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Adirondadck Crossbow HuntingChange 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.

-Click here for previous reports

 2014 Adirondack & Northern Zone Hunting Photos

Fort Drum Hunting
Steven Vivyan with a dandy buck taken 30 minutes into
first day of earlybow season, Sept. 27 2014.
This buck was taken on Fort Drum

Bow Spike
Tom Rabine of the Ghost Chasers arrowed
this spike in Fort Ann
Fulton County
Chris Frazier (right) and his son, Zak
with Chris' first archery deer, a 115-pound
Fulton County Doe

Paul Smiths Buck
A group of Paul Smiths college students pose with Spencer Brochu
of Newbury, Vermont and his 170-pound, 6-pointer taken during
the 2014 early archery sason.

Adirondack black bear
Eric Walters shot his first bear on Sept. 19 on state land in the
town of Croghan. It weighed 155-pounds
Youth Pheasant Hunt
The West Canada Creek association hosted a youth pheasant hunt
Sept. 27-28. Here is handler Joel Layaw with his English Setter Pippin,
Sam Perkins and Tyler Perkins with a pair of hen pheasants
Young Horn Hunter
Keenan Washburn of South Glens Falls is on his way to being
a Horn Hunter, like his grandfather, Tony Bruno (left). Here they
are with a doe that Keenan, age 13, recently arrowoed.

Click here for more photos from 2013



(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:

“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.

Pheasant Programs Bolster Hunting Opportunities
(9/24) Approximately 30,000 adult pheasants will be released on lands open to public hunting for the upcoming fall pheasant hunting season, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The pheasant hunting season begins on October 1 in northern and eastern portions of New York, October 18 in central and western portions, and November 1 on Long Island.

“The Day-old Pheasant Chick Program provides additional opportunities for pheasant hunters,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Pheasant hunting opportunities have also been augmented by private landowners who have opened their land to public hunting. DEC is grateful for their help in providing a high-quality hunting experience for New York's sportsmen and sportswomen.”

Since 2007, DEC has offered a special youth-only season to provide junior hunters (12-15 years old) the opportunity to hunt pheasants the weekend prior to the regular pheasant hunting season. In western New York, the youth pheasant hunt weekend is October 11-12. In northern and eastern New York, the youth pheasant hunt weekend is September 27-28, and on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties) it is October 25-26.

Pheasants will be released on a number of selected release sites across the state to provide ample hunting opportunities for junior hunters. All current pheasant hunting rules and regulations remain in effect during the youth hunt. Please note that due to new legislation that changed the start of the license year from October 1 to September 1, either a 2013-14 hunting license or a 2014-15 hunting license can be used to hunt during September this year. A 2014-15 license is required starting October 1.

All release sites for pheasants provided by state-funded programs are open to public hunting. Pheasants will be released on state-owned lands prior to and during the fall hunting season, and thanks to a partnership with New York City Department of Environmental Protection, at a number of sites on New York City Watershed lands. A list of statewide pheasant release sites and sites receiving birds for the youth-only pheasant hunt weekends can be found on DEC's website at:

The program was developed in the early 1900s to provide day-old pheasant chicks to cooperating 4-H groups and sportsmen and sportswomen. The chicks are distributed to program participants in May and June, and cooperators incur all costs associated with rearing the birds, including feed, water, utilities and facility construction. The birds are raised to adulthood and released on lands open to public hunting before the season opens. This year, about 40,000 pheasant chicks were distributed statewide as part of this program. For more information about DEC’s day-old pheasant rearing program, please see: Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program: Those interested in raising and releasing pheasants to expand next year's hunting opportunities can contact DEC’s Reynolds Game Farm at (607) 273-2768.

Boundaries for pheasant hunting zones conform to Wildlife Management Units used for management of other upland wildlife. Wildlife Management Unit boundary descriptions can be found on DEC’s website. In addition to knowing these unit boundary descriptions, hunters should review the 2014-15 New York Hunting & Trapping Guide for complete regulations and other important information before going afield. Hunters who plan to use private lands should ask permission from the landowner.

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.

