With the exception of the uppermost elevations, the Adirondack woods have remained free of snowcover for nearly the entire big game hunting season. It appears snowless conditions are reflected in the current northern zone harvest, which seems to be below average at this point in the season.
Although harvest numbers appear to be down, the situation can turn around in a hurry with the arrival of significant snow, especially if it remains on the ground through the Thanksgiving weekend, which is typically one of the busiest weekends of the season.
I expect the recent arrest in Brighton of a deer jacker who stole a buck from someone's front porch is not the result of hunter desperation. More likely, it's an indication of a propensity for pilfering.
Stealing from a private residence is a far more serious and dangerous crime than taking one from the woods. And obviously, the thief never considered the fact that the rightful owner also happened to be a good shot!
According to press reports, Ray Brook-based state police have charged Timothy D. Coventry, 24, of Paul Smiths with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a class A misdemeanor.
State police estimate the value of the deer to be around $520, but I expect the buck was worth a lot more to the hunter who actually harvested it.
Steve Piatt of Elizabethtown was recently proclaimed the winner of the 2012 Professional Communications Award. The New York State Council of Trout Unlimited recognized Piatt, editor of New York Outdoor News, for his outstanding contributions to sportsmen and conservationists.
The annual award is reserved for journalists who have made major contributions to New York's sportsmen and women.
Piatt is a former Director of Communications for the Lake Placid Visitors Bureau. He resigned from the bureau to take on editorial duties for the inaugural publication of the New York Outdoor News in 2004.
The New York Outdoor News has sister Outdoor News publications in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. It is available via monthly subscriptions, as well at newsstands and bookstores.
With a circulation of more than 33,000, the Outdoor News has grown to become one of the premier news sources for outdoor recreation in the region.
Piatt, who has been editor of the New York Outdoors News since its founding in 2004 was cited for his exemplary service, integrity and leadership in bringing current news of the outdoors to a wide audience in New York and neighboring states.
Piatt and his wife Paula have been responsible for the entire monthly publication, which was certainly a daunting task as a startup. However, the magazine quickly established a competent core of outdoor writers as its circulation has grown.
In a press release issued by the New York State Council of Trout Unlimited, immediate past chair Dee Maciejewski noted that the paper plays an important role in the legislative halls in Albany, where its consistent support of outdoors activities and conservation has been a significant voice for sportsmen and women.
"Steve has been a constant spokesman for the best in outdoor interests, be it fishing, hunting or other things we do in New York," said Walter Trzcienski, President of the Lake Champlain Trout Unlimited chapter that sponsored Piatt for the award. "All sportsmen join me in congratulating him on this achievement."
Steve is an old friend who has an affinity for all aspects of outdoor recreation, including a particular addiction to turkey hunting. And while he remains just a local outdoor enthusiast at heart, he has been able to share his expertise with a huge statewide audience.
After the premier issue of New York Outdoor News was finally coming together in the fall of 2004, Steve called me to see if I would be willing to provide a photograph of a potential state record brook trout that I had recently taken.
I considered the offer after he told me the expected monthly circulation would be around 25,000 subscriptions. I thought it would be good exposure.
When my photo appeared on the front cover, I was surprised. I was shocked when I learned that 250,000 complimentary copies of the inaugural issue were to be distributed to sporting good stores.
It has been more than eight years since the issue was published, and people are still asking me about the story they read in New York Outdoor News.
I often compare the publication to a similarly popular outdoor oriented magazine, entitled New York Sportsman. It was a staple of outdoor enthusiasts throughout the 1970s and '80s, and in similar style, the publication was the life's work of another devoted outdoor couple, the late Paul and Janice Keesler.
It is fitting to note the New York State Outdoor Writers Association continues to award the Annual M. Paul Keesler New York Outdoor Citizen Award to an individual or organization that effectively has raised the public's awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities and conservation issues in the state.
Fittingly, the 2012 the New York State Outdoor Writers' Association bestowed Paul Keesler Outdoor Citizen Award upon the late Ed Feldmann at their annual convention this fall.
Feldmann was recognized for his outstanding efforts to create awareness. As a professional broadcaster and writer on hunting, fishing and conservation, he was truly an ambassador for New York's outdoors.
Feldman was a career public affairs officer for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, and similar to Steve Piatt, Feldman was a turkey fanatic.