New York – Steve Piatt

Going deep, picture perfect

I bought an “underwater” camera earlier this year, not necessarily because I planned on doing any SCUBA diving but because I knew that, as much time as I dangle any camera in the middle of a trout stream, it would soon be underwater anyway. So it made a lot of sense to get one that could take a dunking and…

Best of the bayou: Swamp People

It took a little self-analysis before I finally locked onto the reasons why I’m hooked on the reality TV show “Swamp People,” that History Channel offering set in the Louisiana bayou where alligator hunters deal with everything that remote region throws at them, scratching out a living that’s fueled largely by their take during the 30-day gator-hunting season each year….

Old school at work and play

To put it mildly, I’m technically challenged. That may explain why I still use a compass instead of a GPS unit, don’t re-load my own rounds, rarely use a cell phone and have never sent a text message, still wear wool in the deer woods and prefer a simple canoe to a Bass Tracker and its 115-horse Mercury Optimax. In…

Calling it a season

There comes a point in the spring gobbler season when you realize it’s over, at least as far as your hunting schedule is concerned. It happens to me every spring, and that May 31 season-closing date means little because by then I’ve usually surrendered, tagged out or simply looked in the mirror and at my desk and resigned myself to…

The evolution of a turkey hunter

In recent years I've become convinced more than ever that experience may be the biggest factor contributing to success in the spring turkey woods, and if that's the case then by the time I'm 138 years old I should have a pretty good handle on things. But it's true. How else could you explain my run of luck in recent…

A trip to the city

Every once in a while – I try to make it down every month – I head down the road to Albany for the Conservation Fund Advisory Board’s monthly meeting. It’s really not a bad trip, about two hours or more, even though I have to deal with the unfamiliar morning rush traffic and am close enough to the legislative…

Another opener observed

Paula and I didn’t have too many options for our ceremonial trout season kickoff, which we made a day after the traditional April 1 kickoff, since it was snowing steadily on that day, a wet, sticky snow which, now that I think of it, didn’t really stick at all. You don’t have any crowds to contend with up here in…

Striking up the turkey-hunting season

This is typically the time of year when I really start thinking about spring gobbler hunting. True, anyone who knows me even a little would say it’s always on my mind, but when the days start getting longer, the snow begins to melt and I start working on some spring gobbler features for upcoming editions of New York Outdoor News,…

Goin’ Down Flinging: Gobblers with a Bow

Sometime in the next couple weeks, I’ll dig into the basement closet and haul out the bow case where my Mathews Z7 has resided since early November. I’ll take a quick inventory of arrows, field points, maybe even broadheads if I want to look ahead a bit, then check the bowstring, rest, sight pins and lean it into a corner…

Antler restrictions? Let’s be honest

Given my fairly well-documented stance on mandatory antler restrictions, it’s not surprising I’ve been taking some good-natured jabs since downing a trophy buck this past season in Pennsylvania, which has had “three points on one side” regulations for several seasons now where I hunt just across the New York border in Bradford County. So, after tagging a 130-class 10-pointer that…

Wrestling with winter

When you live in the Adirondacks – and in the heart of the Adirondacks, none of this fringe or foothills stuff – like we do, this is the time of year when, if you’re not careful, you can begin to feel incarcerated. You generally choose to stay inside, and if you do go out it’s to shovel snow, clean off…

Gun-shyness shoots down pheasant hunting

I can pretty much pinpoint when our youngest Lab, Haley, became a bit gun shy. It was a few seasons back, on a New Year’s Eve afternoon, just a couple hours before the pheasant season closed. A trio of us let loose with a series of volleys as Haley assisted Ben on multiple flushes of a stubborn cockbird, one eventually…

Memories of Wyoming

I’m literally carrying the memories of my September trip to Wyoming for a long-awaited, much-anticipated archery hunt for pronghorn antelope.And, frankly, I’m getting tired of it.The trip itself was fantastic; I ultimately downed a decent goat in the final hours of my hunt after a less-than-stellar shooting exhibition, albeit one my Ranch Creek Outfitters guide said he’d seen countless times…

