New York’s northern zone regular firearm season came to an end this past Sunday, but that doesn’t mean it’s over for diehards here in the Adirondacks. There is a one week slot of traditional muzzleloader hunting in designated zones that gives hunters another chance to harvest a whitetail before the long winter.
Although it’s going to be cold and snowy, I’ll venture out this weekend. In the winter months deer herd-up. They congregate together for safety and warmth and often when you find one, there are several others around. That’s a perfect scenario for hunters. Although it may sound like shooting fish in a barrel, deer are very smart and can still be very hard to catch. The bucks are in the finally stages of the breeding season. I have seen does being bred by male deer well into the month of December and this late season can be an excellent chance to harvest a mature whitetail.
December is also a great time to hunt small game like grouse and rabbit. I’ve seen many over the last few weeks while harvesting timber. They are plentiful and, if cooked right, are fine table fare. As soon as deer season ends, I’ll be taking my two Labrador retrievers to the woods. Even though they are not great hunting dogs, they love the chance to just get out and run.
The recent cold weather has also given sportsman a chance to get on the ice early this year. I have seen anglers ice-fishing on Lake Harris in Newcomb and the ice is becoming safer by the day. We haven’t seen this much ice this early in many years, so good luck everyone, but be careful on the ice.