Meteorological Spring 2023: For some, Spring begins March 1 rather than with the March 20 Spring Equinox as they follow the Meteorological Calendar, good stuff, especially in September as hunting seasons kick in. This winter, however, is going down as the winter that wasn’t. Several ice fishing events have been canceled, including the March 4-5 event in Schroon Lake, likely for the first time ever. That’s too bad as this is a major deal for this fine Adirondack town. The deer herd is certainly benefiting from an easy winter, as thanks to gypsy moths and a tough mast crop year, things could’ve been worse.
Meanwhile, things are busy as usual. New York Outdoor News has a new website, check it out when you can and consider subscribing as it’s a pretty good deal. Meanwhile, the Great Northeast Podcast is now on Apple Podcast, which is very good news. Locally, it looks like the sports clubs and county federations are partnering with DEC to get the Region 5 Fish and Wildlife Management Board meetings back up and running for the first time since Covid. If anyone has heard about similar meetings in Region 6, please let us know. This is an institution that could certainly use some help and new involvement. Each county has a federation made up of that county’s sports clubs and often individuals. To get an idea list the Warren County Conservation Council’s Facebook page, or look for something similar in your area. Again, all sportsmen could benefit from more involvement.
Meanwhile, things spring! You know, turkeys, trout, and maybe some late season coyotes too. Until the next time!
Apprentice Wanted: After giving this some serious thought this summer, what we would like to find – at some point – is an apprentice who would be interested in helping out with the website. Knowledge of WordPress webhosting software would be a bonus, but is not necessary, although the willingness to learn is. What is needed is experience in photo editing, and if you have Photoshop experience (and software) all the better. Also, if the person is from the Glens Falls/Lake George region, all the better, but this is also not neccesary. We can’t offer any compensation but we can discuss ways to make the website more financially feasible in the future. If you’d like to talk, shoot me an email.
A Note About Blaze Orange: Prior to the 2021 hunting seasons, a regulation change was put in place requiring deer and bear hunters to wear florescent clothing (orange or pink) in either the form of a hat or at least 250 square inches of clothing. While it can be assumed that hunters shown in photographs without florescent clothing were obeying the law when they shot their game, it can also be assumed they were not. We understand that hunters shed layers in warm weather and when dragging bucks and bears out of places like the Adirondacks; it happens with our own hunting group. However, going forward, please try to share photos of hunters with the required attire. Thanks!
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the gate on the access road leading to the Bog River Dam, also known as Lows Lower Dam, will be closed starting Dec. 6, to allow for construction to maintain the dam. The road will remain closed through the 2023 field season. All vehicles must be removed from the access road to dam and parking area near the dam by 12 p.m. Dec. 6.
The project is necessary to bring the dam into compliance with New York State dam safety regulations. Construction activities will affect recreational users of the Horseshoe Lake, Hitchins Pond, and Lows Lake areas, including the cartop boat launch and parking area at the Lower Dam. The river access and parking area at Lows Lower Dam, located near the end of State Highway 421, will be closed beginning Dec. 6, and the road will remain closed for the duration of the construction project. Construction activities may take place seven days per week and are expected to last at least through the 2023 field season.
The public is encouraged to seek alternative paddling destinations during the construction project. Alternative destinations for wilderness paddling and camping include Round Lake, Little Tupper Lake, Lake Lila, the St. Regis Canoe Area, and the Essex Chain of Lakes. There are additional destinations throughout the Adirondacks for paddling associated with day use and non-wilderness camping. DEC’s paddling and places to go webpages feature information for those seeking alternative destinations.
Opportunities for recreational users set on accessing Hitchens Pond and/or Lows Lake during the construction period are limited, but include: Continue reading →
RAY BROOK, NY – The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are holding a joint public comment period to solicit comments for the Sharp Bridge Public Campground and Day Use Area Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP). The public is invited to submit input on the draft plan, which will guide future management of the facility over the next five years and its conformance to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. Comments will be accepted until December 19, 2022.
The campground is located on NYS Route 9, 15 miles north of Schroon Lake in the town of North Hudson, Essex County. The Campground and Day-Use Area was originally opened in 1920. It borders the western shore of Schroon River and offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Amenities include fireplaces, charcoal grills, hot showers, flush toilets, a picnic area, and pavilion. The 45,619-acre Hammond Pond Wild Forest surrounds the campground.
Management goals for this unit include administering recreation programs to ensure protection of the natural resources in accordance with Environmental Conservation Law and the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, providing recreational opportunities for the enjoyment of visitors, and enhancing economic benefits to local communities.
