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Lookin' South: This is primarily and Adirondack-themed website. We're proud of where we live, where we hunt and why we do what we do up here. As this website has grown over the years time restrictions have forced us to omit hunts and photos of hunts that happen outside the Adirondacks, or at least the Northern Zone. That said, we have a few Southern Zone photos that come in from fans of this website and we usually try to get them up some time during the winter when things are less busy. Well, they're never less busy, but that's OK.
One thing about hunting in the Southern Zone these days is the fact that more big bucks are being taken. This is obviously due to the fact that hunters are passing up smaller bucks more often then ever before. Whether it's by choice, by regulation or as part of a QDM-coop; there are more nice bucks being taken in the south every year. When you look at the photos we've posted you'll see for yourself.
In the meantime, it's ice fishing season in the Adirondacks and there are still some small game seasons open, including coyotes. If you get out, be safe and have some fun and maybe we'll see you out there or at one of the events we've got listed here.
Click here for 2014 deer sesason reports
<> Latest Adirondack & Northern Zone Hunting Photos
Click here for more photos from 2014
Southern Zone bucks: Cick here
Drew Peacock shot this 8-pointer in
Hamilton County during the early muzzleloading season
DEC REGION 5 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION POLICE
2014 HUNTING SEASON REPORT
(1/12) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) ticketed numerous poachers for violating hunting and firearm laws and regulation during the big game hunting season. “Enforcing hunting and trapping laws helps to ensure suitable populations of deer, bear and other wildlife in the region and throughout the state,” said Regional Environmental Conservation Police Captain Daniel Darrah. “It also ensures that the large majority of law abiding hunters are provided are fair opportunity to pursue game that these poachers are taking. DEC and the Environmental Conservation Police appreciate the thousands of hunters who consistently adhere to hunting regulations and guidelines, and who pass on the traditions of safety, responsibility and conservation to the next generation.”
ECOs charged 152 individuals with a total of 270 total charges. The charges included 91 misdemeanors and 179 violations. The breakdown of the charges include:
DEC REMINDS ANGLERS TO PUT SAFETY FIRST(1/12) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today reminded ice anglers to enjoy the ice responsibly. Three to four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers accessing ice on foot. Ice thickness can vary on every body of water or even within the same body of water. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be taken as evidence of safe ice conditions.
WHEN ENJOYING ICE FISHING
Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.
“Ice fishing is a very popular sport in New York State and interest in the sport is increasing,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Unlike other fishing techniques that may require a boat or special equipment, ice fishing is relatively simple and inexpensive. All one needs is a warm pair of boots, a good ice auger, some tip-ups or a jigging rod and the willingness to walk a bit to have success.”
Based on DEC’s last statewide angler survey, more than 800,000 days are spent ice fishing New York’s waters annually. For more information ice fishing visit DEC’s website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7733.html.
The use of fish for bait is very popular when ice fishing and bait fish may be used in most but not all waters that are open to ice fishing. Visit the DEC website for a list of special regulation by county to find out where bait fish can and cannot be used, and for other regulations that apply to baitfish at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/71546.html.
Anglers are reminded to take these important steps when using baitfish while ice fishing:
DEC SHARES DRAFT PLAN TO MODIFY IMPERIAL DAM
(1/12) A draft plan to modify the Imperial Dam on the Saranac River is available for public review, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Bob Stegemann announced. The plan protects human health, private property and public infrastructure while improving natural habitat for aquatic and wetlands species. “DEC is seeking to inform the public and gather input on the preliminary plan addressing the Imperial Dam’s safety issues,” said Director Stegemann. “DEC’s plan will protect people that live, work and travel downstream of the dam. The proposal will also provide access to nine miles of upstream habitat for salmon and trout, while continuing to serve as a barrier to breeding sea lamprey.”
A public availability session on the preliminary plan will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 21 at the Town of Plattsburgh Town Hall at 151 Banker Road. Staff from DEC and its consulting firm will present information on the preliminary plan for the dam and the process for moving the project forward. DEC will also answer questions and accept comments from the public. The meeting facility is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodation in advance to DEC at 518-897-1248.
“I am exceptionally pleased at this long-awaited news,” said Derrick Miller, President of the Lake Champlain Chapter of Trout Unlimited. “Our members and many people throughout the North Country are delighted that the historic Atlantic salmon spawning habitat in the Saranac River will be restored. This is great news for conservationists and anglers alike.”
