Dan Ladd

A little luck on opening day

For this hunter, there is nothing better than the early days of turkey season with the cooler temperatures, limited foliation and lack of insects. It’s a wonderful time to be in the turkey woods. Slinging a gobbler over your shoulder on the way out is icing on the cake. 

A pair of six-hour canoes

I still remember a PBS show called Cottage Country where I saw an episode over 25 years ago that demonstrated how to build what was known as the “Six Hour Canoe” from one sheet of 4×16 marine plywood (or a pair of 8-foot sheets). Eventually, in 2003 I built one. It was at a two-day workshop at what was then the Adirondack…

Enjoy winter while you can

Is it just me, or has this winter gone by fast? It seems like only yesterday it was deer season and the holidays were just ahead. Now, we’re counting the days until March 20, when spring arrives and maybe even more-so, the April 1 trout opener. I like winter, and always have. I grew up snowmobiling, which was one of…

Preparing for winter power outages

One late December morning, my wife Adrienne and I woke up to find the power had gone out. A nasty, over-night windstorm was the culprit. Ours is a log home, and takes a while to cool down. Still, within minutes, I was firing up the wood stove – something I’d be doing anyway – only without my morning coffee. Fortunately,…

The Strange Stuff files

Tucked away in my files is a folder entitled “Strange Stuff” that is mostly full of letters from, and about a guy known as “Adirondack” Jack Leach, who lived in Utica. How I came to know Jack is a story all its own. The short version is that I was contacted in 2006 by an ESPN reporter who was doing…

Too hot to handle

New York could use a hard frost, and soon. It’s been an extremely warm autumn thus far, with temperatures running 10 or 15 degrees higher than average. Even where I reside in the Southeastern Adirondacks, we’re just on the tail end of a two-week run where temperatures have been in the 70s during the day. There’s a bit of a…

Frontier Town: The Adirondack campground with a state park feel

Like many kids who grew up in the Adirondack region, or even nearby, I visited Frontier Town as a youngster. In its day, Frontier Town was an exciting western theme park with cowboys and Indians, train rides and robberies, a rodeo and wildlife. But eventually the place fell on hard times and closed, a big loss for the Essex County…

What is wrong with people?

The title of this post says it all, and please pardon me for venting. But I just can’t get over how lazy and bold some people are becoming when it comes to littering. And, it seems like as the popularity of outdoor sports grow, it’s only getting worse. A few weeks ago I went for a hike one morning in…

Tracking summer turkeys

New York’s spring turkey hunting season may have ended two months ago, but like deer hunting, I am starting to find myself becoming a year-round turkey man. Being able to regularly observe summer flocks in recent years is surely part of the reason. Two years ago some strategic logging was done on my property and one of the intentions was…

The ‘power’ of technology

As I write this, I am up at the Bassmasters Elite Series tournament in Waddington, N.Y., along the St. Lawrence River. Since it’s not too awful far from home, I thought I’d take a ride up and spend the afternoon covering the tournament and the weigh-in. Usually when I attend tournaments I book some time on a media boat, which…

Here comes a busy summer season

The summer season has arrived and with it, comes more and more people. If you live, or more importantly, recreate in a place that attracts outdoor-types, don’t expect to have it to yourself anytime soon. School’s out, July 4 weekend is looming and things are going be busy well into autumn. Summer outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking and even…

Looking ahead to hunting season 

(Photo by Jerrod Vila)Another turkey season is well behind us now and hopefully most of the talk centered around wild turkeys is that of seeing hens with plenty of poults along our travels. That is something that is always good news for the seasons that lie ahead. As soon as one hunting season is over, I’m always looking ahead to…

On the road again

While I was glad to see national and state-level COVID restrictions eased, I was also hesitant to throw the caution we’ve all been practicing for over a year out into the wind. But as the the month of May progressed and I found myself away from home for a series of events, I have to admit that the sense of…