Deer Hunting in
Available in bookstores
and by phone or mail order
Click Here For Info
(Follow Dan on Facebook)
Listen to Kyle Scanlon and Dan Ladd
Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. on WOKO
Webmaster's Uncle killed
in the late 1960's.
Have you donated?
Please support Venison Donation Coalition
Bad News: Emerald Ash Borer hits the Catskills
It's never over... Until it's over, as the great Yogi Bera said. That's what some of us black powder rifle hunters can say as the weekend approaches. You've got one more chance to get that late season buck or possibly put some venison in your freezer. Many hunters will be targeting does this week as well. That's OK, but leave some for next year too, that is if you want your population to be solid. While fresh buck rubs are showing up again deer appear to be regrouping. If you find one deer this week you'll likely find a few, or you'll find nothing at all. It looks like Mother Nature is also going to deliver a cold blast which may also curtail deer activity a little bit. Some say that mid-day and afternoons are the best once the mercury dips into the teens and below. Time has still been hard to come by for photo updating, but we've got a bunch to catch up on and will get to it when we can. Meanwhile, good luck witht the smokepoles this weekend.
Click here for previous reports
A Note on Cell Phone Photos Here
at ADKHunter.com we are seeing an annual increase in the amount of cell
phone photos sent from successful hunters. It has started already. In
fact, we’ve gotten more cell phone photos this season than those from
digital cameras. This is good, and bad. It’s good that hunters are
having some success in the Adirondacks and are willing to share their
experiences with other hunters through the Internet, including this
website. Unfortunately, and unless they were taken on a phone with a
very good camera, a high percentage of cell phone photos are of low
quality. Yes, they look good on the device that photographed them but
once you look at them on a computer screen, or especially in photo
editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, you can see what I’m talking
about. In the past we have had to turn away some of these photos and
have been able to enhance others. As more and more come in, it will be
difficult to enhance and post these photos in a timely manner.
If you are photographing with a cell phone, or tablet for that matter, here are a few tips.
1) Try to take the photo in bright daylight or use plenty of additional artificial light on the subject beyond the flash.
2) Get close to subject, fill your screen with it.
3) Use a rest, or do your best to hold the device as still as possible.
Finally, consider carrying a small digital camera on your hunts. Even the most inexpensive digitals these days take clear, high quality photos. Do this for yourself, more than anyone. Your hunts are special and the photos you take will add to a lifetime of memories. That’s what hunting is all about. Then, when you get a good photo, send it to us to share. Good luck hunting this fall.
Butcher a deer in two minutes
Safe Act sends NY company packing
New web site: http://adktrailcam.com/
Bass Pro Shops opens in Utica Oct. 9
Make a Mock Scrape
Big Buck$: Hunting in America
A LETTER FROM TOM KING,
SAFE Act Lawsuit update
November 25, 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
<>As a method of providing an update on our fight to overturn New York’s SAFE Act (“the Act”), we are providing this letter, in “Q and A” form, with the answers to questions you might have concerning the case.
<>Q: What is the current status of the proceedings in the New York action?
<>As you are aware, in the beginning of the case, we moved for a preliminary injunction. In this motion, we ask the Court to stop the provisions of the SAFE Act from taking effect while the lawsuit is ongoing. In particular, we are seeking the court to enjoin the enforcement of the following provisions of the law:
<>1. The section making it unlawful to possess an ammunition feeding device containing more than seven rounds of ammunition.<>
<>2. The sections making it unlawful to possess, transport, ship, or dispose of, a large capacity ammunition feeding device (we are alternatively seeking to enjoin these
<>provisions as applied to any such device manufactured before September 13, 1994).
<>3. Certain unintelligible portions of the section making it unlawful to possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device (if the court does not enjoin the entire section).
<>4. The sections which make it unlawful to possess a device that can be readily restored or converted to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition.”
<>5. The sections which make it unlawful to possess a device that can be readily restored or converted to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition, or a device that holds more than ten rounds as applied to tubular magazines.
<>6. The sections which define an “assault weapon” in part as certain rifles and shotguns as having a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, or a thumbhole stock.
<>7. The sections which define an “assault weapon” as a semiautomatic shotgun with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds or an ability to accept a detachable
<>The Defendants have opposed our Motion for Preliminary Injunction and have filed their own Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment, which asks the Court to enter judgment determining that the SAFE Act is valid. In response to the State’s Motion for Summary Judgment, we have filed our own Motion for Summary Judgment. The briefing on these motions (which has been extensive) is complete.
<>Q: What will happen next?
<>Since briefing is complete, we believe the Court will schedule an oral argument on the motions. Normally, for cases involving these controversial of issues, courts will hold an oral argument, although the Court is not required to do so; as the issues involved in the motions are purely legal, no testimony is required and the Court may just rule on the papers that have been filed. We do not know, however, if the Court will have a hearing and when it will happen. The procedural rules do not require the Court either to set a hearing or to decide the motion within a specified amount of time. The time in which a court sets a motion for hearing and issues a decision on a matter is impacted by several factors, such as the judge’s schedule, pressing criminal trials, and the complexity of the issues involved. Every judge handles his or her caseload differently.
<>Given the issues involved, we believe the Court will do its best to hear and decide the motions as quickly as possible, but ultimately we have no control over that time frame. We have conveyed to the Court, and will continue to convey to the Court, our desire to move this matter along as quickly as possible.
<>Q: Will we get relief before January 15, 2014, the effective date of the requirement that all previously grandfathered magazines of more than 10 rounds must be discarded or sold out of state?
<>Possibly, but unlikely. While we understand that this portion of the law is a source of particular anger with members, the chance of the Court ruling to strike down or otherwise enjoin the law before that date really depends on how quickly the Court decides to either hold a hearing on our motion for preliminary injunction or issue a decision. As mentioned earlier, the Court has almost complete control over its schedule.
<>As described above, there are three motions pending: our Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Defendants Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment, and our own Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court may rule on these motions at the same time, or it may rule on them separately.
<>The Motion for Preliminary Injunction asks the Court to enjoin, or stop, the enforcement of certain provisions of the Act while the lawsuit is ongoing. Concerning this motion, the Court has two options: (1) It can grant (either in whole or in part) our preliminary injunction request, which would stop the provisions described above from being enforced while the lawsuit is ongoing; or (2) It can deny our preliminary injunction request, which would not stop the provisions described above from being enforced while the lawsuit is ongoing. The second and third motions are the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment and our own Motion for Summary Judgment. If the Court grants the State’s motion in its entirety, then the case will be dismissed in favor of the Defendants. Similarly, if the Court grants our own Motion for Summary Judgment, then judgment will enter in favor of the plaintiffs. If the Court grants part of the Defendants’ motion, than the case will be dismissed in favor of the Defendants as to those parts of the law upon which the Court grants the motion. The same holds true, obviously, if the Court grants the Plaintiffs’ Motion in part. If the Court denies the motions in their entirety, then the case would continue to proceed as it is styled with all of our claims intact.
<>Given the complexity of the issues raised in the motions and the current caseload of the Court, it is unlikely (but not impossible) that the Court will rule on our motion for preliminary injunction before January 15. We are sending a letter to the Court trying to get the Court to expedite a hearing on our preliminary injunction motion to stop the enforcement of the law, but it is unlikely that the Court will take action before the January 15, date.
