New York – Bill Hilts Jr

Sportsmen need to stay informed

It was a Saturday night, a few days before Christmas, and my phone rang. It was the copy person at the Niagara Gazette reviewing my column for the next day. The column focused on the fact that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had just vetoed the proposed legislation that would have extended the use of crossbows for another two years – under…

It's about more than the harvest

As I hunkered down trying to keep warm for opening morning of the Southern Zone big game season, I could see and hear my breath beneath a huge hemlock that stood tall in the middle of Rock Creek State Forest in Greenwood, Steuben County. If this tree could tell stories, our dad would be a big part of that history….

Restoring lake trout in Lake Ontario

I received a phone call on the second Friday morning of November from Capt. Frank Campbell. “What do you have going on today?” he asked. “Working on travel guide stuff and updating the hotline. Why? What’s up?” I asked. “Charter cancelled and fish are snapping at Artpark. Want to take some photos?” One hour later I was meeting him at…

Waterfowl wins duck/goose opener

“That’s why they call it hunting,” said Dave Manz, a former Buffalo City Court Judge who was getting ready to shake himself off like a Labrador retriever after doing what he was intended – retrieving a bird from the water. The only difference was that Manz was crawling out of his layout blind after a disappointing morning in a Niagara…

Outdoor writers converge on Niagara

After quite a bit of a variety of outdoor adventures that took me from Alaska to Missouri, it was time to settle back into my own little slice of the outdoors right here in Niagara County. Outdoor writer Bill Vanderford from the Atlanta, Ga., area was in town to sample our outdoor resources – the final leg of a tour…

Branson’s Taneycomo a great trout fishery

Branson, Mo, was an unlikely site for the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, which held its 56th annual conference at the Chateau on the Lake. If you’ve ever been to Branson, you were probably there to take in the shows, the strip and all the glitz. But there’s much more to Branson than the entertainment experience. In fact, just…

Weathering Alaska

About the only guarantee you can get when it comes to weather is that it will happen – good or bad. Our recent trek to Alaska took us from Fairbanks to Valdez – a six-hour drive through some absolutely spectacular country. Of particular note was our travel through Thompson’s Pass, looking more like the terrain of Switzerland. At least that’s…

Alaska: OWAA meeting and a 'Bucket List' check

It was two years ago when the Outdoor Writers Association of America announced that they would be holding the group’s landmark conference gathering in a special place – Chena Hot Springs, a short drive from Fairbanks in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Yes, Alaska, our 49th State, was our destination Sept. 3-6. As this is being written, after much…