It sounds like the Catskills and Adirondacks are going to again be blanketed with six to twelve inches of wet snow which might take down some trees that have started to bud out. This won’t be good for the birds that have already moved north. Many are being hit with the bird flu and those that have died (or are dying) will be eaten by predatory hawks and owls which will in turn catch the flu and also die…not a good deal in the bird world.
New York State offers several youth hunting opportunities to allow young hunters time afield with experienced adult hunters outside of the regular hunting seasons. As a result, they gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of the hunting community. This spring, the youth turkey hunt is April 23 and 24.
If you’re an experienced, licensed hunter, please consider taking a youth out! The youth season is open throughout upstate New York and even in Suffolk County. Several non-profit groups sponsor specific events, and we encourage experienced hunters to reach out and take a kid hunting.
Other details of the youth turkey hunting weekend are as follows:
- Eligible hunters are youth 12, 13, 14, or 15 years of age, holding a hunting license and a turkey permit.
- All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult, as required by law for a junior hunter.
- Youth 12 or 13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or person over 21 years of age, with written permission from their parent or legal guardian.
- Youth 14 or 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or person over 18 years of age, with written permission from their parent or legal guardian.
- The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. S/he may assist the youth hunter (including calling), but may not carry a firearm, bow or crossbow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt. Crossbows may not be used by licensees who are under 14 years of age.
- The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York (north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary) and Suffolk County. Shooting hours are from 1/2-hour before sunrise to noon.
- The bag limit for the youth hunt is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth’s regular season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken in upstate New York (north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary) beginning May 1.
- All other wild turkey hunting regulations remain in effect.
Photo at top: A youth turkey hunting participant. DEC photo.
By Moose Murphy
When I was a puppy, my Uncle Ray often came to my house to see Papa (Joe). I was so excited to see Uncle Ray that I would run to the front door as fast as my little paws could scurry across the floor. I was taught not to jump on people or go crazy when a visitor came to our house, but I couldn’t help running circles around Uncle Ray and doing figure-eights in between and around his legs. He always says, “That’s a good lookin’ dog you got there, Joe!”
Uncle Ray stayed for a short time before Papa grabbed his backpack and headed out the door with him. I had so many questions for Papa as he patted me on the head and said goodbye. Where are you going? Why can’t I go? When will you be home? Papa and Uncle Ray smiled and joked as they left, so I thought wherever they were headed it was going to be fun. When Papa returned home happy and sometimes muddy and dirty, I knew he had a great time.
I’ve been hearing from some of my northern neighbors that snow is still falling, but the ice is out in some lakes and Loons have returned to those open waters. Other big predator birds like Great Horned Owls and Barred Owls, Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons may already be on eggs or at least looking at nest sites. The Peregrines just lay their eggs on a rock ledge, building ledge or bridge beam with no nest material.
April 26 is National Help a Horse Day; an initiative launched in 2013 by the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to create and raise awareness of ways to take better care of these often-beloved animals and to promote protection of neglected and abused horses across the country.
I can think of no animal more valued or respected than the horse. Nor can I think of one that has had greater influence on civilization. Horses were among the first animals to be tamed and broken. And, without question, the domestication of horses transformed the world.
Hikers advised to temporarily avoid high elevation trails and prepare for variable conditions on low elevation trails.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today urged hikers to postpone hikes on Adirondack trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. DEC advises hikers on how to reduce negative impacts on all trails and help protect the natural resources throughout the Adirondacks during this time.
High elevation trails: Despite recent warm weather, high elevation trails above 2,500 feet are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. These steep trails feature thin soils that become a mix of ice and mud as winter conditions melt and frost leaves the ground. The remaining compacted ice and snow on trails is rotten, slippery, and will not reliably support weight. “Monorails,” narrow strips of ice and compacted snow at the center of trails, are difficult to hike and the adjacent rotten snow is particularly prone to postholing.
As an extension of our recent post about an Old Forge grandmother, Beth Pashley, avid hiker and talented photographer, The Adirondack Almanack will be featuring snippets of Pashley’s hiking adventures on a year-round basis including her visually-striking and artistic nature photographs. Pashley was inspired to embrace the great outdoors with her grandchildren starting at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, dubbing the family bonding time as “The Grandma Chronicles.”