The preliminary design for the dam modification includes decreasing the height of the spillway by 8.5 feet and constructing a concrete fish ladder on the left bank (northern side) of the dam. Work will require permits and other approvals, including an Army Corps of Engineers Permit, a DEC wetlands permit and a DEC water quality certification.
The proposed project will increase the dam’s spillway capacity and bring it into compliance with dam safety regulations. The lowered spillway will achieve the required spillway capacity of 45,650 cubic feet per second.
The fish ladder will allow landlocked salmon and trout access to nine miles of the Saranac River upstream of the dam providing a significant increase in spawning habitat for these species and enhance efforts to restore the Lake Champlain fishery. The fish ladder is designed to prevent lamprey from moving upstream.
The plan involves dredging 91,600 cubic yards of material behind the dam to prevent those sediments from being washed downstream and into Lake Champlain. Dredging will create a 200-foot wide channel following the existing river channel approximately 3,800 feet upstream from the face of the dam.
Comments may be mailed to DEC Regional Fishery Manager Lance Durfey, P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, NY 12977; or e-mailed to mailto:Reg5fish@dec.ny.gov. Comments should be submitted by COB Friday, February 6, 2015.
DEC ADVISES BACKCOUNTRY VISITORS OF WINTER CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT MOST OF THE ADIRONDACKS
(12/11) The recent snowstorm provided great conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondack backcountry the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reports today. Backcountry visitors should be prepared with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice and cold to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience.
“Now that snows have arrived in the Adirondacks, winter recreationist can take advantage of all that the Park has to offer during the upcoming holiday vacation period,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “However, recreationist must be aware that winter can also present troublesome – even perilous – conditions to the unprepared. Visitors exploring the backcountry should dress for cold weather and use snowshoes and skis to navigate trails.”
Snow depths range from 6 to 20 inches or more. The deepest snows are in the eastern Adirondacks with the thinner depths in the western portion. Snow depths are deeper in the higher elevations like the High Peaks and other mountains over 3,000 feet. Seasonal access roads are closed. Motor vehicles should not be driving on seasonal access roads that serve as snowmobile trails in the winter such as the Moose River Plains Road. Most gates and designated snowmobile trails are or will be open by the weekend. Snowmobilers should check on local trail conditions before heading out. Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobile trails should keep to the side to allow safe passage of snowmobiles. Snowmobiles should slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers.
Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks are required to use snowshoes or cross-country skis for their safety and the safety of other backcountry users. It is strongly recommended that visitors to other parts of the Adirondacks do the same.
Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent “post holing”, which can ruin trails and cause sudden falls resulting in injuries. Ice crampons should be carried for use on icy mountaintops and other exposed areas. In addition, backcountry visitors should follow these safety guidelines:
Traveling through snow takes more energy and time than hiking the same distance, especially in freshly fallen snow. Plan trips accordingly. Ice has only recently formed on most waters especially on large waterbodies. Alternating periods of freezing and thawing have occurred over the past month weakening any ice that is present. Always check ice thickness before traveling across it. Avoid ice over running water, near inlets & outlet and near boathouses & docks - especially those with "bubblers" or other ice prevention devices. Ice that holds snow will not hold the weight of a snowmobile at this time and may not hold the weight of a person. Skiers and snowshoers are reminded that the Avalanche Pass Slide in the Eastern High Peaks is closed to public recreation of any type during the winter.
Call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518-891-0235 to report lost or injured people or other backcountry emergencies. The DEC Adirondack Trail Information web page (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html) provides current trail condition information and links to current weather, snow cover and other important information to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Adirondack backcountry winter experience.
(1/1) A third year of a research project on wild turkey survival to help improve the management of this popular game bird will kick off in January, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced.
DEC SEEKING LANDOWNERS TO ASSIST WITH WILD TURKEY RESEARCH
“Wild turkey populations have changed dramatically in New York over the past decade,” Commissioner Martens said. “This project will provide valuable information on turkey survival rates and harvest to help guide management of this important game species. I encourage landowners that have wild turkey on their property this winter to consider participating in this study.”
Over the past 10 years wild turkey populations have declined in many parts of New York State. To better understand the factors influencing population changes and how these changes affect turkey management, DEC is beginning the third year of a four-year study. This project will provide wildlife managers with current estimates of harvest and survival rates for female wild turkeys, or hens, in New York and guide management efforts.
Beginning in January, DEC will embark on a statewide effort to capture wild turkey hens and fit them with leg bands to obtain accurate data on survival and harvest. A small number of these birds will also be tagged with satellite radio-transmitters. All of the work will be done by DEC personnel on both public and private lands from January through March. The research will be concentrated in DEC Regions 3 through 9, across the state from the Hudson Valley to North Country and Western New York.
