October Lull?: That’s what some folks call it but it could it be that the quiet week we’ve had in the deer woods can be attributed to warm, wet weather? This hunter has been out on the back 40 (back 20, actually) every morning this week with the muzzleloader and deer activity seems to have shut down. Trail cams are quiet too, even at night. Some hunters, including our group, had some luck during the black powder weekend, which was also warm. The rain, however, has brought down some leaves and brought some much needed water to streams and small ponds. Opening day is supposed to be warm, but things are expected to be a little cooler in the days that follow. Not hearing much about buck sign, other than a few rubs and scrapes here and there. Good luck this opening weekend!
We have an exciting feature in New York Outdoor News this fall and that is long-time NYON contributing writer Oak Duke’s NYON 2020 Rut Tracker, which begins with the Oct. 16 issue and should be in subscriber mailboxes and on newsstands (where available) any day. This is only available in our print product, not online, so if you’re not a subscriber now is a good time to consider getting on board. Oak’s Rut Tracker will also be in the Oct. 30, Nov. 13 and Nov. 27 editions where he’ll analyze each phase of the whitetail rut and offer some hunting tips. For the last two weeks of October, it’s about food and breeding scrapes as the Halloween blue moon approaches.
Good luck out there with the crossbow and smokepole, and let us know what you’re seeing in the Adirondack woods.
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2020 Hunting Photos
New York Outdoor News is surely keeping me busy. Gathering, editing and publishing news items from the outdoor world is interesting beyond my imagination and in the professional world there’s been little time for anything else. As for the status of ADKHunter, we’re keeping things going for now and plan to going forward. There may be some delays in processing things such as photos, but we will do our best to keep up.
10/12 – Kids, Crossbows and Muzzleloaders: It’s been quite a start to October in the Adirondack hunting world as we come off New York’s annual youth big game hunting weekend. We did not hear of a lot of youth hunters out there in the Adirondack region but across New York social media platforms have shown some kids did have some luck.
I spent Saturday and Sunday morning with Joey, age 14, hunting near my home in the Southeastern Adirondacks. We did not see a deer, but we had some good conversation, did come calling and even some still-hunting. Joey went out for an afternoon hunt with his uncle in Saratoga County and made a successful shot on an antlerless deer and is now officially among the deer hunting fraternity. I’m proud of him and he is happy with his success.
In the days ahead things change quickly in the Adirondacks. First, the Northern Zone crossbow season begins on Wednesday, Oct. 14 followed by the early muzzleloading season Oct. 17-23. It’s opening day all over again. If you’ve been in the woods lately you know there’s plenty of foliage, but Tuesday’s rain will hopefully bring at least some leaves down. Still, we’ve got a long way to go. Hunters, however, are finding some buck sign – rubs, mainly – and there are some acorns out there but they seem to be at lower elevations.
10/4 – Are You Bowhunting?: A week into the Northern Zone archery season and things are pretty quiet. We have heard very little from hunters up to this point and have only seen a few successful deer stories posted in other social media platforms. Is anyone bowhunting up here? Although it’s cooled down, there’s still some warm weather ahead, including for the upcoming youth big game hunt this weekend (Oct. 10-12). We sure hope that goes well for the young hunters. And while the foliage is spectacular, we hunters like it when things go the other way and visibility increases. We may be a long way from that!
9/25 – Sharpen Those Broadheads: And just like that its (almost) deer season. The Northern Zone archery season for deer opens Sunday, Sept. 27 and for many of us it couldn’t come any quicker. A long, hot, COVID-filled summer has us anxious to get in the woods. There are some acorns out there, but just where, is up for grabs. It seems some places have them and some don’t and it could be a matter of elevation. Apples are still around and should be hunted if you have them. One often-overlooked factor in years such as this is water. Things are dry for sure and this could impact deer travel patterns. Keep that in mind when picking your stand(s). If you can pinpoint a buck’s summer travel pattern these first few days perhaps you’ll have some luck. Looks to be warm start, but a cool-down and a waxing moon are in store for next week. Good luck!
9/15 – Bear, Grouse Season: It’s hard to believe that hunting seasons are upon us, but they are. With black bear season opening in the Adirondacks on Saturday, Sept. 19 and grouse season opening the next day, the woods will start to get a little busier. Toss in some youth pheasant and water fowl hunts and you get the idea. If you partake in these seasons, we’d love to hear some reports and see a photo or two if you have some luck. And with archery season less than two weeks away our thoughts turn to deer. Let us know what your finding for mast crops, buck sign and whatever.