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Skaneateles loses master sportsman

Oram schooled Lanning on duck hunting, too. He learned the different species and how to identify them in the air, and the different bag limits.

"If you had a question about hunting or fishing regulations," Lanning said, "Davey was the definitive answer."

Longtime friend Jeffrey Hall said that his favorite story about Davey was when they were hunting one winter walking along a hedgerow, Davey suddenly stopped and asked Hall to hold his shotgun, and then proceeded to pounce on a bush below him.

"I thought he was nuts until he popped out of the snow with a pheasant in his hands," Hall said, "He then let it go."

Another time they were ice fishing in late February on the lake, way out from shore. The ice started to break up into huge chunks but they were catching perch like mad, so they stayed put for awhile. After a decent haul, they gave up and jumped across the ice chunks all the way back to Morris's.

Former Skaneateles resident Martha Williams said Davey used to pull perch out of the lake, and then bring his haul into Morris's Grill to distribute accordingly. The prettiest girls were often offered the bigger fish. Williams remembers Davey's beautiful eyes peering out of his backwoodsman exterior.

Skaneateles public servant and sportsman Charlie Major said that Oram was a unique individual, a great fisherman and hunter and that outdoor enthusiasts were forever going to school on Oram.

"I always knew where to hunt during deer season if I saw where he was going," Major said. "Those guys ice fishing on west side in the cove area probably saw him fish there last year."

He was an outdoorsman to his core, Major said.

Hall agrees, "One thing I feel strongly about regarding Davey is that he was a great sportsman."

Lanning said Davey was a jack of all trades, who often made his living off of carpentry, but also lived off the food he caught.

The last time I saw Davey he was doing a little work down at the Gregory's house at the bottom of Gayle Road. He looked up and smiled and I smiled back.

"We could learn from his priorities," Lanning said. "He was the portrait of happiness without the pursuit of wealth."

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