<>Q: How is this lawsuit affected by other lawsuits challenging the NY law?
<>Many times when a law is enacted that infringes core rights, like the Act, there are multiple lawsuits filed seeking to stop the law from taking effect or otherwise being enforced. Sometimes, these actions proceed in harmony with each other; most times, they do not. For example, there have been other lawsuits filed which challenge the SAFE Act on various grounds that we may or may not have raised in our lawsuit. One suit has challenged the emergency manner in which the SAFE Act was adopted. This was a potential basis for challenging the law that we considered, but rejected, at the onset of this litigation: our analysis and experience showed that courts do not get involved with the merits of “emergency” determinations, and have historically taken a completely permissive attitude towards legislative circumvention of these aging requirements. We therefore believe that a challenge on this basis would be quickly rejected (as the one brought by Robert Schulz on this same basis has
<>been), would detract from the strong arguments we have prepared, and could cause us to lose credibility with the court.
<>We believe that the lawsuit we have brought is well-crafted, and that the record supports the relief we are seeking. This was the product of a lengthy, deliberative process in which we analyzed many different approaches. Having a law invalidated is not an easy thing to accomplish, and we believe that the approach we have adopted and implemented gives us the best chance of success. This may be different from the approach taken by plaintiffs in other lawsuits, but it is the one that we believe gives us the greatest chance of prevailing in the end. We hope this gives you an accurate picture of where things currently stand in this lawsuit. If you have follow up questions about any of the matters discussed in this letter, or the case in general, please do not hesitate to contact us. We welcome your call.
DEC Invites the Public to Comment on the Draft Tug Hill North Unit Management Plan
Public Meeting to Be Held December 4 2013, at the Copenhagen Central School
<>(11/25) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will hold a public meeting on the draft Tug Hill North Unit Management Plan (UMP) Wednesday, December 4, 2013, the agency announced today. Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted at the meeting. Comments must be submitted by December 20, 2013.<>
<>The meeting will be held in the Copenhagen Central School cafeteria, 3020 Mechanic Street, Copenhagen, NY 13626 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The first half hour will be an open house format to allow people to informally discuss the draft plan with DEC staff. At 7 p.m., there will be a brief presentation of the draft plan highlights. Following the presentation, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the plan.
<>The Tug Hill North Management Area is comprised of eight state forests and one wildlife management area. The unit is a patchwork of state-owned parcels located west of Lowville, South of Copenhagen and east of Adams in Lewis and Jefferson counties.
<>The following list of state lands are all included in this UMP:
<>Sears Pond SF- 5,708 acres<>
<>Grant Powell Memorial SF - 8,137 acres
<>Cobb Creek SF - 2,203 acres
<>Lookout SF - 3,996 acres
<>Granger SF - 737 acres
<>Pinckney SF - 2,166 acres
<>Tug Hill SF - 12,306
<>Gould's Corners SF - 2,043 acres
<>Tug Hill Wildlife Management Area - 5,112 acres
During development of the draft plan, DEC encouraged public participation and assessed the natural, physical, social and recreational resources of the unit's state forests. Information obtained and reviewed through the planning process helped build a solid foundation to support specific goals, objectives and management actions. The goals of the unit are to provide: a healthy, sustainable and biologically diverse forest; opportunities for forest-based recreation; economic benefits to local communities and residents and sound stewardship.
<>The Tug Hill North Unit Management Plan creates a detailed inventory and management strategy for the natural resources present on the Unit. The Unit is home to seven beautiful gulfs that have been carved over thousands of years and provide breathtaking views. The forests of the unit help to buffer and protect the 9,470 acres of classified and unclassified wetlands and 180 miles of classified and unclassified streams. Hunters, trappers and anglers enjoy the many acres of suitable habitat to pursue their interests. Recreationists can use the developed multi-use trails; 54.6 miles of foot trails, 48.2 miles of cross country ski trails, 39.6 miles of bike trails, 18.1 miles of equestrian trails and 120.6 miles of snowmobile trails. While no major changes are proposed for the management of these resources, the plan addresses them to ensure they are maintained at least at their current level.
<>The draft plan is available on the DEC's Tug Hill North Unit webpage. Copies of the plan on compact disk (CD) are also available for public review at the following locations:
<>DEC Region 6 office at 317 Washington Street, Watertown (315-785-2263),
<>or DEC Lowville Sub-office at 7327 State Hwy 812, Lowville, New York 13367.
<>Those unable to attend the meeting are invited to submit comments to the DEC by mail to: Andrea Mercurio at DEC 7327 State Hwy 812, Lowville, New York 13367 or e-mail mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org . Written comments will be accepted until December 20, 2013.
THE VENISON DONATION COALITION
<>(11/15) Hunting season is here! Bowhunters have been out there since October and gun season in upon us. Hunting camps are in full swing, campfires lit and camaraderie among the group is at its height. Many are fortunate enough to bag a deer or two and have their freezers full for a year.<>
<> Unfortunately, it is also a very difficult time of year for those less fortunate. Nights are colder and snow is in some areas. For many New Yorkers that have no housing, it means that they are not only hungry, they may be sleeping on the streets. Did you know that a donation of $1.00 to the Venison Donation Coalition will feed a warm meal to a family of four? Or you can donate an entire deer to the cause and provide an average of 160 warm meals.
<> The Venison Donation Legislation was enacted in 1993 authorizing the donation of big game to charitable organizations. The Venison Donation Coalition began in 1999 when Chemung and Steuben County sportsmen’s federations provided funds to pay 2 processors and then distributed 1000 lbs. of highly nutritious ground venison to the needy.
<> The program’s growth since then has been exciting. The Venison Donation Coalition consists of representatives from sportsmen’s clubs, non-profit organizations, regional food banks, local food pantries as well as local, state and federal agencies including the Farm Bureau and the Food Bank Association whose objective is to secure funding for the processing and distribution of venison to families in need. With the help of its partners, the Venison Donation Coalition secured funds to pay the meat processors for their services.
<> Since 1999, the Venison Donation Coalition has been highly successful in its goal to feed the hungry throughout New York State. Today they have 100 processors in 50 counties throughout New York State. The Food Bank Association has been instrumental in securing funds and their eight regional food banks support the entire state with the distribution of the meat to those in need. Through the generous donation of deer from the hunters and farmers, the Coalition has processed and average of 38 tons of venison each year. In 2012, they reached over 4 million meals served to those in need!
<> Any hunter or farmer interested in donating a deer, please call 866-862-DEER, email email@example.com or visit the Venison Donation Coalition’s website (http://www.venisondaontion.org) to locate a processor near you. Please remember, you must call ahead before dropping off any deer for donation.
<> You can also help by donating $1 or more. One dollar will feed four people. Financial donations are appreciated and tax deductible. For every dollar that is donated to the Venison Donation Coalition, $.90 is used towards processing the venison. With approximately 500,000 deer hunters in New York State, imagine if every one of them donates just $1 and/or a deer how successful the program would be. Venison could be processed and the hungry would be able to have meat on their tables.
