March 3:  Marcy, NY The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame (NYSOHOF) is proud to announce ten sportsmen/sportswomen are selected as our Class of 2020 inductees. The Hall’s motto is “It’s not what you take, it’s what you give”. These individuals have dedicated a lifetime of honoring and sharing the heritage of New York’s great outdoors with others ensuring these time-honored traditions are passed down creating the next generation of outdoor enthusiast.     

Every year the NYSOHOF holds an induction banquet to formally announce and celebrate new inductees to the Hall of Fame. This year we are not sure of the date as we had to cancel the April 25th Banquet. We will post later when we will have the Induction Banquet so please check back.

The Class of 2020 Inductees:

JACK BARKER Cortland, NY: A lifetime of promoting wildlife awareness and conservation education with youth and adults. For over 60 years Barker has donated free taxidermy mounts to youth fishing derbies and youth hunts. He donates free mounts to support several outdoors organizations with their annual fund raisers. Through outdoor sports shows, serving as a mentor and public appearances he uses his taxidermy work as a conversation starter allowing him to share his extensive knowledge of the outdoors with all ages. 

ERNIE CALANDRELLI Model City, NY: Outdoor Professional providing 40 years of service teaching youth and adults about hunting and fishing. His commitment to supporting youth hunts and fishing trips as well as disabled veterans helps ensure the future participants of outdoor sports. Before crossbows were legal for hunting in New York State Calandrelli spent countless hours on an educational campaign conducting seminars and demonstrations to introduce the public to crossbows.  He donates fishing and hunting trips to support fund raisers of twenty-eight local and regional organizations that also champion the outdoors sporting lifestyle.

MICHAEL CAMBARERI Lacona, NY: Hunter Safety Instructor who works tirelessly to promote safe ethical hunting practices across the state. He shares a passion for youth turkey hunts and was instrumental in getting hunter safety courses in area schools ensuring youth were properly trained on all aspects of firearms safety.  His willingness to volunteer at sports shows and community events provides not only youth but all attendees the opportunity to hear and see firsthand the importance of firearms safety and learn about sound hunting practices they can employ themselves. Spent countless hours organizing and leading youth turkey hunts and Wheelin’ Sportsmen events for disabled individuals including disabled veterans. 

EDWARD (TED) COLLINS Oneida, NY: Avid bowhunter and archery enthusiast instrumental in providing equipment to jump start and implement the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) in area schools. He always volunteers to share his passion for archery with area youth and adults providing free archery equipment to local organizations. Annual volunteer with the Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon club monitoring hatchery operations, egg care and feeding fish.    

BARB ELLIOT Richland, NY: Conservation Director of the New York B.A.S.S. Nation instrumental in establishing a fish care program that’s resulted in a 99% live release ratio for tournament caught bass. She implemented a ramp monkey program that integrates area youth to perform boat and trailer inspections at tournaments to implement the National Clean, Drain & Dry initiative to combat invasive species. Volunteers to instruct others in conservation initiatives & general fishing techniques at area sports shows and the Women in Nature series.

JOHN FORNEY Kirkville, NY:  Outdoor Professional dedicating a lifetime of research developing management strategies to stabilize and enhance the walleye fishery of Oneida Lake. He spent another 20 years as a volunteer instructor with students at the Cornell Biological Field Station on Oneida Lake sharing his expertise with future fishery managers. His gift of knowledge has helped ensure Oneida Lake remains a viable fishery for future generations to enjoy

ZENON OLOW Fredonia, NY: President of Chautauqua County Federation of Sportsmen instrumental in providing the opportunity for county youth to receive 50 lifetime licenses for hunting, fishing or trapping. As Region 9 Representative to the New York State Conservation Council (NYSCC) he served as an initial organizer and now chairman of the Lake Erie VIP Fishing Day which hosts county and state elected officials along with outdoor writers. This VIP event exposes our elected decision makers to the fishery allowing an opportunity for discussions on issues pertinent to the preservation/enhancement of Lake Erie.

