New York’s deer herds and bear populations are fit and numerous, according to recent Department of Environmental Conservation reports.
DEC officials have monitored deer carcasses for possible chronic wasting disease since 2002; testing of more than 2,500 samples revealed no instances of CWD. The last confirmed case was discovered in 2005.
Black bear harvest numbers reached record and near-record counts for the Southern Zone (Southeastern, Central and Western New York) and all but the Adirondack Region were at or above their five-year averages.
Good cover areas and food sources have increased bear numbers without added open hunting areas in Central-WNY areas this past year; harvests increased from 289 in 2012 to 342 during the 2014 hunt.
For summary results, go to www.dec.ny.gov and in the SEARCH box enter “2013 bear harvest.”
The Bison City Rod & Gun Club annual Teach-Me-To-Fish event is set for April 27 in the club and on the grounds at 511 Ohio St. from 1:30 to 5 p.m.
Kids with accompanying adults have free use of fishing gear and learning stations in and around the club. U.S. Coast Guard and Erie County sheriff’s personnel will provide information on fishing and boating in area waters.
For more details, check with Dave Barus at 652-2256 or 597-4081.
The statewide Youth Hunt for wild turkeys is set for April 26-27 for kids ages 12-15 with a junior hunting license, a turkey permit and an accompanying adult with a current hunting license and turkey permit.
Youths can harvest one bearded bird, which is included in the two-bird spring turkey season that begins May 1 and continues to May 31.
The Shortsville Rod & Gun Club seeks mentors for the Ontario County Youth Turkey Hunt that it hosts that weekend. To offer hunt setup and calling assistance, check with John Stansfield at (585) 233-5432.
The Canandaigua Lake Chapter of Trout Unlimited 19th Fly Fishing School will be held April 26 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Onanda Park. Hands-on instruction includes techniques for stream and lake fishing.
Call Jim Cantin at (585) 454-4250, Ext. 108, or go to Canandaigualaketu.org.
Springing into nature
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge hosts its annual “Spring into Nature” program April 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Casey Road Visitor Center and the Cayuga Overlook on Route 77.
All activities are free and include crafts and games for kids. Contact the refuge’s staff for more details at (585) 948-5445, Ext. 2205, or go to fws.gov/refuge/Iroquois.