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Results are in from the 2011 big-game season by Ron Kolodziej

Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - Updated: 7:10 AM

According to figures released recently by the Department of Environmental Conservation, hunters in New York State harvested 228,350 deer and 1,258 bruins last season. The 2011 deer take varied less than one percent from the 2010 take statewide and outside the Adirondack region the bear harvest last season set new records, substantially exceeding previous record takes in central and western New York. In contrast, the bear take here in the Adirondack region dropped to a level not seen since 1998.

Here’s how the comparative statistics played out. In 2011 the statewide total bear take was 1,258, with 275 bruins taken in the Adirondacks, 353 in the Central/Western zone and 630 in the Southeastern zone. Of the 275 bruins taken here in the Adirondacks, 70 were taken during the early bear season, 3 during the bowhunting season, 9 by muzzleloaders and 193 during the regular big game season. There was almost an even split between boars and sows in the Adirondacks - 51% boars and 49% sows.

The 2011 statewide deer harvest of 228,359 included 110,002 adult males, 118,357 antlerless, 82,090 adult females, 87,439 on deer management permits, 10, 767 under the deer management assistance program, 16,454 by muzzleloaders and 36,323 by archers. Here in the Adirondacks, 26,814 deer were taken with 1,394 of them taken by bowhunters, 7,621 by muzzleloaders, 3,697 by deer management permits, 1,894 under the deer management assistance program and 12,208 during the regular big game season.

I’ll have additional details on the bear and deer take in a future column, as soon as I get a further breakdown of the figures. I know it only seems that way to me, but why is it that whenever I have a bad season it turns out to be one that enjoys a record take?

BE CAREFUL

The Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a warning for backcountry trekkers and travelers. This is especially timely in view of last week’s late-winter snowdump. While it didn’t impact all areas of the North Country equally, it still created potential problems which should be addressed.

Briefly, dress for the weather and dress in layers so appropriate clothing can be doffed or added as necessary.

Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks are required to use snowshoes or cross-country skis and it’s strongly recommended that visitors to other parts of the Adirondacks do the same.

If you’re headed into icy mountain areas, crampons are a must and should be carried in your pack just in case.

Carry a day pack containing  the following items: an ice ax, wind/rain resistant outerwear, appropriate winter boots, extra clothing, a map and compass as well as a GPS  if you have one, plenty of food and water, a first-aid kit, flashlight and/or headlamp with fresh batteries, sun glasses, sun block protection, ensolite pads, a compact stove and extra fuel, and a space blanket or bivy sack.

Other hints include: drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, eat plenty of food, check the weather forecasts before venturing out, know the terrain and your own physical limitations, never travel alone and always inform someone of your intended route and expected return time.

Condition on some slopes are also conducive to avalanches and they can occur anywhere that the snow, slope and weather conditions combine to create the proper conditions. A few have already been reported including one on Wright Peak.

For information on avalanche conditions and safety precautions, go to the DEC site at: www.dec.ny.gov/public on the web. You can also get valuable information on DEC’s Adirondack Trail Information web page at: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor where you can get the latest data on trail conditions and view links that will take you to weather and snow cover info.

Be safe, not sorry. Leave backcountry winter travel for those experienced with it.

REMINDER

Here’s one more reminder that the statewide seasons on walleye, northern pike, pickerel and tiger muskies close on March 15 and all fishing shanties must be off the ice by that day as well. Last week’s spate of snow may make that chore a bit harder but you have a week left in which to do it.

     

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