The NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame proudly announces the following special awards to be presented at its annual banquet, April 29, 2017. In addition to recognizing individuals who have contributed much to the promotion of outdoor sports including hunting and fishing and making a difference in conservation, the NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame periodically presents special awards to individuals or organizations. These are for specific categories and typically for service over a shorter period of time than the honor of induction into the Hall of Fame.
Scott Faulkner is recipient of Dave Pierce Memorial Award
The Dave Pierce Memorial Award is named for a person who devoted much of his time to involving youth in outdoor sports. This year the award goes to Scott Faulkner of Vernon Center. Faulkner is already an inductee into the Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame and a past president and has remained active in many sportsman’s causes and organizations.
Scott Faulkner has been active in the Vernon Rod and Gun Club and the Oneida County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and has promoted youth activities within both of these organizations. He has been a Hunter Education instructor for many years and currently serves as Oneida County Coordinator for Hunter Education classes.
Scott initiated the Oneida County Youth Hunts for Turkey to take advantage of the state’s special weekend for youth hunts. To provide for youngsters who do not have a family member or friend to instruct them, he organized the youth hunts with ECOs, the National Wild Turkey Federation volunteers, and other sportsmen to serve as mentors. Youngsters are provided with a day of education, target practice, and preparation a week before the actual hunt. On the day of the hunt they are provided with necessary equipment and get to hunt with two mentors.
This has been a very successful experience for many years and the model has spread to many other counties where the formula has been successfully copied. Under his leadership the Oneida County Federation has also started a Youth Goose Hunt as well. Hundreds of youngsters have gotten a successful start thanks to his leadership and effort.
W.I.N. program receives the Women and Youth Award
The Women and Youth Award goes to an organization that has done an outstanding job in involving and educating women and youngsters in outdoor sports. This year the Women In Nature (W.I.N.) program of the Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs is this year’s winner. Its mission is to encourage women to enjoy the outdoors and develop skills in various outdoor activities.
This program was launched in 2002 with a day offering six topics and a dozen participants. It has grown since then and in 2016 it included 150 participants, including 20 youngsters who attended with their mothers. Today it includes 30 instructors and offers 19 courses, of which the participants can select 4. Among the choices offered are archery, camping, outdoor photography, fly casting, shooting, hunting basics, game cooking, and similar skills.
W.I.N. is an all-volunteer organization supported by small businesses, corporations, and Onondaga County Federation members. This provides a free event that introduces women to outdoor skills and experiences that they would otherwise never experience.
Scott Marshall is recipient of the Extra Mile Award
Our Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Officers, and other law enforcement personnel do their duty day in and day out, protecting citizens, enforcing the laws, protecting our resources, and often laying their lives on the line. For many of them the dedication to these ideals causes them to become involved even after their day’s duty is done. This is why the NYSOHOF established the Extra Mile Award which recognizes someone who has gone well beyond their normal duties and has made an impact on involving others in outdoor sports or conservation.
This year the Extra Mile Award goes to Scott Marshall, an ECO in Region 9 in western New York. Marshall established the Region 9 Youth Waterfowl Hunt which is a two-day experience. On the first day the youngsters are treated to breakfast at the Wyoming Valley Rod and Gun Club, followed by a class in waterfowl identification and as many rounds of trap shooting as they like to improve their wing shooting skills.
The following Saturday, during the special NYS Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend, the youngsters and parents meet at the Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area. After breakfast the youngsters are given gear, as well as guns if needed, and paired with guides. They hunt in groups of two and later meet for lunch, photos, and a demonstration of bird cleaning.
ECO Marshall also raises 50 ringneck pheasant roosters for a youth hunt and has taught over 250 Hunter Education classes. He appears at other Hunter Education classes and public events and has exposed over 6,000 youths and adults to a positive message of law enforcement and conservation. He has been recognized by the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen and Ducks Unlimited for his efforts.
The late Charles Bevilacqua inducted into NYSOHOF Pioneer Category
In addition to the regular inductees of the NYSOHOF, there are individuals who are honored posthumously in the Pioneer Category. This year the late Charles Bevilacqua will be inducted into the NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame for his many years of service to sportsmen. He served on the Conservation Fund Advisory Board for 32 years. He was a past president of the Nassau County Sportsmen’s Federation and past president of Nassau County Fish & Game Association, in addition to other organizations. He was a long time active member and Vice President of the NYS Conservation Council. Bevilacqua was an avid hunter, angler, and competitive shooter.
Reserve your seat at the annual banquet by Saturday, April 22nd
These individuals, in addition to the regular inductees, will be honored at the annual banquet on April 29, 2017 at the Rusty Rail in Canastota. Social hour will begin at 5 pm followed by dinner and program at 6 pm. Friends and family are encouraged to attend. Reservations must be made by April 22 by calling 315-363-3896 or 315-225-0192.