Hunting: North Country a popular destination for deer season

Those traveling on the Northway (Interstate 87) this week will probably see a number of pickup truck

Those traveling on the Northway (Interstate 87) this week will probably see a number of pickup trucks and cars hauling ATVs, heading north.

They’re headed for the North Country deer woods because Saturday is the opening of the regular (firearms) deer hunting season in 13 Wildlife Management Units in the Northern Zone.

Some will be headed for hunting camps, an Adirondack tradition for decades. Everyone there is looking to bag one of those crafty, elusive, trophy, backwoods, mountain bucks.

Last year, a total of 32,369 deer were harvested in the Northern Zone; 19,538 were bucks. The majority, 14,268, were taken during the regular season.

It’ll be interesting to see how many deer are taken with a crossbow this year. I spent opening morning in the Washington County deer woods with my crossbow,

but nothing came in. I did a little talking with a turkey, but it never got within range.

It’s been almost a month since the regular bowhunting season in the Southern Zone opened, and I haven’t heard any deer tales.

I know I’m a bit anxious to hunt the first 14 days in November with my crossbow. I really want to take a New York state deer with my TenPoint, and I’ve also talked to others eagerly waiting.

I’m going to head for my hunting camp with several other crossbow shooters several days early so I can relocate a few of my tree stands, if needed.

I have one that I know will have to be moved because last year, during a heavy wind, it did so much continuous swaying late one afternoon, I thought I was going to need Dramamine.

If a buck had come in, I wouldn’t have been able to get the crosshairs on him.

If you’re going to put up a tree stand, pick a mature tree. Young ones sway in high winds.

I’ve watched lots of videos and TV hunting shows, and they put their stands a lot higher than mine.

I saw a 20-foot, double-wide ladder stand on my last visit to Bass Pro Shop and I’m going to pick one up on my way to camp. Being higher increases concealment, and the angle provides a better chance for a well-placed arrow/bullet.

And as a reminder, wear a safety harness. I believe they’re much better than just a safety belt. Buy a good one. If it’s needed, you want the best.

Any hunter who hasn’t been to their stand yet, should get there before hunting day.

Check its security, and replace any straps that appear to be worn and/or loose.

If trimming shooting lanes is required, do it as soon as possible, and be sure to have a rope for lifting empty gun/bow equipment.

Ground blind hunters should also get set up ahead of time. Do your trimming, and be sure to have a comfortable seat.

Firearms safety is something we all should think about before, and especially during the hunt.

Last year, the state hunting season had the lowest number of hunting-related shooting incidents ever — 19, most of which were self-inflicted.

There were two fatal shootings, one a hunter who “thought” he saw a deer, the other self-inflicted when the hunter slipped on ice.

Two phrases that DO NOT belong in the hunting woods — “I thought it was a deer” and “It sounded like.”

Buck Tales

I’d like to start telling your successful buck/doe tales next week. Please email them to me.

I need your name, city of residence, what was shot, whether bow, crossbow or gun was used and all the details about the buck/doe and the hunt. Email them to: [email protected]

Good hunting!

Categories: Sports

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