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Joe Hackett

Stories by Joe

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Off to the woods | Notes from the North Woods

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to confront only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived” Henry David Thoreau

Lost in a change of seasons | Notes from the North Woods

The recent Columbus Day holiday weekend certainly brought out the crowds, as hikers too to the trails, and paddlers packed the ponds.

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An end of the season romp | Notes from the North Woods

Well, I did it! I finally took a little trip way back into one of my favorite brook trout waters.

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Good Times in Small Towns | Notes in the North Woods

I’ve recently returned from a long weekend, spent in the hamlet of Indian Lake.

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The great Adirondack Flycasting Championships | Notes from the North Woods

Although the ancient Egyptians have been credited with utilizing a combination of fur and feathers on a hook for the purpose of angling for fish, there is very little known about the history of flyfishing prior to the seventeenth century.

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The survival of a native species | Notes from the North Woods

September 11 is a date that will long be remembered in the history of this country.

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New York begins its long big game season | Notes from the North Woods

It may seem far too early for hunters to be taking to the woods again, especially in light of the recent 90 degree temperatures.

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Autumn is knocking on the forest floor | Notes from the North Woods

After enjoying a pleasant and slightly wet, Labor Day weekend, I’ve already been making plans for the impending Fall season.

Cabela’s, Bass Tracker, LL Bean: Sporting scenes in the Adirondacks | Notes from the North Woods

I recently received a phone call from an old friend who wanted to know if I could help him arrange to get a wild turkey for use as a prop in a photo shoot that was to be produced in the area.

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Berried Alive and Under the Shroom | Notes from the North Woods

By nature, humans are foragers.

Troutopia | Notes from the North Woods

Troutopia is a new sporting term that I recently coined.

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Fish tales, camp fires and a speckled mousetrap | Notes from the North Woods

Over the course of the past week, I have stumbled across two unique new experiences that have threatened many of my long held wildwood beliefs.

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Back on track | Notes from the North Woods

After a few months of skipping out on providing my regular weekly columns, I am finally back on track.

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Somewhere, just east of nowhere | Notes from the North Woods

It occurred while I was on the way home after spending an afternoon at the base of a mind-numbingly, beautiful waterfall that is located halfway up the side of a small mountain in my backyard.

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Foreign invaders taking over | Notes from the North Woods

If foreign armies had advanced as deeply into the Adirondack Park as the current invasion of invasive plants has progressed, local citizens would be up in arms.

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In camp and on the river | Notes from the North Woods

Every now and then, in the Adirondacks the stars, and the moon and the sky line up in just the perfect manner to provide a perfect end to a perfect day.

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Who is doing what in the outdoors? | Notes from the North Woods

Across the nation, there are a wide variety of outdoor recreational options that remain available for a majority of the year as long as the weather remains fair, the beaches stay open and the rivers continue to flow.

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You bet your bass the fishing is good! | Notes from the North Woods

Historically, brook trout and lake trout have been the primary spring species for anglers on most local lakes and ponds, however Fathers Day weekend has long signaled the traditional opening of Bass Season.

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Bugs, Bamboo and Blistering Plants | Notes from the North Woods

That old familiar ‘Adirondack wave’ has again become a popular sight.

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Mountains, waterfalls and just too much fun | Notes from the North Woods

The day began bright and sunny, with large puffy, clouds racing across the sky, driven by the strong winds.

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Ice free and tick bound | Notes from the North Woods

By now, most local lakes and ponds have been free of ice for at least a week or more.

Revising the law to guide | Notes from the North Woods

In a recent column detailing the history of Adirondack guides, I included a quote taken from an 1880’s era tourist guidebook.

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.

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