<> Financial donations can be made at your Town Clerk’s office or anywhere hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Just inform the D.E.C.A.L.S. licensing agent that you wish to make a donation to support the Venison Donation Program. All donations through D.E.C.A.L.S. are deposited directly into the Venison Donation Fund. Donations can also be accepted through our secure website, www.venisondonation.org or send a check payable to: Venison Donation Coalition, Inc., 3 East Pulteney Sq., Bath, NY 14810.
<> Please help to keep the Venison Donation Coalition successful in your neighborhood. Donate today! One deer or one dollar goes a long way to help curb hunger throughout New York State.
STATEWIDE DEER HUNTER SURVEY UNDERWAY
Survey Will Assess Hunters’ Opinions on Deer Harvest Opportunities
(10/20) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced that a statewide deer hunter survey is underway in an effort to provide improved deer hunting experiences across the state. All who receive the survey are encouraged to take the time to complete and return it as soon as possible. The survey is being conducted for DEC by the Human Dimensions Research Unit at Cornell University.
“I encourage hunters and other deer management stakeholders to support our efforts to address yearling buck harvest strategies through a systematic and balanced process,” Commissioner Martens said. “A high response rate to the survey will help ensure that the study findings are representative of all deer hunters across New York State.”
During the development of the 2012-2016 deer management plan for New York, some hunters expressed strong interest in modifying hunting rules/regulations to allow more bucks to live to older ages and develop heavier bodies with larger antlers. As a result of that input, one of the objectives in DEC’s current deer management plan is to “Encourage various strategies to reduce harvest of young (1.5 year old) bucks in accordance with hunter desires.”
In addition to hunters voluntarily deciding not to shoot young bucks, managers could enact a variety of rules/regulations to reduce harvest of young bucks, all of which involve tradeoffs for hunters. For example, depending on the action taken to reduce harvest of young bucks, hunters may have to give up some freedom to shoot a buck of any age or size, or give up some opportunity to hunt bucks. DEC needs current information on hunters’ views to understand how different buck harvest strategies may affect hunter satisfactions. Specifically, DEC needs to understand hunter’s views on the importance of reducing harvest of young bucks relative to the associated loss of choice or loss of opportunity. This fall, DEC is sponsoring a statewide survey of hunters to provide that information.
In mid-October, Cornell University staff will mail questionnaires to a statewide random sample of 7,000 big game license holders with an invitation to participate in the survey. By gathering information on the relative importance hunters place on different types of deer hunting and harvest opportunities, the survey will help wildlife managers identify which buck management strategy best balances hunter opinions in various regions of the state.
DEC encourages all hunters who receive a questionnaire to complete and return it promptly. DEC requests to hear from every hunter in the sample, regardless of whether they went afield or took a deer last year. To maintain scientific integrity and preserve the random sampling survey design, DEC will not accept requests to participate in the survey.
Results of the survey will be used during 2014 to help evaluate a variety of buck harvest strategies through a “structured decision-making process”. The basic elements of this approach were discussed in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 Hunting and Trapping guides, and are discussed further on the DEC website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27663.html. DEC staff will consider survey results along with deer population management needs across various regions of the state as a basis for possible regulation changes for fall 2015.
REGULATIONS ISSUED TO PROTECT NYS DEER POPULATION
FROM CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE
(10/30) The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation today announced emergency regulations to prohibit the importation of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) susceptible deer into the State. The protection of the state’s deer population is important not only to the balance of the ecosystem but also is critical to supporting the hundreds of thousands of sportsmen and women whose recreational activities contribute some $780 million in economic impact statewide.
“These emergency measures will help mitigate the risk of CWD taking a firm hold here in New York State,” said State Acting Agriculture Commissioner James B. Bays. “I’m a hunter and an avid outdoorsman, and keeping New York’s wild and captive deer herds healthy will help protect multi-million dollar industries that create jobs and provide recreational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. From our agency’s perspective, the most important thing that we can do is limit the exposure of deer to CWD. That’s exactly what these regulations will do.”
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, "New York State has a long tradition of deer hunting and deer management. It is imperative that we remain vigilant and prevent Chronic Wasting Disease from entering the State. These regulations will bolster existing protections already in place in New York and help to maintain a vibrant population of our most sought after game species. This show of stewardship help will ensure that sportsmen and sportswomen continue to have great deer hunting opportunities throughout the state."
The emergency regulations provide a ban on imports of specific species between November 16, 2013 and August 1, 2018. These species include Rocky Mountain elk, red deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, white-tailed deer, sika deer, and moose.
Currently 21 states including New York prohibit the importation of live deer.
CWD is a fatal, neurologic disease to species of deer caused by a disease agent called a prion, which eventually destroys the brain tissue of infected animals. Prions are shed by infected animals in their saliva, feces and urine. The time from infection to the first outward signs of illness (animals appear weak and unsteady) may be two years or longer. Soil contaminated with CWD prions cannot be decontaminated and can remain as a source of CWD exposure to wild deer for years. At the present time, the only accepted means of diagnosis must be performed after an animal suspected of being infected with CWD is dead.
The primary tool for preventing spread of CWD is the USDA Herd Certification program, which requires herds that wish to ship animals interstate to undergo a five year certification process involving surveillance testing and maintenance of herd inventories. While the program has helped slow the spread of CWD, it cannot guarantee that certified herds will remain CWD-free. Despite the best efforts of qualified animal health professionals, CWD has arisen in four new states (PA, MO, MN, IA) since 2010 and all were participating in the Herd Certification program. The source of the most recent detection of CWD in both captive and wild deer in Pennsylvania remains unknown twelve months after the initial detection. Farms in other states purchased animals from the original infected herd in Pennsylvania; some escaped and some remain unaccounted for. Absent these regulations, states with potentially infected deer populations would be allowed to export deer to New York.
“If we continue to allow imports, we could receive CWD exposed deer or elk that originated in one state and subsequently passed through a facility in a third state,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. David Smith. “That’s not a risk we’re willing to take here in New York. CWD is extremely difficult to detect and control and once present, the costs to the wild deer population, captive deer owners, and the entire state are high. We do not want this disease proliferating throughout our state’s valuable wild populations and captive deer herds. New York will continue to work with stakeholders and animal health professionals as these important regulations move forward.”
The costs of states to deal with outbreaks in CWD in terms of resources and tax dollars are tremendous. Prevalence rates in some parts of Wisconsin are over 20 percent just 10 years after the introduction of CWD into the state, costing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources $14 million the first year alone, with much of the money pulled from other wildlife programs.
Furthermore, the economic impact that CWD could have on New York State is considerable. Based on the most recent data, New York’s wild deer herds have a $780.5 million economic impact in the state, while the economic impact of captive deer is $13.2 million. There are an estimated 823,000 hunting licenses in New York and the state ranks third in the nation in residential hunters. In 2011, New York was fourth in the nation in spending by hunters and generated an estimated $290 million in state and local taxes.
According to the latest data, there are 433 facilities across New York State that currently hold captive deer. Of these facilities, 25 imported a total of 400 CWD-susceptible deer from January 1, 2011 through March 29, 2013.
New York will still permit the importation of deer semen for artificial insemination. Zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums will also be allowed to still import CWD-susceptible species.
