Outdoor Web Words by Bill Hilts Jr.

Winter bass fishing can be good

Some of these same tactics and techniques work in the spring, too, so keep this in mind when April and May roll around.

Winter angling tips for the tributaries

A 'green' Christmas was in the forecast so it might be a good time to sample any fishing gear that you may have received under the tree from jolly ol’ St. Nick.

Honoring our veterans with cast and blast

Honoring the men and women who serve as active-duty service members, as well as those who have served in the past, seems to be happening more and more around the state and the country. If you haven’t heard about any…

What you know and who you know

There’s a saying out there that infers “it’s not what you know but who you know” that translates into success in certain situations. During a recent trip to Southwest Florida, it was a little bit of both – what we…

Fishing a Lake Erie walleye tournament

Strategy is key for fishing a tournament. While catching a big fish is certainly a plus for your daily total, consistency for bigger fish is what really makes a difference at the end of the day.

Early season goose hunting tips

The early September season for Canada goose hunting is already here and with the changes in the regular Canada goose season for most of the state, more and more people are taking advantage of the early hunt. The season, which…

VIP fishing days important for promotion, education

August is the perfect month for promoting our Great Lakes resources. The weather is nice, and the fish are hungry. It is also a great time to share these outdoor resources with Very Important People who may not normally experience…

Learning something new for Lake Erie walleyes

Long time charter captain Jim Hanley of Angola is a local legend of sorts. He’s been a licensed U.S. Coast Guard skipper for 43 years on the local waters of Western New York. He recognized early on that he was…

Keeping it simple for Lake Erie walleyes

Lake Erie continues to be one of the best places to be for walleye in the entire world. With an estimated population of nearly 100 million fish, there are plenty to catch. For Capt. Ryan O’Neill of Orchard Park, his…

A day on the water with Capt. John Oravec

Like the saying goes, what goes around comes around. As I stepped into the Lund boat of Capt. John Oravec of Lyndonville (aptly named the Johnny O) during a recent fishing trip, he immediately informed me that he had taken…

Encouraging the next generation to hunt, fish

Parker Costello of Lockport is 7 years old. There are two things he is passionate about – fishing and wrestling. They are interchangeable with the seasons. With the arrival of spring, fishing has firmly established itself as the outdoor activity…

Night walleye fishing a fun experience

My phone notification for a text sounded off as I helped dig up a flower bed for my stepdaughter. It was a welcome relief. “Want to go night walleye fishing this week?” It was Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga and we…

'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…

Hunting hares with beagles becoming a lost art

“Tally Ho” is more than just a cry of a participant at a hunt to encourage the hounds when the quarry is sighted, as it explains in the dictionary. It is also the name of a new book by John Jarzynski of…

Learning new waters: Oatka Creek confidence

Opening new waters to fresh angling experiences should be on everyone’s radar. I first learned about Oatka Creek in detail by reading Trout Streams of Central New York penned by friend J. Michael Kelly of Marcellus. As one of the…

Promoting fishing and the outdoors is important

It was 35 years ago that I was hired by Niagara County to start up a brand-new program. I was brought in to serve as the county’s Sportfishing Promotion Program Coordinator. Yes, it was a mouthful to say. To shorten…

The push for kids and crossbows

Discussion has started to allow 12- and 13-year-old junior hunters to take the next step to hunt big game with firearms here in New York.

Promoting Lake Ontario through Sportfishing Promotion Council

I received a call from Capt. Rob Westcott of Hamlin, the skipper of Legacy Charters out of Bald Eagle and president of the Lake Ontario Charter Boat Association. Through his leadership and guidance, the charter fishing industry became part of…

Future looks brighter for 2021

For the ranks of fishermen and fisherwomen who turned to fishing for relief from a pandemic, everyone should make one new resolution moving forward – become a mentor for another angler or two.

About This Blog

Bill Hilts, Jr. of Lockport (Niagara County) has been a freelance writer since 1980 after graduating from SUNY-Oswego (’78). His first job was with Gun Week Newspaper out of Buffalo. He now writes every week for seven newspapers, contributes to magazines and has been writing for New York Outdoor News since its inception in 2004. He is past president of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, a former board member of Outdoor Writers Association of America, and active with New York State Outdoor Writers Association. A life member of NRA, he’s also involved with numerous sportsmen’s and conservation groups. He’s an avid deer and waterfowl hunter, and Great Lakes angler.

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