New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Summer 2020 Newsletter

Note from the President

I hope this newsletter finds you well.

Every year, after the Annual Induction Banquet which is traditionally held at the end of April, I would write to let everyone know about the success of the banquet and to again congratulate the newly inducted members.

This year, the Annual Induction Banquet that was scheduled to be held on April 25, 2020, at Theodore’s Restaurant in Canastota did not happen. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order closing all restaurants and bars and limiting the size of social gatherings indefinitely.

Our Board of Directors had no other option than to postpone the Banquet until further notice.

At this time, the rescheduled date for the banquet is not known.  The board is looking into new date options later in the year and possibly into next year.  Rest assured, we are working on it.

I feel terrible for the new inductees who were to be recognized for their lifetime of volunteering.  It was our chance to thank them and encourage others to follow their example of “it’s not what you take, but what you give back.”

I’m re-posting a list of this year’s inductees.  If you know them, please send them a note and congratulate them.  Let them know that their volunteer work is appreciated!

Until we meet again, stay safe.

2020 Membership Dues

Just a friendly reminder, if you have not already done so, please send in your membership dues for 2020.  Membership dues are essential to continuation of the Hall of Fame.  Membership dues are only $20 annually.


New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Inductees and Award Recipients 2020

Jack Barker

Ernie Calandrelli

Michael Cambareri

Edward (Ted) Collins

Barb Elliot

Dr. John Forney

Zenon Olow

Anthony (Tony) Vertucci

Joseph (Jojo) Wilczewski

Leigh Williams

Special Awards Extra Mile Award: ECO Steven Bartoszewski

Outdoors Person Of The Year Award: Douglas (Doug) Stang

Educational Program Award: NYS Chapter Of The National Wild Turkey Federation

Nominate Inductees for the Class of 2021

While the governor has extended the State of Emergency until June 6, 2020, many of us will be encouraged to “shelter in place.”  This time is a perfect opportunity to work on putting together a nomination for next year’s inductees into the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame.

Although we have inducted many qualified sportsmen in our Hall of Fame, there are many more out there that qualify for induction.  I’m sure we all know of at least one such person.  Now is the time to start putting together their nomination for next year. The deadline for submitting a nomination is January 31, 2021.

If you would like to nominate someone to NYSOHOF, please email or and request the nomination form.

Annual Raffle 2020

Our Annual Raffle is usually held at our Annual Induction Banquet. Many members wait to turn in their raffle ticket money at this banquet.  This year, the banquet had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Board is looking at rescheduling the banquet and raffle to a future date.

Just a reminder, if you have not turned in your donation for our annual raffle, feel free to send in your check.


Bob Kazmierski receives NYSOWA’s Keesler Award

In 2006 the NYS Outdoor Writers’ Association (NYSOWA) created the “M. Paul Keesler New York Outdoor Citizen Award” in memory of one of its most beloved and active members.  Paul Keesler, the deceased founder of the New York Sportsman magazine and author of several books, had spent five decades promoting and publicizing the outdoor resources and recreational opportunities of New York and championing conservation issues.

Each year NYSOWA recognizes an individual or organization who has raised the public’s awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities and conservation issues in the state. This year the winner is Bob Kazmierski (New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Inductee – 2012), the founder of the Sports and Wildlife Educational Museum in Vail Mills near Gloversville.

This museum is a non-profit education institution whose mission is to promote public understanding & appreciation of the outdoor sports traditions of hunting, fishing and trapping, and to preserve the art, artifacts and memorabilia associated with those traditions back to colonial times.

Bob started his own taxidermy studio (Bob’s Taxidermy) in 1958.  As he watched the interest of our younger generations in the outdoors wane, he really began to think about a venue that would also help teach our youth about the sports of hunting, fishing & trapping, and ultimately start to generate more interest in these sports. 

Using his own retirement & personal savings, Bob pushed forward with the dream. Several years & several hundred thousand dollars later, the dream became a reality when the “Wildlife Sports & Educational Museum” officially opened in 2005.  It is a world class museum which also features artifacts and inter-active exhibits which outline the history of hunting, fishing and trapping. 

These exhibits are designed to also teach the younger generations and help foster a renewed interest in these sports.  It is also the home of the NY State Outdoorsman Hall of Fame.  Bob himself is an inductee in the NY State Outdoorsman Hall of Fame.

Through Bob’s efforts, this Museum has effectively raised the public’s awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities statewide and beyond, and fostered new interest of our younger generations in the outdoors.

For more information see or call 518-883-4933. NYSOWA representatives and many local sportsmen honored Kazmierski at a presentation of the award and remarks on December 28, 2020 at the Wildlife Museum in Vails Mills.

Nominations for M. Paul Keesler Outdoor Citizen Award

The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame is a member of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association.  The Association helps us recognize and promote those who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.  

NYS Outdoor Writers Association again seeks to honor an individual or organization for publicizing and making people aware of the great outdoor resources that exist. This honor can also be presented for championing or publicizing some important conservation issue to increase public awareness of it.

The NYSOWA M. Paul Keesler New York Outdoor Citizen Award will be presented to an individual or organization that effectively has raised the public’s awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities and conservation issues in New York State.  The award recipient will be officially announced at the annual conference of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association (NYSOWA).

The award was created to honor worthy individuals and organizations, at the same time perpetuating the name of one of NYSOWA’s dearest members. The late M. Paul Keesler spent nearly five decades promoting and conserving the outdoor wonders and recreational opportunities within New York State. 

Anyone may submit a nomination of 350 words or less and have it endorsed by an active member of NYSOWA.  To review award criterion and the nominating process, visit  To learn of a NYSOWA member in a nominator’s area who might endorse such a nomination, contact Leo Maloney (315) 363-3896, or check the web site

In the 13 years that this award has been given, 12 of the recipients have also been members of the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame.

Nominations must be received by August 15, 2020. Send Nominations to Bill Hilts, Jr. at 618 Walnut St., Lockport, NY 14094 or email to

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