Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 40
Winter held on for the weekend, but it sounds like we may have a warm-up with some rain this week. Some of the snowmobile trails are down to snirt; that’s a mixture of snow and dirt, but still ride-able. This on-again off-again winter is hard to plan for, but it looks like that’s going to be the norm from now on with climate change being what it is. Snowmobiles are still traveling much too fast on these trails in the woods. It’s only a matter of time until two hit head-on around one of these corners. I’m sure there have been some fender benders that have gone unreported, as I find tracks off the trail with parts in the woods, but no blood on the snow as they escaped that time. Life is too short, so slow down and respect others on the trail and the trail packers.
There seem to be more snowshoers than skiers on the foot trails and ski trails this year. This trend has been rising for the last few years. I always found that there wasn’t much glide to the snowshoes, but if you are climbing mountains, I would be on snowshoes with cleats attached to the bottom.
Checking traps the other day, I threw a shoe, as one of my bindings broke. I don’t know how many miles they have been through, but it’s been a few. It was on-site repair, as I was more than a mile back in the woods. I got out my Leatherman and punched a couple of new holes then put in a short piece of beaver wire to hold the pieces together and I was back on the trail. My new snowshoes have longer tails than my old ones and I get tripped up once and awhile.
I was crossing one pond the other day and just breaking through the snow cover into the water on top of the ice below. I wasn’t much above zero and then the snow started freezing to my shoes. By the time I was on the other side, I was carrying two cement blocks on my feet. I knocked the snow off but going back across it was the same way. I try to stay on my old trail across but the blowing snow covers it up. I ended up making a new one, not good. Many shorelines are open under the snow after all the winter brakes we’ve had so you must be careful there. I check with my ice spud before crossing anywhere these days.
My driveway, many parking lots and sidewalks have been skating rinks after they were cleared and got rained on and froze so be careful. Wear your traction devices and spare a broken arm or hip.
I must relate a snowblower incident my brother Bob had in that last big drop of snow. He blows out several of his neighbor’s driveways and walks out on Willsboro Point. A neighbor lady called and wondered if he could make a path to her propane tank and he asked if she had picked up all her Christmas light cords as he knew she had lights in her yard, and she said yes. So, he went over and started up this path which wasn’t’ far from her porch which had a small Christmas tree on it. He didn't get too far when things started moving when he wound up a cord in the blower that was hooked to that tree that was no longer on the porch and it started going through the blower until all the shear pins broke. He left her a note that she missed getting one of the lead cords, but he found it, sorry about your Christmas tree it’s mulch!
Last hunting season was the safest on record as far as hunting incidents. Only 12 incidents reported,
Two party firearm incidents with one fatality and 5 self- inflicted incidents with no fatalities. Thanks to the efforts of 2,600 DEC staff and volunteer hunter education program instructors that teach nearly 50,000 students each year. Since the 1960s the number of hunters has declined about 20%, while the incident rate has declined about 80%. The current five- year average is 1.8 incidents per 100,00 hunters, compared to 19 per 100,000 hunters in the 1960s.
Bear take in the fall of 2019 but that’s another story. See ya.
Snowmobiles on Trail Ten going over the new bridge
Fields of phragmites Bottle Creek