On April 6, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced proposed changes to wild turkey hunting regulations, giving hunters additional turkey hunting opportunities. The proposal, if enacted, would not be in place until later this year and among other changes, establishes a spring turkey season in Suffolk County in 2023, with a season limit of one bearded bird.
It was January, and the snow was crusty and slick but not deep, not the sort of base you would want to ride a mountain bike on — so of course that’s exactly what someone had done at Otis Mountain where we were doing a little hiking on an excellent trail network that in summer will be filled with cyclists.
He had ridden across the famed Otis Mountain waterfall, which was frozen solid up top with a precipitous drop as reward for an untimely slip, and he (it had to be a he, right?) had ridden up and down some gawdawful slopes with attendant slides and spinouts evident by his track.
It reminded me of a Lollapalooza I had attended (long story, not worth it) where I saw a bruised and blood-drenched kid staggering out of the mosh pit and heard one of his friends gush, “Wow, you must have really been having fun.”
Story and photos by Dan Forbush
If you’re looking for a short, scenic hike you can do with the kids, you can’t beat the Hooper Garnet Mine. Even better if you have a keen interest in Adirondack history, given the substantial role that the mining of garnet has played in it.
To get there, drive first to Garnet Hill Lodge in North River, and check in with the receptionist, who will even give you a map if you ask for one. You’ll be advised to drive a half-mile or so back down the road and take the first significant left. You’ll ultimately come to a lodge-like building and tennis courts to your right. The trail to Hooper Mine begins to the left of the courts as you walk toward them. It’s well-marked. You can’t miss it so long as you get to those courts.
On Wednesday, March 23, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced a free waterfront lifeguard course will be offered April 19 through 22 in Gloversville, Fulton County. Individuals looking for seasonal summer employment who enjoy the outdoors are encouraged to learn more about DEC’s summer recreation opportunities.
“Joining the team of lifeguards at DEC campgrounds and day use areas during the summer season offers an excellent opportunity to help visitors safely enjoy the great outdoors in New York’s beautiful Catskill and Adirondack forest preserves,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “I encourage all eligible New Yorkers with a passion for nature and an interest in becoming a lifeguard to learn more.”
No one likes to be told what to do. We get it. But we are urging you to resist riding muddy trails.
We know this topic is controversial and nuanced. This is the Adirondack Mountains – if we didn’t ride when it was wet, we’d NEVER ride, right? Well, kind of, BUT there is a very important distinction that we need to make between the state of the trails now – saturated, soft and delicate, versus the state of the trails in July after a thunderstorm – hardened, stable and tacky. Read a science-y explanation here: Mud Season Unlike Any & here: Just Say No To Mud
For decades editors have told me not to use the word “elderly,” because it is both subjective and derogatory, an edict that I have afforded the same bland indifference with which I semi-acknowledge a dental hygienist who has just pressured me to floss.
But at a public hearing over a Ticonderoga public works project this week, a young woman was decrying new curbing that had facilitated the formation of ice and caused her to fall. She was OK because she was young, she said, but — and here she pointed to her neighbor, not much older than me — “this elderly gentleman” might not be as lucky.
He gave her a look, but didn’t say anything. I got to admit, though, that kind of stung. Still, the Adirondacks is filled with little hikes suitable for us elderly folk.
Catskills Fire Tower Challenge: DEC encourages experienced hikers to visit all 6 fire towers during 2022
For nearly a century, observers watched the forests of New York State–including the Catskill and Adirondack forest preserves– from more than 100 fire towers perched atop the highest peaks, searching for the dangerous, telltale signs of forest fires. The Catskills Fire Tower Challenge encourages experienced hikers to visit the region’s remaining five historic fire towers, as well as a new sixth fire tower that was opened at the Catskills Visitor Center in the fall of 2019.
With Canadian testing requirements set to change on April 1st, the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau (VCB), a division of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, is excited to once again be able to welcome our Canadian visitors to the area for the upcoming tourism season. The ability to invite and host our Canadian visitors once again on the Adirondack Coast, after over 2 years of separation, will be huge not only to our economy but to the vitality of our community.
“The message is simple but important to express after two years of separation,” says Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “We have missed our friends and neighbors and are really looking forward to seeing and welcoming them. Just as we are anxious to get back to places in Canada we so enjoy, our mountains, lakes, shops and businesses are ready and waiting here. We have dubbed April 1st Reunion Day for Canadians and Americans so let the reunion begin.”
Wait! Before you go:
Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox