Deer hunters awaiting first tracking snow

Cool weather and strong winds have recently combined to help defoliate much of the local hardwood forests. Without the camouflage offered by the typical thick, leafy cover, whitetail deer are much easier to spot.

However, whitetails will still travel primarily through the thick conifers or corridors of beech whips, which retain their leaves much longer than mature beech. Whitetails can blend into the beech whips and become essentially invisible. It's no wonder whitetails are referred to as the 'Ghost of the Woods.'

The rut has already begun in the Northern Adirondacks and bucks are already in the process of seeking does. Scrapes and rubs are becoming more apparent. While looking for love in all the wrong places, bucks will lose much of their natural wariness and a great deal of weight over the new few weeks.

It is the time to be in the woods as a combination of open woods and less wary, wandering bucks will certainly benefit the hunters. Throw a few inches of fresh tracking snow into the equation and it'll be a whitetail hunter's nirvana.

Coyotes on the prowl?

Know as a trickster, sneak, brush wolf or coydog, coyotes are again in the news.

According to news reports, last week a pair of coyotes attacked and killed Taylor Mitchell, a young, Toronto singer and songwriter as she hiked alone along the popular Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, in northeastern Canada.

Experts expressed shock over the incident, which most claim was completely out of character for a species renowned for its shy, elusive manner.

Although there have been reports over the years of coyotes attacking pets and livestock, and even a small child, it is extremely rare for them to attack and kill an adult.

"To me, this looks like two yearlings with very little hunting experience, very little experience with humans, probably very hungry, maybe a little bit desperate," explained Dr. Simon Gadbois, an animal behavior specialist at Dalhousie University in Halifax "Coyotes are very discreet, very shy animals. They are also very curious."

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