by Mark Daul
Outdoors in Niagara
Concerned? If you are a hunter or fisher or both, you should be concerned. Our rights are slowly eroding away. As we go along, hunting land is disappearing with posted signs, fishing access is becoming less and less, and the antis keep pulling their tricks. Take a look at the radical People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for example - vegans that would rather wear cabbage leaves than wool, and no leather, just plastic shoes. Just think: no dairy products, no meat, and no hunting or fishing, and not even seeing-eye dogs.
There are more laws in legislation than anyone can shake a stick at for the complete removal of your guns and/or more restrictions. One proposal that will hurt anyone owning a gun is the one the U.S. president and the secretary of state are encouraging, and that is a United Nations proposal for global gun control, a call for a total ban on gun ownership by civilians.
Think that will work? I don't think so in my generation, but they are trying. Think about this: the NRA spent millions trying to defeat certain aspects of the Brady Bill in 1993-94, but to no avail. The bill has pros and cons, but, overall, some rights were taken away and it severely restricted others. We need the NRA and other groups like The National Association for Gun Rights to help protect the Second Amendment. Think about what New York City Mayor Bloomberg and "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" are doing. They just launched millions of dollars into a TV ad campaign painting gun owners as radical terrorists, trying frantically to confiscate our guns. Also, check the Bill H.R. 591, referring to the gun show loophole in Congress now.
One of the things you can do even in a very small way is join a hunting or fishing club, and there is nothing wrong joining both for your own welfare and that of your children and grandchildren. In Niagara and Erie counties alone, we have many active clubs that offer shooting sports and huge fishing opportunities for everyone. Many clubs offer youth groups within their clubs instructed by qualified volunteer members, which are capable of teaching our children how to enjoy their particular outdoor sport safely and enjoyably. Many of our local clubs have been influential in designing some of our state fish and game laws. Our lawmakers seldom listen to one or two people, but they will listen to a group of united individuals, and that is where belonging to an outdoors club will make you a part of the laws we live with.
Outdoors is where it is at, not behind an iPad or a computer, on a computer playing, or all that time spent watching TV or talking on a cell phone, too. Get the young people outdoors and even make it a family event, like making it a "must do" thing with your family. You can even add camping, hiking, and boating as other must-do things.
Look at the attendance at the recently held Wildlife Festival sponsored by the New York Power Authority in conjunction with the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs. A crowd of 20,000 over two days is the word going around, and that should tell you something about the outdoors, and the activities it offers.
If you wonder or are looking for a local club to join or to just ask questions, you can call any of our local clubs for all the information you will need. You can check out the NCFCC website, www.outdoorsniagara.com/niagaracountyfederation.htm, for a complete list of county clubs, addresses and contact information. Several have websites listed you can scroll through. They are all linked from the NCFCC web address, or email me at [email protected] and I can help you.
Salmon fishing is hot and heavy in the gorge right now. Lake trout season is over, but there is lots of time for bass, walleye and perch. As the water cools, minnows will be coming in closer to shore and the perch will be right behind them for you shore fishermen. In October, Wilson Harbor "harbors" a lot of big lake perch. Live minnows do the trick there, and don't be surprised if you latch on to a nice steelhead trout that was stocked by the Town of Wilson and many volunteers.
For up-to-date fishing information and hot spots go to: www.OutdoorsNiagara.com and don't forget your hunting and fishing licenses need to be renewed by Oct. 1.