In the woods
While the exact numbers have yet to be crunched, it appears the overall deer take in the Northern Zone for the recent big game hunting season, is going to be down about 10 percent from average, according to informed sources.
In the Northern Zone, the early season was rather slow, but the reported take seemed to spike around Thanksgiving, as bucks were in the heat of the rut.
Anecdotally, hunters did not report seeing a lot of bucks, but according to Bud Piserchia at North Country Taxidermy in Keene, “It was an excellent year for horns, and we had a lot of really, nice racks brought in.”
Although Ward Lumber Company reported their annual buck contest had a record number of entries, it appears that many of the other local contests were down considerably from their average.
On the ice
Following the recent deep-freeze, safe ice has finally set up on many local waters. But please, always drill a few test holes before venturing out, especially around inlets, outlets or channels where there is a known current.
As shanties begin to sprout on the local ice, anglers should be aware of New York’s current angling regulations, which also affect the “hardwater angling community.” Bait fish must be purchased from an authorized dealer, and a signed and dated receipt must be carried with the bait. These restrictions are intended to prevent the spread of invasive species such as alewives, from local waters.
An important recent revision, which was enacted in the summer of 2011, now permits anglers to utilize up to three rods at once. I’ve discovered it is difficult to troll three rods from a canoe, however on waters where ice fishing is permitted, anglers may now use three jigging rods, in addition to the usual five tip-ups, (where permitted, of course). Please note, the new “three rods regulation” does not apply for ice fishing on Lake Champlain.
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.