Spring Newsletter 2024

Spring 2024 Newsletter

New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Honors Nine New Inductees

The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame announces that it will induct 9 new members at its annual banquet on April 28, 2024. These represent a wide variety of interests and accomplishments and include people from many areas of New York State. We will also recognize 1 Special Award recipient.

In order to be inducted into the NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame, two things need to happen.  The individual has to devote a lifetime of “giving back” to the outdoor sports and conservation, and someone feels that this contribution is significant enough to submit a detailed nomination for the individual.

The board of directors reviews the nominations and deliberates over the submitted information and documentation to select those they feel are worthy of the designation. Men and women are carefully selected for induction based on their significant contributions to preserve our outdoor heritage, enhance opportunity, or support the causes of conservation and outdoor sports. Selection for this distinguished group is not based on individual achievements, but rather what they have done for others. 

Robert Avery – Erie County. Robert is very involved with the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, He co-chairs the Teach-Me-To-Fish Clinics.  He has taken leadership positions on the Federation’s Archery/Bowhunting, Crossbow and National Hunting and Fishing Committees.  Bob assists the DEC in trout stocking.  Bob has been a Hunter Education Instructor and Bowhunter Education instructor for nearly a decade. 

Timothy Furner – Madison County. Organized the Madison County Strutters affiliate of the NWTF in 2009. Tim is involved with the CNYmyhunts.org and mentored women and youth in hunting.  He acquires funding, donations, insurance and hunting places for these hunts. Tim volunteered at Wounded Warrior Hunts, and Fishing Derbies. 

Gary Huber – Erie County. Founding member of the WNY Deer Search in 1992. Gary has introduced many adults and youth to the outdoors through mentoring them on deer and turkey hunts. He helps with habitat plantings for the National Turkey Federation and DEC Stocking of trout streams.

Michael Kochanowski – Oneida County. Volunteers and mentors at youth and women’s turkey and goose hunts for over 13 years. Michael has been an active member of the Cassety Hollow Rod and Gun Club for over 30 years, serving as an officer and trustee. He is a regular volunteer at the club’s annual kid’s fishing derby.

Steven Lakeman – Oneida County. ECO Steve Lakeman volunteers and mentors at youth and women’s turkey and goose hunts for over 13 years.  He assists and conducts hunter education classes. Steven has shown his love for getting youths involved in hunting and the outdoors.

Ricky Mills – Onondaga County. Ricky Mills hosts veterans at his home, taking them hunting and fishing – he believes connecting Veterans to other Veterans in outdoor activities like hunting and fishing can heal the wounds that are seen or not seen. Ricky is Co-Founder of WILD Jaeger Veteran Adventures, Inc. a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization to help veterans recover through outdoor activities like hunting and fishing.

Mike Seymour – St. Lawrence County. Mike serves on the St Lawrence County Fisheries Advisory Board for over 35 years. Since 1987 he has been a member of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association serving as both the President and Treasurer.  As a licensed fishing guide, Mike regularly donates fishing charters to military and youth events.

Richard (Dick) Trost – Oneida County.  For over 25 years, Dick was a volunteer tour guide at the DEC walleye hatchery in Constantia.  Dick worked to stock streams with the DEC before spring trout season. Dick has been an active member of the Vernon Rod and Gun Club for over 40 years serving as President for many years. Dick actively participates in youth hunting recruiting.

 William (Bill) Wheatley Jr. – Oneida County (Posthumously). An active member for nearly thirty years – twenty years as president and three years as secretary for the Sauquoit Creek Fish and Game Club. He was an avid supporter of the Trout Unlimited Annual Sauquoit Creek Clean Up day in the spring to clean trash out of and around the stream and then the annual maintenance on wood duck houses done by the Sauquoit Creek Fish and Game Club.

Justin RejmanDavid Pierce Award. Cayuga County. Justin has been with Youth Turkey and Goose hunts for over 13 years through the CNY My Hunts.org. Organization. He supplies decoys, does pre-scouting and mentors youth during the hunt. Justin is also involved with his local Ducks Unlimited Organization.

2024 Induction Banquet – Make Your Reservation Early

Every year the NYSOHOF holds an induction banquet to formally announce and celebrate new inductees to the Hall of Fame. This year, the banquet will be held on Sunday, April 28, 2024 at Theodore’s Restaurant, 3231 Seneca Turnpike (Rt. 5) in Canastota. Inductees will be presented with an induction plaque.  The dinner is open to the public, family, friends and members of the NYSOHOF are invited to join in this evening of celebration.

Registration will begin at 3:00 pm, with dinner at 4:00 pm, followed by the presentations.

Reservations must be made by April 19, 2024 by contacting either:

Scott Faulkner email: sfcf@tds.net or by phone:  (315) 829-3588 

There will be a very limited number of registrations available at the door, and some without reservations may be turned away.  The cost of the dinner is $25 per person.

2024 Dues

Just a friendly reminder, if you have not already done so, please send in your membership dues for 2024.  Membership dues are essential to continuation of the Hall of Fame.  A copy of the membership dues form, along with a preaddressed envelope are included in this mailing.  Donation for membership dues is only $20 annually.

Annual Raffle

Just a reminder, if you have not turned in your donation for our annual raffle, feel free to send your check along with your membership dues in the enclosed envelope.

The value of this year’s raffle prizes are well over $6000. 

Grand Prize: 2 person African 5 day Safari – Meals, Lodging, $500 trophy fees included, OR  $100 Sport Shop Gift Certificate

1st Prize: Capt. Burnie Haney – Full Day Lake Ontario Charter

2nd Prize: Wayne-O’s Guide Service Drift Boat Charter on Salmon River

3rd Prize: 10 Pheasant Hunt w/dog – F&B Upland Birds, Hamlin NY

4th Prize:  Capt. Andrew Bartlett, Great Lakes Fishing Charters – for 3 anglers

5th Prize: Original artwork and a handmade basket by wildlife artist Debbie Brosen

6th Prize: $250 CNY Gunworks Gun (Matte) Refinish Certificate (Single Barrel)

7th Prize: 10 pheasant hunt w/dog – Cambria Game Farm, Cambria, NY

8th Prize: 120 Hand Tied Flies and Iron Skillet Seasonings Gift Pack

9th Prize: NYS Conservation Council Commemorative Knife

With your support, we can continue to promote those who have “given back more than they have taken” in preserving our outdoor sports and conserving our environment for future generations. Proceeds from this raffle also help reduce the price of the dinner at the annual induction banquet.

This year the winning tickets will be drawn at the annual banquet on April 28, 2024.

Your support is appreciated.  Please contact us if you need more tickets.

Note from the President – Stephen Wowelko

After completing a maximum consecutive 5 year term as president in 2020, the membership elected me to step back into this role.  I am excited to continue the work that the past presidents had accomplished.

This past February the Board of Directors met to review the nominations for the class of 2024.  We were fortunate to have such a qualified number of nominees to select from.  Those selected will be inducted at the Annual Banquet held on April 28, 2028. Please make your reservations early to be guaranteed a seat for the event!

Stephen Wowelko



Leave a Comment