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Big game hunting season ends

Reed explained that black bear have a far greater impact on fawn mortality than coyotes. Furthermore, he stated that the majority of deer killed by coyote in the winter are determined to be those in a weakened state or malnourished. This determination comes from studying the amount of fat in the bone marrow of these dead dear.

Many old timers would disagree with such assessments. They will point to the great hunting days of the 1950s and 1960s when deer were abundant. However, this was also a time when the forests were still in production or recovering from clear cut logging practices or fires. The altered, Adirondack habitat favored deer.

Despite expected protestations, the fact remains that coyote are not solely responsible for the demise of the Adirondack's once great deer herd. Man is. Our forests are no longer altered to the extent they once were. Fires have been contained, controlled and clear cutting is nearly nonexistent. The habitat is no longer conducive to big herds.

"Harmony with the land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators...the land is one organism." ...Aldo Leopold.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net

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