North or South: Many hunters, even those from the Adirondacks, will head “south” this weekend for New York’s opening day in the Southern Zone. Perhaps it’s for the opportunity to score some venison for the freezer or even to take a break from mountain hunting. Some of us, however, will remain in the Adirondacks. Finding a place to hunt in the Southern Zone can be difficult but that is not the case in the Adirondacks where there is nearly three million acres of public land in the form of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
So far, this has been a very strange fall and likewise, a strange whitetail rut. A month ago, at the dark of moon and during the early muzzleloading season, many hunters throughout the Adirondacks (including this one) observed a surprisingly high amount of rubbing and scraping activity. Around late October and early November a number bucks were killed or seen right on the tail of a doe. Then, it seems, things cooled off. Still, there’s been a good number of bucks killed in recent weeks, as is typical of mid-November, but many hunters are still scratching their heads and wondering where the rut is. Perhaps it’s a slow rut that is taking place right in front of our very eyes? This hunter is wondering if there’s going to be repeat later this month of what transpired earlier in the season. If so, get ready, because it could be the best part of the hunting season, especially if the weather cooperates.
For now, we’re on to Weekend No. 5 of the Northern Zone season with two to go, plus another week of muzzleloading season in some areas. After Thursday’s rain and snow event, a dry Friday is in store with some wet weather in the forecast for later Saturday and perhaps early Sunday. Then it’s looking pretty seasonal right through to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Wherever you are hunting in the days ahead, have fun and hunt safely and remember; the buck you’re looking for could be just over the next ridge.
DEC’s Hunting Seasons Summary
2017 Hunting Season Photos (as of 11/19/17)
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