Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Steve Piatt

A young hunter’s first buck is a special occasion

Parker Bradley isn’t your typical 12 year old. He collects tractors – real ones, not the toy models you can pick up at Tractor Supply. He pitches in on the family farm, mowing hay, milking cows and bottling milk at the side business (Bradley’s Country Creamery) in Litchfield Township, Pa. He even knows how to weld.

But he is, in fact, 12 years old, complete these days with cell phone, homework, and a younger sister who bugs him sometimes. And he loves to hunt and fish.

The toughest hunts yield the greatest rewards

Over a year’s worth of planning and preparation went into this Alaskan mountain goat hunt, including miles and miles of vertical hikes with a Stone Glacier backpack loaded down with sand and, in the final weeks, a stick of firewood added.
In my mind, I was ready. Then I looked at the mountain I’d have to ascend to climb into goat country, and doubts began to creep in.

Losing access: Dealing with a shrinking hunting playing field

Paula and I lost a hunting spot this year, which isn’t unusual these days. Typically it’s a lose one-gain another proposition, and hunting access is a challenge we’ve become accustomed to over the years.
It is an oft-repeated scenario these days: the landowner dies, the family sells the property and we’re no longer allowed to hunt it. In this case it was about 60 acres in New York’s Chemung County – not a big chunk of land but a good one, with plenty of oak and, in the right years, good numbers of deer and turkey, and an occasional bear.

Get a load of these turkey shells: Options are certainly growing

Turkey hunters these days have a lot of decisions to make before heading afield, but that’s a good thing. Technology has brought to the table high-quality clothing and camo, blinds and decoys, all designed to make our hunting experience more comfortable and successful.
But perhaps no bigger decision is to be made than what shotgun and shell combination you’ll be toting into the woods, whether it be this fall or next spring.
The options are many, as are the questions. That’s why it’s critical to do your homework at the shooting range before the season, and get the answers you’re looking for. Here are some of the many options that may set you up for success when that moment of truth arrives.

Cranberry Mountain WMA: Public access near New York City

Probably the most attractive thing about the Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area is simply the property itself, about 1,200 acres that offers hunting – and fishing – possibilities not far from the New York City metro area.
Given that Putnam County location, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular stopping points for hunters within DEC’s Region 3 of southeastern New York, east of the Hudson River.

Completing the circle: Hunting mentor becomes the guided

It was back in 2004 when I took a kid afield for New York State’s first-ever youth turkey-hunting weekend. Living in the Adirondacks then, the temperature bottomed out at a brisk 18 degrees on that Saturday morning. But Jake was more than willing to give it a try.
We called in a curious fisher shortly off the roost, and not surprisingly didn’t hear any gobbling. But later that morning we spied a pair of lone jakes, got set up into position and they dutifully strolled into shotgun range.

Long Island state forest tract offers hunting access

Out on Long Island, hunting access is always a challenge, so it’s no surprise that the Westhampton Dwarf Pine Plains Pine Barrens State Forest is a popular slice of state-owned land in New York.
And the Suffolk County parcel, 788 acres of unique habitat holding good numbers of deer, draws hunters who are more than willing to head afield under the restrictions and requirements needed to do so.

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