October 21, 2012

North Country hunting season off to busy start

This is only the first weekend of the regular deer season and already there have been some interesting developments.

Most notable among them is the youth deer hunt that took place Columbus Day weekend across the state.

Last week, the Department of Environmental Conservation announced that of 12,753 youth hunters who were eligible for the season, 486 had reported taking deer. It should be noted that at the time of this announcement, the seven-day harvest reporting deadline had yet to pass. So that number could rise slightly.

Some local families got in on the action. Bill Barber Jr. of Essex County sent me an email detailing the double success that his 14-year-old son, John, had during the weekend.

The boy was hunting with his grandfather on the first day of the hunt when they encountered a bear. While the youth hunt was for deer, in the Northern Zone the bear season is open, so young John was able to harvest the bear. Bill said that he and his father have hunted this property for 20 years and had never seen a bear. Stories like that are popping up all over the Adirondacks this year.

On Columbus Day, Oct. 8, Bill and John took to the woods in the afternoon. The weren’t even to their ground blind when Bill spotted a deer. They were able to sneak into an ambush position and the boy harvested a 112-pound doe.

“It was one of the proudest moments that I have had of my son and one of the greatest weekends for myself, my father and my son. Three generations of Barber hunters,” Bill wrote.

I also got an email and photos from Robert Shea of Mineville who was equally as proud of his 14-year-old son, Riley. The father-son team hunted all weekend, and late on the second day of their hunt they spotted a fine buck exiting a swamp.

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