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Wild turkey populations around Western New York and across New York State have been in decline for more than a decade and a Department of Environmental Conservation study, in its second of four years, attempts to find out the dynamics of this decline.

Interested land owners with known turkey-flock presence are asked to allow for a DEC trapping of hen turkeys. Captured hens will be fitted with leg bands; some birds will be also be fitted with radio transmitters to track movements and survival. All trapped birds will be released back to the capture site immediately after survey procedures.

Emilio Rende, turkey project coordinator for DEC Region 9, will conduct this program from January to March. Rende also encourages land owners and wildlife watchers to participate in a Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey for 2014, which also goes from January to March.

Participants record sightings of turkey flocks, including a bird count and current conditions while viewing turkeys at each site. To download a copy of the survey sheet, go to ec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/wintertkysurvey14.pdf. To sign on with the banding project or obtain a survey form, check with Rende at the DEC Allegany Office at 372-0645.

Lifetime license drawing

On Thursday evening Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs will hold a drawing at its December meeting for Erie County youths under age 16 to receive a selected lifetime sporting license.

The ECFSC meeting, held at Bison City Rod and Gun Club, 511 Ohio St., begins at 7 p.m. Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard will briefly speak on aspects of the NY SAFE Act and then assist president Chuck Godfrey in drawing the names for this year’s winners of the Youth Lifetime License raffle.

Erie County Legislator John Mills will also attend and discuss the county’s role in support of outdoors sportsmen’s programs.

Applications have been accepted for this year’s drawings, but youths can go to the federation’s Web site and download a form for entering next year’s drawing.

For details on this drawing and other ECFSC programs, go to eriecryfsc.org; for more information about the federation meeting, check with Godfrey at 440-6995.

Snowmobile registrations

Erie County snowmobile trails are set to open Wednesday provided at least a six-inch snow cover exists on frozen ground.

Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs reminds snowmobilers to register their sleds locally to avoid a registration rush. Operators can register using a signature green “Renew Local” envelope or directly at any Erie County Auto Bureau site.

Jacobs said that renewing locally “helps keep needed money in Erie County instead of going to Albany.”

For information about registering locally, snowmobile operators can call 858-7450 or go to erie.gov/registrations.

email: odrswill@gmail.com