Although a recent stretch of Indian Summer days certainly provided a pleasant alternative to the cold, damp and gloomy weather that is so typical of November, the warmer weather had a negative impact on the hunt.
With the rut nearing its peak, the warm temperatures and bright days surely had a negative affect on deer movement. In such conditions, bucks don't wander as far, nor as often as usual. The cautious, more mature bucks may even limit their travel to nocturnal hours.
While there have been several fine specimens taken to date, most of the local buck contests are reporting low entries. The Rondeau Big Buck contest in Saranac Lake, which is one of the oldest operating in the entire region, had only two entries for the Regular Season as Nov. 16. The count was likewise at the Lake Clear General Store.
However, at the Ward Lumber Company in Jay, Mary explained, "Things are good here, we have 11 entries already, which is more than all of them last year. We are surprised that so many deer have been taken without any snow on the ground."
Ward Lumber, with offices in both Jay and Plattsburgh, often sees many entries. According to Mary, their biggest deer entered to date is a 202 lb, 8-pointer.
"What we really need now," an old time deer hunter told me, "is a good trackin' snow and some freezin' weather. That'll get the bucks on their feet and help to put some venison in my stew pot."
Sadly, I must report that DEC Region 5 experienced its first hunting accident of the new season on Sunday, Nov. 15. It occurred in the town of Plattsburgh when Gary Gambadora of Saranac discharged a 30.06 caliber rifle and hit Scott LaMare in the left leg.
Although there had already been a hunting accident reported in St. Lawrence County, the Plattsburgh incident is a first for the local region. And, it is one too many!