On the fly: Cam Hackett tosses a fly to the base of a mountain waterfall, while prospecting for wild brook trout.
After a few months of skipping out on providing my regular weekly columns, I am finally back on track. I wasn’t goofing off, as most would expect of me, I was attending to family matters.
I appreciate all of the cards, letters and emails from old friends, new friends and other friends of my brother’s who took the time to write, call and email to share their stories of his adventures with me.
Following his recent passing, I’ve been spending a majority of my time in the woods and on the waters, where fish have been biting as regularly as the deer flies and the punkies that seem to constantly orbit my noggin.
The local woods and waters are certainly a therapeutic environment. I guess it is because it’s easy to forget your troubles when there is so much activity constantly going on all around you.
There’s nothing more reassuring than watching a stunning sunset, as it dresses up the mountainside with a warm alpen-glow, to confirm there is something much grander when we finally go off to the great beyond. I’ve heard it described as God’s Country
I’ve often noticed it, but I guess I appreciate it more now than ever, “Up in the mountains, so still it make you scared; where God lies waiting in his great white beard.”
Orson “Old Mountain” Phelps, a legendary Adirondack guide who hailed from Keene Valley explained the unique spiritual presence of the mountains when he explained the local scenery to Charles Dudley Warner, “It seems as if, .. as if the Creator had kept something just to look at himself.”
Although I know I’ll never see my brother tromping through the local woods again; they will always look the same as they were when he was with us, and that’s familiar enough for me.
The new Old Invasives
Although I have not be able to obtain any firm scientific evidence to confirm the fact, it appears there are two old invasives on the rise in the North Woods.
In addition to such new pests as ticks, knotweed, and the potential for Spiny Water Fleas; two old menaces are currently on the rise. I know, I have found them in my own home regularly this summer and obviously so have many others.
What is a summer without ants? I don’t mind when they come to my picnic, but I draw the line when they so up at my dinner table. They seem to be everywhere except in the woods.
And how about all those mice? I can’t speak for homeowners in the Champlain Valley region, but it appears the “metal munching, mountain mice” are back in our area again. They’ve been out in force, inside. Maybe it’s just all the rain that has florced they to seek a drier environment.
Many homeowners tell me they’ve never experienced such an unprecedented outbreak. I’ve never such a break-in!
I expect to have to deal with mice in camp, especially in an old hunting camp and occasionally, a mouse in the house when the weather turns cold.
However in recent week’s, I’ve had to establish an extensive trap line, and I make my rounds daily.
I really don’t have time to deal with any potential new invasive species, since I’m currently busy struggling with the old ones.
Summer Season segues to Hunting Season
Every year, as Autumn rolls around, I listen to a host of complaints from hunters new and old, regarding the availability of Hunter Safety Courses.
Of course, the lack of courses is not really the problem. More often, it is a lack of attention, and ‘putting it off’ until later.
So the potential hunters don’t get around to taking a class until the season arrives, and then they complain about the high cost of a new license. Same old, same old, but this year I’m not going to listen.
If you want to hunt this year, and need to take a Hunter Safety Class, make plans to attend the upcoming Warren County 4th Annual Sportsman/Hunter Education Super Weekend
Hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County, in partnership with DEC Sportsman Education volunteer instructors, the Hunter Education Classes will be offered on Saturday, Sept. 13 and Sunday, Sept. 14.
The following classes will be offered each day; Sportsman Education, Bow Hunter Education, or Trapper Education (you may choose ONE class per day, bow hunter students must have completed hunter education previous to registering for bow hunter education). Those who have completed online training MUST pre-register and must bring their printed certificate of completion with them to class. They do not need to pick up the books
All classes are free and open to the public (ages 11 and up). Classes will be held from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm at Pack Forest in Warrensburg. All courses are “Home Study” courses, materials MUST be picked up at the CCE Education Center, 377 Schroon River Road, Warrensburg by August 28th at 4:30pm. The CCE office is open 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday through Thursday.
The workbook section of the bow hunter and hunter education courses must be completed for students to gain entry into the class.
Lunch will be available to purchase. Lunch is being prepared and served by the Warren County Conservation Council.
Pre-registration is required by Aug. 29. Registration is done online now and here is the link: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7860.html
For more information, contact the CCE Education Center at (518) 623-3291 or 668-4881 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.