WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Waterfowl to small game, conservation group offers new vistas

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Waterfowl to small game, conservation group offers new vistas


The Connecticut Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Program has a series of upcoming seminars and clinics. They are free and taught by certified volunteer instructors.

Those interested in attending must register. Registration is now open. Sign up using your Conservation ID Number (found at the top of your license) and date of birth. If you do not know your Conservation ID Number, call the CE/FS Wildlife Division at 860-424-3007.

Here’s the lineup:

■Sunday, Sept. 8: Waterfowl Hunting Seminar at the Wallingford Rod & Gun Club, 411 North Branford Road, Wallingford.

Sponsored by the Connecticut Waterfowlers Association, this seminar will provide the basic information needed to get started and the knowledge to become a more successful waterfowl hunters. Expert instructors will provide interactive presentations on various aspects of duck and goose hunting, including decoy spreads, biology, shooting, calling and hunting techniques.

■Saturday, Sept. 14: Small Game Hunting Clinic at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area, 341 Milford St. (Route 69), Burlington.

Small game is one of the most overlooked types of hunting. This clinic is designed to provide the tools and knowledge to hunt small game in Connecticut. Habitat, techniques, tactics and game care will be covered.

Bonus: Participants will have the opportunity to skin a squirrel and receive some great recipes.

■Saturday, Sept. 14: Small Game Hunting Clinic at the Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area, 391 Route 32, Franklin.

Cancellations made prior to 72 hours before the beginning of the event will not affect your ability to register for future CE/FS classes and events.

Over the years, I have attended some of these classes and have been amazed by the dedication of the instructors. And the things that one can learn — believe me, it is much better than some of the garbage our younger generation is now learning from all of the electronic gadgets that are now available to them.

As kids growing up in the Village of South Meriden, we were allowed to hunt small game at an early age. We were taught firearms safety by our parents and other hunters.

Today, just the fact that a youngster might learn to safely handle a firearm might frighten parents. Yet the kids are allowed to create all kinds of firearm mayhem on their computers and iPhones and no one thinks anything of it.

Every day, when I turn on my computer, I am invited to download some type of shooting “game” in which the user can use all kinds of illegal firearms to brutally mutilate various humans, and then we wonder why so many individuals try and copy-cat these videos in real life.

Would you believe that there was a time when a “drive-by” shooting was unknown and the only drug we knew of was aspirin? Now because of all of the chaos, much of it attributed to drug sales and use resulting in the illegal use of firearms, honest firearms users and owners are under siege from many politicians who do not have the faintest idea what legal, honest firearms ownership is all about.

Let’s see, way back we outlawed liquor (Prohibition). How did that work out? The lawbreakers made millions.

Oh, and they have also given us all kinds of laws regarding the illegal and lethal use of drugs. How is that working out? Illegal drug use and pedaling of them is a million-dollar business for those who have no regard for the law.

They can blame the NRA all they want, but they are barking up the wrong tree. Yes, I do know that a firearm in the hands of a mentally disabled human can be disastrous, but then so is a high-speed vehicle with a drunk driver or someone high on illegal drugs. Yet only the firearms owners have an accusing finger pointed at them when a shooting tragedy happens. Doesn’t a human being killed by drunk drivers and drug users and sellers deserve the same calling-out from some of these so-called politicians?

Don’t hold your breath.

Colebrook launch

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that on Friday, Aug. 16, the boat launch at Colebrook River Lake was closed to trailered boats due to hazardous low-water launching conditions.

The closure is expected to last until the water level rises. Carry-in boats, kayaks and canoes are still welcome.

While the top of the launch will be blocked with Jersey barriers, the parking lot will continue to be open to visitors.

Saltwater fishing

Striped bass seem to be coming rather slow for some. However, if you get a chance check out that “Fishing Machine,” Gabe Ravizza, on Facebook, he has been nailing some awesome striped bass on a lure that he manufactures.

It’s called Gravity Tackle and is available at the Fishin’ Factory in Southington.

There are reports of some excellent fishing for those tasty black sea bass and porgy (scup). Bluefish are also starting to make their presence known and some snapper blue fishing is to be had in the backwaters and coves.

Lures and frozen shiners are your best bet for these baby bluefish, but some anglers enjoy fishing for them with a fly rod.

Freshwater fishing

Locally, I have seen some really nice channel catfish and largemouth bass along with some monster carp being caught at Mirror Lake in Hubbard Park.

Silver Lake has been hot and cold for some anglers, especially for bass, but there have been reports of some excellent catfish being caught.

Bluefish tournament

The bluefish tournament filled as “The Greatest Bluefish Tournament On Earth” is this weekend on Long Island Sound.

There is a $25,000 first prize. Registration is $36 per angler and you can sign up at the Fishin’ Factory in Southington (860-621-8145).

Hey, good luck if you are in the tournament.

See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be serving to protect our great country.