Adirondack Deer Hunt

New York offers some great deer hunting, but that’s not what you’ll find in the Adirondacks. Unless your idea of great deer hunting is hundreds of thousands of acres with dense stands of spruce and fir, boggy terrain one minute and steep rocks the next. To be fair Adirondack deer are typically pretty darn big, but they are also few and far between.

That’s what I was up against over the Thanksgiving holiday. That and unseasonable cold. It was -11 when I headed out Friday morning. When I got back three hours later the temperature had warmed to -1. My hunting strategy was to dress warm and find a spot that was relatively open with good visibility, then hit the rattling antlers and see if I could call in a buck. With only one week left in the Northern Zone season it seemed likely that the rut had mostly run its course so I didn’t get too aggressive. There were plenty of tracks, even a set of fresh tracks likely made by a buck. Several rattling sequences yielded nothing. The only substantial sign of life encountered was a grouse that flushed on my walk in. Had I been toting a shotgun I would have had a great shot. But the 45-70 was a bit too much gun!

The evening hunt went the same but at least it was warmer. 34 degrees when I headed into the woods and down to the teens when I got back. I didn’t notice any fresh tracks and saw only blue jays and chickadees. Of course, the next morning as we were getting ready to leave there were fresh deer tracks just outside the house. Big ones, like the kind  a buck typically makes. Of course there were!

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