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Everything posted by dawsonscreek

  1. I see this "kill em all" attitude far too often about coyotes, and it's quite ignorant really. I understand that they kill deer as other game species, and I even hunt them myself, but if we were to kill all the coyotes we would have no deer to hunt soon after. A quote from Aldo Leopold "I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades" I am by no means trying to pick a fight with anybody here, or even against the hunting of coyotes, like if said, I hunt them myself. I just feel they deserve more respect than we give them. Personally, I do not dislike coyotes, but respect them as the area's top predator (next to humans of course) and understand tag they do need to be managed, but not eliminated. Just my two cents, have a safe and productive season. Jeff I too have wondered about how running them with dogs works too, I saw a bunch of people last Saturday getting ready to go out for them. Congrats on a successful hunt with the dogs, I know how proud I am of my hound when she runs a rabbit!
  2. Another one to be cautious of along with cold water is swamp mud. I hunted a warm water swamp the last two days that is impossible to wade because the mud is so soft you will sink past your hips and could be in trouble fast. You could easily lose your balance and drown. Thankfully my buddy has hunted the swamp for years and knows of one spot where you can cross, even there at one point the mud was to my knees an water to my chest, we brought the kayak to retrieve ducks as well. Think things through and use caution even on things you've done 1000 times. Good luck with the rest of the season! I had some spectacular misses this morning
  3. Hunted the cohocton river today. We saw flocks of mallards and blacks drop into a swamp that borders it as well as a few flocks of a small fast duck we couldn't identify. Ice chunks kept ducks off the river in te morning so we decided to go take a look at the swamp. Had we hunted the swamp like we thought about, we would have probably limited. we Jumped alot of ducks off the swamp. My buddy shot one that looked like a hen mallard to we got our hands on it. It was too small to be a mallard and lacked the blue speculum. I believe by the speculum that this is a gadwall.
  4. I saw 2 hen Ruddy's at the city pier in Canandaigua earlier this month. Very cool!
  5. Try Scream-N-gray fox. And different rabbit sounds. First fox came in to the fox sound second came in to a rabbit distress. Persistence and being in a low pressure area with a decent population helps. Good luck! These were the first animals I've actually brought in, apart from a coyote last year.
  6. I took the Foxpro out tonight with hopes of a gray fox. First set was right before dark, to my surprise, a gray came in and I fumbled to get the safety on the rifle off and ended up not getting a shot. A few more sets produced no foxes. We got dinner and headed to a different property, first set a gray came bounding in.It was now pitch dark so I switched to using a shotgun with an extra full choke and Federal's Dead Coyote load. I took a shot I probably shouldn't have, and hit the fox but did not kill it. My friend tried to finish it off, but missed. I've never shot in the dark, and regret not practicing it. At one point we each had a shot at the fox again, but he was between me and my friend, so safety being the number one concern, no shots were taken. We tried to catch up to the fox but it got away, definitely wounded. We will return tomorrow to make every effort to find the animal. It's more than just some varmint to me. Every animal deserves respect, whether it be a monster buck or a coyote. Can't help but feel humbled by tonight's experience. No hunter is above making a bad shot, and any one who thinks they are will be proven wrong. Positives- I was successful. I couldn't be more elated that two grays came in to the call. It was a lot of fun. Due to life events, i.e. growing up, and work, I have lost contact with a good friend that I used to hunt with all the time. Tonight, it was nice to have a new friend to spend time in the outdoors with. I realized my mistakes, and will not make them again. I didn't let the excitement of the hunt jeopardize our safety. Negatives- I took a shot I was not 100% sure of, and for that, I am having a hard time coming to terms with. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.
  7. Are those buffleheads? How do they taste compared to a mallard?
  8. I saw some sign this year. A few other guys that hunt my lease saw them, and one guy shot one. I didn't see any this year, nor would I shoot one if I did. I am not against the taking of bears, but personally would not want to kill one myself. I have had some cool experiences over the years with them though, including a bruin laying down 30 yards from me in archery season and just eating cob after cob of corn.
  9. Saw that too! Interested to see how this turns out. Wisconsin has had a few confirmed reports, as has Michigan. This could likely be a wild cat, it is likely to be a male, looking to establish his own breeding ground!
  10. It is tough to find good spots anymore. The place I hunt is a hunting lease that I am on, which seems to be the story for most land around anymore. Either it's controlled by a lease and you have to pay what is usually a lot of money to hunt, or the landowner doesn't give out permission. I live near Erwin/Addsion and there is one particular lease that controls gobs of land along that area. I'm not familiar with Waverly, but Erwin has a large chunk of state land that has good squirrel hunting and decent grouse hunting on it if you're looking for a place to go let me know and I'll try and point you in the right direction.
