The Sportsman's Holy Days of Autumn

Early bear season begins on Sept. 15, the same date that permit camps can be installed. This date signals the longest camping season of the year; when hunting camps can be constructed on state land. The permit camps must be removed within a week after the season ends, usually by December 14 after nearly four months in the woods.

Chore days will also begin at many of the established hunting camps throughout the region, as cabins are opened and aired out. Mice will be chased out; cabinets cleaned and kitchens will be restored to working order. Wood will be bucked up; kindling split as woodpiles grow in anticipation of the approaching season.

Fall offers endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, to the point that it is sometimes difficult to choose an option. With fewer people in the woods, relatively no biting insects combined with cool, clear days and crisp nights; autumn offers the best of all Adirondack seasons.

It is a time for day hikes and late season camping. It is ideal for canoe touring on flat, black water lakes. Salmon will make their run up river to spawn and the lower reaches of the Saranac, Ausable and Boquet Rivers will fill with silvery leapers. Waterfowl and whitetails will vie for the hunters attention.

Should we paddle and portage into a remote pond to angle for brook trout in the cooler waters, or take that long awaited, mountain bike ride over a foliage canopied, dirt road that offers a natural kaleidoscope of color.?

Wood smoke will again scent the air, as hunters in wool plaid garb gradually replace the Gore-Tex covered hikers in the woods. Wool hats replace baseball caps and leaves will need to be raked. Fresh flights of woodcock will arrive as a new shotgun awaits in the box. The Fall offers too many choices and too little time, so make plans now to enjoy it.

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