For information on below visit DEC’s website:
Pheasant Hunting:
Pheasant Propagation Program:
2014-15 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide:

(9/24) Motorists should be alert for moose on roadways in the Adirondacks and surrounding areas at this time of year - a peak of moose activity - warns the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Early fall is the breeding season for moose in northern New York. During this time moose are wandering looking for mates, leading them to areas where they are not typically seen. While this improves the opportunities for people to enjoy sighting of a moose, it also increases the danger of colliding with one on the roadway.
            Moose are much larger and taller than deer. Their large body causes greater damage, and, when struck, their height often causes them to impact the windshield of a car or pickup truck, not just the front of the vehicle.  Last year ten moose vehicle accidents were reported in New York. However, there has not been a human fatality from an accident with a moose, a record DEC hopes to retain. Moose are most active at dawn and dusk, which are times of poor visibility. Moose are especially difficult to see at night because of their dark brown to black coloring and their height - which puts their head and much of their body above vehicle headlights.
            DEC advises motorists to take the following precautions to prevent moose vehicle collisions:
  •    Use extreme caution when driving at dawn or dusk, especially during September and October;
  •    Reduce your speed, stay alert, and watch the roadsides;
  •    Slow down when approaching moose standing near the roadside, as they may bolt at the last minute when a car comes closer, often running into the road;
  •    Moose may travel in pairs or small groups, so if a moose is spotted crossing the road, be alert for others that may follow;
  •    Make sure all vehicle occupants wear seatbelts and children are properly restrained in child safety seats;
  •    Use flashers or a headlight signal to warn other drivers when moose are spotted near the road;
  •    Motorcyclists should be especially alert for moose;
  •    If a moose does run in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but do not swerve. Swerving can cause a vehicle-vehicle collision or cause the vehicle to hit a fixed object such as a tree or pole;
  •    If a moose is hit and killed by a vehicle, the motorist should not remove the animal unless a permit is obtained from the investigating officer at the scene of the accident. 
More information about moose can be found on the DEC website at

Public Comments Accepted Through December 17; Public Hearings to be Held Statewide
(9/17) Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) Commissioner Rose Harvey today released the 2014 State Open Space Conservation Plan for public comment.  The plan guides State Environmental Protection Fund investments in open space protection.  Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted from September 17 until December 17 and a series of public hearings will be held across the state from October 21 to October 23.
The Draft Plan makes recommendations on how open space conservation will help accomplish Governor Cuomo’s goals, which include: ensuring clean water, air and land for a healthy public and vibrant economy; greening New York’s economy; protecting natural resources and promoting outdoor recreation; increasing and improving the visitor experience; creating a 21st century parks system that is aesthetically compelling, energy and operationally efficient, and built to last; and working to address climate change.
Building upon the recommendations of Regional Advisory Committees, the Commissioners now ask the public to make recommendations on how open space conservation programs can make the state better prepared and more resilient in preparation of future storms and climate change.  Governor Cuomo created the NYS 2100 commission in response to Superstorm Sandy to generate recommendations to improve resilience and strengthen the state’s infrastructure in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies. Many of the open space recommendations included in the 2100 Commission report are integrated into the draft plan.

 “By increasing funding for the Environmental Protection Fund and incorporating resiliency principles in Sandy recovery and NYWorks, Governor Cuomo has demonstrated his commitment to protecting New York’s open spaces,” DEC Commissioner Martens said.  “New Yorkers and visitors to the state love open spaces and the plan will ensure New York’s natural resources are protected and preserved for future generations. Specifically, the draft plan makes a series of common sense policy recommendations that will protect wildlife habitat, protect water quality, provide opportunities for public recreation, protect working farms and forests, and build resiliency and protect property from the effects of storm surges and flooding.  The 137 priority projects identified by Regional Advisory Committees will extend New York’s proud tradition of open space protection.”

 State Parks Commissioner Harvey said, “New York State parks and public lands remain essential pieces in the building of communities.  These lands offer visitors peaceful or fun-filled getaways, promote healthier lifestyles and serve as important economic drivers for the State and local communities.  New York’s abundance of parks and open spaces are reason enough alone for families and business to relocate to New York. We look forward to hearing from the public on the draft plan.”

