The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame proudly announces that it has inducted eleven new members for 2018. These inductees represent all areas of the state and many fields of endeavor. The NYSOHOF is an organization dedicated to honoring those individuals who have spent many years preserving our outdoor heritage, working for conservation, or enhancing our outdoor sports for future generations.
Charlie Ellsworth is from Deerfield in Oneida County and is responsible for bringing the Deerfield Fish and Game Club from the brink of collapse to a membership of 800 today. He has served as president, worked on improving all the shooting ranges, and has been a Sportsman’s Education instructor for 30 years. Ellsworth has been a Master Instructor for 10 years and has assisted all area clubs with teaching hunter safety and other programs. He has also been active in Oneida County Conservation Days, reached out to involve women in outdoor sports, and has been a strong supporter of many local groups such as S.C.O.P.E.
Doug Higgins from Piffard in Livingston County has been active in sportsman’s education and the local Letchworth Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). He has taught classes in hunter safety, trapper education, bowhunter education and was recently honored for 30 years of service to Sportsman’s Education. When the local chapter of the NWTF was in trouble, Higgins helped resurrect it and served as banquet chair for 13 very successful years. He has also been a mentor to many turkey hunters and helps with the Youth Turkey Hunt.
Charlie Mead of Queensbury in Washington County has spent a lifetime introducing young and old alike to the outdoors, particularly deer hunting and archery. Charlie mentored many people in outdoor skills of camping, fishing, cooking, and love of nature that has turned them into outdoorsmen. He was a mentor to many in the skills of deer hunting and took them on Adirondack deer hunts; several generations have now become lifelong deer hunters because of Charlie’s tutelage. His recruiting, instruction, coaching and volunteering have been instrumental in the large number of archery hunters and International Bowhunters Organization competitors in the Lake George – Hudson Falls area.
Ron Meek from Norwich in Chenango County is well known for his involvement in youth events. He has been active in the Adirondack – Catskill chapter of Safari Club International where he has devoted countless hours to planning and working at youth events as well as fundraising efforts for SCI to send youth to camps. As president and long time member of the Rockland Rod & Gun Club he has been noted for their widely acclaimed Youth Day where youngsters are introduced to a wide variety of outdoor interests and skills. Meeks has also been active in the Chenango County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and involved in the Youth Turkey Hunt.
Dr. William Muller is a sportsman, educator, and conservation advocate from Smithtown in Suffolk County on Long Island. Through his teaching, seminars, and articles and books he has made an impact on thousands of anglers, many of them youngsters who were just getting into the sport of surf casting or other fishing on Long Island. He has written over 1,000 articles and 10 books which have influenced management and conservation of species such as striped bass. As a founder of New York State Parks Fishing Advisory Board and representative to Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council, as well as other organizations, he has been influential in promoting catch and release or other regulations protecting salt water species.
Neil Newton of Albion in Orleans County has been past president and a member of the Finger Lakes Conservation Council for 35 years. He has been active in St. Mary’s Archery Club, Black North Rod & Gun Club, and Orleans County Federation of Sportsmen for 63 years. He has been a hunter safety instructor and served on the Hunter Education Committee of the NYS Conservation Council for many years. Newton was a co-founder of the DEC Walleye Cooperator rearing project and made arrangements necessary for the project in addition being involved with rearing and stocking the walleye fingerlings.
Greene Smith In the Pioneer Category which honors long deceased conservationists and sportsmen. He was the son of Gerritt Smith, the well-known abolitionist and philanthropist from Peterboro in Madison County. Greene was an early advocate of protecting natural resources for all to enjoy, not merely the wealthy. He formed or joined many organizations such as the NYS Association for Protection of Fish and Game in the late 19th century. He had an uncommon interest in birds and became a taxidermist, donating over 300 specimens to Cornell University to help start the ornithology program there.
Everett “Bud” Teague of Onondaga County was inducted into the NYSOHOF posthumously. He had spent over 35 years volunteering and teaching people, especially youngsters, how to fish. He was a Board Member of the Friends of Carpenters Brook Fish Hatchery, maintained the fishing equipment, cared for the fishing pond, and taught kids how to fish at all the events such as Sportsman’s Day or Family Fishing Days. Bud was also involved in helping organize other fishing events or volunteering at programs for youngsters, disabled sportsmen, or Women In Nature.
Mat Webber from Cazenovia in Madison County has spent a lifetime in various conservation organizations, especially working with youth. In his service to the Izaak Walton League he served as instructor to youngsters in Project Watershed and a Learn To Fish instructor for over 20 years. In serving with the Cazenovia Area Conservation Commission and Fenner Conservation Club he has helped secure more access to Cazenovia Lake and opportunity for anglers. Mat has also been a hunter safety instructor for 23 years and raised money for youth scholarships through the Affiliated Conservation Clubs of Madison County.
Norm Webber from Cazenovia in Madison County has also been active in many organizations and along with his brother, Matt, helped revitalize the Fenner Conservation Club. He has been active in the NYSCC as a delegate from the Affiliated Conservation Clubs of Madison County and has helped set up the Youth and Women’s Pheasant Hunts in Madison County. Norm has often been the voice of sportsmen at many public hearings and served as Director of Project Oneida Lake Watershed. For many years he has been a member of the local Great Swamp Conservancy and set up events, including formation of educational programs.
Lloyd Weigel of Kirkville in Onondaga County is a successful big game hunter but is best known for his selfless efforts in giving opportunity to enjoy the outdoors to others. He founded an organization known as Advanced Strategy Adventures that has spent nearly two decades holding hunting and fishing events for the physically disabled and youth. The activities include providing access, opportunity, and guiding the physically challenged on hunts for pheasants, deer, geese, and fishing and ice fishing at no cost to the participants. Weigel has also spent considerable time and effort at lobbying for access for disabled sportsmen, and introducing women and youth to outdoor recreation.