VAIL MILLS - The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame is coming to Fulton County, possibly by the end of the spring.
The hall, which was located at the Gander Mountain Store in New Hartford, Oneida County, has chosen the Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum on Route 30 in Vail Mills as its new permanent home.
Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Wally Hart reported the move Tuesday. In a tourism report to the Fulton?County Board of Supervisors' Economic Development Committee, Hart said the move will enhance local tourism.
The Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum on Route 30 in Vail Mills is shown March 3.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
"We're just really pleased with that," Hart said.
He said a ceremony and ribbon cutting dedicating the new site will be planned for when the hall of fame opens.
Museum President Robert Kazmierski said Wednesday the hall of fame will be located within the building, the former Grand Union supermarket.
"We're going to be putting it into the museum," Kazmierski said. "We're doing a conversion, as part of the museum."
The Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum is a non-profit educational institution whose mission is to promote public understanding and appreciation of the outdoor sports traditions of hunting, fishing and trapping and to preserve the art, artifacts and memorabilia associated with those traditions back to Colonial times.
Kazmierski said the hope is to open the new version of the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in late spring.
"Hopefully, it will peak some interest for people to travel into the county," Kazmierski, a local taxidermist and outdoorsman, said.
Hall of fame President Leo F. Maloney couldn't be reached for comment Friday, but hall board member Ron Kolodziej of Tribes Hill said the situation may be a very good move for the organization.
"One can only hope," Kolodziej said.
Hart credited Kazmierski for his efforts to not only promote his museum, but also to bring the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame to this county.
"Bob has done this thing totally on [his] own," the chamber official said. "We're very happy because this has been an effort, and we've been working to promote outdoor recreation."
Hart said another hope is this hall of fame project will bring Kazmierski "additional resources" into his museum.
The 14,000-square-foot museum, which accepts tax-deductible contributions and donations, offers the public opportunities to "Sponsor a Buck" - one of the more than 100 whitetail deer mounts on display, the museum website said. There also are school trips offered to the museum.
The museum includes full-size mounts of wolves, bears, mountain lions, goats, birds, sheep, buffalo, musk ox, whitetail deer, fish and more. More than 500 artifacts of traps, fishing gear, rifles and much more show the traditions and history of hunting, fishing and trapping.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org