New York Outdoor News

Preparing for winter power outages

One late December morning, my wife Adrienne and I woke up to find the power had gone out. A nasty, over-night windstorm was the culprit. Ours is a log home, and takes a while to cool down. Still, within minutes, I was firing up the wood stove – something I’d be doing anyway – only without my morning coffee. Fortunately,…

Christmas gift ideas

Almost every year someone asks me for a gift idea for the sportsman on their list. With all the gear and gadgets available today you’d think it would be easy to make a recommendation but frankly, whenever asked, I have to think about it. I always tell anyone who asks not to consider gifting things like camouflage clothing or boots…

Small first-aid kits can save the day

Over the years I’ve discovered that an essential piece of outdoor equipment and one that many hunters and even fishermen fail to consider is a small, compact first-aid kit. It could be argued about what should be included in a first-aid kit, but I try to keep things simple. When hunting, I carry what I feel might be required for…

The Strange Stuff files

Tucked away in my files is a folder entitled “Strange Stuff” that is mostly full of letters from, and about a guy known as “Adirondack” Jack Leach, who lived in Utica. How I came to know Jack is a story all its own. The short version is that I was contacted in 2006 by an ESPN reporter who was doing…

What you know and who you know

There’s a saying out there that infers “it’s not what you know but who you know” that translates into success in certain situations. During a recent trip to Southwest Florida, it was a little bit of both – what we knew and who we knew. It turned out to be another excellent series of outdoor adventures as we traveled into…

Adelgid nightmare

A while back we reported on another threat to New York’s forests. Today, it’s no longer a threat, the menace is here.  Last spring while turkey hunting here in the Southern Tier I noticed just about all the hemlock trees are infested by an insect called wooly adelgid. The hemlock woolly adelgid is an aphid-like insect that covers itself with…

What is wrong with people?

The title of this post says it all, and please pardon me for venting. But I just can’t get over how lazy and bold some people are becoming when it comes to littering. And, it seems like as the popularity of outdoor sports grow, it’s only getting worse. A few weeks ago I went for a hike one morning in…

Here comes a busy summer season

The summer season has arrived and with it, comes more and more people. If you live, or more importantly, recreate in a place that attracts outdoor-types, don’t expect to have it to yourself anytime soon. School’s out, July 4 weekend is looming and things are going be busy well into autumn. Summer outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking and even…

Fishing is fishing

I once heard an old fisherman say, “catching fish is easy once someone shows you how.” I agree. I’ve fished for bass, walleye, pike, and trout for most of my life, but I’ll readily admit what I don’t know about saltwater fishing would fill a small book. Ok, make that a big book. My only saltwater experience occurred years ago…

On the road again

While I was glad to see national and state-level COVID restrictions eased, I was also hesitant to throw the caution we’ve all been practicing for over a year out into the wind. But as the the month of May progressed and I found myself away from home for a series of events, I have to admit that the sense of…

‘Seal Hike’ spurs memories of past April 1 Adventure

While checking out Twitter notifications from New York State Parks earlier this month, an announcement came through for a “Seal Hike” from Montauk State Park. Yes, there are seals spotted regularly on Long Island, having witnessed some at a recent state writers conference. Have you ever seen a seal in the Niagara River though? It was about 20 years ago…

Person of the Year perspectives [video]

The April 2 edition of the New York Outdoor News hit mailboxes and newsstands earlier this week. Within its pages are many details of the 2021 Person of the Year honoree, Jim Massett, of Chittenango, in Madison County. Those of us who know Jim consider him a living legend whitetail hunter, but more so, just a genuine good person known…

Mishaps on the ice

Ice fishing season is just about over for me, and I guess I should be glad as it has been laden with mishaps. I’m not complaining, as I’m of the opinion that it is better to have gone fishing than to not have. But it’s gotten to the point where when I load my truck up with gear and head…

Woodland apartment

For no good reason I was recently thinking about this past deer season and the things you notice when you sit for hours in a deer stand. While on watch, my eyes constantly search for a tell-tale flicker of a deer tail in the evergreens or, for a horizontal shape among mostly vertical trees. For the most part, though, much…

Access a challenge for ice anglers

Being a weekend warrior ice fisherman has not been easy this season. Like everything else in the outdoor world during this COVID pandemic, ice fishing is as popular as ever and the evidence is being found not only out on the hard water, but especially anywhere anglers gain access to the ice. As an angler and a reporter I do…

Tracking 2021 legislation

This report was compiled using the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s Tracking the Capitol tool and focuses on gun legislation. There are other options for hunting, fishing, etc.In the Feb. 19 issue of New York Outdoor News, we go into detail on some of the bills that could make it to New York’s legislative floor this year. The report below was compiled…

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…

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,…

A privy addition

In the June 26 issue of New York Outdoor News, I wrote in my column about last summer’s consuming project of building an Adirondack lean-to in my yard. Adrienne and I have been enjoying it a great deal as of late, having weekend campfires and morning coffee in recent weeks now that things are cooling off a little. The lean-to has…

Nedding on the Niagara

(Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)You never know what is going to work for fishing on any given day. Sometimes it does not matter how you cast, the way you retrieve or where you throw your bait. Ultimately, it is up to the fish to grab your offering. We met at the launch ramp at the foot of Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda with…

Looking forward to camping – eventually

My wife Adrienne and I are not exactly summer people. Neither of us like hot weather and the steamy heat wave we’ve been enduring in New York in recent days has us borderline grumpy. We always say that we’d retire in Alaska or Canada before ever considering a place like Florida or the south. But one thing we do enjoy…

Taking the Grandson Fishing … with his dad

Parker Costello with his father, Kyle.In the new world of the coronavirus, the great outdoors has become a diversion of sorts – especially with fishing. License sales for residents have been on the rise because more adults were off work and kids were out of school. They needed something productive and relaxing to preoccupy their time. It did not take…