Bruce L. Akey, MS DVM, executive director, Animal Health Diagnostic Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, said: "The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) includes internationally recognized experts on the transmission of disease and the ecology of diseases in wildlife populations. Chronic Wasting Disease is a serious threat to New York's wild white-tailed deer herd. With recent confirmation of CWD in Pennsylvania, our disease specialists are very concerned that CWD may once again be detected in New York. It is entirely appropriate that New York's regulatory agencies, the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation, take all reasonable measures to keep CWD out of New York. Given that there is no test currently available to detect CWD in live animals prior to movement, strong prevention measures are the only reasonable and economical way of managing CWD. Once CWD is confirmed in a population of white-tailed deer, the ecological and economic consequences will be catastrophic. We applaud the recent regulation prohibiting the importation of live captive white-tailed deer, the highest known risk factor for CWD."
Chuck Parker, president, New York State Conservation Council, said: “The New York State Conservation Council takes pride in being a major voice for the Sportsmen in New York for over 80 years. All of our positions and policies are the majority consensus of our membership. The voting representatives of the NYSCC through the affiliations of their local clubs represent upwards of 330,000 sportsmen in this state. The whitetail deer population in New York is enjoyed by sportsmen and outdoor enthusiast alike. The tradition of hunting has a proud history in New York and still offers an excellent opportunity for the sportsmen today. Along with the opportunity to hunt deer comes the economic impact to the state of nearly $800 million from deer hunting. Chronic Wasting Disease, if it was to be found in our wild deer population would create a serious environmental, recreational, and economic impact in New York. The New York State Conservation Council is strongly committed to supporting actions both by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that Chronic Wasting Disease never again is found in New York.”
Jason Kemper, chairman of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board, said: “The New York State Conservation Fund Advisory Board makes recommendations to state agencies on state government plans, policies, and programs affecting fish and wildlife. The wild white-tail deer population is extremely valuable to the State of New York, generating about $780 million annually by hunting and associated businesses. License sales associated with deer hunting fund a majority of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s fish and wildlife management programs. The health and integrity of New York’s wild deer herd is vital to both our natural and hunting heritage as well as our economy. We applaud actions taken by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation to implement all reasonable measures to prevent CWD from ever again occurring in New York.”
Mike Fishman, president of the New York Chapter of The Wildlife Society, said: "The New York Chapter of The Wildlife Society strongly supports the joint regulatory efforts of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to restrict the import of live, captive deer and other cervids to New York to prevent the reintroduction of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD poses a significant threat to our wild deer populations. Reintroduction of the disease could have disastrous consequences on an important ecological and economic resource in New York. This restriction is a necessary conservation measure to protect a very important wildlife resource."
Alan White, executive director of the Catskill Center, said: “The Catskill Center supports efforts by both the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and the Department of Environmental Conservation to reduce the chances that CWD would ever again be found in New York State. We support the newly proposed regulation to prohibit the importation of live captive white-tailed deer from out of state. These captive deer are a known risk factor for the spread of CWD. Deer hunting has deep and rich traditions in the Catskill Mountains, and it is vital that we ensure that the health of New York’s wild white-tailed deer herd is not compromised by CWD.”
A public hearing is scheduled to discuss the emergency regulations at noon on December 19, 2013 at the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, 10B Airline Drive, Albany.
New York Bowhunters Inc. (NYB) Wounded Veteran Hunt.
(10/24) NYB is proud to announce US Army Sergeants Michael Bennett and Charles Harris took part in their most recent Wounded Veteran hunt which just concluded. Both men were given a Whitetail hunt which was donated by Ohio Trophy Buck Outfitters. NYB member support paid all other expenses for the two soldiers. Several members of NYB paid their own way in order to take part in this hunt and accompany these two brave American heroes.
Twenty three year old Charles Harris who hails from West Virginia lost both lower legs in an IED explosion approximately a year and a half ago. Sgt Harris who had hunted with firearms before his deployment always wanted to try bowhunting. On this trip he successfully took his first deer with a bow and arrow.
Sgt Bennett who lives in the Adirondack region of New York, is dealing with a traumatic head injury (among other effects) as the result of an explosion in his vehicle which killed several of his fellow soldiers. This incident took place on his third deployment. He had a few close encounters with deer during the week long hunt, however passed up several opportunities that he felt were too far out of range for an ethical shot. He summed up this week as “…the best outdoor experience I have enjoyed in a very long time...”
Richard Kirschner, President of NYB claimed, “Being part of the camaraderie of this hunt and seeing the joy on the faces of these two American Heroes will always be one of the high points of my hunting career. I join both men in thanking the entire membership of NYB for making this hunt possible”.
NYB began its very own “Camo to Camo” program eight years ago which included; Outfitting several archery ranges for US troops serving in the Middle East. Another project which annually sends hundreds of pounds of gift boxes overseas to US military personnel. And most recently, though membership dues and fundraisers have sponsored several Wounded Veteran hunts.
For more information about NYB’s many programs that promote bowhunting, or to learn how you can help simply by becoming a member, check out the website at http://www.newyorkbowhunters.com
DEC OPENS ACCESS TO NEW RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES ON
SABLE HIGHLANDS CONSERVATION EASEMENT LANDS
(10/13) A number of new facilities and access opportunities on the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands (CEL) in Franklin and Clinton counties are now available for public use, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.
“DEC is committed to providing abundant, year-round outdoor recreation opportunities on the forest preserve, state forest and conservation easement lands,” said Commissioner Martens. “The new facilities will enhance public use and enjoyment of the conservation easement lands in western Clinton and eastern Franklin counties and will be available for the upcoming fall foliage, hunting and trapping seasons.”
DEC has been working intensely to enhance access to state-managed lands across the state. Their efforts include recently opening 11,600 acres of lands and waters in the Essex Chain Lakes tract in the center of the Adirondacks for the public to enjoy outdoor recreation. This is part of an agreement for the state to acquire 69,000 acres of land formerly owned by the Finch Pruyn Paper Company over five years. Three major tracts of land have been secured under this acquisition to date: the Essex Chain of Lakes, the Indian River tract, and the OK Slip Falls tract.
Conservation easements are used to protect a variety of important natural resources and landscape values, such as water quality, wildlife habitat, sensitive ecosystems, wetlands, scenic areas, agricultural land, working forests and historic sites. The primary function of an easement is to limit or eliminate future development and undesirable land uses on a property, while allowing for continued private ownership and traditional management. Some conservation easements, like the Sable Highlands CEL, allow public access to the protected property.
DEC and its partners have constructed new parking lots, opened some Linear Recreational Corridors (LRC) roadways for motorized use and installed informational kiosks that provide access and enhance the usage of specific public use areas (PUA) in the Sable Highlands CEL. Linear Recreation Corridors are roads and trails on the property that travel through private lease areas as a means to provide ingress and egress to and from PUAs. The LRCs will have posted signs and be managed in a manner that best facilitates public access while ensuring that public use has a minimal effect on private club members’ enjoyment of their posting leases.
Recent logging activities and the abundance of water resources provide high quality game habitat sought by hunters and trappers. The forest consists mainly of hardwood tree species that will be changing colors, which will offer opportunities for pleasant nature viewing walks, biking or leisurely drives during the fall foliage season.
Figure 8 Public Use Area
A new 6-vehicle parking area has been constructed on the Blair Kilns Road in the Town of Bellmont, Franklin County, providing access for recreational users to 3,900-acre Figure 8 PUA.
