The latest from ADKHunter…

Giving Thanks: I have to admit, it’s been a tough November; one in which hunting has unfortunately had to take a backseat at times. Less than two weeks ago our family lost my Uncle Jim Ladd – a long time Adirondack deer hunter who in his day could chase bucks with the best of them. Also this month three other friends, one of them who hunted out of a camp in Edinburgh, have also passed. Hunting has been bittersweet, but it has been hunting nonetheless.
Getting a buck with my brother last week sure felt good. For him, it was his first real nice buck and a long overdue one at that. To top it off he shot it with our grandfather’s old Winchester 30-30 which my grandfather passed onto him not long before he passed in the late 1970s. Both my brothers and I all hunted with that gun in our early seasons. One can’t help to think that some bucks and hunts are just meant to be.
Yet another deer season in Northern New York is beginning to wind down and from Thanksgiving Day on I’ll have the opportunity to hunt every day of  it. I’m a firm believer in late season hunting and have been part of many successful hunts during the final hunting days. When I look at the photos coming in from other hunters and read the reports they share about bucks being grunted in, bucks trailing does or bucks searching for does I have to believe there is plenty of rutting activity still going on, even though last week I saw a lot of does but not one antlered deer. I also believe the Nov 25 Full Moon may kick in some late season rutting activity. I’ll be doing my best to punch my tag from Thanksgiving on, and am thankful to just be able get out and hunt and breath fresh mountain air. I hope you do as well. Happy Thanksgiving!


Bill Watters 15-pointer weighed 157-pounds and had a green score of 175 1/8. Taken Nov. 14 Dewey Woods Club

Bill Watters 15-pointer weighed 157-pounds and had a green score of 175 1/8. Taken Nov. 14 Dewey Woods Club

11/20 Northern Comfort: Sometimes a plan really does come together in terms of deer hunting. Just ask Bill Watters of Day, NY who was hunting last weekend in the southern Adirondacks and tagged what will be a record book buck. Here on, we don’t usually make a big deal about antler scores – we’re more interested in weight and the overall hunting experience – but it’s hard to ignore a deer that grosses 175 1/8. These are the bucks that people remember and that put Adirondack bucks and Adirondack hunting on the map. Our congrats to Bill and his hunting companions.

Today, Nov. 20, was a good day for us too. After a number of missed opportunities (literally) we finally connected on a nice Adirondack buck. My older brother, Bill Ladd of Watertown got his nicest buck to date. It was a simple, two-man drive and the buck was running with two does. Needless to say, we’ll be looking for those two does before the weekend is out and maybe we’ll catch another buck with them. It’s happened before. Many hunters are heading south tomorrow as it is the opening day of Souther Zone. We wish them luck, but some of us will stay in the North Country.

 Latest Adirondack Hunting Photos

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News & Links

USA Today on Gun Control

Fred LeBrun, Times Union on SAFE Act

Legendary Adirondack Trapper/Hunter Johnny Thorpe passes:

New Weather Website:

2015-16 Hunting Season Dates

Warren County Conservation Council

DEC Continues Search for Missing Hunter near Brant Lake

Help Wanted

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is requesting assistance from experienced volunteers to locate a missing 82-year-old hunter in the Adirondacks, DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 15, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received reports that Thomas E. Messick, of Troy, NY, failed to meet his hunting party at a designated location and time near Lily Pond in the town of Horicon, Warren County.

“DEC’s Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police, partner agencies and volunteers have searched extensively since Mr. Messick was reported missing,” Acting Commissioner Seggos said. “We appreciate all of the support we have received from everyone involved in this effort. If needed, we plan to expand search efforts this weekend.”

Forest Rangers are requesting trained search volunteers, especially members of volunteer fire departments that have taken a basic wildlands search skills course, to report to the Horicon Fire Department early on Saturday to participate in a 7:00 a.m. briefing.

Volunteers should be self-sufficient and be prepared to spend the entire daylight period in remote settings and inclement weather. The Horicon Fire Department is located at 6589 State Route 8, Brant Lake, NY, approximately 4 miles east of Exit 25 of the Northway (I-87).