The Draft UMP proposes the following management activities:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced Oct. 20 that the restoration of public motor vehicle access to the Four Corners Parking Area on Gulf Brook Road in the Boreas Ponds Tract. The completion of the installation of the temporary bridge over LaBier Flow Dam is an important milestone in the ongoing work to improve the road and promote sustainable recreation.
The Boreas Ponds Tract spans almost 20,000 acres across two Forest Preserve management units: the High Peaks Wilderness and the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest. It offers opportunities for a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, camping, and horseback riding. It is perhaps best known for the remote and scenic paddling and fishing Boreas Ponds provide.
A severe storm on Oct. 31, 2019, caused significant damage to multiple bridges and culverts along Gulf Brook Road. Continue reading →
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reminded outdoor enthusiasts that many furbearer trapping seasons begin Tuesday, Oct. 25. Approximately 10,000 New Yorkers participate in this trapping tradition, going afield for more than a dozen species of furbearing animals and often partnering with DEC biologists to provide valuable scientific information.
“Trapping is an important component of New York’s outdoor heritage,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Our furbearer populations are abundant, and furbearer hunting and trapping provide many benefits, including reducing property damage from nuisance wildlife and providing a sustainable source of food, fur, and income to harvesters and others in the industry.”
DEC announced changes to wild turkey hunting regulations that will provide hunters additional hunting opportunities. DEC is modernizing statewide turkey hunting regulations by changing the minimum shot size from #8 to #9 for turkey hunting statewide. The change was necessitated by advances in shotshell technology. Previously, shot sizes smaller than #8 (larger number indicates smaller size) were prohibited because they lacked the kinetic energy downrange to humanely harvest a turkey. Modern shotshells use heavier metals such as tungsten alloy, tungsten-iron, or bismuth, maintain enough energy to humanely harvest a turkey, and perform as well or better than many traditional turkey loads. Changes to shot size restrictions apply to both fall and spring seasons and go into effect on Sept. 1, 2022.
Also, a finalized regulation establishes a spring turkey season in Suffolk County in 2023, with a season limit of one bearded bird, and makes #9 shot legal for hunting turkeys statewide during the fall and spring seasons. Since the 1990s, the turkey population on Long Island has grown to more than 3,000 birds. In 2009, modern turkey hunting on Long Island began with a five-day fall season and a one-bird bag limit. After DEC established this season and later a two-day, youth-only spring season, area turkey populations continued to increase. Current turkey populations support additional hunting opportunities in the form of a spring season from May 1 through 31, with a bag limit of one bearded bird. For most turkey hunters, the new spring 2023 season will be the first spring turkey hunting opportunity on Long Island. Spring turkey hunting on Long Island will begin in May 2023 in Suffolk County, Wildlife Management Unit 1C.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos reminded hunters that September marks the beginning of several hunting seasons in New York State. Hunting seasons for squirrel and Canada goose begin Sept. 1 in upstate New York, and the early bear and antlerless deer seasons begin Sept. 10 in select wildlife management units (WMUs).
Sept. 1: Canada Goose Hunting Seasons Open
The September Canada goose season occurs in all goose hunting zones except the Western Long Island zone. All upstate areas are open from Sept. 1 through 25. Canada goose seasons in the Central and Eastern Long Island zones begin on Sept. 6 and run through Sept. 30. In the Western Long Island zone, the season opens Oct. 8. The September season includes liberal bag limits (eight to 15 birds per day depending on zone), extended shooting hours, and other special regulations to maximize hunter success. Additional details on waterfowl hunting regulations, season dates, hunting area boundaries, and bag limits can be found on DEC’s website.
The September goose hunting season is designed to help reduce or stabilize resident Canada goose populations. Resident Canada geese are those that breed in the U.S. and southern Canada, unlike migratory populations that breed in northern Canada. Typically, resident geese are the birds commonly associated with nuisance situations in urban and rural areas. Over the past 25 years, New York’s resident Canada goose population has grown from an estimated 80,000 birds in 1995 to more than 340,000.
As the population has grown, season lengths and bag limits were relaxed and hunters have successfully stabilized the population. The September season is an important opportunity for hunters, as regular Canada goose seasons have been restricted to 30 days and bag limits reduced to one bird in most areas to protect the more vulnerable migratory geese. Resident geese look the same as migratory geese, making it difficult for the public to distinguish between the two populations. For more information on the differences between migratory and resident geese and how these birds are managed, read the article “Canada Geese in New York–Residents or Visitors?” in the August 2019 issue of DEC’s Conservationist magazine.