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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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Adirondacks offer cool places to enjoy summer

A campfire by the lake; the call of loons in the next cove; the sound of coyotes across the lake; paddling a quiet stream while watching a beaver feasting on water lilies; bass fishing in the evening among the shadows of the evergreens. These are only a few of the pleasant memories of the last vacation in the Adirondacks.

The scenes are still vivid in our minds from our past two weeks in the Central Adirondacks. We had great weather, although it hasn’t been so great for lawns, crops or even water supplies, all of which could desperately use rain. We spent a lot of time paddling, fishing, visiting with friends or taking in other attractions.

Fishing in the Adirondacks has suffered, as elsewhere, from the hot dry weather. Although the lower water levels weren’t a factor on the lakes and ponds the warm water temperatures and bright sunny skies meant the bass and trout went deeper seeking cooler temperatures and cover. In most cases the bass fishing was best in the evening hours when the shadows were on the water.

Canoeing or kayaking on streams including the Moose River calls for a bit more caution. Water levels are significantly lower and hazards like rocks or logs that you might normally float over can be a problem. Tickners Moose River Outfitters has discouraged people from using the North Branch downstream from Rondaxe Lake to North St. The rest of the river from North St. down to Old Forge has adequate water for paddling at this point. (315-369-6286 for info.)

Scott Locorini at Adirondack Exposure/Whitewater Challengers said that they are cancelling rafting trips on rivers due to low water levels at this time. However, they are still taking people on guided canoe or kayak trips or fishing. (315-335-1681 for info.)

One of the loons at Nicks Lake had a serious problem. It had entangled one of its legs in a mess of fishing line, leader, bobbers, sinker and who knows what else. The bird was unable to dive and catch fish and was becoming weak. We called my friend Gary Lee, the retired forest ranger, who is active in loon research and conservation. Gary and another friend were planning on capturing it at night and removing the line.

This has always been one of my pet peeves: kids fishing with in appropriate equipment like unnecessary sinkers, etc. and then getting snagged and breaking off many yards of line, hooks, etc. to leave behind. Obviously the kids don’t know any better but adults should! Forget those stupid, unnecessary sinkers; don’t fish in shallow water where people wade and wildlife like ducks, etc are active. If there is a snag, don’t break off the line at the rod to become a hazard to wildlife and people.

We also had a nice visit with Gary and his wife Karen about various things. Gary said that the big bull moose had been seen at Helldiver Pond in the Moose River Plains around 5–6:30 a.m. for several days but recently has not frequented the area. If you do want to see a moose your best bet is to go to the Moose River Plains and take a trail such as the one to Mitchell Ponds. Don’t expect to see a mature bull standing in the trail but look off to the side at the swales and swamps with binoculars and you might see a cow and calf feeding in the wetlands.

In addition to fishing and paddling, the Central Adirondacks offers plenty of traditional water sports like boating and swimming, hiking and many other attractions including a great art exhibit at View (art center), concerts and many family activities. Check or 1-866-GO-INLET and or 369-6983. You owe it to yourself to spend some serious time there this summer.

NEW DEER HUNTING REGULATIONS: The DEC has adopted rules affecting deer and bear hunting in New York, to implement certain aspects of the state's Five-Year Deer Management Plan. The adopted changes include:

Beginning bowhunting season for the Southern Zone on Oct. 1 and establishing a late bowhunting season concurrent with the late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone. These changes will increase opportunities by several weeks for New York bowhunters.

Adjusting the Northern Zone season dates by opening the Northern Zone regular season for 44 days, beginning on the second Saturday after Columbus Day. This is a slight change from the original proposal to begin the regular season on the fourth Saturday in October. Some hunters were concerned that the original proposal would extend the season too late into December. The adopted season structure results in fewer years when the regular season will extend later than it has in the past.

Allowing Deer Management Permits (DMPs, “doe tags”) to be used in all seasons in the Northern Zone. This change will simplify regulations and increase hunter opportunity and choice. Regular firearms seasons this year will start Oct. 20 in the northern zone and Nov. 17 in the southern zone. We will have more information in next week’s column but in the meantime the full text of the regulations is available at:

VERNON NATIONAL EVENTS: Sunday is the Bust a Clay for Breast Cancer shoot at Vernon Nation Shooting Preserve. Other upcoming events include NRA Youth & Ladies Day (shoot for free) on August 4; Mike Nackley Memorial Shoot on August 11; Gun Safety Class on August 17 and 18; and Clays & Clubs (shooting and golf) on August 29. For more information call 982-7045 or visit:

TOURS OF SENECA ARMY DEPOT THIS FALL: Seneca White Deer, Inc. (SWD) and Finger Lakes Technologies Group, Inc. (FLTG) will offer public military history tours of the most secure portion of the former Seneca Army Depot during the first three weekends in October.

These tours will visit only the area known as the “Q,” which is located at the northern end of the former Depot. The “Q” was the most secure area of the Depot and reputedly stored nuclear weapons. The “Q” at the Seneca Army Depot has always intrigued the general public and was one of less than two dozen ever built around the world by the United States government.

The tours will last more than one hour and provide plenty of opportunities to photograph formerly secret buildings, the military police compound and the ammo igloos. Actors will portray military police of past decades and explain their duties to protect the secret weapons housed inside the igloos found in the Q area.
Another highlight of the tour will be the opportunity to enter one of the now abandoned storage igloos and see artifacts associated with the Depot.

“The 2012 tours are a continuation of the tremendously successful tours conducted in 2006 and 2009. While the main theme of these tours will be the military history of the Depot and the ‘Q,’ visitors should expect to see deer, mostly brown, but maybe a few white deer, hawks, pheasants and possibly some coyotes,” states Dennis Money, president of SWD.

The tours will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21. Buses will depart each hour from the Varick Volunteer Fire Department, located on NYS Rt. 96A from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The facility is easy to find, and signs will also be strategically located to help people find their way. Directions can be found on the back of the registration form.

Adult tickets are $15, seniors (61 and over) $12, and children ages 12 and younger are $8. Registration information is available by calling Young’s Travel Service at 315-568-4112 or on the SWD web site at:


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