The initial search effort on Sunday of four Forest Rangers has grown to 145 individuals from 15 agencies and organizations. A helicopter from the State Police Aviation Unit participated in the search for three days while weather permitted it to fly. Steep terrain, wet lowlands, thick vegetation, cold temperatures, wind, snow and rain have made search efforts on the ground difficult.

Crews have grid searched nearly 2,500 acres (4 square miles) and conducted more than 80 miles of linear search, in addition to an air search which covered many more thousands of acres.

DEC wants to thank the following organizations and people for their participation in the search:

State Police Aviation Unit
State Police Special Operations Response Team
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
Federal Bureau of Investigation Quick Response Team
Warren County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team
Lower Adirondack Search and Rescue
Eagle Valley Search K-9
Long Island Search and Rescue
Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks
Central Adirondack Search and Rescue Team
Northeast Mobile Search and Rescue
Oswego County Search and Rescue
Search Team 5-1
Horicon Fire Department
NYS Federation of Search and Rescue Teams – Search & Rescue Volunteers
Family, friends and community members volunteers
Messick is 5 foot 10 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket, coveralls and a red & black plaid hat. If you have any information, please call the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-897-1300. Please see attached picture below.

Meetings planned to discuss Great South Woods initiative

The Great South Woods is a vast region of over 2 million acres including much of the southern and southwestern Adirondack Park. It is one of five regions identified by NYS DEC and APA for a new approach to landscape planning that emphasizes increased access to Forest Preserve and State-owned conservation easements lands, and increased connectivity among communities, via the development of destination-based recreation infrastructure and amenities.

Project Partners

  • NYS DEC Division of Lands and Forests Forest Preserve Bureau
  • Adirondack Park Agency
  • Hamilton County Board of Supervisors
  • Leading E.D.G.E.

Public Feedback Meetings on Draft GSW Strategy

  • November 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • View arts center in Old Forge, New York
  • November 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek, New York
  • November 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Oak Mountain Ski Center, Speculator, New York

For inquiries about the Great South Woods project and information on upcoming community meetings in the southern Adirondacks, please contact or visit

Vermont Moose Hunters Had a Successful Season

JOHNSBURY, Vt. — Vermont moose hunters had a successful hunting season according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.  A record bull was taken in the October 1-7 archery moose hunt, and the regular moose hunting season was October 17-22.

“A preliminary count shows that by October 26 the department had received official reports of 8 moose being taken by 42 hunters in the archery season and 107 moose taken by 230 hunters in the regular season,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont’s moose project leader.  He said a few additional reports may still be sent in from other reporting agents.

For the first time in Vermont, bulls-only permits were issued in most of the 17 Wildlife Management Units open to moose hunting. This change was made to increase population growth in order to achieve goals called for in Vermont’s Big Game Management Plan.  Only in northern Vermont were hunters able to take moose of either sex.

The overall regular season hunter success rate reported to date is 47 percent, down slightly from 52 percent last year.  Either-sex permit holders enjoyed a 70 percent success rate while hunters restricted to harvesting only bulls averaged a lower success rate of 36 percent.

Pre-season scouting in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom paid off on the second morning of the archery moose hunt for Tammy Miller of Fairfax, Vermont.  Using a compound bow, Miller took a 931 lb. bull moose with an antler spread of 53 ¾ inches while hunting in Norton with her husband, Eric.  Miller’s huge bull topped the 919 lb. previous archery record moose taken last year by Kevin Rice.

A final report on Vermont’s moose hunting season will be available in January when all of the 2015 data have been received and reviewed.

DEC Opens New Road and Land in the Adirondacks to Improve Public Access to Big Game Hunting and Outdoor Recreation

Thousands of acres of land and miles of roads in the Adirondacks are now open for the big game hunting season, including a new road and conservation easement land opened for the first time this year. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages now have improved access to premier campsites and an abundance of pristine land in the forest preserve just in time for the Northern Zone regular big game hunting season, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann announced today.

Popular Adirondack lands now open for public use include: Continue reading →

DEC Acquires Access, opens trail to Spruce Mt. Fire Tower

Spruce Mountain’s rehabilitated fire tower and new trail in the town of Corinth, Saratoga County are open for public use, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman announced . From the top of the 5 ½ story fire tower, the public can enjoy views of Vermont, Gore Mountain and the southern Adirondacks. The 2.4-mile round-trip trail traverses through wooded gentle terrain with an elevation change of approximately 1,000 feet.