ANTHONY F. VERTUCCI Jr. Baldwinsville, NY:  Outdoor volunteer dedicating more than 7,000 hours over several decades in sharing his knowledge of the outdoors with area youth while serving as a trail guide for Beaver Lake Nature Center. He travels to regional sports shows, community events and the annual Women in Nature seminars with a static display that showcases New York’s great outdoors, providing informative and entertaining antidotes to participants encouraging their interaction with the outdoors. He serves on country and regional sportsman’s boards he’s been the advocate and voice of reason supporting safe and ethical shooting sports

JOSEPH (JOJO) WILCZEWSKI Amherst, NY: Outdoor volunteer dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the Niagara River muskellunge. He participates in Region 9 Muskellunge tagging program and their angler diary programs tracking muskellunge catch rates. Conducts seminars and presentations on the proper methods of catch and release angling for Muskellunge. He also worked with the Region 9 Department of Environmental Conservation Officials and other volunteers to spearhead a 25-year ongoing beaver abatement program saving trees on the shoreline of Strawberry and Motor Islands preventing their total collapse.

LEIGH WILLIAMS Middlesex, NY: Outdoor Volunteer with more than 40 years dedicated to outdoors sports, sharing that knowledge with area youth and local sporting clubs. He spent 18 years as an instructor for hunter safety and bow hunting. Instrumental in leading and promoting our second amendment rights through the Yates County Shooters’ Committee on Political Education, ensuring local and state officials better understand the shooting sports. He worked tirelessly lobbying for and leading the establishment of a boat launch area with a dock, potable water and restrooms in the Vine Valley area on Canandaigua Lake which improved every visitors access to the lake.

SPECIAL AWARDS

Extra Mile Award: Lt. Steve Bartoszewski, Environmental Conservation Officer with Region 6, is recognized for his work above and beyond the scope of his daily duties as he volunteers to organize and lead youth and waterfowl hunts in Region 6. Lt. Bartoszewski spends countless hours working with local agencies, the New York Conservation Council and the New York State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and Ducks Unlimited to obtain funding and adult sponsors to participate in these youth hunts exposing the next generation to the time honored tradition of shooting sports.

Outdoors Person of the Year Award: Doug Stang,  Assistant Director, Division of Fish and Wildlife, serves as a mentor to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program and as a leader of a local Boy Scouts of America Troop, inspiring future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. He’s implemented major programs and initiatives that support and enhance New York’s world class hunting and fishing experiences across the state. His extensive research to understand the many elements impacting our hunting and fishing and his willingness to combat the distractors while promoting the enhancers have earned him the trust and confidence of his peers and the sportsmen and women of New York state.

Educational Program Award: New York State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is recognized for their educational efforts with youth and landowners across the state. In 2019 they hosted 18 events through their Juniors Acquiring Knowledge Ethics and Sportsmanship (JAKES) program instructing hundreds of youth across the state in conservation, proper handling of firearms and bows and ethical hunting practices.  They provide a state-level scholarship program as well as additional scholarship funding to assist their 43 affiliate chapters across the state. Working directly with landowners to obtain hunting access and developing educational awareness of the desired habitat to support future turkey populations while simultaneously obtaining grants and additional funds to offset the landowner’s cost of creating and maintaining viable turkey habitat.                    

The Museum of the NYSOHOF is located inside the Wildlife Sports & Educational Museum at the intersection of Routes 29 and 30 in Vails Mills, NY  12010. Call (518) 883-4933. There you can see the plaques of all inductees, special videos of interviews with members and other conservation related issues with which our members have been involved. https://nysohof.org/

The Wildlife Sports & Educational Museum is a 14,000 square foot facility that is dedicated to the preservation of the art, artifacts, and other memorabilia of the centuries old sporting traditions of hunting, fishing, and trapping.  It is a world-class collection of hundreds of mounts of fish and game. It also serves to foster interest in these traditions among future generations.  

For more information about this release contact NYSOHOF President Stephen Wowelko, (315) 506-2117 or wowelko@juno.com .

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