"Adirondack hunters" (Seneca Ray Stoddard, c. 1888) Hunting and fishing brought some of the earliest outsiders into the Adirondacks, especially after the publication of W.H.H. Murray's 1869 Adventures in the Wilderness.

In 2013, deer hunting season opens October 26, according to a column by guide Joe Hackett in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

Franklin Gazette, June 30, 1882


Bloomingdale, June 26, 1882


Last Sunday morning Mr. Ross Hayes, feeling somewhat disinclined for church, concluded to take a stroll in the woods to view the beauties of nature; hear the little birds singing praise's, etc. (Ross is great on the beauties of nature). Taking his rifle (more from force of habit than anything else for Ross never hunts on Sunday), and calling his faithful dog, he sauntered leisurely off in the direction of Grass Pond. Mr. Hayes had walked about two miles, and was leaning upon an old stump admiring the magnificent scenery that surrounded him, when he heard his dog making a singular noise, something between a bark and a growl, at a short distance from him. A few moments later Mr. Hayes saw his dog coming toward him closely pursued by a large she bear. Her ears were laid flat back upon her head, and her whole appearance was anything but agreeable. The dog seeing his master, made directly for him, and the bear continued to make directly for the dog. Just at this moment it struck Ross that it was about dinner time, and that he had better go home—Ross is always particular not to keep dinner waiting—his wife doesn't like it, so he hurried. Few people, judging from the clumsy appearance of a bear, would imagine that they could run as fast as they can, and this bear was a remarkably fleet one. Ross' dog, also, is rated as being the fastest runner in the Adirondacks, but Ross is a very fast walker; then, too, he was in a hurry to get home to dinner, and as he had several rods start, it not to be wondered at that he reached the house first. On reaching his gate he turned, and for the first time noticed that the bear was close upon the heels of his faithful hound; it made him angry, and he leveled his rifle, saying: "I did not invite you home to dinner; you just stop there." The ball took effect in the bear's breast, and she turned three summersaults, growled defiantly and yielded up the ghost. This bear weighed 275 pounds, yielded two gallons of oil, which, taken with its magnificent hide and the bounty, will make it pay Mr. Hayes between twenty-five and thirty dollars. Some of the boys tried to start the story that Mrs. Hayes thought that Ross' face had been whitewashed when he came up, but that is just like Warren Flanders and Gard Maloney, they are envious because Ross killed the bear instead of themselves.

"Hunting in the Adirondacks" (1903) […]

We are writing with nine black flies in one ear, six in the other and four mosquitoes drilling into our nose; so if we should chance to have incorporated a cusword in our letter, we are willing to be forgiven.


City visitors coming in very slowly. Mercury 90 above; mosquitoes numerous. —ADDY RONDACK.

P. S. Since writing the above we have learned that Mr. Hayes never moved out of his tracks when he saw the bear coming, but sent a ball straight through her body, killing her the first shot. The story about his going home so hurriedly to his dinner was without foundation, it being one of the many base fabrications of Ez. Bruce, another jealous hunter. —A. R.

Malone Palladium, November 8, 1900

Killed a Moose—In Self-Defense.

CHARLES MARTIN, a guide, brought to Saranac Lake on Thursday last a bull moose which he had shot a day or two before on Big Owl Mountain, five or six miles distant. In the vicinity of "Long Lake West," a lumber camp, where he had gone with half a dozen others to hunt deer, MARTIN separated from his companions, according to the story told to the Herald-Dispatch by a party of Uticans, who were in the locality at the time, "and had not gone far, when he saw, a short distance from him, a bull moose, cow moose and a calf. The three animals were grazing. Evidently the big moose and the hunter saw each other at the same time, for before the hunter had a chance to raise his gun to his shoulder, the moose, bellowing, started for him. The man ran a short distance, fixed his firearm, turned around and-shot." The animal was hit, but continued his charge, so the story runs, until brought down by f a second ball, which pierced his heart. Even then six more shots were required to finish him. The weight of the moose is variously stated at 800 to 1,200 pounds.

