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Notes from the North Woods

Despite the effects of climate change, the Adirondack region has managed to retain enough snow cover to permit the continuation of most winter sports. Unfortunately, the duration the winter season continues to be condensed, with less snow during the hunting and an abbreviated ice fishing season.

Despite the effects of climate change, the Adirondack region has managed to retain enough snow cover to permit the continuation of most winter sports. Unfortunately, the duration the winter season continues to be condensed, with less snow during the hunting and an abbreviated ice fishing season.

After reviewing articles that I've written at the completion of the Big Game Hunting Season, since 2000, the anecdotal evidence of climate change is painfully obvious. Here are a few to consider.

2000: End of the hunt- The unpredictable fall weather continues to confound hunters… with weather changing from 10 degrees below and snow to 45 degrees and rain…the grass is still green with no snowflakes in sight, even the hills are no longer white.

2001: With the end of the season quickly approaching, warm weather combined with a lack of snow has stunted deer movement. The major complaint coming from hunters was the fact that the “woods remained brown” for the majority of the season.

2002: With no snow, the primary woodland color remains brown, another distinct advantage for the deer. Rain, which is expected by the weekend, further compounds the hunter’s disadvantage as it keeps scent low to the ground and generally makes for uncomfortable travel.

2003: With the continued warm weather patterns and the lack of snow, the Regular Big Game Hunting season drawing to a close on Sunday; it appears this year will be one of the brownest in recent memory, as the snow cover has been quite scarce throughout the entire hunting season.

2004: Deer hunters lament the continuation of the unseasonably warm weather. The weather continues to confound hunters while other outdoor enthusiasts such as anglers, hikers, bikers and birders delight in the current conditions. Thanksgiving passed without a trace of snow, as weather patterns delivered heavy rains, high winds and warmer than average temperatures. The weather just didn’t cooperate with hunters this year.

2005: The weather has remained balmy with no snow in sight. Even in the high country, the remaining snows have melted due to weather conditions more typical of June than December. I gaze out the window in the last throes of the season and the thermometer reads 63 degrees. I watch as winds gusting rip limbs off the trees in my side yard.

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

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