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REGISTER FOR MONTEZUMA AUDUBON CENTER’S SUMMER CAMPS: The Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY has published its summer camp schedule. Spaces fill quickly, so early registration is encouraged. The Camps being offered this summer are:

Hunter Safety / Waterfowl ID Camp   July 9 - July 13   Fee: $150

Youth will earn their hunter safety and waterfowl ID certificates while learning how to be a safe, ethical, and responsible sportsman during hands-on learning and outdoor experiences! Waterfowl ID is required to hunt waterfowl at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. This camp will be taught as a home study course to maximize our time in the field. Campers will be given the course manual and workbook prior to camp. Ages: 11-15

Bow Safety / Trapper Safety Camp   July 16 - July 20   Fee: $150

Campers will learn the necessary safety techniques and responsibilities when using a bow and arrow to pursue deer and as a trapper when setting traps to catch wild game. This camp will be taught as a home study course to maximize our time in the field. Campers will be given the course manual and workbook prior to camp. Ages: 11-15

Fisheries Camp   July 23 - July 27   Fee: $150

Young anglers will learn safe fishing practices and how to catch “the big one” from wildlife biologists while casting for trout, panfish, salmon, bass, carp and more around Montezuma and the Finger Lakes Region. Ages: 11-15

Wildlife Exploration Camp   July 30 - August 3   Fee: $150

Campers will explore the Montezuma Wetlands Complex’s habitats and mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians during hiking, canoeing, wildlife management, and other outdoor activities. Ages: 11-15

Montezuma Paddling Camp   August 6 – 10   Fee: $150    

Paddlers of all skill levels will create their own adventures with the help of our trained educators to discover Montezuma’s rivers, streams and wetlands while learning to paddle canoes and kayaks. Ages: 11-15

Junior Nature Camp   August 20 – 24   Fee: $150

Young naturalists will explore the wonders of nature through a variety of outdoor games, fun crafts and unique activities. Campers will catch frogs in the pond, search for signs of mammal activity in the forest, and discover the birds, butterflies and dragonflies in the grassland and wetland. Ages: 6-10

The days will run from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily.

For information and/or obtain regristration forms call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org, or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma.


DEC SUMMER CAMPS: Online registration for the DEC 2018 Summer Camps program opened back in January. Applications should be submitted through the online registration program available through a link from the Summer Camps website. Parents and guardians are encouraged to register early since some of the weeks fill up quickly.

Now in its 71st year, the Summer Camps program offers week-long adventures in conservation education for children ages 11-17. DEC operates four residential camps for children: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake (Franklin County); Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor (Sullivan County); Camp Rushford in Caneadea (Allegany County), and Pack Forest in Warrensburg (Warren County).

New this year, camps Colby and DeBruce will offer two weeks of programing for children aged 14-17 as "returnee weeks" and offer programming for ages 11-13 the rest of the summer. Camp Pack Forest will continue to host children aged 14-17 for six weeks and ages 11-13 for two weeks. Camp Rushford will continue to offer two weeks of programming for children aged 14-17 and five weeks of programming for ages 11-13. The complete schedule of camp weeks and ages is available on the Summer Camps website.

Campers will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of outdoor adventures and are encouraged to try new things. Activities may include fishing, bird watching, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering, and hunter safety education. One hunter education program for either gun, bow, or trapping is offered at each camp each week. Class size is limited for hunter education programs and campers must sign up for it during registration and complete the homework in advance.

Along with adventure experiences, DEC campers engage in fun, hands-on activities, and outdoor exploration focused on field, forest, stream, and pond ecological principles. Campers might collect insects in a field, use nets in a stream, investigate soil composition, measure tree sizes, or practice taking field notes, and writing in journals. Trips to nearby state lands might include kettle bogs, state parks, fish hatcheries, or nature museums.

Also new this year, Camp Pack Forest will offer "Outdoor Adventure Week 2.0" during Week 5 (July 22-27). DEC encourages teens ages 14 to 17 who love being outdoors to sign up for this redesign of the Outdoor Adventure Week that will help deepen their enjoyment and widen their horizons while exploring environmental careers at Camp Pack Forest. During this week, campers will develop hands-on outdoor skills that go above and beyond the traditional camp week. Alongside canoeing, fishing, and games campers will engage in forestry, citizen science, conservation science, and more. Guest DEC, higher education, and natural resource professionals will provide opportunities to consider career paths.

All four camps will operate for seven one-week sessions (Sunday to Friday) beginning June 24, 2018; Pack Forest operates for eight weeks. Drop-off time is 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, and the closing ceremony and pick-up time is Friday at 4:30 p.m. One week of camp remains $350 per child for the 2018 year, and includes meals, trips, and a camp t-shirt.