DEC is looking for landowners in DEC Regions 3 through 9 interested in allowing birds to be trapped on their land, as well as alerting project coordinators when they see turkeys on their property on a regular basis. Once turkeys are trapped and banded, they will immediately be released at the same location. Not all locations are suitable for deploying capture equipment, so landowners should contact their regional project coordinator to discuss the suitability of their property. Observations of turkey flocks during January through March can be reported to the project coordinator for that region or can be reported using the Winter Flock Survey form found on DEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48756.html.
Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.
For more information on this project, contact DEC by e-mail at mailto:email@example.com. “Turkey Study” should be listed as the subject line in any e-mails.
DEC ANNOUNCES STEWARDSHIP PLAN TO GUIDE INTERIM MANAGEMENT OF THE ESSEX CHAIN LAKES COMPLEX
(12/15) The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released a Stewardship Plan to guide interim management for public access and use of newly acquired lands in the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex in the Central Adirondacks, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced. The Stewardship Plan outlines a full range of recreational activities that may occur in the Essex Chain while DEC develops a long-term Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Complex area.
“The Essex Chain Lakes features exceptional natural resources and this Stewardship Plan will allow people of all ages and abilities to enjoy these lands,” Commissioner Martens said. “The Stewardship Plan will provide for interim access to these beautiful lands and waters for camping and other recreation activities, while protecting the natural resources until a final unit management plan is in place.”
DEC worked with various partners, including the towns of Newcomb and Indian Lake, the Adirondack Ecological Center, which is part of SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), and the Student Conservation Association to establish public access under the Stewardship Plan.
Town of Newcomb Supervisor George Canon said, “Our thanks go out to Governor Cuomo, DEC Commissioner Martens and our many partners for actively engaging with local government leaders to create a stewardship plan for this important property that is already providing the public with a great outdoor destination in the Town of Newcomb.”
Brian Wells, supervisor, Town of Indian Lake, said, “The Town of Indian Lake appreciates DEC listening and addressing to our wants and concerns when developing the stewardship plan. The Town of Indian Lake has benefited greatly this past fall as a result of DEC quickly implementing a user friendly plan. We look forward to proceeding with developing UMP through the working relationship we have with DEC Commissioner Joe Martens and his staff.”
William Farber, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, said, “We thank Governor Cuomo, the DEC and the many partners who have worked hard to open up the Essex Chain to public use. I am optimistic that this stewardship pan will help generate expanded public use of this wonderful place and sustain its natural resources for the future.”
The Stewardship Plan is now in effect. People can view the plan on DEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/97474.html. Under the plan, additional access to the Essex Chain Lakes includes:
Access opportunities to the Essex Chain Lakes complex announced earlier this year include:
In addition, DEC will post signs prohibiting fires within 500 feet of waterbodies and at all permitted tent sites, and additional signs indicating “camping at designated sites only within the Essex Chain and Pine Lake Primitive Areas.”
When the APA classified the lands of the Essex Chain and adjacent areas earlier this year, it anticipated that DEC would consider alternatives for locating a snowmobile trail through these lands to connect the communities of Indian Lake and Newcomb. In response to public comments from individuals, local businesses, communities and environmental organizations – who all indicated that alternatives for the location of this snowmobile trail should be addressed in a Draft UMP – DEC decided to delay formal release of a Draft Essex Chain Complex UMP to fully assess snowmobile trail options.
DEC will propose a preferred alternative in a revised Draft UMP, subject to public review and comment this winter. This will provide an opportunity for people to provide their input on the future use of the property.
In addition to determining the preferred alternative for a snowmobile route through the Essex Chain Complex, the revised Draft UMP will address proposals to: designate mountain bike routes on gravel roads used by lessees within the Essex Chain Complex through 2018; parking closer to the Chain Lakes for persons of all ages and abilities; and construction of a bridge over the Cedar River to provide all-season recreation access from Indian Lake to the northern area of these lands.
NEW YORK STATE OFFERS NEW HUNTING RESOURCE WEBPAGE FOR SPORTSMEN AND SPORTSWOMEN
(10/9) As part of a statewide effort to promote outdoor recreation and make hunting information easily accessible to sportsmen and sportswomen, Empire State Development (ESD) Corp. and the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the creation of the I Love New York Hunting webpage, a new outdoor recreation feature that will be available at the I Love New York website and tourism offerings.
