The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame held its 30th Annual Induction Banquet at the Rusty Rail Restaurant in Canastota on April 27 and five of the seven inductees are active outdoors persons from Western New York.
All five recipients are people who have volunteered their efforts in behalf of conservation and environmental programs and projects for many years. Their decades of devotion and major achievements were highlighted during an induction banquet that drew about 100 guests from around New York State.
Scott Faulkner, NYSOHOF president, noted that the works and successes cited on nomination forms for each successful inductee were far too numerous to be articulated fully during the evening’s presentations.
Charles “Chuck” Booker of West Amherst had gained a good measure of fame with his Freshwater Hall of Fame entries that now number 58 confirmed record catches. All the while, Booker’s extensive fund raising and volunteer efforts had been virtually unnoticed over the decades.
He spent eight years working on the Andover Wetlands Restoration Project, aided in the Lake Ontario Pen Rearing Project, served as Western Region Director of the Lake Ontario Tributaries Anglers Council (LOTAC), devoted countless hours to gathering funds, and assisted in programs for kids, women and all interested in the outdoors.
Booker offers seminar presentations for anglers across the state and the Northeast. Upon receiving his induction he thanked his wife Jennifer, who beamed even more than Chuck during the photo sessions.
Diane “Dee” Maciejewski of Elma had a beaming husband on hand when accepting her induction. Husband Paul Maciejewski had been inducted into the NYSOHOF in 2007; Dee has quietly but thoroughly shown organizational skills comparable with her husband’s as a Trout Unlimited volunteer and office holder for more than two decades.
Dee held several positions with the WNY Chapter of TU, most recently as chapter president. Along with TU programs, she is an active member of the East Aurora Fish and Game Club and shoots in two pistol and rifle leagues. Her many state and national involvements have earned her acclaim and she was recently named the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs Sportswoman of the Year.
Larry Becker of Gainesville not only talks turkey but also is involved in getting results for many sportsmen issues and needs. Becker is past president of the New York State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, was president of the Wyoming County Chapter, and chairman of the State Chapter Wild Turkey Woodlands Committee.
A longtime member of advisory and caucus efforts, Becker was presented the New York State Conservation Council’s Volunteer Conservationist of the Year in 2010. He continues to offer volunteer assistance to outdoors programs that need his support.
Frank Miskey Sr. of Elma has served as a hunter safety instructor for 35 years and currently functions as a master instructor coordinating all certification classes in Erie County, which benefit thousands of hunters, archers and trappers.
Miskey has worked with local legislators on crossbow issues, supervises the Conservation Building exhibits during the Erie County Fair, and has helped distribute free gunlocks to thousands in the Erie County Project Childsafe program. He also is active in the Ducks Unlimited Greenwings program for youths, National Hunting and Fishing Day planning, fundraising and banquet committees and is a counselor during Bowhunter Youth Camps.
Art Segool of Orchard Park is a household name in the West Falls Conservation Society clubhouse, and everywhere sportsmen education has positively affected hunters, archers and trappers afield. Segool has been a regular at Camp Hickory Hill as a hunter safety instructor; he also runs the rifle range and assists with shotgun and BB shooting programs there.
Both Miskey and Segool expressed their pride in knowing through subsequent feedback that shooters and all students they have taught go on to experience safe and enjoyable outdoors pursuits and encounters.
Details on current hall inductees will soon be posted on the hall’s website; for a listing of recipients starting in 1983 and other activities, go to nysohof.org.