Last Call, Part I: Dang, it’s been a quick hunting season. That’s what happens when you’re busier than a jackrabbit leading up to it, and then dive in full bore once it’s here. That’s been me this fall, and now I hate to see it end despite the fact I was lucky enough to tag a buck recently. If that’s not enough to make you realize that the late season is the great season, take a look at some of latest buck photos, including several that were taken just since Thanksgiving. On top of that, reports are still coming in of hunters finding fresh rubs, including on top of yesterday’s freshly fallen dusting of snow.
For those hunters who chase their bucks in the interior of the Adirondacks, and/or do not hunt the late muzzleloading season, things will wrap up at sunset on Sunday, Dec. 8. For others, the late muzzleloading season kicks in for another week in the foothills surround the region. Overall, the weekend weather is looking good; a little snow in the southern Adirondacks on Friday followed by cool but seasonable temps the rest of the way. It’s not over until it’s over and you can’t kill a buck, or bear, if you are not out there. Hopefully we’ll see some more photos and hear some more stories following this weekend. Good luck!
•2019-20 Summary of Hunting Seasons
•ADKHunter’s Facebook page.
•Buck’s Blog in NY Outdoor News
2019 Hunting Season Photos
Continue to previous 2019 reports…
(11/27) Happy Thanksgiving: As I write this the Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching. If you’re like me and are from a hunting family, then the traditional Thanksgiving hunt is part of the holiday agenda. Our group has done well in recent years on the holiday, sneaking in a few morning deer drives before meeting with the family for dinner and some football.
This year could be very celebratory. The rut remains “on” and if you’ve been in the woods in recent days you’ll know what we’re talking about. Again, nearly every report you hear from a successful hunter is that of a buck almost entirely occupied with a doe. It’s been warm this week, but that’s about to change with a cold front coming through on Thursday with some more seasonal November weather to follow with a snowstorm capping off the weekend. This could be a good one, so I hope you have hunting plans. I do!
(11/20) The Heart of Deer Season: You can tell things are happening in the deer woods right now simply by the amount of success stories you hear. That’s typical for mid-November and by all accounts the game of the rut is on. I spent most of last week in the woods where fresh rubs and scrapes were found both before and after Tuesday’s snow. Nearly every hunter I’ve talked to who took a buck in the past week said it was with a doe. My brother Bill, who is visiting from Arizona, killed a fine six-pointer on Saturday that had a doe pinned on a ledge and would not let her off. Bill was finishing a deer drive and snuck in on the pair for a shot, about 150 yards from where I was on watch (and it was MY birthday!).
For us Adirondack hunters there are four weekends down and three to go. The weather is looking pretty good from now through Thanksgiving. A little rain/snow here and there and mostly seasonal temperatures the rest of the way. We’ll see what happens, but if the forecast hold it could be some classic deer hunting weather. If you have some hunting time this week, all the power to you. Get out there and get it done while the getting is good.
(11/13) Snow-kidding:It looks like the snowstorm that went down earlier this week was not as bad as predicted. In fact, for some of us, it may have been just about right. Ahead of the storm, Nov. 10, was a perfect hunting day and the demise of a number of bucks. Rubs and especially scrapes are becoming more prevalent, as is expected in mid-November and heart of hunting season. After Wednesday’s cold we’re looking at some pretty good hunting weather throughout the weekend and into early next week. This should result in more bucks on the meat-pole. The battle for many becomes wether to head “south” of the Southern Zone opener or stay up north and work on those bucks we’ve been chasing these past few weeks. This hunter is choosing the latter. Good luck, and hunt hard. This is the THE best time of the year for a deer hunter.
(11/5) Mother Nature Strikes Again: Last year it was a big snowstorm (that could happen again), but this year it was the Halloween storm that brought high winds and destructive floodwaters to many parts of the Adirondack region. There’s a good chance if you hunt anywhere remotely, you’ve been impacted in some way, or will be. This storm certainly altered a lot of hunting plans, but it also left people without power and caused some serious property damage.
But deer season goes on and we’re getting into the heart of it. Adirondack bucks continue to be taken, including some good ones. Buck sign is steadily increasing, although the wind-blown leaves may have covered up some scrapes. Another storm could drop some snow on the region Thursday, which is to be followed by a cold snap. So, it should be some good deer hunting weather. If you’re not hunting in mid-November, you’re note hunting. Good luck, and be safe on the roads and in the woods. Most of all, let us know how you do!
(10/28) Wet Start: Hopefully it’s not déjà vu all over again when comparing this deer season to last. The first three weekends last year saw lots of wet weather. And then, of course, we got dumped on by a huge snowstorm that impacted the second half of the season. After a pleasant opening day we had another downpour on Sunday in the Adirondacks. The good news is that it knocked a lot of leaves off the trees helping to increase visibility in the woods. It’s early yet, as we tend to hear from hunters later in the week, but our initial reports are of plenty of buck sign. Meanwhile some photos did roll in from the early black powder season. Congrats to everyone, including my cousin Floyd Ladd who got fine 4-pointer on opening day. Health issues don’t make things to easy for Floyd and he’s grateful just to be out in the woods, and especially to be able to tag a nice Adirondack buck.
(10/22) Just Getting Started: The first big hunting weekend of the season has passed, and somewhat quietly. Then again, we seemed to hear plenty of shooting, or of plenty of shooting, but few stories to go with those shots. The assumption is that hunters are missing or simply killing does in these areas. It was a fantastic weekend weatherize with some chilly mornings for sure, before things warmed up. Looks to be little more mild this weekend for the rifle opener with some showers in the mix. The big question is what’s out there for buck sign. We’re hearing of a good number of scrapes but very few rubs. Food seems to be plentiful so deer can be hard to come by. Good luck this opening weekend and please check in with some reports.
(10/16) 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!
(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.