I Love NY is now providing more resources to outdoor enthusiasts with the inclusion of fishing, camping and now hunting on its New York Nature page. The I Love NY Hunting webpage promotes the extensive and rich hunting opportunities in New York State, and will help residents and visitors plan their hunting adventures. People can access the site at: http://www.ILOVENY.com/hunting.
“The I Love New York website has many improved features, including special dedicated recreation pages such as the new hunting webpage,” Empire State Development Division of Tourism Executive Director Gavin Landry said. “The site does a great job of showcasing all that the Empire State has to offer for residents and visitors alike in a continued effort to boost tourism and grow the economy.”
New York’s sporting industry generates $4.95 billion in economic activity and supports more than 56,000 jobs across the state. In support of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, this year’s budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state's fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.
DEC ANNOUNCES NEW PROPOSED FRESHWATER SPORTFISHING REGULATIONS
Public Comments Accepted Through December 1, 2014
Regulations Schedule to be Effective April 2015
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is accepting comments on proposed changes to the freshwater fishing regulations through December 1, 2014, Commissioner Joe Martens announced. DEC modifies the sportfishing regulations approximately every two years as part of DEC’s commitment to enhance fishing opportunities and protect the State’s freshwater resources. DEC assessed the status of existing freshwater sportfish populations and the desires of anglers in developing the proposed regulations. In addition, many of the proposed changes are the result of DEC’s efforts to consolidate regulations where possible and eliminate special regulations that are no longer warranted or have become outdated.
The new sportfishing regulations are scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2015. The regulations in the 2013-14 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide will remain in effect until the new regulations are enacted. Once enacted, a new regulations guide will be available.
To receive input early in the process, DEC made the proposed changes available to the public on its website in July 2013. The early feedback helped DEC determine which regulation changes to advance further or to eliminate from further consideration.
Comments on the proposals can be sent by email to regulations.mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Shaun Keeler, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753.
The full text of the proposed regulations are also available on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html.
The proposed changes include:
Establish a closed statewide season for sauger, an extremely rare fish species in New York for which DEC completed a conservation plan in 2013;Proposed changes related to gear and use of gear include:
Modify the statewide regulation for muskellunge by increasing the minimum size limit to 40 inches and lengthen the season by three weeks to start on the last Saturday in May;
Provide consistency between the proposed statewide muskellunge regulation changes and the existing muskellunge regulations for specific waters including Lake Champlain, and St. Lawrence County rivers and streams, as well as for both muskellunge and tiger muskellunge at Chautauqua Lake;
Increase the minimum size limit for muskellunge to 54 inches in the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River;
Increase the minimum size limit for walleye at Honeoye Lake from 15 to 18 inches;
Establish year round trout seasons, with catch and release fishing only from October 16 through March 31, in the following streams in Western New York: Chenunda Creek, Oatka Creek, Clear Creek, Fenton Brook, Prendergast Creek, and waters in Allegany State Park;
Initiate a catch and release season for trout for sections of the Salmon River (Franklin County) and Ninemile Creek (Onondaga County), and extend the catch and release season at Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake);
Establish a special trout regulation of a daily creel limit of five fish with no more than two fish longer than 12 inches, in Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and St. Lawrence counties, Little River and Oswegatchie River in St. Lawrence County, Millsite Lake in Jefferson County, and Oriskany Creek (Oneida County);
Establish an all-year trout season, with a 12-inch minimum size limit and daily limit of three fish, at Hinckley and Prospect Reservoirs in Herkimer and Oneida counties, North Lake in Herkimer County, for an additional section of the North Branch Saranac River in Franklin and Clinton counties, as well as for the entire set of waters that are a part of the Massawepie Easement;
Apply the current trout and salmon special regulations for the Fulton Chain of lakes to the connected water body Old Forge Pond;
Establish a 15-inch minimum size limit for lake trout and clarify that the statewide regulations apply for other species for Owasco Outlet (Cayuga County);
Modify trout and/or salmon regulations for Star Lake and Trout Lake (St. Lawrence County), by increasing the minimum size limit for trout to 12 inches and reducing the daily creel limit to three. Allow fishing all year for landlocked salmon in Star Lake, with ice fishing permitted;
Establish an open year-round trout season for Sylvia Lake (St. Lawrence County), with a 12-inch minimum size limit and three fish daily creel limit, with ice fishing permitted;
Extend Great Lakes tributary Regulations upstream to the section of the Genesee River (Monroe County) from State Route 104 Bridge upstream to the Lower Falls;
Exempt Old Seneca Lake Inlet from the Finger Lakes tributary regulations. Adjust the allowable fishing hours for Spring Creek on the Caledonia Fish Hatchery property by a half hour; and
Clarify in regulation a definition for “catch and release fishing” as well as define the limitations of handling the incidental catch of untargeted species.
