Smokepole Time: It’s the “first” opening day of the Northern Zone big game season. Of course we’re talking about the start of muzzleloading season, which begins Saturday, Oct. 19. Since the advent of the Super Sportsman’s license and the second buck/doe tag (a third doe only tag if you’re a bowhunter) a number of years ago the participation in muzzleloading hunting has skyrocketed in the North Country. So, they’ll be a lot of hunters in the woods.
Leaf cover is quite present but this week’s heavy rains should take care of the leaves in the tops of trees. The underbrush is a different story. The interior of the Adirondacks is further ahead in the foliage department than the outer areas and foothills. Buck sign continues to increase with many hunters reporting the finding of scrapes; more-so than rubs. But, it’s obviously early. Food, and now water, are plentiful.
Be careful this weekend. Keep the visibility factor in mind as well as the fact that in some western Adirondack WMU’s are antlered deer only. Finally, congratulations to all the successful youth hunters out there. We’d like to see more photos come our way. Good luck!
•2019-20 Summary of Hunting Seasons
•ADKHunter’s Facebook page.
•Buck’s Blog in NY Outdoor News
Continue to previous 2019 reports…
(10/8) Kid Stuff: The Northern Zone archery season is ten days old and as much as that first weekend was full of excitement, it seemed to have settled down a bit despite a cold, crisp weekend of hunting weather that had deer on the move. Social media reports are coming in of plenty of Southern Zone bucks, but no so much in the north. Too bad, because we know they are out there. The hunters that are in the woods are reporting some early scraping activity. Acorns are aplenty in the foothills of the Adirondacks and some hunters in the interior are finding beechnuts. Thanks to the way the calendar falls we have a long early archery (and turkey) season this year, as muzzleloading does not open until the first Saturday after Columbus Day, which is Oct. 19.
And speaking of the holiday weekend, it belongs to the kids and all across New York it will be the youth big game hunt this weekend. Junior hunters ages 14 & 15 had the opportunity to take any deer – buck or doe – as well as a black bear. If your out there with a kid this weekend we’d love to hear about your results. Same for any of you Adirondack hunters pounding the hills with the bow. To learn more about the Youth Hunt, click here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46245.html
(9/30) A Good Start: For the most part it was a warm weekend but opening day of Northern Zone archery season turned out to be a good one. Things are about to change, however, in terms of the weather with some rain and a cool-down in the forecast to start October. Even the slightest temperature change is enough to get the deer moving. We’ve got a long early season this year thanks to the way the dates on the calendar fall. That means another weekend of archery action before the youth season takes place an eventually muzzleloading and the regular big game season(s). Good luck in these early days of deer season.
(9/25) It’s Deer Season: And just like that, summer is over and deer season is here. Friday, Sept. 27 is the traditional opening day of the Northern Zone archery season for deer. While bowhunting in the Adirondacks is not as popular as it is in the Southern Zone, there is legion of bowhunters out there who won’t pass up the early season. It’s a great time to key in a whitetails that are still in their summer habits and simply enjoy the early fall woods.
Things will quickly change regarding whitetail activity once hunting pressure kicks in, but in these early days of hunting the deer should still be keying in on food sources, even during daylight hours. Acorns and beechnuts are out there in spots, some more than others, so there should be some action. Although a tad warm, the weather is also looking good with some cool mornings in the forecast for the weekend. There is some wet weather in next week’s forecast which looks like it will be followed by a serious cool-down.
Good luck out there this weekend and most of all, be safe. Remember, tree stand accidents remain the most dangerous aspect of deer hunting. We’d love to hear from you not only if you have some luck, but also some of your observations particularly in relation to food sources and an early season buck sign in the Adirondacks. The same goes for bear hunters, and even small game hunter out there enjoying grouse season and youth waterfowl and pheasant hunts this weekend before small game seasons (including Northern Zone turkey season) kick in on Tuesday, Oct. 1. ’Tis the season, enjoy!
The 2018 Deer Season Blog & 2019 Turkey hunting photos
(9/12) Bearly Speaking: Black bear season in the Adirondacks opened quietly this past weekend, Sept. 14. With so much food in the woods it has to be tough for bear hunters to locate their quarry. I you are having some luck, we’d love to hear about it, including a photo. Meanwhile, the grouse opener in the Northern Zone is Friday Sept. 20. Then, of course, Sept. 27 is a regional holiday as the archery opener for deer takes place. There’s also some youth waterfowl and pheasant hunts coming up. Hopefully you’re out there getting stands and blinds ready, doing some scouting, checking or placing trail cameras and shooting your guns and bows. The days are getting shorter and things are happening. It’s the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year! Enjoy.