On the road: Swine and dine

Steve PiattI'm on the road a couple days this week, which is a bit refreshing for a guy who works out of his home and could use a little socialization once in a while. This home office stuff is great, mind you, but Paula's always a bit concerned that if I don't get out more often I'll take on the look of Howard Hughes in his final days, without the bank account.

And this is a work-related jaunt, starting with a Monday meeting in Cortland where a USDA official will outline the depth of New York's feral swine problem and what's being done about it. This is such an issue, and one that's likely to deepen in many areas of the state, that I'm scrapping my usual visit to downtown Albany for the monthly Conservation Fund Advisory Board meeting. And I'm not doing that to avoid the city traffic. Honest. This feral hog stuff has potentially catastrophic consequences for New York's landscape, and I think when all is said and done it will be the biggest invasives battle we'll undertake, with not a close second place.

So it's out down the road to Cortland, short of a five-hour drive, then on to Rochester on Tuesday to speak at the monthly gathering of the Irondequoit Bay Fish and Game Club. Sure, I'm much more comfortable pounding away on a keyboard than standing in front of a large group and yapping for a half hour or so, but it's not nearly as painful as you might think. In fact, I enjoy getting out and chatting with fellow hunters and anglers – and readers. These folks are just like me, who love being out there and who have definite opinions on the sporting issues affecting our state and beyond. And I'm always interested in hearing what they like or don't like about New York Outdoor News. Getting the chance to listen to them can only make us a better publication.

I'll take the laptop along to stay on top of email so I'm not buried when I return to the office on Wednesday morning, but there's a wide enough gap between the two sessions that I'm looking at doing some fishing somewhere along the way. In New York state, the options are many, ranging from some spots I know (like Cayuga Lake's Milliken Station for landlocked salmon) to waters I've never hit, such as Irondequoit Bay itself. Or somewhere in between.

The road trip will undoubtedly mean a couple hours in the office on both Saturday and Sunday before I head out, just to make sure the desk is somewhat clean before I depart. On the heels of spring gobbler season, it's been a bit of a task catching up and I'd like to stay that way.

Categories: New York – Steve Piatt

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