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Another ammunition shortage

About a year ago, I was visiting friends in Pennsylvania. They live near a gun shop I often did business with and so, I decided to stop in. Reloading supplies are tough to come by where I live here in New York because some dealers have gone out of business and the big box stores don’t carry reloading components. The…

What if … ?

If the holiday-week hunting season that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation had proposed earlier this fall had come to fruition, it’s interesting to see how it might have transpired. It would’ve taken place Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. The holiday hunt – suggested to allow families to hunt together during the holidays with archery (including crossbows) gear…

Taking a break

By the time this blog appears, Christmas will be over. However, for many New York outdoorsmen and women, the week between Christmas Day and the new year offers hunting opportunities for small-game species, including rabbits, squirrels, grouse, snowshoe hares and even pheasants. I’ll admit that, other than wild turkey hunting, which I consider a passion, I don’t hunt small game…

Goodbye, Rocky

When the traditional Christmas tree for Rockefeller Center in Manhattan was cut in Oneonta last November, no one had any idea of the attention it would create. The tree itself, a Norway spruce, wasn’t much different from the others that stood in place for scores of years, it was what was hidden among its branches that caused all the fuss….

The next generation of outdoor writers

Every other fall semester, SUNY Plattsburgh English lecturer 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…

Shooting preserves are important

In this new world of COVID-19, social distancing, and masks, shooting preserves can play an important role in getting new hunters afield in a safe and responsible manner. Whether it is the next generation of junior hunters or older adults who are new to upland bird hunting, chasing pheasants or chukars on a preserve is the perfect way to get…

All the rifle I need

When it comes to preferred rifle calibers for hunting deer there are as many preferences and opinions as there are hunters in the woods. Some would say they wouldn’t consider hunting deer with anything but a lever action Winchester or Marlin in 30-30, .32Winchester or .35 Remington calibers. However, today it seems the darling of the hunting fraternity seems to…

Preserving fishing history is important

Mark Schmitkons has a passion for collecting antique fishing gear. Mark Schmitkons, of Newfane, is crazy about antique fishing stuff. His passion is collecting old fishing tackle that truly means something, a piece of equipment that has a story to tell. His primary focus is Western New York, but he is also quite knowledgeable about the value of gear outside…

What lurks beneath the waters of Lake Ontario?

Many bodies of water have their own scary stories involving mysterious sightings and unexplained creatures. Lake Ontario is no different. However, I have personal knowledge through a couple friends that will leave you shaking your head, wondering what it could have been. My grandparents had a cottage on Lake Ontario, and I can remember seeing three large fish cruising the…

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…

Trail cam tricks

Of all the gear and gadgets I own, none give me as much satisfaction and pleasure as my trail cameras. By strategically placing them in appropriate locations I’ve gotten pictures of fishers, turkeys, bears, racoons, coyotes, foxes and yes, even deer. However, this success didn’t come without a learning curve. I bought my first trail camera years ago in the…

A lot to do

Archery season is just about here, and the firearms season will be here before we know it but, before all the fun begins, there’s work to be done. I’m fortunate to still be able to hunt my friend’s farm even though he passed away several years ago. Nature has a way of taking over and if it isn’t kept in…

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,…