In addition to inviting parents to register their children to participate in the DEC environmental education Summer Camps program, sporting clubs, civic groups, and environmental organizations are encouraged to sponsor one or more children for a week at camp. Groups that deposit funds to sponsor six (6) paid campers in one transaction will receive a scholarship to send a seventh child to camp for free. The seventh camper will use a sponsorship code generated by the Albany Camps administrative. Information about becoming a sponsor and managing sponsor accounts is available on DEC's website.

For more information please visit the DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov, call 518-402-8014, visit "NYS DEC Summer Camps" on Facebook or write to DEC Camps, 3rd Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-5256.

yourh campers sitting in a semi-circle by a lake, around a counselor


KUDOS:  Congratulations go out to Tom Nelson IV on his first deer taken during the recent youth season in Schuyler County. A 70 yard shot that produced a nice doe.




April 21-22 – Spring Youth Turkey Hunt (Details page 46 17-18 Hunting & Trapping Guide)





Fishing Basics:

Summer is a great time to go fishing, and it's a lot easier to get started than you might think. With more than 7,500 lakes and ponds, 50,000 miles of rivers and streams and hundreds of miles of coastline, New York State has some of the finest fishing in the country. You probably don't live very far from a popular fishing spot.

Five Simple Steps to Begin Fishing:

*Prepare your rod and reel: Be sure your reel has line, then press the button of your spin-cast reel or open the bail (if you have a spinning reel) to release line from the reel. Pull enough line out to thread it through all of the guides of your rod.
*Attach a hook: Hooks come in different sizes and shapes. A #6 or #8 hook with a long, straight edge is a good size to try. Circle hooks are best to use if you plan to release the fish you catch. Use an improved clinch knot to tie the hook onto the line.
*Attach a bobber: To attach a bobber, thread the line around the top and bottom hooks. To expose the bottom hook, press the top button on the bobber. For the top hook, press the button while holding the bottom hook in. Attach the bobber so the fish hook hangs just above any weeds or logs on the bottom. The bobber will jerk or "bob" when a fish has taken your bait.
*Attach bait: Place bait on the hook. If you are using a worm, pierce the worm with the hook, wrap the worm around the hook and pierce it again, making sure it is securely fastened.
Cast and retrieve:

Cast your bait out. Next, turn the reel crank forward until it clicks to prevent more line from coming out. To take up any slack in your line, reel the line in until the bobber begins to move. When a fish bites, the bobber will either move along the water's surface or go underwater. When this happens, give the line a quick jerk that's hard enough to move the bobber and set the hook in the fish's mouth, but not so hard that the hook, bait and/or fish go flying over your shoulder. Now, reel in the line until you can pick up the fish with your hand.

Now you need to decide what to do with the fish. Is it large enough to keep? Will it be used for food? First, check the state's freshwater fishing regulations or saltwater regulations to be certain the fish is of legal size to keep. If it's not, carefully release the fish back into the water, being sure to handle it with wet hands and as little as possible. A fish that you catch and release carefully can be caught again someday when it is bigger. To take a fish off the line, hold it firmly around the body. Watch out for sharp spines on the fish's fins. To remove the hook, push it down and turn it so it comes out the way it went in.

For more information, visit DEC's Fishing Basics page. (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/50859)

Now that you know the basics of fishing, it is time to get your tackle box organized. To begin freshwater fishing, you generally need the following items:
-Fishing license (required for both fresh and saltwater fishing for adults and children above the age of 16)
-Fishing rod and reel
-Monofilament fishing line (4- to 8-pound test)
-Fishing weights
-Hooks (size numbers 6-10)
-Good-quality plastic or wood bobber or float
-Live bait or lures
Visit a sporting goods store or fishing tackle shop; they can help you get everything you need, including a license.
(From DEC Outdoor Discovery - August 8, 2012 - To subscribe go to http://lists.dec.state.ny.us/mailman/listinfo/decoutdoordiscovery)










*** Sharpen up your shooting skills


*** Skeet Shooting



Bird Scavenger Hunt (or make up Bingo cards)

If you watch birds in your backyard, you probably see the same species over and over again. Head out to a nearby park, field or woods with a pair of binoculars (and bring an adult along) to expand your bird sightings. Try this "bird scavenger hunt" on your outing. Look for:
—A brown bird
—A colorful bird
—A bird's nest
—A bird hidden in some bushes or brush
—A bird with long tail feathers
—A bird that is calling or singing
—A bird hunting for food

---Add more items