Several changes to eliminate special regulations that are no longer warranted, and where the statewide regulations can be applied include to:
Delete the special minimum size and daily creel limit walleye regulation for Fern Lake (Clinton County), Lake Algonquin (Hamilton County), and Franklin Falls Flow, Lower Saranac Lake and Rainbow Lake in Franklin County, and Tully Lake (Onondaga County);
Eliminate the special regulations (examples being minimum size limit, daily creel limit, season length and/or method of take) for trout, landlocked salmon and/or lake trout, at several waters including Schoharie Reservoir, Susquehanna River (between Otsego and Goodyear Lakes), Launt Pond (Delaware County), Basswood Pond (Otsego County), Lake Algonquin (Hamilton County), Jennings Park Pond (Hamilton County), Hoosic River and Little Hoosic River (Rensselaer County), Hudson River (Saratoga County), Clear and Wheeler Ponds (Herkimer County), Cold Brook (St. Lawrence County), and West Branch of the St. Regis River (St. Lawrence County);
Eliminate the special brown trout and landlocked salmon regulations (minimum size limit, daily creel limit and season length) at Otsego Lake;
Eliminate the 10-inch minimum size limit for black bass at Lily Pond and Pack Forest Lake in Warren County, eliminate the “all year – any size” special regulation for black bass at Cayuta Creek in Tioga County, and adopt a consistent minimum size limit for black bass for sections of the Schoharie Creek at 10 inches;
Eliminate the daily creel limit special regulation for sunfish and yellow perch in Cumberland Bay (Lake Champlain);
Eliminate the minimum size limit special regulation for lake trout in the Essex Chain of Lakes;
Eliminate the separate special regulation for trout for Ischua Creek, and apply the Cattaraugus County regulation; and
Delete the special regulation for Follensby Clear Pond (Franklin County) that permits ice fishing but prohibits the use of tip-ups.
Proposed changes that are Baitfish and non-game fish related include to:
Prohibit the use of fish as bait in newly acquired trout waters: Fish Hole Pond and Balsam Pond in Franklin County; and Clear Pond in Washington County;
Remove the baitfish prohibition on Harlow Lake, Genesee County;
Remove all the currently listed eligible waters for the commercial collection of baitfish: in Clinton County except Lake Champlain; in Essex County except Lake Champlain and Lake Flower; in Franklin County except Lake Flower, Lower Saranac Lake, Raquette River, Tupper Lake and Upper Saranac Lake; in Fulton County; in Hamilton County except Indian Lake, Lake Pleasant and Long Lake; in Saratoga County except the Hudson River, Lake Lonely and outlet Lake Lonely to Kayaderosseras Creek, Mohawk River and Saratoga Lake; in Warren County except the Hudson River; and in Washington County except the Hudson River and Lake Champlain;
Add madtoms and stonecats to the approved list of fish that may be used, collected and sold as baitfish;
Eliminate “snatching” of burbot in Scomotion Creek (Clinton County);
Eliminate smelt “dipping” in Raquette Lake;
Adjust smelt regulations for Cayuga and Owasco Lakes, for consistency with five Western Finger Lakes;
Eliminate the prohibition on taking smelt and suckers with a scap or dip net in Willow Creek (Tompkins County); and
Remove the allowance for snatching lake whitefish at Otsego Lake.
Streamline what devices may be used for ice fishing by modifying the statewide regulation to allow for a total of seven ice fishing devices/lines; modify the language pertaining to devices for ice fishing to allow for a total of 15 ice fishing devices/lines for Lake Champlain;
Eliminate the gear restrictions at Follensby Clear Pond (Franklin County) that permit ice fishing but prohibit the use of tip-ups;
With the exception of the Salmon River, permit the use of floating lures with multiple hooks with multiple hook points, on all Lake Ontario tributaries;
Clarify the definition of floating lures on Lake Ontario tributaries to: “A floating lure is a lure that floats while at rest in water with or without any weight attached to the line, leader, or lure”;
Clarify that the current regulation for the Great Lake tributaries restricting the use of hooks with added weight was not intended to ban the use of small jigs;
Expand the prohibition of weight added to the line, leader, swivels, artificial fly or lures to all Lake Ontario tributaries (i.e. beyond a limited group of tributaries) from September 1 through March 31 of the following year;
Clarify that the use of multiple hooks with multiple hook points on Lake Erie tributaries is legal, as well as clarify that the use of flies with up to two hook points is legal on all Great Lake tributaries;
Replace Lake Ontario tributary regulations for St. Lawrence River tributaries in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties with statewide terminal tackle restrictions;
Redefine the upstream limit for spearfishing on the Salmon River (Franklin County);
Clarify the description of gear (gill nets) that are allowed in the Finger Lakes for the collection of alewives for personal use as bait; and
Reinstate the prohibition on large landing nets (nets larger than 50 inches around the frame or with a handle longer than 20 inches) for Finger Lakes tributaries except for those sections that are specifically identified.
