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Old 02-02-2018, 04:36 AM   #1
nomadicbohunk
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Basic Hunting Questions/your opinions

I finally found out where we are moving after it being up in the air for a year. Burlington VT. The hunting there doesn't sound amazing, but I'm going to really like the Adirondacks. My girlfriend is excited because she spent a lot of time there in the past.

We might buy an acerage, so I'll probably dink around there with a bow. We'll be around long enough to justify buying a place.

I'm early 30's and have worked/lived/hunted all over the west. I'm from a ranch in Nebraska. A crusty old rancher near Patagonia AZ once told my ex girlfriend (he was a family friend), "That boy doesn't belong anywhere east of the Mississippi River. Hell, the Missouri River!" Which is hilarious. I'm an ecologist, but moved to my home state a few years ago for personal reasons.

Anyway, I'm excited to explore a new part of the country. This is all new to me.

After looking at the seasons, etc, I think my big hunt I will look forward to each year will be the early muzzy season in the Adirondacks. If I want meat, there is land in Litchfield County CT I can hunt. It's got a lot of deer. I'm also going to hunt a deer camp in southern Maine every year. It sounds like more of a social thing to be honest. I'm excited to experience it. They don't get many deer. There are also a few large for the areas suburban (I'd call them that) properties I can hunt near Albany and outside of Boston. 20-80 acres each.

I was wondering how all this would play out and what I should take. Some of what I have now I'm leaving at my parent's because I won't have a use for it. Keep in mind, this is a common thing for me after doing seasonal/term jobs for a long time. My dad just likes all the toys I leave. I don't even know who owns what with some of the things. My little brother does the same thing.

I take my hunting very seriously. Because of the move, I took this fall/winter off and just hunted. My girlfriend talked me into it. It was awesome and highly recommended. I got all the western hunting out of my system. I hunted elk, mule deer, whitetails, sharptails/prairie chickens, and guided for antelope. Best time of my life. I didn't even tag out on a single big game animal either.

For optics, should I get a nice pair of small 8 power binos? I have a pair of Swaro big eyes, a pair of 10 power slcs, and a Leica spotting scope. That all sounds pretty useless in the east. I might take the slc's just because, but they're kind of heavy for actual hunting if you don't need them.

For rifles, I'm taking a 6mm Remington Ruger M77 II, a Remington 760 in 3006 (just bought it...had to buy something silly for the move), and maybe a pre 64 model 70 featherweight in 308...that's my dad's but he's told me to take it a few times.

For a muzzleloader, I'm leaving my smokeless NULA. I'm taking a lyman great plains and a CVA accura.

I bowhunt too, so I'm snagging my favorite long bow (a reeeeeaaaaalllllllly good shooting thunderstick mag), and my old compound.

I want to get into bird hunting again. I'm guessing for ruffled grouse you need a pretty short handy gun. I have a silver snipe for that (I'd rather not take it because my dad loves the thing), and a long barreled 11-87 for ducks and turkeys).

A big concern of mine is game retrieval. Usually, I quarter them out and pack them. I have lots of packs, but my favorite right now is a KUIU. I have a feeling it will be noisy in the trees. What do people do or use? I'm not stout enough to drag a deer out 3 or 4 miles solo.

I think I'll kayak in for access. Is the weather usually pretty OK for that during early muzzy? I looked at the climate data and it seemed like it, but my girlfriend was talking like it depends a lot on the elevation.

Any other thoughts? Advice? I'm super excited. I've always wanted to hunt that part of the country. Sorry to word vomit on here, but I'm starting to sort though my stuff and want some advice. I fish a lot too. The fishing in VT sounds a lot better than what I'm used to.

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2018, 09:05 AM   #2
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Welcome to the ADK Forum. I think the reason no one has commented to your post is that it is so all encompassing. You might want to break your questions down into separate questions/areas and I think you may get more response. As in any forum, you'll get a variety of answers/comments and opinions as we each have our own.

In general I think you will find hunting in the Adirondacks challenging. Deer densities are not high and the terrain can be difficult as well, depending on the area. Hunter population is likely higher than what you're used to also, but if you get more than a mile away from a road, you'll leave the vast majority of them behind. While we don't have the high elevations found in the rockies, I find our mountains challenging nontheless. If you are looking at getting several miles back in to establish a remote camp to hunt from, the logistics pose difficulties too. Your thought of using a kayak or canoe is probably a good thought that would help overcome that. It also resolves your concern about packing out your kill.

