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Joe Hackett

Stories by Joe

Winter still hanging on | Notes from the North Woods

I spent most of the past weekend in Elizabethtown, in order to visit with family and friends, and to check out a few of the local rivers and streams.

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A guide’s life—long days, short pay | Notes from the North Woods

The annual sugaring season has finally arrived, and soon, frost heave season will be upon us.

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New York’s sporting connections | Notes from the North Woods

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently unveiled over four dozen new outdoor access projects that are intended to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and other outdoor enthusiasts to an additional 380,000 acres of untapped and underutilized State lands across New York.

Fire tower power | Notes from the North Woods

I saw the headline from a distance, and I rushed to grab a copy of the newspaper.

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Cold winds and summer camp | Notes from the North Woods

As the cold winds of winter continue to whip across the region, it is difficult to conjure up the image of kids enjoying themselves at a Summer Camp.

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Olympic dreams and the Adirondack scene

Notes from the North Woods

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, and the timing couldn’t have been better.

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Outdoor playing fields | Notes from the North Woods

A few weeks back, I published a story titled The Outdoor Gym.

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The damned dams of the Adirondacks

Notes from the North Woods

Dams provide opportunities for power, navigation, fish barriers, and often serve as bridges for snowmobilers, hikers, bikers and skiers.

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Doing it outdoors, with Hope and a Prayer

Notes from the North Woods

Occasionally, in my zealous effort to promote getting kids outside, I’ve often neglected a pressing need to do the same for adults.

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Racing for everyone, with everyone in the race

Notes from the North Woods

By all appearances, the winter season is here to stay.

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Toss the kids into the snow! | Notes from the North Woods

As a youngster growing up in the Adirondacks, I learned early on how to enjoy the winter and it’s many offerings, which ranged from snowball fights to snow forts, sledding, snowshoeing, skiing and skating

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The deep freeze | Notes from the North Woods

Even the most hardened Adirondacker is likely to admit the weather patterns over the last few days have been a bit harsh.

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Last of the season | Notes from the North Woods

After enjoying one last, long day of hunting, I sat out on my back porch deck to watch the sun set.

Scattershots | Notes from the North Woods

It’s happened again. I’ve received another annual ‘love letter’ from a virulent member of the anti-hunting community who has taken me to task for promoting a “sickening blood sport.”

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Hunting the far side | Notes from the North Woods

Recently, while driving through the Wilmington Notch, I noticed a couple of guys wading across the Trophy Trout section of the West Branch of the Ausable River.

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Full power, full moon

Notes from the North Woods

I first took notice of the full power of a Full Moon during my two year stint working as a Residence Hall Director at Plattsburgh State.

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Gender barriers coming down

Notes from the North Woods

Roughrider Teddy Roosevelt was known to shrug off the most miserable weather, even after having spent hours on horseback.

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The outdoor gym class

Notes from the North Woods

Unless parents learn how to “pull the plug” on electronic entertainment, the ‘wired generation’ may never learn how to enjoy a host of healthy entertainment options that are typically available outside their own back door.

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Scattered shots

Notes from the North Woods

I recently discovered some sage advice scribbled on the log wall of a local lean-to.

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Natural born hunters

Notes from the North Woods

There is no denying the fact that human beings are genetically hardwired to hunt.

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Chasing square tails

Notes from the North Woods

I spent last weekend chasing tails, square tails to be exact.

Moving forward with a small step back

Notes from the North Woods

The woods are changing rapidly, peak foliage has come and gone, and soon too, the leaves as well.

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I remember when the snow was this deep?

Notes from the North Woods

In recent years, the arrival of the annual big game hunting season has featured conditions more in keeping with summer’s heat, than autumn’s cool breeze.

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Beware of the crescent moon

Notes from the North Woods

Last week, I had planned to write a column about the effects that moon phases play in triggering animal movements.

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Seduced by a Stream

Notes from the North Woods

Recently, I was seduced by a small stream that continually calls me back to its banks for a final embrace, and just one last cast.

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A true square tale

Notes from the North Woods

There is a unique element surrounding outdoor sporting endeavors that seems to trigger the competitive juices in all of us.

