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An online space for outdoorsmen from CNY and beyond. Tell us about the one you caught or the one that got away.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't let bug ruin your outdoor plans

Spring and summer are great times to be afield fishing, hiking, boating, etc. However, there is one danger that can easily spoil your fun – bugs! Most of us are familiar with the evil black flies that frequent Tug Hill, the Adirondacks and most areas of central New York where there is clear, cool water. The black fly season is just getting into high gear so be prepared if you go afield.

Black flies are vicious biting insects that attack in swarms and leave nasty bites with their sharp mouths. Their saliva also contains an anti-coagulant that many people are allergic to. Although they hatch in clear water, the breeze may blow them a great distance and they can be found anywhere there is foliage for cover, especially during daylight hours. They are a serious threat to hikers, fishermen and turkey hunters.
No-see-ums or punkies are very tiny biting flies which also are found near still water. They occur in swarms but aren't as persistent as black flies. They are most active from dusk to dawn. They often penetrate under or through most netting or mesh covering.
The wet weather has been conducive for breeding mosquitoes which are born in stagnant water but travel long distances in search of prey. They are most active during periods of low light.
There are methods to protect yourself from these disgusting little critters, including special clothing and repellents. L.L.Bean makes a line of clothing called "Buzz Off." It is a cotton poplin fabric with natural odorless repellent bonded to the fabric. I have used the shorts, shirts and hats and they really work. There are other brands that utilize mesh, lightweight clothing and natural repellents. Of course many washings will remove the repellent and diminish the usefulness.
Common repellents contain DEET which is effective, but may cause an allergic reaction in some people. If a rash occurs, wash off the remaining repellent. Another problem is perspiration causing some of the repellent with DEET to get into your eyes. If you doubt that DEET is nasty stuff, see what it does to varnish on your canoe paddle or the material of your fly line, etc. One product that has proven effective for both people and animals such as short haired dogs is Bug Guard. It does not contain DEET, instead it relies on natural repellents and is specially developed to repel black flies, mosquitoes and ticks. I have also used it extensively and can testify that it works well. It lasts for about eight hours, although perspiration or rain will remove it.
My friend, the late Scott Sampson had a German Short Haired Pointer that was constantly being bitten by black flies due to its fine, short hair. A veterinarian recommended Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard since it is safe to put on animals even if they lick themselves. It also serves to repel deer ticks. Note that we are talking about a specific insect repellent, not the bath oil produced by the same company.
Movement, carbon dioxide, perspiration and perfumes all serve as attractions for these disgusting insects. You can't avoid moving or breathing, but you can avoid perfumes, colognes, etc. and you can try to cut down on perspiration.
The color blue also attracts these insects so avoid blue colored clothing.
You should wear long pants and tuck them in your socks or wear gaiters in areas where ticks are a problem. Spray your pants legs with permithrin or DEET. Use repellent such as Bug Guard on exposed skin.
So even though insects are a problem, you can still enjoy the outdoors with a little precaution. Besides, if you stay inside watching all those re-runs of "reality shows" you will probably suffer from brain damage.
INLET'S WOODS & WATER OUTDOOR EXPO: Inlet’s Woods and Waters Outdoor Expo will share outdoor recreational information and products by bringing together all levels of knowledgeable sports recreation educators and merchants with all levels of eco tourist enthusiasts for a successful family Adirondack adventure.
On June 4 and 5, the Town of Inlet’s Area Business Association will host the Wood and Waters Outdoor Expo on Arrowhead Park Lakefront. The event is free to the public.
It is a multi-themed outdoor recreational event hosting booths containing products for power sports, flat water paddle, mountain biking, hiking, camping, and fishing.
It will include organizations from the many fitness events, environmental organizations and tourism councils throughout the Adirondack Park
The theme of the event is a Forest Preserve for all to enjoy. The main goal of the event is to introduce all levels of tourists to the many successful methods of recreation in the West Central Adirondacks. It will be the first event of its type to celebrate all the eco tourists with lectures and demonstrations by guides, leading educators, writers and sports recreational merchants providing a method for successful journeys into the West Central Adirondacks.
The two-day event will have on water and off water lectures demonstrations and power point presentations on subjects from birding, Geocaching, sailing, snowmobiling, paddle making, photography, Dutch Oven cooking, kayaking, hiking safety, hunting, fishing, back packing, mountain biking, skiing, boating, photography, back country float plane services, camping and more.
For more information contact the Inlet Information and Tourism Office at 1-800-GO INLET or
HALL OF FAME MUSEUM OPENS: The NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame will hold the grand opening of its new museum in Vail Mills on June 4 at 10 a.m. The Hall of Fame Museum will be located within the Wildlife Sports Museum at the intersection of Rt. 29 and 30, northeast of Johnstown. The Wildlife Sports Museum is a world class museum of mounts, history of sporting implements and other outdoor sports located in the popular sportsmen’s mecca of Fulton County. Because the other attractions already exist, the new NYSOHOF Museum will be focusing on educational exhibits, including those of achievements of its members and conservation issues.
SPORTFISHING REGULATION CHANGES CONSIDERED FOR 2012-14: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that changes being considered to the current freshwater fishing regulations are now available for initial public review and feedback.
The proposed changes can now be viewed on the DEC Website at
The website provides instructions on how to submit input and quick email links to easily submit comments on individual proposals.
Changes being considered include modifications to the current seasons, size limits and creel limits on certain waters for popular game fish species such as trout, salmon, walleye, black bass, pickerel, muskellunge and tiger muskellunge. Additional suggested changes pertain to ice fishing on certain waters, as well as for establishing specific gear requirements for certain angling practices.
Comments will be accepted through June 24 and comments will be utilized in making decisions for a subsequent rule making proposal. If adopted, regulation changes would become effective on October 1, 2012.
JUNIOR ARCHERY BILL BECOMES LAW: Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed the bill that allows Junior Archery Hunters to hunt big game at 12 years of age when accompanied by appropriate parent or guardian. The law is goes into effect October 2011.
DEC CAMP OPENINGS: The DEC has announced that there are still some openings in the four DEC Environmental Education Camps that are held from July 3 to August 20 this year. For more information contact the DEC at (518) 402-8014 or e-mail
VERNON ROD & GUN CLUB: The Vernon Rod & Gun Club has two major events next weekend. June 10 will be the Kids Fishing Derby starting at 6 p.m. at Janowski’s Pond in Vernon Center. June 11 will be the chicken barbecue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public is welcome and proceeds will go to financing the youth programs.


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