In the Pioneer Category, Greene Smith, son of Gerritt Smith, the abolitionist and philanthropist from Madison County, was selected for being an advocate of protecting natural resources.
Greene Smith had an great interest in birds and became a taxidermist, donating over 300 specimens to Cornell University to help start the ornithology program there. Greene’s
Ornithon (or aviary) once stood at the Gerrit Smith Estate, now a National Historic Landmark in Peterboro, Madison County, NY.
TheHall of Fame is an organization dedicated to honoring those help preserve outdoor heritage, working for conservation, or enhancing our outdoor sports for future generations.
The other inductees represent all areas of the state and many fields of endeavor.
Charlie Ellsworth is from Deerfield in Oneida County and is the man responsible from bringing the Deerfield Fish and Game Club from the brink of collapse to a membership of 800 today. He has served as president, improved all the shooting ranges, has been a Sportsman’s Education instructor for 30 years as well as being active in Oneida County Conservation Days and involving women in outdoor sports.
Doug Higgins from Piffard in Livingston County was recently honored for 30 years of service to Sportsman’s Education having taught classes in hunter safety, trapper education, and bowhunter education. He was instrumental in resurrecting the local Letchworth Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and served as banquet chair for 13 very successful years in addition to mentoring many turkey hunters and the Youth Turkey Hunt.
Charlie Mead of Queensbury in Washington County has spent a lifetime introducing young and old alike to the outdoors, particularly deer hunting and archery and several generations have become lifelong Adirondack deer hunters. He was instrumental in formation of International Bowhunters Organization in the Lake George–Hudson Falls area and recruited, coached, and assisted countless individuals.
Ron Meeks from Norwich in Chenango County is well known for his involvement in youth events including the Adirondack – Catskill chapter of Safari Club International organizing events as well as fundraising efforts to send youth to camps. As president and member of the Rockland Rod & Gun Club their popular Youth Day has introduced many youngsters to a wide variety of outdoor interests and skills.
Dr. William Muller is a sportsman, educator, and conservation advocate from Smithtown in Suffolk County whose teaching, seminars, and articles has made an impact on thousands of anglers on Long Island getting them into the sport of surf casting. As a founder of New York State Parks Fishing Advisory Board and representative to Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council, as well as other organizations, and his many articles have been influential in promoting catch and release or other regulations protecting salt water species such as striped bass.
Neil Newton of Albion in Orleans County has been past president and a member of the Finger Lakes Conservation Council for 35 years and Orleans County Federation of Sportsmen for 63 years in addition to being a hunter safety instructor for many years.
Newton was a co-founder of the DEC Walleye Cooperator rearing project and was involved with rearing and stocking the walleye fingerlings.
Everett “Bud” Teague of Onondaga County spent over 35 years volunteering and teaching youngsters how to fish. He was a Board Member of the Friends of Carpenters Brook Fish Hatchery, maintained the fishing equipment, cared for the fishing pond, and taught kids how to fish at all events such as Sportsman’s Day or Family Fishing Days.
Matt Webber from Cazenovia in Madison County has spent a lifetime in various conservation organizations, especially working with youth. Including the Izaak Walton League Project Watershed, a Learn To Fish instructor, and Hunter Safety Instructor. In his role with the Cazenovia Area Conservation Commission and Fenner Conservation Club he helped secure more access to Cazenovia Lake and opportunity for anglers.
Norm Webber from Cazenovia in Madison County helped revitalize the Fenner Conservation Club, been active in the NYSCC as a delegate from the Affiliated Conservation Clubs of Madison County and has helped set up the Youth and Women’s Pheasant Hunts in Madison County. Norm has served as Director of Project Oneida Lake Watershed and as a member of the Great Swamp Conservancy he set up events, including formation of educational programs.
Lloyd Weigel of Kirkville in Onondaga County is best known for his selfless efforts in helping others enjoy the outdoors through his organization, Advanced Strategy Adventures, that provides hunting and fishing events for the physically disabled and youth. The activities include providing access, opportunity, and guiding the physically challenged on hunts for pheasants, deer, geese, and fishing and ice fishing at no cost to the participants.
The NYSOHOF also has special awards that are given periodically to honor individuals for unusual effort or achievement. The Dave Pierce Award is given to someone who has done outstanding work with youth. This year’s honoree is Mike Kochanowski who has worked with the Oneida County Federation’s Youth Turkey and Goose Hunts since the beginning eight years ago. In addition, he often takes youth who failed to get a bird out hunting during the regular season.
The new inductees will be honored at the annual banquet and will have their plaques displayed at the NYSOHOF Museum in Vail Mills, NY. These inductees will be formally inducted at the annual banquet on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Theodores Restaurant (formerly the Rusty Rail) in Canastota, NY. Family and friends are invited to join in this evening of celebration. Registration will begin at 5 pm with dinner at 6 pm followed by the presentations. Reservations must be made by April 21 by calling (315) 363-3896 or (315) 829-3588 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Illustration: Greene’s Smith’s “Ornithon.”