You thoughts on optics are on point, IMO. A 7 or 8 power is what most hunters use, if they use any at all. You will likely spend much less time glassing compared with western hunting but that can vary with the individual. Hunting methods vary--there are those that like to sit, those that like to still hunt, and those that like to wait for snow and track. Each method has its fans. The calibers of rifles you mentioned are all good medicine for whitetails--I'm sure you're aware of that. Action preference is an individual thing. Probably not as many bolt actions as in the west.

Birds. Grouse populations fluctuate and can be good depending on the year. You will want a quick pointing shotgun. I'm not a great grouse hunter but (to me) it is close in snap shooting, not following/leading birds like you might ducks or birds that inhabit more open country. Lake Champlain is a significant flyway for ducks and geese. I'm told that the numbers of snow geese at times can be really spectacular. I'm not a duck hunter so maybe someone else can chime in on that aspect. There are plenty of turkeys in the dacks but I'm not sure how the flocks will compare with what you are used to. They seem to be in pockets though with much terrain void of the birds, so it takes some scouting to find good areas. That being said, IMO, hunting pressure on turkeys in the Adirondacks is low. It competes with fishing as spring is one of the best times of the year for that as well.

You didn't mention fishing in your post, but Lake Champlain is an amazing fishery that you might want to explore if you enjoy it. You obviously have quite a bit of hunting experience so pardon me if I have talked down to you. Hopefully some others will chime in.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:09 AM   #3
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Burlington is not a bad area to end up in, albeit a bit pricey...if you are a waterfowler it's a great place to be. You don't need to go very far to get into the birds.
Deer hunting is also an option and there is a moose lottery. It's a small state but heavily forested in most areas. The trick (as anywhere) is land access.
Firearms ownership is a bit (lot) easier in Vermont....it's not a bad place to be...
It's worth mentioning that fishing licenses are transferable between NYS and Vermont on some waters.

If you are planning to hunt in NYS you'll need to take a Hunter Education class to get your small game license and a Bowhunter Education class to get your Muzzleloader and Bow privilege... most Western states have very relaxed HE requirements that do not meet the NYS licensing requirements. Classes can be a PITA to get into. They fill quickly. Vermont Bow Ed seems to be almost the same as ours. I'm not sure about the gun course requirements.
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Old 02-03-2018, 03:32 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have all the right gear. Your biggest challenge will be adapting and learning an all new hunting environment with extememly low deer densities. You will learn very fast what works and what does not as far as hunting techniques, gear, guns etc. You may rethink the early muzzle loader season. It's a nice time to be in the woods but it is still pre rut, temps and conditions fluctuate from year to year and the woods are ungodly thick still as you will soon find out. Successful hunters hunt and time the snowfall to a perfection. My favorite time is now the last week of the season. It will all be a learning lesson as it was for most.
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Old 02-03-2018, 06:47 PM   #5
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Start in the woods then go from there...deer love the woods, thatís a key note
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Old 02-03-2018, 07:26 PM   #6
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I'm not a hunter but this field and stream article has always stayed in my mind.
ADKs are not the west but it definitely has a unique character and lots of hidden corners to explore.
As a fly-fisherman I admire the west but I really appreciate humble and low key nature of the fishing here.

https://www.fieldandstream.com/photo...n-bucks#page-2
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Old 02-03-2018, 07:28 PM   #7
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Hunting, like many things I do, is just another reason to get in the woods. Getting into the woods is sometimes a hard goal to achieve, ah but the rewards! Hunting is the vehicle.
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:25 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum, yes that was a lot of reading!!!!!! For my 2 cents, I think you should pay attention to footwear. The Adirondacks are always wet and muddy, even in dry spells there is always a way to get your feet wet. As Mallard stated, the woods can be thick, especially before November. Good luck and have fun!!!
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Old 02-04-2018, 01:11 PM   #9
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Go in the woods and make a noise like an apple.

Wear wool and good boots.
Whats the old seasonal logistics on taking a big game animal in the Adk's? Something like;
1 in 7 get a doe, 1 in 100 get a buck, 1 in 1300 get a bear.
Expect most shots at under 100yds.
Expect significant changes of temperature and possibly weather, for an autumn day.

