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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.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Enjoy autumn while its here

Are you one of those people who often say, “I hate to see fall come.” It is understandable because we all enjoy the relatively carefree days of summer when you run around in shorts and crocs and have a variety of outdoor activities to choose from.
But autumn provides a great time and opportunities for outdoor activities ranging from the traditional hunting and fishing to more laid back activities. But the important thing is to get out and enjoy the season; the opportunity is too fleeting, like the time of the colorful autumn leaves. Here are a few ideas to help enjoy and appreciate the season.
Fishing is often at a peak. Now is the best time to catch the elusive muskie so if you have always wanted to get this trophy fish, you should book a St. Lawrence River guide and go on a muskie hunt. Walleye fishing is often the season’s best, especially when the walleye cruise in the shallows at dark after baitfish. Take one last trout fishing trip before the season closes and savor the experience throughout the long winter layoff.
Visit the salmon hatchery at Altmar. Even if you are not salmon fishing it is a memorable experience to see these magnificent fish as they ascend the river and tributaries and end up in the hatchery to complete their life cycle.
Visit a pumpkin farm or apple orchard. Bring the kids or grandkids and enjoy the sights and smells as you experience the life cycles of nature and re-connect to our simpler, rural past. Visit a winery and learn of the harvest and wine-making process at
any of the many small estate wineries that are an important part of the New York economy.
Go grouse hunting at least once. Experience the feeling and connection of nature on a wooded hillside. Enjoy the unexpected flush and surprise of a grouse taking off from practically underneath your feet with a booming sound. Don’t be upset if you miss, or don’t even get off a shot. You will appreciate the excitement and thrill that dedicated grouse hunters talk about.
Go leaf-peeping. Check the New York State hotline for peak colors but remember that the northern areas are already experiencing significant change. More vibrant colors are found in the areas north of here such as the hill country around Camden, the Adirondacks or the areas south in the hills around Route 20. This is due to the composition of the soil so drive a little and enjoy a lot.
For at least one day try a different style of deer hunting or hunt a different species. This is hard to do when your time is limited and you are counting on your skills and experience for success. But it helps you get out of a rut and often results in a fresh perspective or insight into your favorite sports or methods.
Take a walk down a country lane or woodland trail that is covered with fallen leaves. Do it slowly and take in all the sounds and smells, as well as the sights of autumn.
Take lots of pictures. Photograph not only panoramas of colorful autumn leaves but with interesting objects in the foreground. Take photos of pumpkins, cornfields, kids at play and waterfalls. This not only records the interesting sights but makes you see autumn in a different light.
Finally flop down on a big pile of leaves and just lay there awhile. Think of all the good times you had this summer. Remember the simple pleasures you had as a kid in fall. Think of all your blessings and all the great things about living is this very special part of the world. 
Be alert for moose in the Adirondacks
Motorists should be alert for moose on roadways in the Adirondacks and surrounding areas at this time of year - a peak of moose activity - warns the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Early fall is the breeding season for moose in northern New York. During this time, moose are wandering looking for mates, leading them to areas where they are not typically seen. While this improves the opportunities for people to enjoy sighting of a moose, it also increases the danger of colliding with one on the roadway.
Although most people want to see a moose, they do not want to see one coming through the windshield. With increased activity and moose at this time of year and the number of people venturing to the Adirondacks for autumn leaf-peeping, hunting, fishing, etc., there is increased likelihood of accidents. The shorter days means that increased activity of moose, as well as deer, occurs at the same time as heavy traffic of home-bound motorists.
Moose are much larger and taller than deer. Their large body causes greater damage, and, when struck, their height often causes them to impact the windshield of a car or pickup truck, not just the front of the vehicle. Last year ten moose vehicle accidents were reported in New York. However, there has not been a human fatality from an accident with a moose, a record DEC hopes to maintain.
Moose are most active at dawn and dusk, which are times of poor visibility. Moose are especially difficult to see at night because of their dark brown to black coloring and their height - which puts their head and much of their body above vehicle DEC advises motorists to take the following precautions to prevent moose vehicle collisions: Use extreme caution when driving at dawn or dusk, especially during September and October. Reduce your speed, stay alert, and watch the roadsides.
Slow down when approaching moose standing near the roadside, as they may bolt at the last minute when a car comes closer, often running into the road. Moose may travel in pairs or small groups, so if a moose is spotted crossing the road, be alert for others that may follow
Make sure all vehicle occupants wear seat belts and children are properly restrained in child safety seats. Use flashers or a headlight signal to warn other drivers when moose are spotted near the road.
If a moose does run in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but do not swerve. Swerving can cause a vehicle-vehicle collision or cause the vehicle to hit a fixed object such as a tree or pole.
More information about moose can be found on the DEC website at An excellent article on moose is one written by Gary Lee in the Summer 2013 issue of “Adirondack Outdoors.” You can read the digital edition for that and other articles or issues by logging on to the website
QDMA Sportsman’s Banquet: The CNY Branch of the Quality Deer management Association will hold its Sportsman’s Banquet on Thursday, September 25 at the Pompey Rod & Gun Club. Location is 2035 Swift Road, Fabius, NY 13063. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner is 6 p.m. For tickets or information contact John Rybinski (315) 427-9682 or email
Map App: Visitors to New York State Parks now have free mobile access to more than 1,500 miles of trails. Avenza PDF Maps App, a mobile map application that enables you to download maps for offline use, has partnered with the  NYS Office of Parks & Recreation
to give its 60 million state park visitors access to Apple iOs or Android friendly maps.
Maps are available to download free at maps. These maps show location, points of interest, attaching images and notes, tracking routes, distance and elevation. They also show access to locations such as Ranger stations, trail heads and picnic areas.


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