 The draft plan was created through the work of nine Regional Advisory Committees composed of representatives of county governments and people knowledgeable in open space conservation selected by DEC and State Parks.  The nine committees correspond to DEC’s nine administrative regions.  Each committee was asked by the Commissioners to review the existing 2009 plan, including the list of priority open space conservation projects, as well as policy recommendations, to make New York’s comprehensive open space conservation program stronger in the future.
 The Commissioners invite the public to comment in writing and at the public hearings. Specifically, comments could offer suggestions on:
·         how the state and its partners can promote and enhance existing and new state lands as tourism destinations as part of a comprehensive open space conservation program;
·         how the state can make public lands attractive to a diversity of New Yorkers;
·         how DEC and State Parks can offer better access for sportsmen and women;
·         how DEC and State Parks can work to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors of all abilities through Universal Access;
·         where DEC and State Parks can further develop Universal Access;  and
·         what the state can do to acquire and make more accessible lands near and in urban centers.

“The draft plan covers a lot of ground,” Commissioner Martens added.  “We urge the public to review the draft plan and give us comments that can strengthen the State’s Open Space Conservation program in the future.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Open space and agriculture are inherently connected.  Farms not only provide an opportunity to grow local products, but a habitat for wildlife and scenic vistas that are a draw for tourists across the state.  Many of the goals of the open space plan such as maintaining critical natural resources and enhancing scenic, cultural and historic resources are made possible in large part due to the existence of working farms and woodlands.  Updating the state’s Open Space Plan every three years is a good way to ensure that our existing open space resources are inventoried and enables the state to better plan for future open space protection efforts.”
           Public comments can be submitted by email to or mailed to DEC by December 17 to:

                Open Space Conservation Plan
                625 Broadway
                Albany, NY 12233
An electronic version of the draft plan is available at
A SERIES OF PUBLIC HEARINGS WILL BE HELD from October 21 to October 23 throughout the state.   There will be a workshop before each hearing and the public will have an opportunity to attend either an afternoon or evening session.  Please note that hearing times are different for Region 9.

Workshop: 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Afternoon Hearing: 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Evening Hearing: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Region 1
October 22, 2014
NYS DEC Region 1 Headquarters
SUNY at Stony Brook
Room B-02
50 Circle Road
Stony Brook, NY 11790
Region 2
October 22, 2014
NYS DEC Region 2 Office - Long Island City
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
Region 3
October 21, 2014
Bear Mountain State Park
Bear Mountain Inn
Bear Mountain, NY
Region 4
October 21, 2014
New York State DEC Region 4 Office
1130 North Westcott Road
Schenectady, NY 12306
Region 5
October 23, 2014
NYS Region 5 Headquarters
Main Conference Room
Route 86
Ray Brook, NY 12977

October 21, 2014
OPRHP Saratoga Regional Office
Gideon Putnam Room
19 Roosevelt Drive
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Region 6
October 21, 2014
Utica State Office Building
Conference Room A
207 Genesee Street
Utica, NY
Use front door and sign in at the guard desk.
October 22, 2014
NYS Region 6 Headquarters
Dulles State Office Building
First Floor Conference Room
317 Washington Street
Watertown, NY
Region 7
October 23, 2014
State Fair Grounds
The Martha Eddy Room
581 State Fair Boulevard
Syracuse, NY
Region 8
October 22, 2014
NYS DEC Region 8 Headquarters
6274 East Avon-Lima Road
Avon, NY 14414
Region 9
Hearings 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.; and 7 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
October 22, 2014
Concord Town Hall
86 Franklin Street
Springville, NY

Since 1992, the Open Space Conservation Plan has served as the blueprint for the State’s Open Space Program, guiding the investment of land protection funds from the Environmental Protection Fund.  As required by law, the Plan is updated periodically, relying heavily on the work of the nine Regional Advisory Committees, which have worked with staff from both agencies and the public to produce a draft for public hearings and comments in 2014.  Following the public comment period the Plan will be finalized and submitted to Governor Cuomo for approval in 2015.