  11. I'm just getting back into squirrel hunting. It's how I started, I think it's how most hunters start. I really enjoyed myself on the last squirrel hunt, gotta fill the freezer with something this year Rabbits are always a blast, especially with a beagle.
  12. Well my deer season was very unproductive. I saw lots of people with great success and some that struggled as I did. Now is the time for the fun, relaxing hunts. Bullspitting with your buddies till ducks are spotted or till the dog brings the rabbit around is what I love about small game. Hope that everybody who small game hunts has a safe and productive winter! I'm off to a good start so far!
  13. Well, as promised, here is my thoughts on this subject. Critical Thinking-Mountain lions in NY. Each year in New York State there are reports and stories of mountain lion sightings. Although mountain lions were a native species in New York, they have been extirpated since the early 1900s due to deforestation and population boom. These current sightings are likely to be misidentifications of common New York mammals. First, one third of the reported sightings are that of black mountain lions. However, no black cougar has ever been confirmed anywhere in the world. No museums have any black mountain lion hides to examine. A likely explanation for theses sightings could be the misidentification of a common mammal. Several New York mammals could be mistaken as a black mountain lion; the fisher being a very possible scenario. Fishers are dark brown to black in color, have a long tail, and are shaped similar to a cat. However, fishers are not even close to the size of an adult mountain lion. An adult male mountain lion could reach 150 pounds or more and be 6 feet long, whereas a fisher is only going to be around three feet long and around 12 pounds. Other animals that could look like a black mountain lion would be large black dogs, such as a Labrador, or even a large house cat. The size of an animal can be difficult to judge at times, especially when the animal is long way off, in an open field with nothing nearby for comparison, or when the viewer only gets a quick glimpse. Add to this the adrenaline and excitement that would come with such a sighting and it is easy to see how sizes can get overestimated. Next, the number of claims of mountain lions does not cohere with the amount of confirmed sign that is found in New York. On average, a mountain lion takes over 11 million steps in a year. Though not every step is going to leave a perfect footprint in an easy to find spot, if New York has a population of mountain lions there would be plenty of sign available to inspect. The sign they would leave would also be fairly easy to find. In western states, where there are large populations of mountain lions, sign is abundant. Sign in these areas is easier to see than an actual live lion, some people that live in these states have never seen a mountain lion but have seen plenty of sign. Why is then, that mountain lion sightings are more common than sign in New York? In Lake George, NY, a mountain lion was spotted by a homeowner. Later, tracks were found in their yard, as well as scat, and hairs in a bed where the animal had laid down. Tests concluded that this lion had traveled all the way from South Dakota and passed through New York on its way to Connecticut, where it was struck and killed by a vehicle. This one animal passing through the state left enough track and sign to be inspected, and it was even photographed by one person. If New York had a population of mountain lions, there would surely be enough sign to inspect. Furthermore, New York has not produced the carcass of a wild mountain lion to inspect. A cub that had escaped captivity was killed by a hunter who mistook it for a bobcat, but this cannot be used as evidence to support the idea that a population exists. Whether it be struck by a vehicle, killed by a human, or dead by natural causes, if there was a population of mountain lions in New York then there would be bodies to inspect. Though mountain lions prefer to stay in secluded areas, it is nearly impossible for them to avoid all roads. In states with established mountain lion populations road-killed mountain lions are not uncommon. Even in the mountain ranges of New York, there are too many roads for a mountain lion not to be struck by a car. Though it is unlikely a trapper in NY would catch a mountain lion, because most do not use a larger enough trap, it is possible that one would be treed by hunting dogs. New Yorkers hunt raccoons, rabbits, coyotes, and birds with dogs. Though bears cannot be hunted with dogs, hunters can train their dogs on bears during closed seasons. If mountain lions had an established population it is very likely they would be getting treed by these dogs on occasion. In western states, with “huntable†populations, using dogs is the most effective way to hunt mountain lions. In conclusion, the continued lack of physical evidence does not support the idea that New York has a population of mountain lions, not even a small population. It is possible that some of these sightings are not misidentifications, but are that of a mountain lion just passing through, like with the case of the Lake George lion. However, there is not the amount of sign here that there would be if a population existed. The vast majority of sightings are just misidentifications of common mammals. I have been a skeptic on this topic for the most part but still had thought that it may have been possible to have a few mountain lions in the remote areas of the Adirondacks or Catskills. After learning what I did from class and research, though, I now find it extremely unlikely. The amount of space one lion, let alone a small population, needs is just not available in New York. Too many roads are not producing road kills and too many trail cameras are out there not picking up photos to show evidence of a population. Mountain lions out west are slowly spreading eastward though, Wisconsin has had confirmed examples of mountain lions. Maybe in the future the mountain lion will return to New York, but as for now, there is just not enough evidence present to prove a population currently exists in New York.