Cold Brook Public Use Area
A new 6-vehicle parking area has been constructed on the Standish Road in the Town of Saranac, Clinton County, providing access for recreational users to the 2,500-acre Cold Brook PUA.
Informational kiosks and register boxes at each parking area provide information for people using these lands. Access beyond the parking areas is by foot or mountain bike only. DEC plans to provide additional opportunities for public motorized access in the future.
D&H Road Linear Recreation Corridor
The 6.5-mile D&H Road is open to motor vehicles and mountain bikes during the summer and fall. It will be closed in the winter and during mud season. The road can be used year round by hikers, skiers and snowshoers as conditions warrant. The road connects Franklin County Route 26 near the hamlet of Loon Lake in the Town of Franklin with the Wolf Pond Road just east of the hamlet of Mountain View in the Town of Bellmont.
The road is for motorized thru-traffic only as there are no parking areas or pull-offs along the road. The 3,900-acre Plumadore-Inman PUA abuts the road on the west along much of the road. The public should be aware that a number of private landowners and privately licensed recreation clubs have exclusive use on other properties along the road. Trespassing on those lands is prohibited.
Barnes Pond Road Linear Recreation Corridor
The 3.9- mile Barnes Pond Road is open to motor vehicles during the fall hunting seasons. It is recommended that only high clearance SUVs and trucks use the road. The road can be accessed from a parking area on the True Brook Road in the Town of Saranac, Clinton County.
Hunters and others can use the road to access the 3,700-acre Barnes Pond PUA. Wheeled camping equipment up to 20 feet in length, such as pop-up campers, truck campers and tow-behind camper trailers, can be used at six fully accessible designated campsites along the road. At this time, motor vehicle use on the road is allowed from October 4 through the end of the Northern Zone Big Game Rifle Season only, weather and road conditions permitting.
DEC Region 5 operations staff and members of the Student Conservation Association (SCA) Adirondack Program worked for more than three years to construct the facilities. Construction would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of the landowner, The Forestland Group of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The new facilities complement a number of existing facilities and improvements previously constructed on the property by DEC, including:
· Fishhole Pond Fishing Access Site - Town of Franklin, Franklin County
· Grass Pond Fishing Access Site - Town of Franklin, Franklin County
· Two designated campsites, accessible by the public on foot or by mountain bike, in the 3,900-acre Plumadore-Inman PUA- Town of Franklin, Franklin County
· One designated campsite and a parking area with an informational kiosk, enhancing access to the 415-acre Saranac River PUA- Town of Franklin, Franklin County
DEC forest rangers and environmental conservation officers will conduct regular patrols of these locations and nearby conservation easement lands to educating users, enforce environmental laws and regulations and ensure the proper and safe use of the area.
Parking areas and access points are marked with DEC signs, informational kiosks, maps and public recreation usage guidelines specific to each PUA.
Food and gas for those using the Sable Highlands CEL can be easily found in the nearby communities of Vermontville, Brainardsville and Mountain View in Franklin County and Redford, Saranac, Merrill and Dannemora in Clinton County. The closest available lodging opportunities are available in Saranac Lake, Malone and Plattsburgh, while a wide variety of developed and primitive camping opportunities and seasonal rental properties are available in-season within a 25-mile radius of the PUAs.
More information, including descriptions of the PUAs and LRCs, directions, usage guidelines and maps can be found on the DEC Sable Highlands CEL webpage at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/71173.html or by contacting the DEC Division of Lands and Forests Region 5 office at (518) 897-1291.
The Sable Highlands CEL include more than 28,000 acres of lands distributed over 14 PUAs, all of which are open and available for public access and recreation in accordance with the April 2009 Interim Recreation Management Plan (IRMP). More than 56,000 acres of the Sable Highlands CEL is leased by the landowner to hunting, fishing and recreation clubs for their exclusive private use.
OCTOBER HUNTING SEASONS IN FULL SWING IN UPSTATE NEW YORY
(10/3) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced that New York’s estimated 823,000 hunters and trappers are officially returning afield to enjoy the variety of recreational hunting and trapping opportunities that abound across upstate New York.
Hunting and trapping are important management tools for several species, including deer, bear, beaver, and Canada geese. These activities also provide significant benefits to New York’s economy, especially in rural areas. Sales of sporting licenses, hunting equipment and accessories of all kinds, and expenditures for travel to hunting locations provide tens of millions of dollars annually for wildlife conservation programs in New York and contribute significantly to state and local economies. A recent national survey estimated that hunter expenditures on equipment and trip-related expenses in New York totaled more than $1.5 billion in 2011.
“New York offers an incredible variety of hunting and trapping opportunities to satisfy every interest imaginable,” Commissioner Martens said. “DEC biologists and technicians work hard to identify and provide recreational hunting and trapping opportunities every year while ensuring that harvests of all species are sustainable on a long term basis. Our staff is committed to monitoring wildlife populations and hunter success to maintain these resources and opportunities for future generations; we urge all hunters to comply with harvest reporting requirements and to respond to any surveys they may be selected for.”
Governor Cuomo recently announced a new initiative to make New York even more attractive to hunters and anglers. The “NY Open for Fishing and Hunting” plan streamlines sporting licenses and reduces fees to benefit sportsmen and sportswomen throughout the state. Fees will also be lowered for non-residents to encourage out-of-state hunters to experience the great game opportunities in New York. These changes will first go into effect in 2014. For more information, go to: http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/02202013-ny-open-for-fishing-and-hunting.
Some highlighted hunting opportunities for this year in New York are listed below:
Bowhunting season opened in northern New York on September 27 and the rest of upstate New York and Suffolk County on October 1. A special muzzleloader season in Northern New York opens on October 19, followed by the regular firearms season that opens on October 26. Firearms seasons for deer in the Southern Zone of New York will open on November 16.
New York’s second annual Youth Deer Hunt will occur in upstate New York over the Columbus Day weekend (October 12-14). During this hunt, 14 and 15-year old junior hunters may take a deer of either sex with a firearm when accompanied by a licensed and experienced adult mentor (www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46245.html). New York’s first Youth Deer Hunt in 2012 was a positive experience for thousands of young hunters and provided a great opportunity for families to celebrate their hunting heritage and build a new generation of deer hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.
Bear hunting season opened in the Adirondacks and the Champlain Valley on September 14, and continues along with deer hunting seasons into early December. In portions of the Southern Zone, including the Catskills, Hudson Valley and Southern Tier, bear hunting seasons opened on October 1 and are generally the same as deer season, except for the Youth Hunt (which is for deer only).
Small Game Mammals
Many people begin their hunting experience with small game, such as squirrels, for which the season opened on September 1, or cottontail rabbits, which opened upstate on October 1; hunting seasons for squirrels and rabbits will open November 1 on Long Island.
Coyote hunting season opened across all of upstate New York on October 1, whereas seasons for other furbearing species (raccoon, fox, bobcat, and others) generally open on October 25, when trapping seasons open as well. The areas open for bobcat hunting and trapping were expanded this year, and a special permit is required to take bobcats in those areas. Those interested in participating in the special permit program can contact a local DEC Wildlife office.
