Hamilton County Outdoors
By Ron Kolodziej

My first column appeared in the Recorder on March 23, 1972.  Little did I realize that the column would become a fixture in this paper for over 40 years and little did I realize that when I wrote my October 12, 2013 column, that it would be my last.  

Between those two columns, I added the Hamilton County Express, Sacandaga Express, as well as other Recorder-based publications. I also wrote various freelance articles for national, regional, and state publications and earned a number of awards for some of them. In the interim, I also had the opportunity to hunt and fish in such places as Ungava Bay in Quebec, the Yucatan jungle in Mexico, as well as a dozen or more states in the U.S. I have bagged caribou in Quebec, white tails in Ontario, Quebec, New York state and Texas, as well as mule deer and antelope in Wyoming. I've also earned my World Slam as well as my Mexican Slam on turkeys.

But, since we all live vicariously through the experiences of others, my biggest joy in writing these columns has always been telling everyone about trips my readers have made.

To make a long story short, about seven years ago, I suffered an eye condition in my right eye that impacted my outdoor activities but did not stop them. In late September of this year, while attending a joint conference of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association and the Outdoor Writers Association of America in Lake Placid, I experienced a similar problem with my left eye; while that did not rob me of my vision, it nonetheless spelled an end to my writing career. Though I still have my vision, I find it very difficult to use the computer and prepare my columns. So I guess it is time to call it a day.

My sincerest thanks to the Kosineskis for everything they are doing with and for these papers; to Kevin McClary, publisher, without whose guidance, encouragement, and assistance my columns would not be here; and to Kevin Mattison, Geoffrey Dylong, Paul Antonelli, Charlie Kraebel, Brian Krohn, and to Carla Kolbe of the Sacandaga Express and Cris Meixner of the Hamilton County Express for their invaluable assistance and guidance. In short I am certain I have forgotten someone, so permit me to say THANKS to everyone associated with the Recorder, Hamilton County Express and Sacandaga Express for all their help over the years. Most of all, thanks to all of you for following these columns and reacting so positively to them.