New York – Bill Hilts Jr

‘Seal Hike’ spurs memories of past April 1 Adventure

While checking out Twitter notifications from New York State Parks earlier this month, an announcement came through for a “Seal Hike” from Montauk State Park. Yes, there are seals spotted regularly on Long Island, having witnessed some at a recent state writers conference. Have you ever seen a seal in the Niagara River though? It was about 20 years ago…

Shooting preserves are important

In this new world of COVID-19, social distancing, and masks, shooting preserves can play an important role in getting new hunters afield in a safe and responsible manner. Whether it is the next generation of junior hunters or older adults who are new to upland bird hunting, chasing pheasants or chukars on a preserve is the perfect way to get…

Preserving fishing history is important

Mark Schmitkons has a passion for collecting antique fishing gear. Mark Schmitkons, of Newfane, is crazy about antique fishing stuff. His passion is collecting old fishing tackle that truly means something, a piece of equipment that has a story to tell. His primary focus is Western New York, but he is also quite knowledgeable about the value of gear outside…

What lurks beneath the waters of Lake Ontario?

Many bodies of water have their own scary stories involving mysterious sightings and unexplained creatures. Lake Ontario is no different. However, I have personal knowledge through a couple friends that will leave you shaking your head, wondering what it could have been. My grandparents had a cottage on Lake Ontario, and I can remember seeing three large fish cruising the…

Nedding on the Niagara

(Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)You never know what is going to work for fishing on any given day. Sometimes it does not matter how you cast, the way you retrieve or where you throw your bait. Ultimately, it is up to the fish to grab your offering. We met at the launch ramp at the foot of Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda with…

Taking the Grandson Fishing … with his dad

Parker Costello with his father, Kyle.In the new world of the coronavirus, the great outdoors has become a diversion of sorts – especially with fishing. License sales for residents have been on the rise because more adults were off work and kids were out of school. They needed something productive and relaxing to preoccupy their time. It did not take…

Fishing regs are in place for a reason, but who reads them? 

It happens every spring. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) stocking trucks, filled with fish, head out to plant fish at designated locations around the state. Many people associate this activity with the April 1 opening day of trout for the inland streams and lakes, and they should. However, there is a disconnect, a lack of understanding with what…

Charter captains to the rescue

It was Sunday, March 22, when charter captains and guides were hit with a “PAUSE” order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, declaring that they were deemed “non-essential.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Charter captains are the ambassadors for our Great Lakes fisheries here in New York. For many non-resident anglers coming into this…