New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Honors Nine Sportsmen

New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame
N.Y.S. Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame

Utica, New York –-(  The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame proudly announces that its class of inductees for 2014 will include nine members.  They will be honored at the annual banquet April 26 in Canastota, NY.

Among those inducted this year is George Franke of Chenango County.  Franke has been active in many organizations including the NYS Conservation Council, Safari Club International, Chenango County Federation of Sportsmen, and Crossbow Coalition.  A major focus of Franke has been youth involvement and he has been a major fundraiser and organizer in many groups to send youngsters to leadership or conservation camps.

The late Frank Hartmann of Sullivan County was a long time member of the NYSCC and served as president and legislative vice president, receiving NYSCC Outstanding Achievement in conservation Award in 1999.   He was active in many sportsmen’s groups in southeastern NY and received several awards and recognition for his services.

The late Richard Kirby who lived in Erie County is best known for being the founder of Quaker Boy Game Calls Company but he was a popular speaker at many seminars and helped spread his knowledge and skills in hunting wild turkey.  Kirby was on the Board of Directors of the National Wild Turkey Federation for many years and was responsible for the growth of the organization and its JAKES Outreach programs.

Tom Lenweaver of Onondaga County is a well known wildlife artist and he has used his talent to help promote many sportsmen’s and conservation organizations. Donations of his paintings have helped raise many thousands of dollars for organizations such as CNY Wildfowlers, Friends of Carpenters Brook, Pheasants Unlimited, Onondaga County Federation, and others. He currently is on the Board of Directors of the Great Swamp Conservancy in Lenox.

Rick McDermott of Oswego County has a longtime involvement with sportsmen’s organizations and youth activities such as the joint Onondaga-Oswego Counties Youth Pheasant Hunt.  As founder of the Crossbow Coalition he has spent hundreds of hours and logged countless miles speaking and working to get the crossbow approved as a legal hunting instrument in NY.

Paul Miller of Oneida County has been involved in many sportsmen’s causes including Trout in the Classroom but his main efforts and success involve the Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club.  As an officer, leader, and active volunteer he has helped raise money, recruit volunteers, and roll up his sleeves to the point where the Club now raises its own Atlantic salmon and successfully stocks them in Fish Creek and its tributaries.

George Rockey of Erie County has been in active in Erie County Federation and other sportsmen’s organizations. He has organized DU banquets for the Southtown Ducks Unlimited and played a major role in its highly successful Greenwings Program. Whether it is fundraising or mentoring young sportsmen, Rockey has been very involved in many youth activities.

Nina Schoch of Essex County is best known for role as head of the Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program.  Enlisting the help of volunteers, school children, and government agencies, she has organized census, banding, scientific research, and public information campaigns that have helped dramatically increase the population of Adirondack loons.  Schoch has also been involved in research and publicizing the effects of mercury in the environment, and the dangers of lead and discarded fishing line to all forms of wildlife.

Fran Verdoliva of Oswego County has long championed the ethical fishing for salmon and steelhead.  He helped lead the efforts to end snagging, and helped publicize methods that could be used to catch salmon legally.  His many appearances on behalf of the Salmon River fishery and the Salmon River Days with its open house at the hatchery and related conservation demonstrations have helped create awareness and respect for the fishery and resources.

The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame is an organization dedicated to honoring sportsmen who have made significant achievements in outdoors-related fields.  More importantly, they are recognized for their long-time service in preserving our outdoor heritage and helping others experience it.  The NYSOHOF is also involved in programs such as kids fishing clinics, youth hunts, seminars, and similar activities.

The annual banquet and induction will involve sportsmen and organizations from all across New York State.  It will be held April 26 at the Rusty Rail in Canastota with registration and social hour beginning at 5 pm and dinner at 6 pm.  Guests and interested parties are welcome.  For information or reservations please call (315) 363-3896 or (315) 829-3588.  RSVP by April 19 2014.