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It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Ive just returned from a week chasing the backcountry wildebeests in the Adirondack wilds. I think the muzzlestuffer smoke is just now clearing from our stomping grounds and I have a very happy freezer. I had the opportunity to see a fellow hunting chum take his first buck congratulations Jack and we put a nice eight pointer in front of my girlfriends 14-year-old son Cooper. It was the first hed seen in the forest. Unfortunately we were in Montgomery County with bows & the deer did not afford him a shot. My brother and I opted to spend the regular season opener down south with our bows instead of with rifles here. While Cooper did not get a shot, it was a great experience for him and he showed awesome restraint in letting the deer go for another day. These are the type of life-lessons the state paved the way for by allowing 14 and 15-year-olds to hunt big game this season. Funny story about this years bow season You probably recall my column of two weeks ago when I mentioned purchasing a new climbing stand. What I failed to mention was what happened the first night I hunted from it. It was the fourth day of bow season and the final day for me to fill last years tag so I decided to take the climber to one of my favorite early season spots. The stand isnt exactly light as a feather and the mercury was pushing 70 so that combination made for a very sweaty afternoon getting setup. Once high atop a spindly hemlock overlooking a hidden tangle of crab apple trees, I reached for the cord attached to my bow and quiver laying on the ground below. At the same time, a deer stepped out about 100 yards to my left, making its way beneath my stand. Bit by bit, I eased the bow toward the stand as the deer continued unalarmed. Just as I had the bow within reach, however, the quiver spun over and all three arrows within dumped to the forest floor. I sat down and watched helplessly as the deer fed at 15 yards. To make matters worse, another deer approached, and this one had horns. I got the ingenious idea of making a loop at one end of the cord I had, lower it down and snatch one of the arrows. This actually worked - eventually - well after the two deer ate their fill & moved on undisturbed. And people say deer hunting is easy. Moose poaching I read about the two local men arrested Oct. 17 for shooting a moose in Keene. State Department of Environmental Conservation officers charged 40-year-old Burton Smith of Keene and 40-year-old Kelly Reydell of Ausable Forks with a misdemeanor count of illegal taking of a moose. It should be interesting to see what type of penalties these two face when they appear in local court on Oct. 27, as this type of arrest is still very rare in the Adirondacks, where the moose population is estimated at about 500. They could up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2,000. While the population of moose increased mainly by migration from Vermont and Canada in the past couple of decades, officials say the increase now is mainly due to the birth of calves locally. John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at johng@denpubs.com.

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