fundraising raffle featuring prizes is set for May 23. For ticket and application information, call 440-6995 or 440-8812. For more details on entry rules and an application form, go to eriectyfsc.org.

Soft plastics ban looms

Outdoors folk not only fear restrictions on gun use, anglers fishing in Maine may see a major lure option removed from the tackle box.

On Jan. 17, Maine state representative Paul Davis introduced a bill which would ban the use of “artificial lures made of rubber.” Objections to this proposed bill were submitted during a Feb. 5 hearing and the bill now has been referred to a committee.

The loss of this lure option would affect resident and non-resident anglers who regularly fish with soft-plastic baits produced by Mister Twister, Berkley and dozens of other companies that provide baits which can be used singly or affixed to jigs, spinners, spoons, spinner baits and hard-body lures.

Bassmaster has posted a summary of the ban and an online opposition petition. To view these postings, go to bassmaster.com and in the search box enter “Maine soft plastics.”

SCI scholarships

The Western and Central New York chapter of Safari Club International is offering up to four scholarships to high school seniors who demonstrate a high level of interest in the environment and outdoors sports such as hunting, fishing and related activities.

Applications must be submitted by April 12. For details, email turkeytalker@aol.com or go to the newly upgraded chapter website at wnysafari.com.

email: odrswill@gmail.com