In addition to the above, several non-substantive regulation modifications are included to properly establish or clarify an earlier regulation change, better define an existing regulation (by rewording etc.), and/or address regulations that have not changed but are now redundant and covered elsewhere in the regulations including as a result of consolidation.
In support of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, this year's budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state's fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.
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2014 Weekly Reports
(12/11) Snow & Smokepoles: If there's one thing that's been inconsistent this deer season it has been the weather, and that continues to be the case. There isn't a big woods deer hunter out there who doesn't get ancy to go hunting when fresh snow hits the ground but some times it can be too much of a good thing. Just as some of us saw on Thanksgiving, we've got a good blanket of fresh snow on the ground for the weekend hunt. Depending on the depth, that can make walking in the woods a real chore, but the road map that deer leave behind can lead to the day's venison, or that of days or seasons ahead.
Here in the southeastern ADKs we've had a pretty good acorn crop and after last Saturday's storm we had snow in higher elevations. Deer were feeding heavily, pawing the ground where acorns lie underneath. In one spot I saw the imprint of a buck's antlers in one of these pawing. If only I could find the buck that made it.
Perhaps this weekend as we with muzzleloaders, bows and crossbows have a few more days to hunt and we'll make the best of it. It may not be easy in the snow, but sometimes you just get lucky. It won't happen, however, if you're not out there. Hopefully, wet weather that is predicted for Saturday will hold off. Otherwise, we'll have to literally keep our powder dry. Good luck.
12/3) Last Shot: Six weeks and seven weekends sure passes quickly. Such is the Northern Zone big game season that is about to close this weekend (Sunset on Sunday). Many of us are still looking to fill our tags, and I am among them. Deer have not come easy this year but in just the past week encounters have increased, lending hope to the weekend that lies ahead. I may not be a pretty one, at least for Saturday, as the forecast calls for rain in much of the southern Adirondacks. We'll see how it plays out and perhaps it will be more snow-like instead. We've also got another full moon approaching on Saturday which could jump-start some rutting activity. Common sense tells us to hunt food sources, and given the acorn crop in parts of the region, that could be just about anyplace. Still, many of us have experienced seeing bucks still with does during the later part of the season. Here's hoping that if we find the deer, we find the bucks before time runs out. The late muzzleloading season (as well as for crossbow and archery) gives many of us another chance from Dec. 8-14. Not all WMU's are open, so be sure to check the regulations guide. Good luck this weekend.
(11/25) Happy Thanksgiving: With the holiday bearing down upon us, and a snowstorm for the southern and perhaps, eastern Adirondacks, what better time to be hunting than right now? The late season is the great season when all the conditions are right, at least that's this hunter's opinion. We're in the middle of a busy hunting vacation and just wanted to take the time to let you know what we're seeing in the woods. Rubs and scrapes have dwindled off and trail camera activity has also decreased. The bucks hunters are seeing, and shooting, are still hanging around does and it appears plenty of breeding is still going on. Our own group's observations reflect that. For many hunters it is tough going and we are not seeing a lot of deer, I can relate to that too. Still, quite a few bucks, and some nice ones at that, are being taken. We'll catch up on some photos after the holiday weekend. As of this post there are 12 days left in the season. Be sure to make the best of it. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
(11/19) The Meat of the Rut - Part II: Once again, mid-November is proving to be productive for Adirondack deer hunters. Take a look at the photos below and you'll see evidence of that. Nearly every hunter we've heard from that has seen a buck as reported them to be following does. This is the time to be in the woods. If bucks are breeding does there will be other bucks nearby and when that doe is bred the bucks will be on the move looking for another doe. No matter your hunting technique, if you know where some does reside then be sure to "check in" on them and see if they have any company. Meanwhile, we're doing some hunting ourselves and will post updates when we can. Good luck!
