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Of moose and snow and the great outdoors by Ron Kolodziej

Wednesday, November 02, 2011 - Updated: 7:22 AM

Several years ago I gave up trying to get a Maine Moose tag, despite annually paying the price for the application and purchasing extra points as well. In the process I also earned a number of preference points that were supposed to boost ones chances of being selected - which I wasn’t. The Maine DNR should be pleased because their “random draw” process is about as successful for me as our NYS deer management permit process for antlerless tags. When I quit applying for the moose tag I gave up a lot of built-up preference points so the Maine DNR got a lot of my money over the years and I never did earn a chance at a moose. So be it. If I want one bad enough I’ll go to Quebec or Newfoundland for one.

Now comes news of the Vermont moose season, tags for which are drawn much the same as Maine. According to a preliminary count released by the Vermont F & W Department, 10 moose were taken by 53 hunters during the October 1 - 7 archery season and 231 moose were taken by 406 hunters during the October 15 - 20 regular moose season. The agency further reported that 1.008 residents and 450 nonresidents entered the 2011 archery moose permit lottery and 8,788 residents and 2,614 nonresidents entered the regular moose season lottery.

A final report on the Vermont moose hunting season will be available in January and “no”, I did not enter the Vermont moose lottery.

DMU PERMITS

Incidentally, I suppose I shouldn’t complain about the New York State DMU process too much, even though it doesn’t impact most hunters here in Hamilton County. I’ve mentioned in a few earlier columns that I had again been turned down for a DMU permit, giving me three preference points for next year. Perhaps some of you were turned down too but the late draw for unissued tags still offered a chance for some, though not many, permit applicants. In effect, after the initial random permit selection process, DEC reviews and takes a count in each area around the first of November and if there are any unissued tags available, another random draw is performed from among the applicants who had been turned down in the initial process and tags then go to those lucky hunters. The reason I mention this is because those random draws have been completed and some of you may have received tags in the mail. I’m pleased to say that for the first time ever, I received such a tag in last Friday’s mail, after having been turned down three consecutive years. An added bonus to the issuance of one of these “late draw tags” is that it doesn’t affect your preference point status. If you earned any preference points you still have them for next year.

I’m primarily a buck hunter but if I’m unsuccessful in that regard I’ll settle for a doe just to get some venison in the freezer.

WEATHER HELPS

It’s not often that we get good tracking snow so early in the year. October snow is no stranger to the north country but what we received on Thursday, October 27 and then again on Saturday, October 29, and Sunday, October 30 came as a bit of a meteorological surprise, not only to hunters and residents but even to many of the TV and radio weather persons as well. On Friday, October 29, sandwiched between two snowfalls, I drove to Norwich in Chenango County to attend a Memorial Service for my friend Bob McNitt who passed away last week. Some of you may remember Bob as the former editor of New York Sportsman magazine. Bob and I were friends for over three decades and we hunted and fished together all over Canada and the northeastern states. The ride to Norwich was pleasant enough but it sure was a winter wonderland, with several inches of snow sticking to trees, lawns and bushes. I wanted to take a few photos on the way down but the areas I chose were also foggy so I passed on the photographic endeavors and decided I’d try again on my way back home later that afternoon. By the time I headed home around 3 pm the temperature had risen about 15 degrees and most of the snow was gone, especially on the southern side of the hills. Not so here in the north country, though if the weather improves sufficiently we may see much of our snow disappear too. However, while it does last it’ll provide near perfect tracking and visibility conditions.

     

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