Dan Ladd

In praise of small game hunting

I remember my first days of small game hunting like it was yesterday. Being born in mid-November, I had to wait until my 14th birthday, which was the minimum hunting age at the time, before I could buy my first hunting license. It was a Friday and we had a half-day at school, and afterward, my older brother Tim and…

Don’t put away those fishing rods

The meteorological summer is over, and the autumnal equinox lies ahead. That means the average sportsman is likely preparing for hunting season, or perhaps even enjoying some early-season goose or gray squirrel hunting and anticipating the opening a number of other seasons (bear, grouse, archery deer, waterfowl and turkeys) in the weeks ahead. Versatile sportsmen, meaning those who hunt, fish…

Practice now for upcoming deer season

I can’t tell you how many deer hunters I know who never touch their deer rifles, or any firearm for that matter, until just prior to deer season. For many it doesn’t seem to be a big deal, but for others it can be the difference between a hit and a miss. I’m actually surprised you don’t hear about more…

Sportsmen estate planning: accepting the inevitable

It’s been a tough summer in terms of losing friends and family. We in New York’s outdoor writing (and reading) community continue to mourn the losses of our friends and colleagues Will Elliott and Ron Kolodziej, who both recently passed. And the passings of a family member as well as the friend of a friend have taught me a lesson…

Safety first during summer boating season

There are more boats – big and small – on the water these days than ever, and owners of all types need to learn to co-exist. The smaller boat always has the right-of-way, and motor-boaters need to keep an eye out for paddlers and fishermen.It’s mid-summer and boating in vessels of all sizes is at its zenith. As someone who…

A different kind of bear season

Bears quickly learn how to acquire food, and in some cases that means intimidating humans or even destroying property, including vehicles.The early black bear hunting seasons in New York are still a couple months away. However, summer ushers in a bear season of its own, where it’s the bears that are doing the hunting – for food. This can be…

Going back to your turkey-hunting roots: longbeards in the big woods

Every turkey hunter dreams of a textbook spring gobbler hunt. And when they do occasionally happen (for some it’s more occasional than others) we’re on top of the world. When you pull one off on a woodland or a mountain gobbler, it’s even more rewarding. I’ve heard all kinds of stories about hunting timberland gobblers, and the often-advised technique is…

Boreas classification a win for sportsmen

Big- and small-game hunters alike can disperse along the road in a region very popular for snowshoe hare hunting, while snowmobilers and the towns of Newcomb and North Hudson, standing to benefit from a connector trail, are perhaps the happiest about the classification. 

Alsheimer leaves lasting legacy in the whitetail world

Like so many in the deer hunting community, especially in New York, I was saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Charlie Alsheimer a few days before the New Year. The fact that he touched a great number of people’s lives in one way or another became more than evident in the days that followed. Even though I had…

Exercise caution on the ice and on snowmobiles

Last winter was one of most dangerous on record in New York for winter outdoor recreation, particularly for snowmobilers and ice anglers. Unfortunately, this one is not off to a good start. On Dec. 16, a Queensbury, N.Y., man drowned after falling through the ice while fishing on Edgecomb Pond, a small body of water in Warren County that allows…