The reported manner of the killing rather taxes credulity, but the theory of self-defense on the part of the guide is probably necessary as an anchor to windward, in case of a possible .prosecution for violation of the law, which prohibits the hunting or shooting of moose in this State.

The animal had probably escaped from one of the private parks in the Adirondacks, for no wild moose had been seen hitherto in Northern New York outside of a park, for many years.

The incident makes pertinent a word in regard to other hunting. Through the efforts of Warden VOSBURGH, of Saranac Lake, an alert and excellent officer, two parties were convicted and fined last week for hounding deer in violation of the law, and rumor represents that this mode of hunting has become not only common, but general, in this vicinity this fall. Woodsmen, aver that as the law now stands, very few city sportsmen remain in the woods in the fall, and that, the guides being unemployed, they go a-hunting themselves, with the result that a great slaughter of game follows. If this be true, as seems probable, and if the law as it stands does not command respect, or can not be enforced, the law should be changed. A deer may bring perhaps twenty dollars for meat, but for purposes of sport it has the potency to cause hundreds of dollars to be distributed among the hotel men and guides of the wilderness. We confidently believed that an anti-hounding law fairly observed for a few years would make game very plentiful once more in the Adirondacks, and that no class has so great an interest as the guides in bringing about that condition. But if they can not or will not see it, then it seems to us that it would be much more advantageous to the county, and to all of Northern New York, to have a law under which the deer may be sold alive in the woods, under condition that the purchaser gain possession for himself by paying round wages to guides and high prices to the hotels, rather than that they be peddled out markets as meat at a paltry sum per pound.

New York Times, June 7, 1903


One of the most interesting arrivals of the week in the mountains was that of a cow moose at Sarannc Inn, where it was taken in charge by Grant E. Winchester of the Adirondack Fish Hatchery. The moose came from Canada, and is one of those which the State of New York has purchased with the object of restocking the Adirondacks. Its crate bore many inscriptions, among which was "Give the moose a drink and take one yourself." When the State first began to release moose and elk in the Adirondacks as a feature of the establishment of the Adirondack Park as a great game preserve, it was the custom to turn the captives loose near the railways where the car doors were opened and the animals turned out. From time to time considerable excitement was created in the offices of the dispatchers along the railway lines by the messages received from conductors and engineers which were to the effect that the trains were stalled because a moose or an elk was on the track and disregarded the warning toots of the whistles and the efforts of the trainmen to drive them into the forest. The animals seemed to fancy the railway tracks more than they did the deer runs in the woods, and held possession oftentimes to the serious interference of railway traffic.

Complaints were sent in by the railway officials, and now all moose and elk that are brought into the woods and turned loose are taken some distance from the railway tracks. The cow moose released of Saranac Inn this week was given its freedom at Minnewawa Pond, formerly Hoel Pond. While not as tame as its mate, released there a few weeks before. It remained some time in the vicinity, and browsed on the leaves of the soft woods which grow there in profusion.

Contrary to the expectations of some, the moose released in the Adirondacks do not seem to object to civilization. In several localities the animals have made themselves unpopular through eating the green growing things, including asparagus tips, lettuce, and the buds and blossoms of fruit trees. The cow moose which made her home in the vicinity of The Antlers, Raquette Lake, all Winter became a nuisance this Spring and refused to go away even when sent. Finally the animal was placed on a barge and transported across the lako to Pine Knot Camp, the Summer home of Mrs. Collis P. Huntington. Up to date the moose has not found it necessary to swim back to The Antlers for her meals.