The Adirondack Mountain Club Professional Trail Crew recently finished a reroute of the trail from private land onto Wilcox Lake Wild Forest and then onto Saratoga Preserving Land and Nature (PLAN) property. Student Conservation Association (SCA) Adirondack members began restoration work on the fire tower in 2014 and DEC completed the remainder of the work this year. The state reached a cooperative agreement with Lyme Adirondack Timberlands II, LLC to cross its land just below the fire tower.

Note: This trail is closed to public use during the big game hunting seasons.

Venison Donation Coalition – hunters helping the hungry

The season opener is here and the Venison Donation Coalition wishes you a Happy Hunting Season. We hope you share your success with us by donating a deer, or even a few pounds to our program.  You can find a local procefile://localhost/Users/danielladd/Desktop/ADKHunter/X-save/vdc.jpgssor on our website at or call 1-866-862-3337.

Financial donations are appreciated and tax deductible. Every dollar that is donated to the Venison Donation Coalition is used towards processing the venison.  With approximately 500,000 deer hunters in New York State, imagine if each hunter donates just $1 how financially sound the program would be. Venison could be processed and the hungry would be able to have highly nutritious meat on their tables.

Donations can be made through your Town Clerk’s office or anywhere hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Just be sure to inform the D.E.C.A.L.S. licensing agent that you wish to make a donation to support the Venison Donation Program. All donations through D.E.C.A.L.S. are deposited directly into the Venison Donation Fund. Donations can also be accepted through their secure website, or send a check payable to: Venison Donation Coalition, Inc., 3 East Pulteney Sq., Bath, NY 14810.   Again, please don’t forget to tell the clerk you would like to donate to New York’s Venison Donation Program.

Since 1999, the Venison Donation Coalition has been highly successful in its goal to feed the hungry throughout New York State. We have processed an average of 36 tons of venison each year and more than 4 million servings of highly nutritious  meat was provided to individuals and children in need. Please help to keep the Venison Donation Coalition successful in your neighborhood. Donate today! One dollar goes a long way to help curb hunger throughout New York State.

The Venison Donation Coalition, Inc. is a non-profit organization that coordinates and funds the efforts of venison processing to feed the hungry throughout New York State. For more information, please call 1-866-862-3337.


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the approval of the Adirondack Park Trail Plan for the North Country National Scenic Trail (NST). The plan routes the National Scenic Trail through the Adirondack Park and incorporates the North Country NST into the state’s Adirondack trail system. The announcement comes as North Country National Scenic Trails Day is tomorrow and is a day to celebrate the projected 4,600-mile trail, stretching from North Dakota across the northern tier of the United States with some 2,700 miles completed to date. Approval of the plan will be effective on October 10. Continue reading →

DEC: NPT Trail Work Complete

More than 23 miles of new trail on the famed Northville-Placid Trail route are open for public recreation in the Adirondacks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Robert Stegemann announced today. The new trail reroutes eliminate 15.5 miles of road walking along the route.

“The Northville-Placid Trail, one of the premiere long trails in the Northeast, now provides an improved hiking experience for day users and through hikers,” Director Stegemann said. “DEC and the Adirondack Mountain Club – the original builders of the Northville-Placid Trail – worked together to get hikers off the road and into the woods. DEC continues to provide great experiences for outdoor recreationists while protecting the natural resources of the Adirondacks treasured by residents and visitors alike. Hikers can stop in the communities along the way to stock up on supplies, enjoy a good meal at a local establishment and shower and sleep at one of the many lodging facilities.”

The now 135-mile Northville-Placid Trail traverses the heart of the Adirondacks from the village of Northville in Fulton County in the south to the village of Lake Placid in Essex County in the north. Along the way it passes through or near the communities of Piseco, Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake and Long Lake. Continue reading →

Pheasant Release Sites Announced

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 October 1 in northern and eastern portions of New York, October 17 in central and western portions, and November 1 on Long Island.

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 10-11. In northern and eastern New York, the youth pheasant hunt weekend is September 26-27, and on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties) it is October 24-25. 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.

Continue reading →