Upland Game Birds
Hunting seasons for a variety of upland game birds, including wild turkey, pheasant, ruffed grouse and woodcock opened October 1 in most of eastern New York (excluding Long Island; and in northern New York, grouse season opened on September 20). Wild turkey and pheasant seasons open later on October 19 in western New York. A limited fall turkey hunting season on Long Island will occur from November 16-20.
A special Youth Pheasant Hunt was held in eastern New York this past weekend and another will be held on October 12-13 (Saturday-Sunday only) in western New York. On Long Island, the Youth Pheasant Hunt will be held on October 26-27, followed by the regular season opening on November 1. Pheasant stocking locations for public hunting are listed on the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/93322.html.
September Canada goose seasons have come and gone, but waterfowl hunters have plenty of opportunities to look forward to. Duck hunting seasons are set for five different hunting zones, with the earliest beginning on October 5 in the Northeastern Zone. Youth Waterfowl Hunts were held in late September for several zones, and junior hunters in western New York will have one to look forward to on October 12-13 (Saturday–Sunday only), perhaps in combination with the Youth Pheasant Hunt in that area. Canada goose seasons will re-open in most of upstate New York on October 26.
Mentor a New Hunter or Trapper
Adult hunters and trappers are encouraged to pass along their traditions and become a mentor for a junior hunter or trapper. The junior hunter and trapper mentoring program allows 14 and 15-year olds to hunt big game with a firearm and 12 to 15 year olds to hunt big game with a bow while accompanied and supervised by an experienced adult hunter. Unlicensed youth less than 12 years of age may also accompany and assist a licensed and experienced adult trapper. More details about these opportunities are available in this year's Hunting and Trapping Laws and Regulations Guide and on the DEC website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46245.html.
All new hunters or trappers planning to go afield this upcoming hunting and trapping season mush first complete a mandatory hunter or trapper education course before they can obtain the appropriate sporting license. Training in safe handling of firearms and hunting is a legal requirement for anyone hunting in New York. Courses are free to take and are taught by DEC-certified instructors. Although primarily offered for first-time hunters or trappers, anyone is welcome to attend a sportsman education course, whether it is for a refresher or an interest of the topic. For more on basic hunting safety rules visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9186.html.
For More Information
For general information about hunting or trapping in New York, or to get additional information about specific opportunities, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/hunting.html (hunting) or http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/355.html (trapping). Hunters and trappers should be sure to confirm the exact dates, bag limits, legal implements, and other regulations pertaining to any area that you plan to hunt or trap before going afield.
DEC ANNOUNCES 2013-2014 WATERFOWL SEASON DATES
Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Provide Diverse Opportunities across the State
(9/17) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced that information is now available about the upcoming waterfowl hunting seasons, including season dates and updated regulations. “New York’s unique configuration of waterfowl management zones provides hunters with open seasons in various parts of the state from September to April,” said Commissioner Martens. “This year’s season selections were developed by a team of statewide DEC biologists, with input from waterfowl hunters. DEC has looked to task forces to help select waterfowl hunting season dates for more than a decade and appreciates all the help they have offered to help make these selections.”
The season dates and regulations can be viewed in full detail on the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28503.html. Waterfowl hunting zone descriptions and boundaries are available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28497.html.
Duck Season Overview:
Most duck season dates are similar to last year, and most bag limits are unchanged. The exceptions are that no more than two scaup may be taken as part of the total daily bag limit of six ducks (the scaup limit was four/day last year), and possession limits for all ducks (and most other migratory game birds) have increased to three times the daily bag limit.
Duck hunting seasons begin with designated “youth waterfowl hunts” in each zone of the state. These youth hunts are for junior hunters (12 to 15 years of age) accompanied by a licensed adult hunter (including current HIP registration and duck stamp – see below). The adult should not possess a firearm while accompanying a youth who is hunting ducks on any of these days. The youth hunts are held on weekends in each zone of the state, as follows:
September Canada goose seasons (announced previously) are already underway, but hunters can look forward to another 45 days or more (depending on area) to pursue these popular game birds again this fall and winter. Hunters are reminded that Canada goose seasons are set for different geographic areas of the state than other waterfowl seasons, so be sure to review the maps closely at: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28496.html. Canada goose season dates in most areas are similar to last year’s season dates, and there are no changes to bag limits except for the increase in possession limits to three times the daily bag limit.
A special season for snow geese, in addition to the regular seasons in each zone, will be open in all of upstate New York from January 16 through April 15. These birds have become so abundant that they are causing harm to wetland habitats throughout their range. Special seasons have been established in many eastern states and provinces to increase hunter harvest and help reduce this population. The daily limit for snow geese is 25 per day, and there is no possession limit. Electronic calls and shotguns capable of holding more than three shells may be used to take snow geese at any time when all other waterfowl hunting seasons are closed.
Federal Duck Stamp and State Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program:
Hunters 16 or older must have a 2013 federal duck stamp to hunt during any of the 2013-2014 seasons. Federal duck stamps cost $15 and are available at most post offices and some sporting goods stores. They are also available by calling toll-free 1-800-852-4897 or at www.duckstamp.com. Stamps must be signed across the face by the hunter before they become valid, but they do not have to be attached to the hunting license.
All migratory game bird (waterfowl, woodcock, snipe, rails and gallinules) hunters, including junior hunters (age 12-15), must register with New York's Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) prior to hunting in any of the 2013-2014 seasons. Hunters must register every year and for each state in which they plan to hunt migratory game birds, and also must carry proof of compliance whenever going afield. To register in HIP, call toll-free 1-888-427-5447 (1-888-4 ASK HIP) or visit www.NY-HIP.com.
NORTHEAST ICE FISHING CUSTOM ROD BUILDER CHALLENGE
Competition among America’s best rod builders to benefit a good cause
“Artisans of the short rod” compete for a second year in the 2014 Northeast Ice Fishing Custom Rod Builder Challenge. Last year’s challenge proved that the cottage industry of skilled builders is growing – and providing hardwater anglers unique products that anglers are proud to own. The auction following the competition raises valuable funds to help advance the Stewardship Ethic through the non-profit organization Recycled Fish.
The nature of the challenge is to raise awareness for custom ice rod building by challenging builders to create their best interpretation of the ultimate light action perch rod.
“Panfish reign supreme as quarry among ice anglers,” said Nathan Krusko of North East Ice Fishing. “Last year’s challenge for the ultimate panfish rod was a hit, but we think even more builders will get involved this year, as we point our attention to perch – the weight leaders of the panfish pack.”
A call for entries is open now – visit NortheastIceFishing.com to learn how to submit a custom built rod to the competition. Judging begins at the St. Paul Ice Fishing & Winter Sports Expo December 6-8 at the St. Paul Rivercenter in St. Paul, MN. Anglers can vote for their favorites online beginning in January on the Northeast Ice Fishing website.