Since hounding has been made unlawful in the Adirondacks deer appear in increased numbers at the settlements and the plots of the farmers. During the construction of new buildings in the forests deer come down to see what the pounding really means, and although they may be driven away by the workmen, they return at night to raid the garden plots, Robert C. Pruyn has one of the finest camps in the land at Newcomb, and in the forest near by are elaborate kitchen gardens, Mr. and Mrs. Pruyn were considerably annoyed, as from time to time deer came out of the forest near at hand and destroyed the growing vegetables, and they found nothing that would keep the deer away until Mrs. Pruyn invented a simple but effective devise. She directed that white cord be strung around the gardens about a foot from the ground, and it was observed that deer would not step over it, fearing that there was some trap about it.

A shipment of 30,000 brook trout fry was made from the Adirondack hatchery to Raquette Lake this week. Trout fry from this hatchery have also been placed in the waters of Franklin County and the adjoining Counties of Essex, Clinton, and Hamilton this Spring.

Twenty-one officers of the International Paper Company made a visit to Saranac Inn, on the Upper Saranac Lake, for a few days last week and raided the fishing grounds, where they were fairly successful and found keen enjoyment.

Malone Farmer, January 15, 1913

Thirty-six actions against game law violators were brought in this district during December, according to a report made by Division Chief Protector Byron Cameron to the Conservation Commission. Five of the cases were in reference to deer; two for killing does during the open season as bucks, and three for possession of venison out of season. Fifteen of the cases grew out of a raid on a taxidermist's shop in Essex. Essex county, where a large number of insectiverous birds were found mounted. There were several cases against hunters who had no licenses, and two hounding cases. Most of the actions were settled without going to trial.

Ticonderoga Sentinal, November 16, 1916

Frank Vosburg, an experienced Adirondack guide, while hunting Thursday in the Upper Saranac Lake country, killed an albino deer, it weighed 256 pounds, and is the first one of this type to be brought into Saranac Lake since 1912, when one was killed. With the exception of a small brown spot on the neck the skin of the deer was pure white. The head is a very good specimen, and has eight points. The eyes of the deer are pink.

Standing, from left: Mitchell Sabattis and Farraud Austin, guides. Sitting, from left: Harry Graves; Ernest Carter; Ed Graves; Herbert Carter; Rob Achaws; Johnnie Keller; guide. (August 5, 1885)
Courtesy of Adirondack Experience.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 15, 1926


Many Fine Bucks Taken by Local Hunters but Kill Is Lightest in Years; Sportsmen Agree Action Will Be Necessary

Fewer and smaller bucks, more and bigger bears. This appears to be the net result of the 1926 hunting season, which closes at sunset today on deer and bears in the Adirondacks.

Hunters were on the trail in greater numbers than ever during the past three days, taking advantage of the milder weather that marked the last of the hunting, season. But the kill continued small and served to add to the year's evidence in support of the demand among conservationists for action to halt the extermination of deer in the Adirondacks.

Several fine bucks were killed in the closing days of the season in this vicinity, but the proportionate number was obviously below that of previous seasons, particularly that of 1925; when hunters enjoyed the best hunting in some years.

Bad Winter Followed

The big kill of a year ago was followed by the worst kind of weather. A late and heavy snow remained on the ground until late in the spring, and all over the Adirondacks hunters report finding the remains of hundreds of deer that evidently perished of starvation.

In some quarters it was doubted that these inroads on the deer herd were serious. The Conservation Commission at Albany last spring sent out statements discounting reports, that the deer were in bad shape. Sportsmen here felt that this publicity tended to hamper their efforts to get food supplies to the deer yards.

Reliance was placed on the statements of the local game protectors, however; and for some weeks expeditions of local, sportsmen went into the woods to leave food for the starving animals.

At the start of the season a relatively light kill was explained partially by the late foliage. Reports indicated a scarcity of deer, however, and as the season wore on, the true state of affairs became more and more apparent.

Deer Contests

The number of big bucks killed was also smaller than in former years, and unless another and bigger entry is made in the next two days, the Trudeau Big Buck silver cup will this year be won with the lightest deer that has yet taken the trophy.

