Dan Ladd

The next generation of outdoor writers

Every other fall semester, SUNY Plattsburgh English professor Jack Downs teaches an outdoor writing class. I have been speaking to these classes as a professional member of the outdoor media since 2012. Prior to joining the Outdoor News team, I was a freelance writer, and was published regularly in Plattsburgh’s Press-Republican. I’m also a SUNY Plattsburgh Alumni, and love taking…

Scary stuff for Halloween

This Halloween is going to be different, even for those of us who spend time outdoors. It falls on a Saturday this year, which is always fun, and it’s also the second weekend of the Northern Zone rifle season. The hunter’s full moon will be in the sky, and being the second full moon in October, it will be a…

A new perspective from Owl’s Head Mountain

Labor Day weekend found Adrienne and I camping at Lake Eaton (near Long Lake) in the Central Adirondacks. Although we had camped here many times over the years, for one reason or another I had never taken the time to hike up Owl’s Head Mountain, which has a fire tower on it, and thus a 360-degree view. Camping is relaxing,…

A privy addition

In the June 26 issue of New York Outdoor News, I wrote in my column about last summer’s consuming project of building an Adirondack lean-to in my yard. Adrienne and I have been enjoying it a great deal as of late, having weekend campfires and morning coffee in recent weeks now that things are cooling off a little. The lean-to has…

In search of paths less traveled

The August 21 issue of New York Outdoor News has news story by Jane Anderson in which she reports on the amount of traffic and congestion at popular hiking trailheads. I took the accompanying photo with that article this past spring following a morning turkey hunt on some private land nearby in the Lake George region of the Adirondacks. After…

A peek at pro bass fishing [video]

Anyone who is willing to tie up tens of thousands of dollars in a boat simply to fish bass tournaments is obviously quite serious about bass fishing. For the average evening or weekend angler, a canoe, kayak, johnboat or even a small motorboat will do. But not for these anglers. Professional bass fishing, or perhaps better put as “tournament angling,”…

Woodchuck wars

Is it me, or are there more woodchucks around than normal this year? It seems like I’m hearing quite a few people complain about ‘chucks attacking their gardens and I’m also seeing several along the side of the road; both dead and alive. I’ve got some woodchuck problems around my own homestead too. Fortunately, I live in the country where,…

Looking forward to camping – eventually

My wife Adrienne and I are not exactly summer people. Neither of us like hot weather and the steamy heat wave we’ve been enduring in New York in recent days has us borderline grumpy. We always say that we’d retire in Alaska or Canada before ever considering a place like Florida or the south. But one thing we do enjoy…

Taking the water temperature

Water temperatures mean everything to the trout angler, or at least those who care enough about the species they covet so much that they’ll back off when conditions are not favorable for optimal fish survival. That is especially the case with brook trout fishermen and those who chase them around on Adirondack ponds. Unfortunately, it is never an exact science…

In New York, still time to get a gobbler

What has been and up-and-down turkey season continues to be just that. Following the snow and cold of the second weekend in May, as well as that of the season, things warmed up and turkey season entered yet another phase. Suddenly, it seemed like hens wanted to talk. Now I hadn’t seen a hen since opening day, but when mid-May…

Strange feeling about turkey hunt

As a mentor, Ladd has witnessed some interesting youth hunts.As New York’s youth turkey hunting weekend fast approaches, I have almost a sick feeling in my gut over it. For the first time in I don’t know how many years, I’ll have to sit this one out. Mentoring new hunters is something I believe strongly in, and whenever possible, I’m…

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…