Area sportsmen and conservationists have been doing well lately, in the field and out of it…
Gene P. Ciafre, at left, stands with five past Safari Club lifetime achievement award winners, Don Fetterolf, Barb McClure, Jim Eckles, Ray Cappelli and Philip Ripepi.
* The Pittsburgh Chapter of Safari Club International doesn’t hand out lifetime achievement awards freely.
The chapter has been in existence for 40 years. In all that time, it’s presented just nine members with lifetime awards.
It gave out one this year, though, to Gene Ciafre of Greensburg. A past president of the chapter, Ciafre was presented with the award at the group’s annual fundraising gala at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
At that same event, the chapter kicked off its Wounded Soldier Adventure Project, which is intended to help local veterans wounded while on duty get back into the outdoors.
* Seven-year-old Gia Henderson of Lower Burrell took her first spring gobbler this year.
Hunting on private land near home on the mentored youth gobbler day, she bagged the bird with a crossbow from 25 yards. She’s the daughter of Donny and Erika Henderson.
* Greg Casey of Saxonburg had an opening weekend of trout season to remember.
He was fishing Oil Creek in Venango County, from his dad’s camp, where the family holds an annual gathering for opening day. Casey caught a 5-pound golden rainbow trout.
* An organization working to clean up and restore the Kiski and Coneamugh river valleys has earned an award.
The Conemaugh Valley Conservancy earned a Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence for its “stream team” program. That program involves doing abandoned mine drainage water monitoring in Armstrong, Indiana, Cambria, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties. It also works to promote treatment systems and water conservation and restoration projects and provides technical assistance and environmental education to watershed organizations.
Award winners – there were 15 statewide — were selected based on their work to protect the environment, partnerships, public service, education and outreach, pollution prevention, economic impact, and innovative technology.
The Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team is currently monitoring 40 mine drainage treatment systems and preparing an update to the 1999 Kiski-Conemaugh River Basin Conservation Plan.
* Pittsburgh’s Ken Buettner was fishing Lake Erie out of North East earlier this month when he landed a whopper of a lake trout.
Trolling magnum spoons behind downriggers, he and fishing partner Ron Milavec landed 10 lakers in eight hours of fishing split up over two days. All were released to be caught another day.
The largest – shown here, with the blood from its lips only – weighed 16.5 pounds and stretched 34 inches long.