The heaviest entry to date this year was made by Ernest Fletcher and weighed 203 pounds. In 1919 Miles Cantwell with a deer weighing 212 pounds won the cup, which is presented annually by Dr. Francis B. Trudeau, and the heaviest winner was a deer weighing 270 pounds, killed by Dr. Harvey B. Powers in 1924.

The Spalding Sport Shop rifle trophy contest for the best head had 16 entries up to this morning, but more were expected before Saturday, when the judging takes place. Last year this contest had 27 entries.

Shorter Season Urged

While in some localities conservationists have gone so far as to recommend a closed season for a period of years the representative sportsmen's group here, the Saranac Lake Fish and Game club, has gone on record in favor of a shorter season.

The proposal is to begin the season on November 1 instead of October 15 and have it end on the same date as in the past, November 15. This would cut the season in half and, it is claimed, reduce the annual hunting kill sufficiently to permit a substantial increase in the Adirondack deer herd from year to year.

Resolutions to this effect are being drafted by a committee of the game club, and these will be submitted to the state legislators from this district and to the Conservation Commission.

Chateaugay Record, November 16, 1928

Two Men Die Hunting Deer

Saranac Lake, Nov. 14.—Two hunters were killed in this section of the Adirondacks late Tuesday, almost on the close of the deer season. The victims of accidental shootings were James Faricee, 42, Gabriels electrician, and Henry Duffy, Lake Flower avenue garage man at Saranac Lake. Mr. Faricee was killed near Rice mountain, three miles from McColloms, and Mr. Duffy was killed near Round Lake, along Ampersand trail, ten miles from here.

Mr. Faricee died within ten minutes after he was shot accidentally by a companion in a hunting party coming from the woods. A gun discharged while Mr. Faricee was walking ahead of another man, the bullet striking him In the back. Mr. Duffy was instantly killed when mistaken for a deer by Clarence Baker, a companion on a hunting party making a final drive for deer. The bullet penetrated his heart and he was dead when others reached him.

Dr. J. S. Emans, head of the Foresters' sanatorium at Rainbow Lake, was notified of the accident through the Paul Smiths telephone exchange and started for the woods. He said he was met by others in the party and told Mr. Faricee was dead. He did not make the three-mile trek into the woods, as there was nothing he could have done. He notified Dr. H. E. Stamatiades at Brushton, nearest coroner, of the fatality.

Mr. Faricee leaves a wife and three children who reside in Gabriels. He had been electrician in that village several years and was known to all inhabitants.

Mr. Duffy had been in camp since Sunday. With him besides Mr. Baker were the latter's father and Walter and Frank Boley, all of this village. They were making a final drive before the end of the hunting season Thursday and had separated some time earlier. Mr. Baker saw a movement In the leaves from a knoll where he stood and thought it a deer. He fired only to learn a few moments later the bullet had killed Mr. Duffy.

Corporal Lefevre and Trooper Feeney detailed here took charge of the investigation after they were notified. Much time was required to make a trip into the woods and it was well after nightfall before the body was brought to undertaking rooms of H. J. Conley. It was moved here on authority of Coroner P. E. Stamatiades, of Brushton who will conduct inquests into both shootings tomorrow. The Faricee inquest will be held first.

The Essex County Republican, November 1, 1929

Score of Lucky Hunters In Adirondacks Grows

Albert Begor of Prospect street, Ticonderoga brought in a nine-point buck weighing about 200 pounds from the Crane Pond section, which he killed on the first day of the hunting season.

Omer L. Delisle of Malone was the first hunter to bring a buck into the Franklin county seat this year. His deer weighed 146 pounds and carried a six point head. He started his hunt at dawn of the first day of the season. The second deer brought into Malone was a four point buck shot by Harry Shonyo of Rouses Point, while hunting near Slush Pond.

Ernest Gauthier of Saranac Lake killed a buck weighing 212 pounds after being dressed. It was a monster deer. Better than its great size, however, was its head, one of the finest ever seen there. The eight points were of great site, there being a spread of 20 inches. The antlers are so big they resemble those of an English stag. They are also of an unusual eveness.

