Press-Republican

Outdoors

December 29, 2013

Another North Country deer season in the books

Where does the time go? We deer hunters in the North Country are lucky to have long deer seasons.

That is especially the case for those of us who hunt the archery and muzzleloading seasons, as I do.

My deer season started in late September and ended two weeks ago. Still, it went by so fast and the five months between now and turkey season seems like an eternity. I enjoy a lot of different things in the outdoors, but hunting is at the very top of my list.

Anticipation among Northern Zone hunters was high coming into this deer season, and with good reason. We had a solid mast crop, especially beechnuts, and the deer were in good shape following a relatively easy 2012-13 winter. But that does not always equate to success in the autumn woods. There are just too many variables.

A widespread food source, for example, can put deer just about anywhere that food source is. The hunter still has to find those deer. Another variable that was not in short supply this past season was the weather. We had it all: rain, snow and quite a bit of wind. It played a role at some point or another.

I’m lucky in that I preside over a website, www.ADKHunter.com, that is based around big-game hunting in the Adirondacks. I hear stories and see photos from numerous hunters throughout the region. I recently posted a photo of the Salerno family who had another good season in Essex County. I got word from Tim Salerno that they took a few other hunters under their wing who are interested in their style of hunting. This is surely how you recruit and retain future hunters.

A few other notable bucks from this region include a 185-pound, 9-pointer taken late in the season in Elizabethtown by Scott VanBramer. Mike Julian from Waterford called in a 165-pound, 9-pointer near Schroon Lake in late November in St. Lawrence County. And, in the early muzzleloading season a group of Essex County hunters known as the Rack Pack weighed in a couple of bucks exceeding 200 pounds. One was a 222-pound, 4-pointer that was aged by a state biologist to be more than 5 years old.

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