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Get out and stay out, in the woods

Notes from the North Woods

My parents were campers. I expect it was quite a chore for them to accomplish a tent camping expedition with the addition of five active kids.

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Ahhh…summertime, and the livin’ is easy

Notes from the North Woods

As I grow older, it seems the summer season has become much more fleeting than it was in my younger days, when the prospect of returning to a classroom was a constant lingering threat.

Camping is the most popular outdoor activity

Notes from the North Woods

Released on April Fools Day in 1869, William H. H. Murray’s book, Adventures in the Wilderness proved to be both an inspirational rant and a solid ‘How To’ manual for beginning campers.

Some old, but not so familiar, fishing streams

Notes from the North Woods

Last week, I spent a day traveling around some old familiar grounds up and down the Pleasant Valley of the Boquet River.

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The Joys of an Adirondack Summer

Notes from the North Woods

I do not believe there has ever been a place more suited to summer fun than the Adirondacks.

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Take advantage of all June has to offer

Notes from the North Woods

June has always been a great month for outdoor travelers, and especially for kids.

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Turtles, turtles everywhere

Notes from the North Woods

It has been a very wet and truly wild week in the woods, but in between the raindrops there was a lot of fun to be had, and the wildlife has been abundant.

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Trout swim, bugs bite and students write

Water levels continue to rise all across the North Country, and fortunately so do the trout, especially on many of the smaller brooks and streams which tend to flush faster and return to normal levels more rapidly than the larger rivers.

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Spring’s unpredictable wildlife

Notes from the North Woods

The spring season’s unpredictable weather has certainly provided some unique challenges for outdoor travelers with high temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s and lows dropping into the 30’s, with snow, rain and heavy winds.

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The Saranac 6’ers

Notes from the North Woods

Heavy rains, strong winds, floods and more than three feet of fresh snow combined to usher in a most memorial, Memorial Day weekend in the Adirondacks.

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A year’s worth of weather, in a week

Notes from the North Woods

It certainly has been an interesting week to be in the woods.

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The wave

Notes from the North Woods

Adirondackers have again begun practicing that old, familiar wave.

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Connected by natural rhythms

Notes from the North Woods

Most rivers and streams are still running high, with waterconnected by natural rhythms.

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The Trout Where-Abouts

Notes from the North Woods

Most rivers and streams are still running high, with water temperatures about average for the season.

Searching for spring

Notes from the North Woods

After waiting and watching for the backwoods ponds to shed winter’s hard cap, I couldn’t take it anymore.

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The little video that could...fix a road

Notes from the North Woods

This coming weekend, I’ll be heading back down to Newcomb to attend the final offering in the “Got Game” lecture series.

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A warm heart for cold weather

Notes from the North Woods

In recent weeks, I’ve been seeing a lot of sign of animals on the move.

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A day at the Adk Sportsmans Dinner

Notes from the North Woods

As has been my custom in recent years, I spent the third Saturday of March at the Adirondack Sportsmans Dinner in Schroon Lake.

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A Return to the South Slopes

Notes from the North Woods

Following last week’s spell of foul weather which threatened to wash away winter, it appears the season has rebounded.

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Ancient anglers

Notes from the North Woods

The recent thaw has raised the expectations of many local anglers for another early ice out, as any of the region’s lakes and ponds were free and clear of ice for the opening day of trout season on April 1st.

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Turning back time

Notes from the North Woods

According to most calendars, the spring season officially arrives during the month of March.

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A fish tail

Notes from the North Woods

As winter begins a slow transition towards spring, my enthusiasm for the coldest season has already begun to diminish.

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Celebrating the tradition of celebration

Notes from the North Woods

On Saturday, Feb. 23, residents of Saranac Lake will again be joined by visitors from across the region to help carry on a spirit of celebration that has kept a festive atmosphere alive in the community for several weeks.

The looming storm

Notes from the North Woods

Despite recent temperature variations that have kept local thermometers bouncing around like a pogo stick, the winter of 2012-13 has been rather blah.

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