Another buck was killed by Wilbur Whitman of Saranac Lake. It weighed 191 pounds after being dressed. It had a fine nine point head and is a fine specimen of Adirondack buck.

Lake Placid News, December 23, 1932


86 Injured by Firearms In Addition to those Killed

Twenty-two fatalities marked the fall hunting season in the State of New York this year, according to final hunting accident statistics compiled by the Conservation Department.

Two of these deaths were the result of heart attacks, two were caused by drowning and the other eighteen were due to gunshot wounds.

Of the 18 killed by bullets, eight were shot by companions, seven were shot by their own guns, and three were struck by stray bullets the origin of which is unknown.

Twenty of those killed were hunting at the time of their death, but one was killed by the accidental explosion of his own rifle while preparing to go hunting and one was shot to death upon his return from a hunt when a three- year-old child touched the trigger of his gun.

10 Hunting Deer

Ten of those killed in the field were hunting deer at the time, three were hunting rabbits, two were hunting ducks, one was hunting bear, three were hunting pheasants and one was hunting other birds. The larger number of fatalities due to deer hunting is because high powered rifles are used in this sport while shotguns are used to shoot other game. Two of the ten deer hunters who died, however, were drowned when their boats capsized after they had fired their guns simultaneously.

In addition to those killed 86 persons were injured by firearms during the hunting season, some of them seriously.


In the Adirondacks (S. R. Stoddard, c. 1890) Potsdam Courier Freeman, October 18, 1933


Saranac Lake Man Has Seventy Years Hunted

The Lake Placid News says:

They set aside one deer hunting license in the Conservation office and all the employes waited anxiously as the start of the season drew near.

"Maybe he won't be in this year," they said.

Then, well before the season started, in he came.

Warren Bryant was the name, 18 Cedar Street, Saranac Lake, the address. The age?

Well, just 83.

And that qualifies Mr. Bryant as the oldest deer hunter in this vicinity. He was born in Vermontville. He moved to Saranac Lake many years ago. He has hunted deer every year since he was old enough to carry a gun. He has had good luck, too. A deer every season except last year.

This year? Surely he will get one. He has one coming from last year. But he will only take one. All his life he has obeyed the conservation law.

Hunting in the Adirondacks (c. 1903)

Lake Placid News - VOL, XXXIII—NO. 20 - Oct – Dec 1942


Conservation Department Lists Returns

Judging from information listed on deer tags received by the conservation department, women hunters are off to a good start in getting their share of legal bucks. Nearly 15 percent of the successful hunters who have reported killing deer to date have been women.

According to statistics, this is far in excess of the number of women listed on the same number of tags received during a like period a year ago.

Deer tags already received from women hunters listed the following information: Miss Lucy Bertsch, Lorraine, spike buck, 100 pounds, Jefferson County, November 1; Miss Hattie La Garry, Baldwinsville, eight points, 135 pounds, St. Lawrence County, November 4; Miss Marie Gushlaw, Saranac Lake, five points, 132 pounds, Franklin County, November 1; Miss Alice Wallace, Saranac Lake, eight points, 142 pounds, Franklin County, November 1; Mrs. Madeline LaMountain, Rouses Point, 15 points, 185 pounds, Essex County, November 1; Miss E. Marie Bailey, Norwich, four points, 120 pounds, Warren County, November 1; Miss Ruth Dudley, Saratoga Springs, 10 points, 175 pounds, Saratoga County, November 2, Miss Mildred Lussier, Newport, 10 points, 185 pounds, Franklin County, November 3.

The youngest hunter to report killing a deer was Lawrence Wyman, 16, of Corinth, who declared he was successful in bagging a five point buck weighing approximately 100 pounds in Saratoga County on the first day of the season. To a Brooklyn hunter goes top honors for killing the largest buck, Rufus Hill who got a 10-point buck estimated to dress out at 220 pounds. It was shot in Essex County on the second day of the season.