The proceeds from this challenge will go to Recycled Fish, a national non-profit organization of "anglers living a Lifestyle of Stewardship both on and off the water, because our lifestyle runs downstream." The organization promotes practices that improve our waters and the fish populations that live within them. Info: http://northeasticefishing.com/
DEC RIDS ADIRONDACK POND OF NON-NATIVE FISH TO RESTORE
NATIVE BROOK TROUT FISHERY
(11/15) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently completed a major effort to eradicate non-native fish from Lower Sargent Pond in Hamilton County, DEC Regional Director Robert Stegemann announced today. The pond will be stocked with fish next year to reestablish the high quality, naturally reproducing native brook trout fishery that had existed there before its population was depleted due to the presence of the non-native fish.Second Amendment
“Native brook trout populations have been significantly reduced in the Adirondacks and other areas throughout the east, but we are committed to restoring these populations in local waters,” said Director Stegemann. “This tremendous coordinated effort will ensure the continued existence of a natural aquatic community and provide a high quality wilderness fishing experience for anglers.”
Providing a high quality wilderness fishing experience on Lower Sargent Pond promotes Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative, which has improved recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen, and boosted tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing along with reduced license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state and increased regional hunting and recreational opportunities.
The eradication of non-native fish, followed by restocking with native brook trout is a key component of DEC’s Brook Trout Restoration Program. DEC is a partner in the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (http://easternbrooktrout.org/), which is working to protect, restore and enhance brook trout populations and habitats across their native range.
For decades Lower Sargent Pond was considered a high quality fishery, which sustained natural reproducing brook trout population. It was one of the most popular fly-in fishing destinations in the Adirondacks, and many anglers would walk the two miles into the pond to fish for brook trout.
As the abundance of largemouth bass increased in the pond, the brook trout population severely declined. In 2012, no young brook trout were present; only large, older brook trout that had been hatched before the bass population had grown. The decline in the brook trout population was not due to overfishing. The primary causes were illegal fish stocking and use of bait fish.
The eradication of non-native fish from a water body is known as a “reclamation.” The reclamation procedure is used to return the water to a historic natural aquatic community, provide higher quality fishing opportunities and, where possible, to reintroduce endangered fish species such as round whitefish.
The reclamation of the131-acre Lower Sargent Pond is the largest reclamation in New York State in several decades. A considerable amount of resources and a extensive coordination were needed to complete the reclamation over a five-day period. The effort included the participation of dozens of DEC staff from various regions and programs, and assistance from the State Police Aviation Unit for helicopter transport of personnel, equipment and supplies. There were 37 trips by helicopter during the project, but many workers still had to walk two miles to and from the nearest road carrying equipment and supplies.
Non-native fish, such as bass, yellow perch and golden shiner, negatively impact the native fish communities and ecosystems of Adirondack waters. Non-native fish prey on the eggs and young of native fish. They out compete brook trout and other native fish by consuming large quantities of zooplankton (very small aquatic animals) and other prey food that the native fish feed upon.
It is illegal to move fish from one water body to another without a permit from DEC. The possession or use of fish as bait is prohibited in Lower Sargent Pond and many other trout ponds in the Adirondacks to prevent the introductions of non-native fishes.
Adirondack heritage strain Little Tupper brook trout will be stocked in the pond next year. It is projected that in the next three to five years, Lower Sargent Pond will once again be a high quality wilderness brook trout fishing destination.
Brook trout thrive on a diet of insects and other invertebrates, and grow to large size in ponds that do not have minnows as forage. The current state record brook trout is a 6 pound fish caught in an Adirondack wilderness pond that contains no other fish species. Minnows can become abundant in a pond or lake and compete with brook trout for food – decreasing the brook trout population.
More information on protection of native brook trout, impacts of non-native fish, rotenone and other topics can be found on the DEC Protecting Adirondack Fish web page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/31920.html.
Read the NYS Police Field Guide to the NY SAFE Act
ALERT: Firearm Use Prohibited on SUNY-ESF Forest Properties(8/29) Changes in New York state law now prohibit the use of firearms on North Country property that is operated by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).
The college, located in Syracuse, N.Y., has several regional campuses throughout the state, including the Ranger School and Dubuar Memorial Forest in Wanakena and Pack Forest in Warrensburg. The property is used for education, research and demonstration. “Traditionally, the college has allowed the use of firearms for hunting on our properties,” said Robert Davis, director of forest properties at ESF. “But changes in the law now prohibit that use. Hunting that does not involve rifles, shotguns, or firearms, as defined in section 265.00 of the New York State Penal Law, is still permissible.” Criminal possession of a firearm on the properties is a Class E felony.
ADKHunter.com notes: Because SUNY ESF does not actually own these lands, Syracuse University does, SUNY-ESF is not comfortable with the exemption written into the NY Safe Act for SUNY ESF forest properties because it says they have to both own AND maintain them. They're trying to work it out in the next legislative session but won't be able to in time for the upcoming hunting seasons. Squirrel season is already open, bear opens Sept. 14, grouse Sept. 20. SUNY-ESF does not want to see the average hunter or student get a Class E felony as the SAFE Act implies in this case.
Scenes and Signs from the Second Ammendment Lobby Day
held on Feb. 28, 2013 in Albany, NY
(12/5) Last Call: It's hard to believe that we're looking at the final weekend of yet another deer season. But that's where we're at. If you haven't filled that tag yet don't give up. We've been out there this week and had some luck. In fact, some bucks hunters have encountered were with does (well, a few of them are not anymore) and while we're starting to find some rubs and scrapes again, all indications are that there are still estrus does attracting bucks. Other than the rain that is about to hit us on Thursday and Friday, it's been a pretty good week weatherwise, and this final week may turn out to be some of the best weather of the season. The weekend is supposted to cool down a bit before a storm comes through on Monday. We'll see how it plays out. Most of the northern zone, minus the interior of the Adirondacks, has a week of muzzleloading hunting from Dec. 9-15 for yet some more hunting opportunities.
If you are hunting the Adirondacks on this final weekend (which is also the end of the Southern Zone rifle season) and into next week you may want to continue to key in on does, especially if you've got a spot that hasn't seen much hunting pressure this season. Bucks are still roaming and hanging with the does. Perhaps you'll get a look at one. Meanwhile, hunters are still knocking bucks down across the Adirondack region and we've got a pile of photos to post. We'll get to it next week when the season is over. Good luck!
(11/29) Giving Thanks: This is Thanksgiving weekend, traditionally one of the best times of the year to hunt in the Adirondacks. Although, it's a little later than usual. That said, last week was no slouch. On the heels of the Nov. 17 full moon things really took off last week and a number of bucks were taken or reported being seen following does. That's only going to go on for so long until some breeding starts and deer head for thicker cover. If you know where the does hang out, keep after them because there are bound to be some bucks around. Meanwhile, rubbing and scraping activity appear to have slowed down: a sign that the boys are having some action. When it starts back up again you know bucks are on the move. If you haven't filled a tag yet, don't feel bad, neither have I. But I know some of the best hunting comes late in the season. After a storm early this week it looks like the weather roller coaster will continue with lots of ups and downs. You never know what you're going to get for late season weather. Many of us would be thankful for some snow. A Happy Thanksgiving to all. Hunt safely and enjoy the time with your families.
