New York – Steve Piatt

New York fishing second the none

It was encouraging to see recently that fishing license sales in New York are, at the very least, on par with last season and more likely on the increase. Encouraging, but perhaps not surprising when you look around the Empire State. The quality and variety of fishing in New York takes a back seat to no state in the U.S….

DMP application fee doesn't make sense

I really couldn't understand when DEC a couple years back decided to slap a $10 application fee – that's to apply, not necessarily receive – on Deer Management Permits. And I still don't. After all, it's the antlerless deer harvest that generally dictates the size of the state's deer herd, and DEC doles out those tags in an effort to…

Sportsmen await governor's decision

As I write this, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to make the call on legislation that would extend crossbow use – but only in the regular firearms and late muzzleloader deer seasons – in New York and, at the same time, quash DEC's proposal for a three-day youth deer hunt for 14- and 15-year olds over the Columbus Day weekend…

Moose-less in New York

I'm now more than ever convinced the only way I'll ever see a moose in New York state is if it saunters into our driveway, munches its way through Paula's garden and then stops by the window box that sits on my office window to mow down whatever kind of flowers – maybe zinnias – are planted there. The frustration…

Did Oct. 1 opener seal youth hunt fate?

By now everyone is pretty much aware that the state's proposed youth hunt over the Columbus Day weekend isn't going to happen, its fate sealed when a crossbow extension – extension, not expansion – bill was approved and carried a clause that limited firearms use during the regular archery season. It's pretty obvious that was a clear effort to ax…

Tripped up on the road trips

Paula and I have done enough traveling to know that, while it's perfectly fine to attempt to plan the perfect trip, chances are pretty good it will all come unraveled, sometimes before you even get out of the airport. It's true. I spoke to a shuttle bus driver in Shannon, Ireland, years ago after we'd touched down and were headed…

Legislation leaves some clear losers

New York sportsmen got at least some answers with the passage of legislation that essentially extends crossbow use for another two years, albeit only in the regular firearms and late muzzleloader deer seasons. It wasn't what crossbow proponents wanted to hear, but you could make the argument that crossbow users weren't the big losers in the final hours of the…

Looking ahead, but seizing the moment

We're always looking ahead to the next issue here at New York Outdoor News, so when we're actually locking up one for the press we're most likely pecking away at the next one or two, and sometimes even three, which forces us to look about six weeks to even two months ahead of the present. It can all be a…

On the road: Swine and dine

I'm on the road a couple days this week, which is a bit refreshing for a guy who works out of his home and could use a little socialization once in a while. This home office stuff is great, mind you, but Paula's always a bit concerned that if I don't get out more often I'll take on the look…

Heading South, but in late June?

Those who know Paula and me constantly shake their heads in amazement, and not always – in fact, not usually – in a good sense. Locals here in the North Country are especially aghast that we don't make the typical migration south for at least a week or two during the dead of the Adirondacks winter. In theory, there's really…

Conservation Fund becoming a cookie jar

There's always been a perception among New York sportsmen that the state's Conservation Fund – that pile of cash generated primarily through the sales of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses – has over the years been raided at will by state lawmakers and used for things other than supporting fish and wildlife programs. Whether that's fact or fallacy is really…

All-day gobbler hunting

I have to admit I'm a bit of a hypocrite when the talk turns to allowing all-day spring gobbler hunting in New York. As one of those hard-cores who arises well before dawn a full month before the season, listens and patterns gobblers well ahead of the May 1 opener and then drags himself out of bed day in and…

Seeing red, and ducking

In a perfect world, our three Labrador retrievers would be on the same schedule, eating, sleeping and heading outside to answer nature's call at the same time. That's not the case, however, and as a result I'm usually never sitting – or sleeping – for more than a couple hours at a time before getting nudged by an anxious Lab trying…

Showing off

My lower back was throbbing. My hamstrings felt like they were ready to snap like a pair of old rubber bands. I was starving, and all I wanted to do was gorge myself with food and stretch out on a couch, maybe even go to bed at 8:30 p.m. No, I didn’t spend all day in the deer woods. I…

A window to wildlife

When you live in the woods as Paula and I do, there’s no telling what might appear in the back yard. Over the years, it’s become fairly common to flush grouse in the driveway, see the tracks from the snowshoe – okay, “varying” – hares, and even get surprised by the occasional strutting gobbler or whitetail out either the front…

Wildlife encounters behind the wheel

I saw an ermine earlier this month and, as usual, it showed itself when I least expected it – as I drove just outside a little hamlet in Franklin County, heading to visit a popular local fly shop in the dead of winter. At first, I misidentified it as a weasel; even told the fly shop owner that’s what I’d…

Peaking post-season

Sometimes my friends can’t figure me out. Even Paula, who’s been riding shotgun for nearly 25 years now, shakes her head sometimes when my focus narrows and a borderline – or maybe not so borderline – obsession kicks in and I tear into activities like tying flies, planning a major hunting or fishing excursion, working on a writing project or…

Small game, weather permitting

There are a lot of reasons why I’d be perfectly content to get through this North Country winter without much beyond a dusting of snow here and there to whiten things up a bit, notably around the holiday season. It would mean a couple fewer trips to the chiropractor, less time listening to Paula hammering on the fact we don’t…

North-South deer hunting

I’m really not sure what it means, now that I’ve essentially waved the white flag up here in the Northern Zone and have shut down my deer-hunting efforts until the Southern Zone opener Nov. 19. It could mean that, like many other Adirondack hunters, I’m frustrated by the warm weather and lack of tracking snow and have decided to wait…

Another stinking hunting season

This is the time of year when our three Labrador retrievers don’t get quite as much attention from me, especially during those afternoons when I’m getting ready to head out into a treestand for a few hours. I’m not among those legions of Scent-Lok followers, but I’ve done enough hunting to know that scent control, however it’s accomplished, is almost…

Bear with me, it’s hunting season

I was running two of our three Labs last week when I stumbled, almost literally, on some fallen beech nuts in an area where I’d never seen them before. I was stunned, and immediately thought to myself it’s time to finally tag a black bear. Reports from across the region are that it’s a banner year for beech nuts, and…