Hamilton County Outdoors
By Ron Kolodziej

Bear take was the third highest ever recorded

According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS bear hunters took 1,337 bruins during the 2012 hunting seasons. This makes last year the third highest bear harvest on record, exceeded only by the 1,864 taken during the 2003 season and the 1,487 during the 2009 season.

On a regional basis, the bear harvest in the Adirondacks increased, but decreased in the southeastern and central-western zones. According to the DEC, the Adirondacks gave up 606 bruins (compared to 275 during 2011); the Central-Western range gave up 289 (compared to 353); and the Southeastern region take was 442 (compared to 630).

Here in the Adirondacks, the Early Season accounted for 386 bruins; bow hunters took 39; muzzleloaders took 49; and 132 were taken during the regular season. Of the bruins taken here in the North Country, 40 percent were sows and 60 percent were boars.

On a county basis, Clinton gave up 54 bruins, Essex 73, Franklin 35, Fulton 47, Hamilton 38, Herkimer 66, Jefferson 38, Lewis 84, Oneida 24, Saratoga nine, St. Lawrence 73, Warren 62, and Washington three.

Here in Hamilton County, the Township of Arietta gave up three bruins, Benson four, Hope five, Indian Lake 10, Lake Pleasant one, Long Lake five, Morehouse two, and Wells 9.


Do you realize that in 2012, on the same day we had last week's big snowstorm, but a year earlier, the temperature was in the 70s? The only ones happy with last week's snow dump are the skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers, who get some extra time to pursue their favorite winter sports.

I don't know what it'll do to early season trout fishing, but that snow will be around for a while and when it does begin to melt it'll have to go somewhere, which normally means right into your favorite trout stream and that equates to high water levels and low water temperatures.


The DEC has launched a new online registration system for its summer environmental education camps. According to the agency, this new registration system will make the process faster and easier. It allows registering campers to determine which sessions have openings, direct sign-up, and payment by credit card or e-check. Paper registration forms and paper checks will no longer be used.

The fee remains the same, $350 per one-week session per camper. A link to the online application can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/education.

Fish and game clubs and other conservation, civic or fraternal organizations better now have a secretary or other club official familiar with computers if they hope to register a boy or girl for the camping program.


If you've been keeping track, with the recent addition of Essex County some 53 counties have now passed resolutions in favor of repealing Gov. Cuomo's foolish SAFE Act and all its provisions. To the best of my knowledge, the only upstate county remaining is Tompkins County, though none of the Big Apple's boroughs have so voted either, but that's to be expected, since that's where the guv gets all his support and he does their bidding. He is, after all, a downstater.

Time will tell, but one can only hope the NRA / NYS Rifle & Pistol Association lawsuit will have its desired effect on this foolish and unnecessary piece of legislation. It impacts only the legal gun owner and does essentially nothing for or to those who use weapons for a nefarious purpose.

The governor has described the SAFE Act as "reasonable" and "common sense," but hasn't defined those terms. I see nothing reasonable and common sense about it.