Dan Ladd

Be prepared: Spring means ticks

It didn’t happen this year, but it sure has in the past. While out checking my tapped maple trees I’ve returned with ticks crawling on me. Sometimes they were deer ticks, which happen to carry the Lyme agent, while others they were dog ticks. Neither is pleasant. During this year’s late-February and early-March sap runs the conditions were prime for…

Think twice about thin ice

We’re now in mid-February and instead going ice fishing I’ve been getting my maple syrup-making gear together. Why? Because other than a snowstorm the weather forecast for the days ahead calls for daytime temperatures to climb into the 40s and then cool down into the 20s at night. Perfect for maple sap to run, not so good for ice fishing….

Saying goodbye to an old friend

I’m not one of those people who is obsessed with the vehicle I drive. But when the time came to say goodbye to the Jeep Wrangler I’ve had for the past 14 years, I did so begrudgingly. This, despite the fact that it was simply time to let it go. You see, I’m a Jeep guy, and by that I…

Venison: the perfect holiday gift

Don’t tell my sister who lives in Georgia, but once again she’s getting venison jerky from me as a Christmas present. Same for my brother who lives in Arizona. But for him, it’s not actually a gift as he earned some of this meat during his hunting vacation back here at home. Every year around the holidays members of my…

Pondering the end of deer season

As I write this, the end of deer season across New York is fast approaching. This year the Northern Zone and Southern Zone rifle seasons end on the same day, Dec. 8, with the late muzzleloading seasons following. They end Dec. 15 and 17, respectively. For those who hunt the Southern Tier, that’s business as usual. But for Northern Zone…

Of bucks and birthdays

I’ve always considered myself lucky to be raised in an extended family of Adirondack deer hunters. While that’s the primary reason I’ve likely become an avid whitetail hunter myself, the fact that I was born in mid-November may have also contributed. Yes, I was a rut baby. Some of the hunts that have transpired on my birthday have shaped me…

Field to Fork program arrives in New York state

This year I know of at least 10 new hunters who will be experiencing their first deer hunts come November. Likely more. They are part of the Field to Fork program, which in New York is a collaborative effort between the Quality Deer Management Association and Cornell Cooperative Extension office. QDMA began developing the program a few years ago, modeling it…

Challenging bear season arrives

Early bear season is getting under way in parts of New York. This includes a season that runs from Sept. 7-22 in parts of Regions 3 and 4 in southeastern New York, as well as the traditional early season in Regions 5 and 6 that begins on Sept.14 and continues on into the early muzzleloading and regular big game season…

Buying a sporting license? Consider supporting these programs

It’s been several years ago now since there was a sporting license fee increase in New York. And just before that last increase I forked over a nice chunk of change to purchase my lifetime licenses, pretty much across the board. That now means I don’t make the annual trek to the local sporting goods store or town clerk’s office…

Rubber worm fishing simple but effective

Earlier this spring we talked about simple worm fishing for trout as a time-honored tactic. Quite often, I take the same approach to summer bass fishing. Only this time the worm is fake. Just like real worms have landed so many trout and .30-30 Winchester rifle has taken many bucks, the simple tactic of rubber worm fishing has likely brought…

Outdoor writers go on safari at Schroon Lake

As a native to New York’s Adirondacks, I often find myself being a stout promoter of the region. Therefore I was happy to play a role in bringing a bunch of outdoor media types to the Schroon Lake region for some turkey hunting, fishing and just plain fun. The Schroon Lake area served as a perfect setting for the recently…

Outdoorsman Hall of Fame poised to induct new class

Last year, I attended for the first time the New York State Outdoorsman Hall of Fame induction banquet, typically held in late April. My reason for going was to be there for the induction of a friend and colleague. I had a great evening as I ran into some old friends and made some new ones. Most of all, I…

Of mud and maple sap: rites of spring

For the year-round outdoorsman, there are two times of the year that can be the toughest to get through: the holiday season, and the first few weeks of spring. At year’s end, once deer season is over, it’s often hurry up and wait for the snow to fall and/or the ice to thicken so we can move on to the…