(11/12) The Meat of the Rut: The heart of the Northern Zone deer season is upon us and if there is a time to hunt, it is now. Yes, the Nov. 6 Full Moon and all that surrounds it has produced some fine bucks, but the action is far from over. This hunter has always felt that the middle and later parts of November are the very best part of the gun season. Sometimes it gets real cold, other times we gett more much snow than we bargained for, but there are still plenty of bucks out there to chase for those of us willing to go after them. Right now, it should be all about the ladies as bucks will be pursuiing does as they come intot their estrous cycles. If you've got some known doe hangouts be sure to spend some time there no matter what hunting technique you'll use. Between now and the end of the month we'll be hitting the woods hard ourselves and will be in the woods and/or at deer camp. Southern Zone opens Nov. 15 which should take a little pressure off the Adirondacks. And, the colder weather should get deer moving. Here's wishing everyone a safe and successfull rut hunt. Go get em'!
(11/5) Hunter's Moon: If you've been in the woods recently you'll see (hopefully) that they are literally opening up visibly and with good buck sign. Bucks are making rubs consistently now and in many areas scrapes are becoming more common. Photos of successful hunters are rolling in as are reports of bucks being spotted on the move. Although we'd like to see things just a little cooler, a pretty good weather weekend is anticipated and some areas may even see some snow! Thursday's (Nov. 6) full moon is bright in the sky also and is what many hunters center their activities around. Many of us have most of our hunting time in the days ahead. Good luck, and keep us in the loop.
(10/29) Week 2: This coming weekend is shaping up to be a good one, as it should be when the calendar says it's November. It looks like the warmer weather is finaly going to break and that is good news for deer hunters. Any drop in temperature should get deer moving and it looks like that is going to happen throuought the weekend, espcially by Sunday. Recent rain and wind has brought down some leaves but there is still quite a bit of underbrush, especially on the fringes of the Adirondack region and to the south. One good sign many hunters, including our group, found during the opening weekend was active scrapes. Along with some rubs showing up it appears the bucks are gearing up. Moon theorists say things are going to happen early around the Thursday, Nov. 6 Full Moon and after. We shall see. Some folks have had some luck already (see photos below). Congrats to those who got off to a good start and good luck in tehe days ahead.
(10/22) Here we go: Another Adirondack muzzleloading weekend has come and gone, with some rain to follow. While this wet weather has altered many of our hunting plans this week, the rain is much needed. Although, it may change some plans for those who have been strategizing their hunts around water sources. We had an interesting few days of hunting, letting a young buck pass and missing an opportunity on a much bigger one. Mainly, we tried to cover some ground and do some in-season scouting which revealed a solid, but not over-estimated acorn crop here in the southeastern ADKs. Some oaks are raining acorns while others are barren of them. Buck sign in the form of rubs is starting to show up and many hunters are reporting finding numerous rubs, especially farther north in the region. It will be interesting to see what this mid-week storm does for visibility as there is still a lot of green on the underbrush, especially where there is beech. Our 44-day Big Game season opens Saturday, Oct. 25. Good luck and please hunt safely.
(10/15) Change in Seasons: First off, let me say that I love archery hunting, and archery shooting. Since Sept. 27 I've spent plenty of time in the woods either on stand with my compound bow, or going for a walk/stalk with my recurve. This crossbow thing is brand new to me. For the past decade I have followed closely the crossbow debate with really no opinion one way or the other. It's hard to take a stand on something that you know little about.
As time went on, I found myself favoring crossbow use. The more I talked with people who simply could not shoot a bow - and I know there is adaptive archery equipment - the more I realized they deserve an opportunity to hunt outside of gun season just like anyone else. Also, as someone who follows the hunting inudustry closely I saw the crossbow gaining in popularity across the country. It was only a matter of time before it became a reality in New York. And now, it has.
I also knew that as an outdoor communicator I would need to learn about the crossbow if I'm going to write about it and interact with readers who use, or choose note to use it. And so I've acquired one. Before shooting it I watched the assembly and safety videos and have since learned as much as I can up to this point. I don't know if I'm going to be a long-term crossbow hunter or not, but I'm going to find out; just like thousands of other New York hunters. The Crossbow Season is here, it opened today and I spent the wayning part of the day in a ground blind where there were more bugs than bucks. It was 78-degrees today, too warm for Adironack hunting. But, there's only one "opening day" and I wanted to check it out. I hope to get out again before the end of the week. The funny thing is, my effective range, in my mind, is 30-yards. About the same with my compound. I'll be elaborating on this a bit more in two upcomming newspaper columns: the Thursday, Oct. 9 issue of The Chronicle, and the Sunday, Oct. 19 issue of the Press-Republican.