Snowstorms may limit deer hunting

New York deer hunters are always hoping for snow. But it’s doubtful they’re happy with 2 to 4 feet of the white stuff, which is what many whitetail chasers in central and western New York saw during the latter portion of the Southern Zone’s regular firearms deer season.It’s the kind of weather event that could seriously impact hunter success –…

Second suburban coyote attack

Rye, N.Y. (AP) — A coyote has attacked a 3-year-old girl playing in her backyard in suburban New York, the second coyote attack on a child in the same suburb within four days. Rye Mayor Doug French says the 3-year-old was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after the Tuesday night attack. The girl’s house is behind the Rye…

One dead, one hurt in deer-motorcycle collisions

Hartland, N.Y. (AP) — Separate collisions involving motorcyclists and deer on western New York roads have left one man dead and another in critical condition. The Erie County Sheriff’s Department says the first accident occurred late Saturday night in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence, where 53-year-old Stephen Grandillo of Clarence was riding his motorcycle when he struck a deer and…

Mother falcon attacks dog, people

Buffalo, N.Y. (AP) — Her chicks have left the nest, but a peregrine falcon nesting on a Buffalo tower is proving to be an overprotective mother. Antoine Lanier says he saw the falcon recently chase a teenage boy across a street near the University of Buffalo’s South Campus, where a falcon nesting platform is perched on McKay Tower. Minutes later,…

Advocates want more wolf protection

Montpelier, Vt. (AP) — Some wildlife advocates are decrying a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service not to provide special protection for wolves in upstate New York, northern New England and Massachusetts. Wildlife Service officials say the decision was made because there is no distinct breeding population of wolves in the region that could be protected. It’s finding…

Group says Upper Delaware ‘most endangered’

Allentown, Pa. (AP) — An advocacy group has named New York’s Upper Delaware River the nation’s most endangered. American Rivers says the Upper Delaware is threatened by plans to drill for natural gas. Energy companies have leased thousands of acres of land in the Delaware watershed in hopes of tapping vast stores of gas in the Marcellus shale rock formation….

N.J. considers renewing bear hunt

Trenton, N.J. (AP) — Supporters and opponents of what would be the state’s first approved bear hunt in five years weighed in Tuesday night on rules that would authorize a fall hunting season. The Environmental Protection Department and the Fish and Game Council heard from several groups, including The Humane Society, the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and…

Parks on closing list remain open

New Scotland, N.Y. (AP) — While the Paterson administration listed 41 state parks for closing during the fiscal year that started two weeks ago, their gates have remained open to hikers and other spring visitors. At Thacher Park, people still were parking, walking, playing and picnicking Thursday on the 2,155 acres that extend up the Helderberg Escarpment about 15 miles…

Coyote kills pet poodle in NYC suburb

Rye, N.Y. (AP) — Police say a coyote has killed a pet poodle on the grounds of a retirement home in the New York City suburbs. Rye police Commissioner William Connors said Friday that the poodle was tied up but left alone in a yard Wednesday night by an elderly resident at The Osborn retirement community. Connors says said someone…

Rabbits disappearing from Central Park

New York (AP) — If anyone knows why the bunnies have disappeared from Central Park, wildlife officials are all ears. Though abandoned pet rabbits perennially turn up after each Easter in what’s affectionately called New York’s backyard, a wild cottontail hasn’t been spotted in the park for about four years. “I’ve been here for 17 years, and there were not…

N.Y. bans shad fishing in Hudson

Albany (AP) — State regulators have banned commercial and recreational shad fishing in the Hudson River and set new restrictions on shad fishing in the Delaware to help the species recover from a steep decline in population. The new regulations effective Wednesday also prohibit the sale of any American shad caught in New York state. State Department of Environmental Conservation…

N.Y. farmer fined for poisoning eagles, other birds

Buffalo, N.Y. (AP) — A western New York farmer has been fined $3,000 for killing two bald eagles, 35 geese and two crows by illegally spreading a restricted insecticide on his cornfield. The state Department of Environmental Conservation investigated after two eagles were found dead near the Genesee River last fall. The agency’s Wildlife Pathology Unit in Albany found the…