(8/13) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will make substantial revisions to the Essex Chain Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP), DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced.  In response to public comments from local businesses, community representatives, individuals and a variety of stakeholders – including many who recommended that potential locations for a snowmobile trail should be addressed in the current Draft UMP – DEC has decided it will revise the Draft UMP to fully assess the options for locating a snowmobile trail and propose a preferred alternative.
DEC expects to release the revised draft UMP for public comment this fall and complete the UMP in time for implementation in 2015.  Until that plan is approved, DEC will continue to manage these recently acquired lands and resources under a stewardship plan to guide access and recreation.
“This extraordinary property offers an outstanding outdoor experience and is already attracting a large number of visitors,” Commissioner Martens said. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, DEC is working closely with the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), environmental organizations, local officials and other stakeholders to protect the area’s critical resources while also providing opportunities for appropriate public use. Our interim stewardship plan provides appropriate public access in this area and reflects the work of that partnership. Through the draft UMP process, we will also give the public the opportunity to provide input into the future public use of this magnificent property.” 
When the APA issued its classification of these Essex Chain lands 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, Newcomb and Minerva.  In June, DEC released a Draft UMP for public review, which noted that the location of this snowmobile trail would be addressed in a future amendment to the UMP.
In addition to addressing the preferred alternative for a snowmobile route through the Essex Chain Complex, the revised Draft UMP will include proposals in the previously released draft plan to designate mountain bike routes on gravel roads used by the lessees within the Essex Chain Complex through 2018, limited parking near the Chain of Lakes for persons of all ages and abilities, and the construction of a bridge over the Cedar River to provide access for all-season recreation from Indian Lake to the Essex Chain area.  Originally, this bridge had been proposed for non-motorized recreation including hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
In the revised Draft UMP, DEC will explore options that could include using this bridge for mountain biking and snowmobiling as well.
DEC will also update its interim recreation plan for the Essex Chain Area and issue a formal Stewardship Plan that will guide DEC’s management of the area and accommodate continued public use and recreation.
“DEC staff have spent a great deal of time and effort preparing this area for the public, recognizing that it contains sensitive natural resources that must be protected,” Commissioner Martens said.  “The Stewardship Plan will guide public access and use of this area while DEC prepares the revised Draft UMP pursuant to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.”
DEC is working with partners, including the towns of Newcomb, Minerva, North Hudson, Indian Lake and Long Lake, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Adirondack Ecological Center and the Student Conservation Association to implement the Stewardship Plan.
Public access projects already completed include:
·         Designating 13 primitive tent sites on and around the Essex Chain Lakes and related water bodies, which require a (free) permit;
·         Posting signs prohibiting fires within 500 feet of water bodies and at all permitted sites;
·         Posting signs indicting no at-large camping within the Essex Chain and Pine Lake Primitive Areas;
·         Designating primitive tent sites throughout the remaining area of the Complex;
·         Establishing parking areas in the vicinity of Deer Pond;
·         Relocating a parking area closer to the Polaris Bridge;
·         Establishing parking at the vicinity of the Outer Gooley Club;
·         Designating canoe carries;
·         Establishing a horse trailer parking/staging area along the Chain Lakes Road (north); and
·         Designating a cross-country ski loop.
The Stewardship Plan will also include enhanced seasonal access during big game hunting season on the Camp Six Road and Chain Lakes Road (South).  This enhanced recreation access will be allowed on an interim basis and will also be addressed in the revised
Draft UMP. 

Hunting Or Trapping Of Wild Boars In New York Now Prohibited

(4/28) A new regulation that prohibits hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars in New York State was formally adopted state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The regulation is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness of DEC’s statewide eradication efforts.

“Enacting a statewide regulation was important to support DEC’s ongoing work to remove this invasive species from the state and to ensure that it does not become established in the wild anywhere in New York,” said Commissioner Martens.  “Eurasian boars are a great threat to natural resources, agricultural interests, and private property and public safety wherever they occur and DEC will continue to work to protect these resources and remove wild boars from the state.”

Eurasian boars were brought to North America centuries ago and wild populations numbering in the millions are now present across much of the southern U.S.  In recent years, wild boar populations have been appearing in more northern states too, often as a result of escapes from enclosed shooting facilities that offer “wild boar hunts.”

Governor Cuomo signed legislation on October 21, 2013, which immediately prohibited the importation, breeding or introduction to the wild of any Eurasian boars.  Furthermore, the law prohibits possession, sale, transport or marketing of live Eurasian boars as of September 1, 2015.  The new law was an essential step in the state’s efforts to prevent Eurasian boars from becoming established in the wild.

