The forest canopy has been greatly diminished which has opened the woods to a greater line of sight.
The thick foliage, which limited hunter's views throughout the muzzleloading season, has greatly thinned out. Conveniently, these conditions turned around just in time for the regular big-game season, especially in the high country.
While hunters hope for snow, leaves continue to pile up on the forest floor so heavily that it makes a squirrel's scamper sound like a elephant in a China shop.
Comparable notice is afforded the deer upon a hunter's approach, although a few days of rain or a fresh snow will likely serve to dampen this natural alarm.
Nonetheless, the leafy cover eradicates any possibility for discerning deer tracks, which make the possibility of snow so enticing.
Although the trout season has finally concluded, local anglers will still have numerous opportunities to wet a line for bass, pike and salmon, while catch and release opportunities will also remain available on many local ponds and streams.
Listed below is a listing of an annual, preseason Honor Roll of Outlaws. These local knuckle-draggers began their courageous exploits early this year, yet further outrages are likely to continue.
Ethical hunters are urged to "Do your part, call in a jacker!" If we all take appropriate action to establish an ethical hunting heritage; everyone benefits. If we don't, they win, and everyone loses fair game.
EnCon busy with poachers
Before hunters in the Northern Zone had an opportunity to get into the woods for the season opener, DEC officers were busy with a number of area poachers.
On Friday, Oct. 17, state Department of Environmental Conservation officers charged two men after they killed a moose. Burton H. Smith, 40, of Keene, and Kelly L. Reyell, 40, of AuSable Forks, are each being charged with a misdemeanor illegal taking of a moose.
The men each face possible penalties of fines up to $2,000 and one year in jail.
Prior to the moose killing, there were plenty of other violations.
On Sept. 17, environmental conservation officers arrested three young men for deer jacking in the town of Burke, Franklin County. Thomas Welch, 20, and a 16-year-old male, both of Constable, and Brian J Compton, 20, of Malone, were charged with taking deer with the aid of an artificial light, illegally taking an antlerless deer, taking deer during the closed season, taking over the legal limit of deer and possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
They were also each charged with hunting without a valid license and illegal possession of untagged deer. Four deer and two firearms were seized and tickets issued.
On Oct. 2, Thomas J. White, 53, of Westport, was charged with possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. White was allegedly observed attempting to shoot a pheasant from his vehicle.
On Oct. 3, Kevin G. Petrunich, 40, of Williston, Vt, was charged with discharging a firearm from a public highway. Petrunich was observed attempting to shoot a pheasant from his vehicle. He was arraigned before the the town of Wesport local criminal Court and paid $602.50 in fines and restitution.
On Oct. 12, Michael A. Spear, 37, of Elizabethtown, was charged with multiple misdemeanors of Environmental Conservation Law. A complaint was received reporting that someone had shot at a deer from the back of a pickup. Spear was charged with taking wildlife from a motor vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public highway and having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
On Oct. 12, Kevin J. Mulcahy, 49, and John E. Myers, 51, both of Queensbury, were charged with multiple misdemeanors offenses of Environmental Conservation Law. Both men were charged with having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public highway and taking wildlife from a motor vehicle.
On Oct. 11, James J. Goyea, 40 ,of North Bangor, was charged with two violations of Environmental Conservation Law. While investigating a complaint of someone hunting deer over bait, a DEC environmental conservation officer encountered Goyea with a rifle. He was charged with hunting deer with a rifle during muzzleloader season and hunting over bait, both violations.
On Oct. 12, 2008, Robert Crannell, 82, of Gloversville, was charged by DEC environmental conservation police with a violation of hunting over bait. He was issued a summons for appearance in the Town of Mayfield local criminal court.
If you have information regarding illegal hunting activities, please contact the DEC Turn in Poachers & Polluters line at 1-800-847-TIPP.