(11/20) Chasing Bucks: That's what those of us with unfilled tags are hopefully doing. Although it's looking to be a little wet this weekend, and a bit colder followed by a cool-down next week. Typical November weather. We're on the move and won't have much time to update until after the weekend. After all, it's deer season. Adirondack hunters meanwhile, are still knocking down some bucks; even with Southern Zone now open. Numerous buck photos have come in and we'll get some up on the next update. Until then, keep after those rutting bucks and good luck
(11/15) What a Week: It's been a heck of a week of hunting in the Adirondacks. Especially if you like wind. That's what we've had for most of this week and many hunters have come out of the woods with red faces. A warm-up is expected for the weekend, and the Southern Zone opener, followed by some rain. Then things are supposed to get back to normal November weather later next week. I don't know if people like seeing their bucks on this website or if the hunting has just been great, but I can't recall a year since launching this website in 2000 when we've had so many buck photos come in during the first half of November. And there have been some real slammers. Now we're looking at a Full Moon on Nov. 17 for what is usually a pretty good time to hunt in the Adirondacks. I've found more scrapes this week than at any other time of the season and our group was fortunate to get another buck this week. As for the coming week, we likely won't get to update this site because of some much-needed time in the woods but we will catch up when we can. Keep at it and good luck to everyone.
(11/11) It's Time: We wait all year for mid-November and it is finaly here. The time to be in the woods is NOW. Bucks are on the move and if you know where some does are hanging out be sure to key in on them as part of your hunting strategy. Bucks are being taken or seen by hunter that have been chasing does or roaming and looking for them. Buck sign is everywhere there are deer. The next few weeks are boing to be busy for us here at ADKHunter as it's time to do some hunting ourselves. We've got dozens of photos to post and will get to them later this week for sure. Meanwhile, it looks like we're in for a bit of a cold snap in the Adirondack region. That should really get deer moving and force us hunters to break out the wool. Hunt hard, and good luck.
(11/4) Ah, November: Unfortunately I did not get to hunt much over the weekend, mainly due to social functions.
But that's all over now and I'm looking ahead. After a warm start on Saturday morning the front came through and cooled things down. As I bit my nails Sunday morning cursing for not being in the woods I knew it was going to be a good day. I found out later, that it was.
My neighbor, Cameron Stark, age 17 is turning into quite a hunter. He's gotten a few deer with his bow but his moment came about 8am on Nov. 3 when a big 10-pointer came out of a drive. Cameron's aim was true and the 202-pound bruiser taken in Fort Ann is a real trophy. Welcome to the 200-pound club, Cameron. We hope to have more photos of this one down the road. I also got a call from my Iron Site Gang buddies who got a nice little buck on Sunday afternoon. And, we've gotten quite a few photos sent in from the early muzzleloading season so be sure to scroll down and take a look.
Buck sign, meanwhile is showing up more and more every day. Good rubs are being reported, as are scrapes. One hunter I spoke with over the weekend, who also killed a 10-pointer on Friday (Nov. 1), was watching three does in the rain when a buck came in and chased one off. The bigger buck showed up later and that was his last mistake. Looks like things are really starting to crank up. Preliminary forecasts are calling for some possible snow for the weekend. Stay tuned!
(10/28) Good Start: What an opening weekend it was for some hunters. I can't recall as much early season success, especially on nice bucks, as I've seen in 13 years of running this website. There are some beauties for sure. And how about the snow that came in for the last few days of muzzleloading season? Some hunters, including well-known deer tracker, Joe DiNitto, capitlized on it. Photos continue to come in from the early muzleloading and bow season in the Northern Zone.
While our crew didn't take a buck we had a very productive opening weekend of rifle season. We don't appear to have the solid beechnut crop that we're hearing about in the central ADKs, but there are some as well as a few (but not many) acorns. Buck sign is in good supply, especially rubs. We found 20 rubs in one spot and will be going back. One thing that seems to be in short supply is water, at least in places. We'll be keeping an eye on that as the season progresses. Right now, it looks like a warm start to the weekend will be followed by some cooler weather. Overall, visibility in the woods this fall seems to be better than in most years. Depending on where you are there is still some young beech and underbrush to contend with. Don't forget to turn those clocks back Saturday night.
(10/24 The Frost is on the Pumpkin: When the Northern Zone big game rifle season opens this weekend hunters across the region can expect some crispy mornings along with daytime temperatures that may not even breach the 50 degree mark. That’s good news! Early season hunting is often characterized by warm temperatures and minimal deer movements. This shot of November weather in October should have the deer on their feet. And, if you follow lunar theories keep in mind that some breeding activity is expected on the heels of the Oct. 19 full Hunter’s moon. We’ll be curious to see if bucks are chasing does already. If so, we’ll take it.
As for last weekend’s muzzleloading hunt; there was a lot of shooting in the area I was in on opening morning, including some from our own group. The result was a small buck harvested and some fresh tenderloin for breakfast at deer camp. As predicted, the mornings were nice but the weekend weather was warm. It’s been better mid-week for those hunters lucky enough to be able to hunt. Meanwhile, hunters are reporting a solid beech nut crop in some areas, spotty in others. Acorns seem to be more plentiful in the foothills of the ADKS. Good luck this opening weekend and be safe.
(10/17) Pumped: As I write this on Thursday morning the Northern Zone early muzzleloading season is less than 50 hours away. I couldn't be happier and am looking forward to a three-day weekend of hunting Adirondack bucks. We'll focus at first on the bigger woods where, other than youth, we tend to leave the antlerless deer be. Later in the weekend and during the week we'll hit a few spots where we're comfortable taking a doe.
The real good news is that this warm weather is expected to break, at least early in the day. The mornings this weekend should be just right with temps in the 30s, or lower in parts further north, which should trigger deer movement. There may be some rain too, but hopefully not enought to wet our powder! As usual, I like to spend the mornings on stand and if conditions are right, do some exploring/still-hunting mid-day. I'll be looking for sign, feeding patterns and of course, deer. We're always curious to hear from other hunters on such findings as well, no matter where you hunt, as we start looking at the big picture of the forthcoming whitetail rut. Meanwhile, we got a few photos in from last weekend's youth hunt and expect to have a few more in future updates. Have a great, safe hunt this weekend.
(10/10)Child's Play: New York's second youth deer hunt is almost upon us. It looks to be a pretty good weekend in terms of the weather. Perhaps a bit warm mid-day during the three-day hunt but some cool mornings are in the works. This week's slight break in the warmth has been good for deer activity too and now that we are past peak foliage in most of the Adirondacks visibility should get better on a daily basis. Although there is still lots of green underbrush out there. Keep an eye out for rubs and scrapes and let us know of your findings as well as that of mast crops. It looks to be a good season and we hope the young hunters out there get the opportunity to kick of in fashion. As you'll see in teh photos below, the kids have been having some fun on waterfowl and pheasants and deer. We've also got a few bow bucks. Good luck, and hunt safely.
(10/3/13) Warm Bow Hunting: What can we say, this past week has been more conducive to fishing and hiking than hunting. The mornings have been spectacular but it's been pretty warm and buggy. After an eventful opening morning on Sept. 27 where one of my buddie's missed a buck things quited right down. We've only heard of a few deer being taken including the one below in the western ADKs. This weekend's weather looks to be more of the same, but we may get some much needed rain. One observation I have made is that the deer here in the southeastern ADKs are chooseing acorns (where available) over apples and have already gone somewhat nocturnal. Many are being sighted or caught on trail cameras moving just before daylight. 'Still haven't got into the beech stands yet but will be soon. We'll see what happens. Good luck out there.