With Muzzlelaoding Season opening Saturday, Oct. 18, many of us won't be using our crossbows too much. Although I'm not much of a Southern Zone hunter, I may venture over that way in November when there is a two-week season there and get a little more time in with this new impliment.
That said, hunters throughout the Adirondacks are primed for the muzzleloading season. Visibility is minimal in places and where there are oaks, there seem to be plenty of acorns. Deer are spread out and there is some early buck sign showing up. It's a tough call as to whether to hunt the food, the buck sign, or hopefully, both! Good luck with both the crossbow and the smokepole in the coming days.
(10/8) Columbus Day: Right now, hunting in the Adirondacks is all about small game - including turkeys - and bowhunting. Things are about to change as the long-anticipated Northern Zone Crossbow season opens Wednesday, Oct. 15. While that is exciting and will surely put more hunters in the woods (some of us consider that a good thing) we've also got New York's third annual youth deer hunt this weekend, Oct. 11-13. We at ADKhunter wish all the young hunters and their mentors out there a safe and successful hunt. The weather is looking a bit warm with temps in the 60s in some areas, which is a little warm for hunting comfortable for stand hunters.
In the woods things appear to be all about food. In the foothills and permitter of the ADKs where oaks are present there are plenty of acorns. With so many food options deer seem to be scattered and hard to pattern. They're showing up on trail cameras at different times and may be under one oak tree one day, another the next. At least they're getting in good shape for a potentially long winter. The best thing about hunting in the Adirondacks around Columbus Day is the scenery, which is spectacular nearly anywhere you go. Enjoy your long weekend, if you have it, and let us know how the hunting goes.
(9/24) The End of an Era: The Northern Zone early archery season opens this Saturday, Sept. 27 and has be
en traditionally a four-day hunt using a leftover tag from the previous license year, should you have one. That's all coming to end after this year's hunt. The sporting license year in New York is now Sept. 1 - Aug. 31, rather than Oct. 1 - Sept. 30. With this year being an overlap between the the two license years, we can still use our tags from the 2013-14 if we have them, but next year you'll have to use your 2015-16 tags for both early bear and early archery (deer) as they'll become valid on Sept. 1, 2015. That said, I'm still not sure which licensee, not tag, I'm supposed to carry with me in the woods this weekend so I'll carry both. But, I've still got my yellow tags from last year to tie to a deer if I'm fortunate enough to kill one.
As for the weekend, and the four-day hunt, things are looking pretty warm. Parts of the Adirondacks, especially to the south, could see temps in the '80s this weekend with it not being much cooler elsewhere. To this hunter, warm weather is the absolute worst hunting conditions there are. I just like traditional fall weather. But, the calendar says it's "deer season" and I'm ready to go hunting. The mornings should be cool and enjoyable over the next few days but some us may be swatting mosquitos are cranking up our ThermaCell units for our afternoon outings. Scouting reports from hunters are indicating some buck rubs (left) showing up already and while apples are in short supply there is an acorn crop out there this year where oaks are prevalent. What I'm finding in my haunts is that some, but not all of the oaks, have acorns. Many are still premature.
The early bear season remains quiet but we do have some reports of success from the western Adirondacks, Lewis County, and over towards the Tug Hill area. We've also heard that two females were killed on the highways in that region. Whether you're after deer, bear, waterfowl or other small game this weekend; have a good time, be safe and let us know if you have some luck and what you're seeing for deer sign in the woods.
Big Deer TV: Earlier this summer, in July, a group of Adirondack hunters were featured on Big Deer TV, on the Sportsman Channel. Many of us missed the episode but are sure it will re-air in the future. We'll keep an eye out for it and let you know when it comes around again. Meanwhile, here's a story about the show from the Leader-Herald newspaper in Gloversville.
9/17 Cold Start: Bear season has been open for less than a week and so far we haven't heard of any luck yet. In fact, the only guys who are having success is DEC nailing bear-baiters. If you have been in the woods chasing bears, please let us know how you are doing and also what you are seeing for deer sign, mast cropts, etc. Grouse season opens this weekend (Sept. 20) in the Northern Zone. Nothing better than a little "wild chicken" in the frying pan. We're also looking at a cold snap that could put an end to the growing season and perhaps kick-start the foliage season into high gear.