  14. Can we stay on the topic of lions? I'd hate for this thread to get shut down similarly to the tributary forum bantering. As an aside to all these claims of black mountain lions, I was going to wait but I guess I'm getting impatient. According to Missouri Department of Conservation, "Throughout its range, no melanistic (that means black) mountain lion has ever been documented by science". So if you hear a claim of people seeing a black lion, they saw either a large black house cat (I had one growing up that weighed over 20 pounds, he was obese though) or they saw a fisher, hell, maybe even a black bear. Now, in North America there are melanistic jaguars in the Southwest. Central and South America have these cats too. They are not a different species, they are no larger or smaller than a regular colored jaguar. They just have more of the pigment melanin. I did not want to comment on this subject really, as I hate debating with people. I could compare most debates with walking repeatedly into a brick wall, no progress is made. But, as I am hoping to have a career with one of the natural resource departments, I might as well get some practice informing people with facts rather than "wive's (wise) tales" . I make no claims to be an expert, a college degree doesn't mean I know what the hell I'm talking about, but I do take pride in the degree I'm working on and may know more than I'll give myself credit for. Contrarily, there's a student that sits two seats down from me, but rather than facts, he bases everything he says on what he's heard, he lacks the filter between his brain and mouth.....Goodnight.
  15. I will definitely chime in once we finish the subject in class. My professor, Dr. John Van Niel, is extremely knowledgeable about North American mammals. But , like you, I prefer to post facts I know are true. I will not risk my reputation on things I heard, or that a friend of a friend heard.
  16. Interesting. We are covering this topic the next couple weeks in my conservation class. I refuse to chime in as of now, because, like most of you, I am NOT formally informed on the subject. I know some facts but will keep them to myself. I can't believe I even posted this much, for fear of this turning into the same crap that happens on tributary forums. But, upon completion of the topic in class, I will post my two cents.
  17. If you are cooking the bird whole, even just the breasts for that matter, I highly recommend that you brine the bird overnight on Saturday. There's all sorts of recipes for brines, they are basically just a salt water + sugar solution. I made one last year using chicken stock, water, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, bay leaves and sage. I brined the bird overnight and smoked it at 200 degrees for a few hours till it was done. By far the best turkey I ever had, incredibly moist! Best of luck this weekend!
  18. I have a Sheffield DRII rod and an Okuma Sheffield reel for sale. I have had this setup for a year and only have used it three times; I just can't seem to put the fly rod down. The rod was $220 new and the reel was $200. I am asking $350. I live in Corning and Canandaigua, so we can discuss pickup/delivery options. Please send a PM if you are intersted.
  19. I'll be 24 in a few weeks. I feel as though I may have matured much faster than most hunters. Too fast sometimes I feel. I have a wall hanger; 13 points, probably scored 130, but I wouldn't know. I didn't have him scouted out, I was in the right place at the right time. I am just as satisfied with a butterball doe as I am with a mega buck, or a rag horn 6 for that matter. I enjoy having the privilege just to be out there, getting a deer is just a bonus. I won't lie; it gets frustrating not seeing deer sometimes, but then all I need to do is see some unfortunate person wheelchair bound for life an my perspective changes. Every day in the woods is a blessing, so enjoy the time out there.
  20. Hard to believe an organism the size of a crumb can cripple you for life or even worse. I am a magnet for the things, and all other biting bugs. I can be next to my dad in the swamp and be swarmed by mosquitoes or horse flies and he won't even have one near him. Same applies with ticks.
  21. If it makes your knees wobble, it's a trophy. I'm in the same boat; managing the land I hunt for trophy deer isn't a reality. Bordered by state land, and other hunter properties, if we pass them there is still a good chance they will get shot. I am just as proud of my 13 point 130" as I am my 2 point spike, or mama doe. I see far too much condescending remarks about people shooting young bucks. Harvest only what you'll use, and enjoy you're time out there. You never know when you'll be six feet under and the ride is over.
  22. Awesome! No kid remembers their best day playing Xbox, but he's sure to remember this day forever. Thanks for sharing!
  23. Very cool! Nice work to you and the dog.
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