However, there are already small numbers of Eurasian boars on the landscape in New York.  Since 2000, wild boars have been reported in many counties across the state, and breeding in the wild has been confirmed in at least six counties (Tioga, Cortland, Onondaga, Clinton, Sullivan and Delaware) in recent years.  DEC is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program to remove any Eurasian boars that are reported in New York.   To date, more than 150 animals have been captured and destroyed.  However, eradication is expensive, time consuming and requires a great deal of manpower.

“Hunters have offered to assist our efforts by hunting for boars wherever they occur, but experience has shown this to be counter-productive,” Martens said.  “As long as swine may be pursued by hunters, there is a potential conflict with our eradication efforts. Eurasian boars often join together to form a ‘sounder,’ the name for a group of pigs that can number 20 or more individuals.  Shooting individual boars as opportunities arise is ineffective as an eradication method often causes the remaining animals to disperse and be more difficult to remove.”

Hunters pursuing wild boars in locations where baited traps have been established by DEC or USDA can also undermine these costly and labor-intensive capture efforts.  Shooting may remove one or two animals, but the rest of the sounder scatters and rarely comes back together as a group, thereby hampering eradication efforts.  In addition to prohibiting take of free-ranging swine by hunters, the new regulation prohibits anyone from disturbing traps set for wild boars or otherwise interfering with Eurasian boar eradication activities.  Hunting wild boar is still allowed at enclosed hunting preserves until September 1, 2015.

The regulation does provide necessary exceptions for state and federal wildlife agencies, law enforcement agencies, and others who are authorized by DEC to take Eurasian boar to alleviate nuisance, property damage, or threats to public health or welfare.

Anyone who observes a Eurasian boar (dead or alive) in the wild in New York should report it as soon as possible to the nearest DEC regional wildlife office or to: and include “Eurasian boar” in the subject line.

Because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish a domestic pig, pot belly pig or Eurasian boar based solely on a description, reporting of all free-roaming swine is encouraged.  Please report the number of animals seen, whether any of them were piglets, the date, and the exact location (county, town, distance and direction from an intersection, nearest landmark, etc.). Photographs of the animals are especially helpful, so please try to get a picture and include it with your report.

Full text of the regulation can be viewed on DEC’s Weekly Environmental Notice Bulletin for April 23, 2014, available at


Four national conservation organizations team up for conservation

(3/3) MEMPHIS, Tenn. – February 21, 2014 – Four of the nation’s largest wild bird conservation organizations have joined forces to ensure that wild bird habitat conservation and our shared hunting heritage remain strong for generations to come. Ducks Unlimited (DU), the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the goal of furthering sporting traditions across North America.

“By entering into this unique partnership, we will be able to reach more than 1 million conservation supporters throughout North America,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “This MOU is the first step to ensuring our hunting heritage remains strong. I look forward to working with each organization and I know that together we can accomplish great things.”

The goals of the partnership will be achieved through the support of an engaged and growing community of sportsmen and women and other outdoor enthusiasts, including the members and supporters of the partner organizations, who all share similar visions.

“We’re losing 6,000 acres of habitat every day. Hunters fund conservation but now we’re at the point where less than 10 percent of the American population hunts, so the funding source is going away,” said NWTF CEO George Thornton. “We know we can’t solve this alone. It’s bigger than one organization.” 

This historic partnership also takes cooperation to an entirely new level, proving that conservation organizations aren’t always competitors. Rather, this MOU shows how separate organizations can come together to achieve common goals.

Combined, these organizations have helped conserve more than 30 million acres of wildlife habitat, and through this partnership, shared conservation goals will be achieved more efficiently.

“In the face of the most rapid loss of wildlife habitat in modern times, it simply makes sense for our organizations to team up wherever possible,” explains Howard Vincent, President & CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.  “From our local chapters holding youth mentor hunts to state land acquisition projects, our goal is to accomplish more for current and future generations of bird hunters as partners in conservation.

Protect Lake George

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 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

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;
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.
Proposed changes related to gear and use of gear include:
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.

