Autumn is coming with mild weather and lots of activities – Oneida Dispatch

Red maple trees along the shoreline of many lakes, river bottoms and wetlands in the Adirondacks are already displaying bright red colors, giving a sample of what was to come in a few weeks. On the lakes, the loons gather for their flight south in another month. Bass fishing is starting to pick up as trout anglers hope the cooler weather will improve trout and salmon fishing after a difficult season.

Many people in this region enjoy the good weather in late August and early September as they prepare for another fall. This weekend marks a change in timing, planning and outlook.

For most people, fall signals a change in activities from the carefree days of summer. But that doesn’t mean outdoor activities should stop. Although school, fall sports and necessary chores may interfere, there is still plenty to do. Fishing will be better, most hunting seasons will begin soon, and there will still be milder weather suitable for canoeing, boating, camping, or hiking 315-357-3971 or 357-2079.

There is the first goose season which opens today, September 1st and lasts until September 23rd. Squirrel season is open now and grouse (partridge) season in the northern zone opens on September 20. Most small game open Oct. 1, including a two-week turkey season, Oct. 1-14 in the North Zone.

For something different for fun and excitement, take a trip to the Old Forge & Raquette Lake area next weekend. The Adirondack Canoe Classic, better known as the 90 Miler race, kicks off in Old Forge around 8 a.m. on Friday, September 9. The colorful gathering on the Old Forge waterfront will begin in classes. The best views are on the Arrowhead Park Boardwalk in Inlet, from 9am to 11am as the many paddlers pass by.

Around 12:00 to 1:00 a.m., many boats will pass over the Raquette Lake Bridge on their way to the first day’s destination at Blue Mt. Lake.

Fishermen are eager to see the start of the salmon run. Chinook salmon continue to make their way to Mexico Bay in anticipation of the upwelling of tributaries. So far they are scattered and only a trickle has started to come up the Salmon River. But soon, a combination of biological emergency and cold rains will trigger a rise in tributary streams.

Meanwhile, the big fish are scattered along Lake Ontario at depths of 70 to 600 feet. On the first day they may be close to shore, but then they move to deeper water.

Finding them takes time and effort, but once you do, they hit big magnum spoons such as the Green Glo gaspereau models. Cut baits behind the turn signals such as Kryptonite, white with green dots, or “scumline” patterns work well.

As mentioned earlier, the special Early Goose season kicks off today and will run until September 25. yards, lawns, water supplies, or generally making themselves an unwanted pest. They have learned that life is easier here and have adapted and reproduced in large numbers.

Early season Canada goose hunters must still register for a HIP number, possess a federal duck stamp and use non-toxic shot. At the start of goose season, the daily limit is 15 birds per day. Hunters are advised to shoot a LOT. Please! In comparison, “normal” Canada geese are in trouble and during the regular season from October 22 to November 20, the daily limit is only one!

Hunters are reminded to obtain their new license before October 1st. You can renew with permit officers, by phone or by mail. Even if you hold a lifetime license, deer hunters will want to apply for their antlerless license (deer management license) before the October 1 deadline. Permits are drawn but your chances are determined by the odds by DMU. You can check your chances on licensing agent listings or online.

The important dates are the waterfowl hunt for young people on September 17 and 18 and the deer and bear hunt for young people from October 8 to 10. Set your DVR to record football matches and if your favorite team loses again, you can erase it without suffering the agony of watching it.


Labor Day Hiking Precautions

With the holiday weekend, many people will be heading out to enjoy the outdoors in all ways and in all parts of the state. Typically one of the busiest areas will be the High Peaks in the Adirondacks. If this is part of your plans, be sure to plan properly, take the necessary precautions, and let others know of the destination, times, etc.

Since popular hiking spots are bound to be busy, you should consider alternate or back-up plans. The weather is always changeable up there, so be prepared for any situation. There are still biting insects like deer flies, so make sure you have enough repellent.

Remember that there are several new shuttles designed to alleviate overcrowding and parking issues. Check the DEC website if you haven’t already. Some like the Rte 73 shuttle are free but require masks and do not allow dogs.

If your dogs accompany you on long hikes, be aware that they are at risk of heat exhaustion or even death in hot weather. If your dog seems in trouble or about to collapse, get him into the shade as soon as possible. Use water to cool his feet and stomach. Better yet, leave your pet at home.

Bear canisters are needed in the eastern High Peaks and are a good idea elsewhere. Keep all food and other scented items there and store them at least 100 feet from your tent.

Thanks to recent rains in many areas, the fire danger is now moderate. However, there is still a fire danger due to the buildup of dry tinder, brush, etc. The recent fire at the campsite on the island of Algiers which spread and burned down a lean-to is an example of this.

Thanks to the quick action of rangers and the Eagle Bay Fire Department, it was contained and a serious situation averted. If you have a fire, try using an existing fireplace, make sure it is completely extinguished and there are no embers or sparks underground or burning.

Even in other areas, there will be plenty of people out to hike, picnic, or combine a family outing and a fishing trip. Practice common courtesy, social distancing, and make your vacation outing a safe and fun time for everyone.

Hunting supervised by young people and women offered

Again this year, Sportsmen and ECOs in Oneida and Madison Counties are offering youth and women the opportunity to learn and experience a supervised goose hunt. This continues to be a great opportunity for youth 12+ and women who otherwise have no one to teach them goose hunting skills. This year the hunt will take place on the weekend of September 25 with a safety and education day on
September 24.

12-15 year olds must have a small game license and HIP number. Youth 16 and over and women must have the above and a federal waterfowl stamp. They must use steel or other non-toxic shot for the day of their hunt. Number 2 shot or BB size is recommended. On security day, ammunition will be provided.
Space is limited for this popular event, so anyone interested should register as soon as possible. You can visit the website or contact the following people for forms or any questions:

Scott Faulkner –, or 315.225-0192.
Steven Lakeman –, or 315-734-0648
Ricardo Grisolini – Ricardo, or 607-316-2574

Save the Date – Grouse Society Banquet

Although it’s two months away, mark your calendars for November 4 for the Central NY Ruffed Grouse Society’s 40th Annual Banquet. This year it will be at Drumlins in Syracuse and will include a social hour, dinner, auction and raffles. As always, there will be a wide variety of items available. The money raised will go to conservation projects aimed at improving the habitat of grouse and woodcock. Banquet details and reservations will be available soon.

Sally J. Minick