Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Women important to the future

Score another one for the ladies. Christa Saunderson of
Ransomville showed up the guys during the spring edition of the
2011 Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby when she kicked
butt on a 27-pound, 14-ounce lake trout while fishing on the
Niagara Bar with her boyfriend, Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown
and Wet Net Charters. Sure, she may have had a little help, but
she hooked the fish and reeled it in – all with her
sweatshirt half on. She had been trying to remove her shirt because
it actually turned hot on the water – one of the few times this
spring – and she didn’t skip a beat. She proved she could fish with
the best of them and even endure some overtime angling action.

The story that wasn’t told was that they were fishing all day.
The only break they had was a brief pit stop at the Fort Niagara
launch ramp… to pick up a pizza that was delivered around 2 p.m.
They paid the delivery boy and headed right back out again – to
catch their winning fish. I love it when the women do well in this
world that has long been dominated by their male counterparts.
Bottom line, they are one of the important components to the future
of our outdoor sports. They need to be more involved. Some of the
guys, selfishly, don’t seem to get it.

In a poll that is ongoing with the Outdoors Niagara website
(, the question was asked: Do you take your
significant other with you? The responses ranged from “no way,
that’s my escape” at 23 percent to “sometimes” at 26 percent.
Thirty eight percent were split between most of the time and
always, which I think is encouraging. Attitudes are slowly starting
to change. There’s no question that women want to get involved with
the outdoors given the right conditions or set of

In Niagara County, Colleen Gaskill of Lockport has started up a
program called the “Ladies Shoot and Hoot” to get more women
involved with outdoor activities. On Sept. 17, 2011, she will host
her Second Annual Women Conquering Outdoor Adventures at the North
Forest Rod and Gun Club in Lockport, and her support is growing by
leaps and bounds. In a few short years she has compiled a mailing
list of more than 500 women around the state. The program has
become so successful that the Niagara County Federation of
Conservation Clubs honored her with the Oliver Jones Memorial Award
for top sportsperson of the year in 2010. Chalk another one up for
the ladies.

There are more and more opportunities for women to get involved.
The state has a Becoming an Outdoors Woman program that is very
successful. The National Wild Turkey Federation has numerous Women
in the Outdoors programs around the state to get the ladies more in
tune with nature and other outdoor programming. Oswego County has a
ladies-only fishing outing every year. For hunting and fishing
programs to survive in this country, we need the ladies to start
casting and shooting more. Let’s hope attitudes continue to change.
And if you don’t believe me, check out the blogs and articles from
Associate Editor of New York Outdoor News Paula Piatt. She’s a
perfect example of what could be – a great hunting partner for her
husband Steve. If neither of them want to shoot at a turkey, though
(you likely read Steve’s recent column on that topic), I would be
happy to take the shot.


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