Hunters must report their “take” within five days after the close of the season. Successful hunters were again urged to forward their tags to the Department at Albany as soon as possible. Officials said this will facilitate the compilation of data contained on the tags.

BIG INCREASE IN FINES FOR GAME LAW VIOLATORS Fall Report Shows More Hunters Rush Season In October

Heavy fines amounting to $465 were paid during October by 22 violators of the conservation laws in this area of New York state, according to the report of the Saranac Lake Conservation office.

Violations, those fined and their fines are as follows:

Possessing and transporting parts of a wild deer during the closed season: William A. Jeffrey, Saranac Lake, fined $52.50! Charles A. Bomyea, Saranac Inn, fined $52.50! Wilbur A. Whitman, Saranac Lake, fined $52.50.

Hunting wild deer during closed season: David Jarvis, Dannemora, fined $17.50; Clayton Samsall, Dannemora, fined $17.50 and Charles Jacobs, Saranac, suspended sentence for taking wild deer in closed season.

Operating spotlight in forests inhabited by deer for purpose of taking same, George Williams, Lake Placid, fined $37.50; Frank Russell, Lake Placid, fined $37.50.

Hunting without license: Leonard Otis, Paul Smiths, fined $12.50; Melvin Daniels, Lyon Mountain, fined $12.50; Floyd Fournier, Plattsburg, suspended sentence; Hugh H. Bickford, Saranac Lake, fined $17.50; and Frederick Perras, Plattsburg, fined $12.50 for hunting grouse without a license.

Also Halsey Farrington, Bloomingdale, fined $12.50, and Hubert Brulliea, Paul Smith’s fined $12.50 for carrying a loaded shotgun in automobile: James C. Holway, Saranac Lake, fined $12.50, and Milton Everleth, Saranac, fined $12.50 for carrying loaded rifle in an automobile.

Stephen Zachar, Ticonderoga, fined $12.50 for hunting wild game with gun between the hours of 5 o'clock post meridian and 7 o'clock ante meridian without a license; Franklin Witherbee, Ticonderoga, fined $17.50 for taking 2 grey squirrels during closed season, and Jay Hogle, Malone, fined $12.50 for taking one wild hen pheasant in closed season.

Michael Waldron, Clayburg, fined $12.50 for allowing dog to run at large and pursue deer; Leonard Perry, Malone, fined $12.50 for taking and possessing cottontail rabbits in closed season: Wilbur Martin, St. Regis Falls, fined $12.50 for fishing on MacCavanaugh private park without a license or permit from owners;1 Floyd Fournier, Plattsburg, fined $12.50 for hunting without license and taking one male pheasant during closed season.

Ogdensburg Journal,  October 22, 1946

North Hunters Seek Black Bear

Saranac Lake - Swarms of this village's hunters now in camp for the opening of the deer season, have an additional incentive.  That is to get a shot at bulging Billy a big black bear that has been breaking into camps and destroying property like a drunken sailor.

From a dozen sections of the Adirondacks comes reports of wide-spread damage in camps, and they all point to Bulging Billy, the black demon.

Thus far, camps owned by Richard Woodruff, Howard Sheldon, Wilbur Whitman and Harold Thomas, have been badly used by Billy.  These camp owners were in the woods over the weekend and they thought of a buck as incidental hunting.

The bear shows a fondness for anything he can eat and many things he tries out, and destroys before finding he doesn't like them.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 1, 1959

…Twenty-five persons have died in the woods during the big-game and small-game seasons in the state.

Of the total, 15 were shot accidentally by their own guns or those of other: hunters. Several hunters were mistaken for deer or bear. Six of the 15 were killed during the small-game season.

The others died of heart attacks and several drowned.

Last year, sixteen persons lost their lives in hunting accidents, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press.


See also