Last edited by Woodly; 02-04-2018 at 01:22 PM.. Reason: additional info
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:46 AM   #10
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Litchfield County in northwest Connecticut has some nice deer, not as many as a few years back, but still worth the effort. State land with 20 gauge
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ADKpikebuster View Post
Start in the woods then go from there...deer love the woods, that’s a key note
Lol...I love that statement. It's such a simple concept, the execution of which is complex and difficult as hell.
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Old 02-05-2018, 05:35 PM   #12
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Thanks! I'm just excited. I'm half posting on here for advice and half to sort my thoughts.

According to my girlfriend (who's spent a lot of time there), the weather is slightly milder in winter and summer there (not nearly as windy, humid, or hot and cold), but soooooo much more snow and rain. The snow is going to take some getting used to for me. I've never lived anywhere with a lot or had to work in it too much (nothing over 3 feet). Usually it just drifts around and is only deep in areas.

That's a really nice whitetail for CT from what I've seen. The guy who hunts their land now has been showing me photos. He had a couple on there that were pretty old, so I'm lucky.

It's going to be super different for me. I love small stream fishing the best (lots of that in the west, it's just not written about). I've had this ongoing quest to catch every native trout subspecies in the lower 48 in their native waters. It takes me to some fun places I'd never have seen other wise.

The hunting is going to get me. I'm going to play around with tracking one, but if I can even see it, I'll be happy. I liked that F&S link. I've been interlibrary loaning a lot of hunting books from the region.

We go camping about every weekend (we just counted it up and did 63 days last year). My plan is to focus in on an area for that and hope I get get some area pinned down for early muzzleloader and spend the entire season in there. Then during rifle I'll kind of putz around and see how it goes. I've got a lot to learn. I have a feeling I'll learn just as much wandering around as I will trying to be productive.

If anyone is curious, here's a nice whitetail I got a couple years ago. It's a little smaller than average horn wise for the area I shot it in for the age of the deer. https://imgur.com/a/UnX2P I will be ecstatic with a basket rack in the Adirondacks. Funny enough, the deer densities are a little lower where I shot that deer than in the forest. It's just that you can spot them 2 miles away. That's how I've been describing it to my friends. "Imagine the same deer densities, but you can only see 50 yards."
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:55 PM   #13
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I never heard an Adirondack/Green or White Mountain winter called 'mild' before. Interesting.
You'll have fun here, guaranteed.
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:05 PM   #14
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I never heard an Adirondack/Green or White Mountain winter called 'mild' before. Interesting.
You'll have fun here, guaranteed.
Yeah, I've lived in Central Alaska and while not as cold as it is there, I don't underestimate how cold it can get in the Adirondacks.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:09 PM   #15
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She never said they were mild. Just consistently a hair warmer in temperature and less windy on average. There are terrible areas and I understand that...elevation and that. She misses the snow. The snow scares me!
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:24 PM   #16
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She never said they were mild. Just consistently a hair warmer in temperature and less windy on average. There are terrible areas and I understand that...elevation and that. She misses the snow. The snow scares me!
Well then be prepared to be afraid. I am in the western Adirondacks and we have had many feet of snow so far this season still counting and as cold as -36F. The interior gets plenty of snow, maybe not quiet as much as the lowland lake effect driven snow of the western part (with the possible exception of snowfall in the highest peaks). Check the low temperature records for Saranac Lake or Whiteface to see how cold it can really get.

Camp:


Another year:


house roof shoveling:
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:38 AM   #17
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Up at forestry school in Wanakena they had weather records from their weather stations, coldest temp recorded was in the negative 60 degree range in a part of the forest known as the "frost pocket" . Granted those records are "unofficial", it goes to show that actual temps found out in the backcountry in protected valleys can be colder than what the weather guy is telling you.
I know the official record low is -52 in Old Forge.

Anyway, welcome Nomad! I think you'll like the area, but the Bucks are going to make you earn it.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:09 AM   #18
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Great photos.
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:04 AM   #19
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Anyway, welcome Nomad! I think you'll like the area, but the Bucks are going to make you earn it.
No question about that. They're all trophies in the Adirondacks.
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Old 02-06-2018, 05:32 PM   #20
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Nomad, do us a favor and keep us updated as things progress for you, eh?
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