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Sportsmen’s Club plans hunting dog retrieval events in Waddington

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WADDINGTON – Town council members will allow the St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmen’s Club to use its vacant property on Whitehouse Bay for gun-dog retrieval tests this summer.

The club will use a few acres on Whitehouse Bay for two weekend events in June and July to conduct tests to crown duck- and goose-hunting dogs champions among their breed types. There will be two land and two water retrieval tests using decoys. The club will not use ammunition or live birds.

“The area down there is gorgeous and perfect for what we need,” St. Lawrence Valley Sportsman’s Club President Kenneth J. Tynon said.

Situated along Route 37, Whitehouse Bay was acquired by the town from the New York Power Authority during a 2003 settlement for NYPA’s 50-year license to operate the St. Lawrence-FDR power project in Massena.

Mr. Tynon said the tests will draw several hundred spectators to the bay.

“There are only two certified clubs in the state,” he said. “The other is on Long Island. People love to come out and watch the event. The dogs are very family oriented.”

About half of the club’s 45 members will participate, and over 70 percent of participants will come from outside the north country, Mr. Tynon said.

“You will see some people come from all over — from Maine, New Hampshire Canada and Vermont — which is good for the area,” he said.

The club has been slowly landscaping and installing ponds at its 70-acre property at 25 Sportsman Club Road, Red Mills, for the purpose of training gun-dogs. Members hope to have the club’s grounds open by next summer, and hope to certify to be a hunting retriever club by the end of this month. Mr. Tynon said the sport is growing among youth in St. Lawrence County.

“One of the reasons we didn’t name our club the Ogdensburg Sportsmen’s Club is we wanted to include the whole area – the whole county,” Mr. Tynon said. “We’re seeing this sports and interest in hunting growing rapidly in our club. It’s coming back. Younger kids are starting to really get involved and the numbers are growing in the last two to three years. It’s a good thing.”

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