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October 25, 2013

In the Adirondacks, not all bucks are created equal

Opening day of deer season in the Adirondacks has always been a special time of year.

Deer season with a gun usually opened about the third weekend in October, nearly a month earlier than it does here. The one problem with hunting the north woods is the deer density. 

In Otsego County, there are a handful of deer in every meadow and one behind most every tree. In the never-ending forests of Hamilton County, there is only about one deer every two square miles. Heck, I’ve hunted with fellows who went entire seasons without seeing a deer in those mountains.

It’s not that they aren’t there, it’s just big unbroken country and only certain areas seem to have a lot of deer.

Twice, I hunted bears in Maine and New Brunswick and somehow ran into the same three guys from Portsmouth, N.H. We all hit it off so I invited them to come down to hunt with us one weekend near Speculator.

When they arrived Friday night the weather was clear. The weathermen mentioned a little dusting of snow before it warmed up, so the hunting looked quite good. Well, when we woke up in the morning there was a foot of snow on the ground. I guess that’s what they call a heavy dusting, but we started out and crossed the river onto the state land. We followed a trail along the Kunjamuk Flow and arrived at the hunting area. I left guys off on watch and took Tom with me over Popular Hill so we could hunt our way back to the others.

Before long it started to rain. With snow hanging on every branch and the rain pouring down we were soaked to the skin before making it the first quarter-mile. But we continued – what choice did we have? As we got closer to the watchers, I heard a shot. Tommy’s brother shot his first Adirondack buck. 

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