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Young boaters will have to complete a certification course before operating a motor-powered vessel in New York State this year.

Effective May 1, 2014, youths ages 10 to 18, any person born on or after May 1, 1996, will be required to successfully complete an 8-hour boating course before taking the controls of a conventional motorboat or personal watercraft (jet-ski).

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas offer boating safety courses that meet the state requirement. Classes are presented well before the boating season.

USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 3-3 offers courses this month, on Feb. 4,11 and 22. For details, call 901-0722 (9 a.m.-8 p.m.) or email: Flotilla33Education@hotmail.com.

Flotilla 3-2 conducts two “Safe Boating and Jet Ski Class” in March. For more information, call 366-0899 or go to wnyboatsafe.org.

Young buck survival

A recently released Quality Deer Management Association report indicates deer hunters are increasingly passing on harvesting yearling bucks across the country.

The QDMA report had hunters take bucks at 37 percent of all antlered deer tagged in the 2012-13 season. That figure is down from 62 percent of the buck take in 1988 when QDMA was organized and held its first national survey.

In the Northeast, New York State at 110,002 ranked second behind Pennsylvania with 127,540 for last year’s total buck take. New York showed a three percent increase in buck harvest over its previous two years.

New York’s final deer-harvest tally by gender, county, and region will be compiled after the Suffolk County/Long Island numbers are crunched. Deer season on the island ended Friday.

For a complete breakdown of national deer dynamics in the QDMA “Whitetail Report 2013”, go to qdma.com/corporate/whitetail-report.

Sailing honors

Jody Starck of Amherst has been named US Sailing’s 2013 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. A two-time winner of the Rolex honor, She won the Lightning World Championship as crew and the Lightning Atlantic Coast Championship as skipper.

Starck will be formally recognized during a gathering at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco on Feb. 25.

email: odrswill@gmail.com