Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 43


Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 43

Another day of sunshine and my crocuses will be blooming, but tomorrow it says single digits in the morning. These little early plants must have antifreeze in their systems to take those low temperatures and keep on blooming. We saw some snow drops in bloom in a garden along one of the streets in Utica on Friday. I can see the buds on the red maples are getting bigger, so the sap is running to fuel that. 

Eric Sutherland got his sap house in operation this week and made a couple boils, so he’s learning about all the bells and whistles of his unit. 

The black bear take from the fall hunt in New York State was 1505 total. The Northern Zone take was 326: 215 during the regular season, 64 during the early season and 19 during bow season. In the Southern Zone 1,179 were taken: 619 during the regular season, 184 during the early season, and 352 taken with a bow, which is more than taken all season in the Northern Zone.

Of the 1505 taken, 42% were females and 585 were males. Several parts of the Southern Zone had 15.1 to 28.9 bears taken per 100 square miles. Only one part of the Northern Zone had 5.1 to 10.0 bears per 100 square miles taken.

The heaviest bear taken was 643 pounds, taken with a bow in Sullivan County. Only one bear over 400 pounds was taken in the Northern Zone; that was a 430- pound bear taken in St Lawrence County. The other eight bears over 400 pounds were all taken in the Southern Zone.

Bear teeth used to age bears have not yet been analyzed. Bear take in the Northern Zone has gone down all but one year since 2009. Bear take in the Southern Zone has gone up in all but two years since 2009. So, if you are looking for a bear you would have better luck in the Southern Zone than the Northern Zone.

A few new birds hit the feeders, but didn’t hang around with all this warm weather. They just had a snack and moved on northward. If we get some more snow, you will see some of these birds hit your feeders again and hope they get to them before the bears do as I’m sure some of those big guys are out roaming. I’ve had a few chipmunks hitting my feeders for the last two weeks. The new birds this week were grackles. While out walking around Moss Lake I did hear a Saw Whet Owl tooting for lunch. Then on the trail there today, 3/15, I had a flock of Black Capped Chickadees, two Red Breasted Nuthatches, seven Blue Jays, two American Goldfinch, one Hairy Woodpecker and 8 Crows respond to my spishing. I did have Ruffed Grouse strut across the Big Moose Road, but it didn’t stand on the snowbank, all fluffed out, long enough for a picture. 

As the number of people infected with the coronavirus increases by the hour, people’s lives will be changing and mostly not for the better. As soon as more testing is done, I’m sure many more cases will be found and some locally may pop up, as we are such a mobile society. You can’t wash your hands enough times during the day just to be safe. My hands are so clean, they almost squeak. 

Keep and eye on the coronavirus so it doesn’t sneak up on you, but that’s another story. See ya.

Eric Sutherland's Sugar House


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  • Mary Ellen Guerra 22/03/2020 9:37am (4 months ago)

    View may be closed but I sure hope Gary's posts will continue somehow. He keeps us in touch not only with the fauna, flora and humans in the north country but also about what's happening further afield. And plenty is happening not so far from each one of us right now. Be prudent and stay safe and keep your hands squeaking!

  • Sue Ann Clemens 21/03/2020 2:20pm (4 months ago)

    Thank you!

  • Ellen Kreitler 21/03/2020 12:26pm (4 months ago)

    Please keep these posts coming! In this time of uncertainly your columns are a refreshing diversion that I look forward to and a reminder of “home”.

  • Connie and Art Milligan 21/03/2020 8:23am (4 months ago)

    Thanks again Gary (and Travis). We never miss reading your reports, Gary. Makes us feel like we're there! Our best to you, to Karen, and to all the View folks. We know you'll keep scrubbing to stay safe.

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