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Hooks and Antlers: Sportsmen should remain busy in April


April is a transitional month for sportsmen and women as winter seasons come to a close and spring seasons are yet to get under way.

Though this month does not feature a menu of on-the-water and in-the-woods activities, there are plenty of things to do, and today’s column presents an overview of some of the possibilities.

Club Membership

Now is the time to join a local club or to renew your memberships. Sporting clubs offer camaraderie through outdoor-related activities, tournaments, fundraising for worthwhile projects, youth activities, habitat projects, seminars and more.

Both new and current club members should consider taking an active role in their clubs as active members give energy to any organization and its undertakings.

Clayton Boat Show

The 1000 Islands-Clayton Spring Boat Show will take place Friday through Sunday at the Cerow Recreation Park Area.

The show provides opportunities to talk to dealers, see the latest trends, get ideas for upgrading the features of a user’s current boat, check out boating related products and other trends.

Friday show hours are 1-7 p.m. while the Saturday session goes from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and the Sunday hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for youths, and free for those 8 and under.

Massena Sportsman’s Expo

Sponsored by the Massena Rod and Gun Club, the Sportsman’s Expo ranks high in popularity among area sportsmen and women.

The Expo offers an abundance of opportunities to check out product and to talk with experts in turkey calling, St. Lawrence River walleyes, trap shooting, deer hunting, Lake Ontario fishing, lure making, DEC activities, fly tying, water trapping, fishing lures, guns and more.

Saturday show hours extend from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. while the Sunday hours go from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Massena Arena. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for 16 and under and free for those under 5. For more information, call 769-3205.

Ogdensburg Sportsman’s Show

Sponsored by the Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce, the Sportsman’s Show will take place at the Golden Dome on April 12 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $12 for families, $3 with military ID and free for those under 10.

Growing in popularity each year, this show has an array of vendors including boats, ATVs, sporting equipment, fishing gear, decoys, game calls, outdoor-related crafts, refreshments, and more. For more information, contact the Chamber at 393-3620.

Sportsmen Recognition Dinner

Sponsored by the St. Lawrence County Trappers Association, the Sportsmen Recognition Dinner is set for April 19 at the Quality of Life Building on the Arnold-Wagner Road, Ogdensburg.

The evening begins at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. There will be an auction and the awarding of numerous door prizes, and proceeds from the annual event will be used to send youths to Conservation Camp.

Tickets ($12 for adults and $6 for those under 12) are available by calling 212-0238 or 389-5096) by April 9.

Benoit Seminar

The Seaway Valley Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) is hosting a Benoit Brothers seminar on April 26 at the Gouverneur High School auditorium at 5 p.m.

Lanny and Shane Benoit began their hunting careers in Vermont, and the two have harvested more than 150 bucks weighing more than 200 pounds on public lands in Canada, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

At the Gouverneur seminar, the brothers will share their hunting secrets for taking big bucks and will answer questions from the audience. Tickets for the seminar cost $10, and the door prizes include two Moultrie deer cameras. For more information, contact Darrell Whitton at 287-4968 or

More April Activities

Among the other activities that merit attention at this time of the year and that don’t actually take place on the water or in the woods are properly storing the ice fishing gear, putting new line on fishing reels, preparing gear for the spring turkey season, getting the boat out of storage, readying equipment for the coming walleye and pike seasons, visiting local shops and stores to purchase “needed” items, and making regular trips to check on water conditions at your spots for spring bullhead, perch and trout fishing.

Outdoors Calendar

Today: Great Outdoor Expo at YMCA Fairgrounds Fitness Center.

Today: Big East Camping and Outdoor Sport Show at Turning Stone in Verona.

Today: Coyote season closes in NYS.

Tuesday: Trout season opens in NYS waters.

Friday-Sunday: 1000 Islands Spring Boat Show at Clayton Arena.

Saturday-Sunday: Massena R&G Club’s Annual Sportsman’s Expo at Massena Arena.

April 7-8: Bowhunter Education Course at St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmen’s Club (393-3775).

April 12: Sportsman’s Show at Golden Dome in Ogdensburg (393-3620).

April 12-13: Syracuse Gun Show at NYS Fairgrounds.

April 19: SLC Trapper Association’s Annual Dinner (212-0283).

April 26: Seaway Valley QDMA Benoit Brothers Seminar at Gouverneur High School (287-4968).

April 26-27: Youth Wild Turkey Hunt Weekend.

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