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Deer take way down in the northern zone

State officials generally refute the argument there were less deer last year and instead blame the unusually warm November experienced by northern zone hunters for the poor take here.

But, senior wildlife biologist Ed Reed said in some of Region 5, especially southern parts of the region, other factors contributed to the low deer take.

"The past two winters in southern Hamilton County, Warren County, and northern Washington, Saratoga, and Fulton counties were harsher than average and we did experience some winter kill," Reed said. "Also, in both of those winters, the deep snow came very early, well before the end of the regular season, causing some deer to begin moving toward wintering areas while hunting season was still open, making them more vulnerable to hunters."

Some hunters are aware of deer migration routes and concentrate their efforts on those routes when the snow comes early, Reed said.

"The increased buck harvest, as a result, will reduce the buck harvest the next year or two. For example, the 2008 buck harvest in Hamilton County was the highest since 1969, but, in 2009, it dropped off significantly."

The silver lining, Reed said, is the low harvest in 2009 coupled with this winter's mild weather should mean better deer numbers this fall.

For a complete breakdown of the statewide deer take, including calculations by county and town, go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/42232.html.

March 16 program aimed at improving balance

In the interest of getting older folks up and enjoying outdoor activities, Adirondack guide Elizabeth Lee of Westport and Willsboro-based physical therapist and personal trainer Brian Trzaskos will team up to present a unique program to the public on balance, aging and outdoor living.

The free event will be held this Tuesday, March 16, from 10:30 -11:30 a.m. at the Wallonsburgh Grange. People of all ages are encouraged to attend.

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