Lake Champlain ranked among top smallmouth bass fisheries in North America
(10/15) BURLINGTON, Vt. – Lake Champlain has received yet another world-class fishing designation.  Renowned fishing media outlet, World Fishing Network, ranks Lake Champlain one of the seven best smallmouth bass lakes in North America.
The ranking, which was first reported on WFN’s website, describes Lake Champlain as “perhaps the best lake in all of North America for both quality largemouth and smallmouth bass.”
“This reinforces what Vermonters have known for years, that Lake Champlain has some of the best bass fishing anywhere,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. “Not only does the big lake have some of the best fishing, it also offers some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere, especially at this time of year.”
Smallmouth bass, which can be found throughout the entirety of the 120-mile lake, have flourished in Champlain’s fertile waters where they have access to optimal habitat and an immense forage base. Champlain’s rocky bottom composition and strong populations of yellow perch and crayfish create ideal conditions for smallmouth bass to prosper.
Vermont fisheries biologist Shawn Good, who manages bass populations at the lake’s southern end and is also an avid bass angler, agrees with WFN’s assessment.
“The bass population data I’ve collected over the years through electrofishing surveys clearly indicates that bass are abundant, healthy and thriving,” said Good.
“Champlain is a true gem, and it’s important to take note that bass fishing is only one of the many world-class fishing opportunities available in the lake,” said Good. “With more than 90 species of fish present, probably no other lake in the country offers so many different species to target.”
The full WFN report went on to state, “The combined fishery makes Champlain a popular destination for the biggest tournament circuits in the U.S., like B.A.S.S. and FLW. Though anglers can try and go for broke and chase monster largemouths, for the most consistent results, finding smallmouth bass schools along the northern part of the lake is the way to go, especially on the Vermont side. Like with Lake Erie, fall is the best time for smallmouth on Champlain, as bass follow the baitfish into the shallows as the water cools.”
Accomplished professional tournament angler Kevin VanDam always looks forward to fishing Lake Champlain.
“What makes Lake Champlain unique is that you can catch fish – both smallmouth bass and largemouth bass alike – just about any way you want to,” said VanDam. “It’s an amazing fishery with diverse habitat throughout and large, healthy populations of many species of fish.  Whether you’re an avid tournament angler or recreational fisherman, you’ll want to experience Lake Champlain fishing.  It’s simply that good.”
The other six top smallmouth fisheries noted in the article include: Lake Erie – New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania and Ohio; Lake Simcoe – Ontario; Lake St. Clair – Michigan and Ontario; Dale Hollow Lake – Tennessee and Kentucky; Grand Traverse Bay – Michigan; and Sturgeon Bay – Wisconsin.
Lakes receiving honorable mention in the WFN rankings include: Bay de Noc – Michigan; Pickwick Lake – Alabama and Tennessee; Candlewood Lake - Connecticut; Rainy Lake – Ontario; Lake of the Woods – Minnesota and Ontario; Kentucky Lake – Kentucky and Tennessee; and St. Lawrence River – New York, Quebec and Ontario.
To purchase a Vermont fishing license or to find out more about fishing opportunities in Vermont, visit

Well Seasoned in the Adirondacks by Dan Ladd
Well Seasoned in the Adirondacks
  People, Places and Outdoor Pastimes of Northern New York
  By Dan Ladd
Well Seasoned in the Adirondacks is a collection of articles, essays and photos published mostly in The Chronicle newspaper in Glens Falls, as well as one article from Outdoors Magazine. The material is organized by the seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and    Fall and covers a wide variety of topics and activities including    hunting and fishing (deer, turkeys, grouse, trout, bass), XC-skiing,    camping, hiking, paddling and much more.  There is something for everyone in this book.
Deer Hunting in the Adirondacks by Dan Ladd
 The second edition of
Deer Hunting in the Adirondacks
A Guide to Deer Hunting in New York's
 Six-Million Acre Adirondack Park
By Dan Ladd

Outdoor writer Dan Ladd's 2008 book has gotten an update for 2010. For its second printing Deer Hunting in the Adirondacks has been expanded from 168 to 192 pages and includes additional chapters on getting bucks out of the big woods as well as material for beginning hunters and handling venison. The public lands section has also been updated to reflect changes and additions to the public lands of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. 
  Click here to order books

2014 Weekly Reports

(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. ThaAdirondack Buck Rubt 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.

  Adirondack Deer Camp Documentary DVD Video PBS

 Sponsored by
National Shooting Sports Foundation Shooting Sports Foundation
 National Shooting Sports Foundation
Joe's Taxidermy
Ndakinna Education Center

  Adirondack Hunter - Deer Hunting in the Adirondacks

Art Thivierge of Schuylerville