Posts Taged wildlife-2

All About Bears in Long Lake, NY Adirondacks

FROM THE ARCHIVES: This post on bears was originally published on May 10, 2013.

All About Bears was a presentation given by Ben Tabor a wildlife biologist from the NYS DEC and KC Kelly a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer. This following information was from his talk at the Long Lake Community Connections evening held on May 9, 2013.

Bears are charismatic mega-fauna. Black bears as a rule are timid, shy and scared and not aggressive (FYI not the same for Black Bears in Canada). Black bears will mark their territory by biting trees, putting their scent on their territory and let other bears know.. “Hey bears, I’m in town, back away from my soft mass.” (code words for berries)

Bears are omnivores and tend to eat vegetarian, but they will eat meat. They are not big hunters, but don’t rule them out when it comes to finding prey, depends on the year and availability of food. Bears will eat berries, acorns, nuts, apples, succulent grasses, dandelions, skunk cabbage, jack in the pulpit, buds of hardwood trees and insects.

Generally bears are not social, but May and June are their breeding season and males and females can be seen together. Bears have delayed implantation so they will be fertilized in the spring, but will not implant the eggs until November. Bears breed every two years. Bears chemically decide how many cubs they have; it’s a combination of hormones, and body fat that makes that determination. All bears give birth on January 20th or 21st. Typical for Adirondack bears are broods of 2-3 cubs but Momma’s can produce from one to five bears and they can even have albinos (not to be mistaken for Polar Bears)

By August 1st the bears are weaned and ready to go off on their own. Sometimes a mom will let them den up with her for one more year, but come spring she sends them on their way. Bears are not adults until they are four years old. Most of the reports to the DEC involve younger bears that tend to get into trouble, whether they are climbing inside dumpsters or approaching someone’s home. If a bear doesn’t get into trouble with the DEC by age three they probably never will. Adult male bears are about 300 pounds and an adult Momma bear about 150 pounds.

Currently New York State boasts about 10,000 bears statewide. There is an effort to sustain the population, and the DEC monitors and develops hunting regulations and makes opportunities available to hunt bear based on the numbers, population and ability to sustain on natural food. The goal is to maintain the bear population for future generations, but to also ensure that the bears don’t become a nuisance to the general population. Bear hunting is a regulated harvest and it’s challenging to find a bear, much less haul it out of the woods, but benefits of bear include their meat which is a good source of protein, hide, fat (when rendered makes a heck of a pie) and the gall used for medicinal purposes. If you hunt bear, cook the meat to an internal temp of 137 degrees because they do carry trichinosis.

Safety tips
Don’t feed bears. A fed bear is a dead bear because once a bear finds a food source; they won’t back away until they’ve exhausted the food source. Bears will eat bird feeders; remove the feeders from April until November. Don’t be surprised if someone knocks on your door if they see bird feeders out and full during the off season.

What do you do if you see a bear? If you see a bear in a tree, don’t call to report it. Leave it alone, it got up the tree, it will come down, but you have to leave it alone. The bear is in the tree for safety.

The best thing to do be pre-emptive before anything escalates. Call Ray Brook DEC Wildlife 518 -897-1291 or 518-897-1326 to report bear disturbances. If you notice a bear peaking in your windows, or seems to be holding court on your property, eyeballing your activities that is not normal. Call the DEC. If you see a bear cross the road, let it be, but if there is a bear on or near your property that seems to be assessing and studying your property, call the DEC and report it.

The DEC keeps track of bears, their habitation, their habituation, and their environment. Whatever you do, don’t feed the bears. It’s against the law to feed bears. You will get ticketed and fined if you are caught feeding the bears. Don’t do it. You are putting your neighbors and the bear’s life at risk. Don’t make soup and leave it under your porch, don’t leave dog food or cat food outside. Use bear proof containers, or electric fences for large dumpsters.

Out west bear proof dumpsters are the norm and all over the place. In the East, the dumpster companies don’t provide bear proof dumpsters because there is no demand. Customers should be demanding Bear Proof Dumpsters because they are very effective, but consumers have to insist on the product for it to be made available on the east coast.

Already this year, 2013, it is extremely dry and the DEC has already had numerous reports of bear problems. Bears are attracted to residential garbage, dumpsters. Food hangs don’t work, don’t feed the dogs and cats outside, the bears will find their food.

No hand feeding or that bear will be in your house demanding food. He’ll break in, and he’ll wreck your house and he may even go to the bathroom in your home. The DEC will euthanize every single one of the hand fed bears. Don’t habituate bears because there is no rehabilitating bears once they are used to human contact.

Last summer the notorious Little Bear died among great controversy in Long Lake. Unfortunately a property owner who simply didn’t know that feeding would result in the bear’s death was feeding Little Bear. The bear feeding was happening because the bear was young, needy and hungry and the human felt bad for the bear. It was an honest mistake that can be corrected by education. The bear had become used to humans. After multiple sightings, the final straw occurred after the bear grabbed an ice cream cone out of a child’s hand at Stewarts. Bears are wild animals. They may be cute, and they may not hunt humans, but bears can and will swat at people if provoked and if they aren’t afraid because they’ve been used to human contact and human food.

Habituated bears will wander near roads and get hit by cars. Folks in the Adirondacks live in bear country so be respectful of the bears and be responsible. They couldn’t stress enough the importance of not leaving food out for the bears. A few years ago, in Old Forge, vehicles killed 19 bears. During hunting season only four bears were taken. Why did cars kill the bears? Because bears had found human food resources and they were living in and near the community and wandering around after dark and no one can see them at night because their fur absorbs all of the light.

How do you stop a bear from become too friendly or curious?
Remove the attraction, make noise, and use bear resistant cans when you hike or at home. The ways of the past has changed. Bears adapt and learn. Rubber buckshot at one time was commonly used to ward off and scare off bears. These days, rubber buckshot doesn’t work . The bears aren’t even scared of it. If they are hungry, they continue to eat their food. The DEC doesn’t move bears anymore because the bears will return and will travel great distances to get home. One bear that was moved out of a populated area was moved 80 miles from its home. It took several weeks, but due to tagging he was traced and returned back to his habitat after traveling 120 miles in the woods.

If you see a bear and it’s a menace call 897-1291 or 897-1326 and report it. Ben or KC will come out and address your bear issues. KC Kelly is the only DEC Encon officer in Northern Hamilton County so he has a lot of ground to cover, but he will respond. He also asked; if you have a neighbor, or see someone attracting bears to your neighborhood, anything unnatural, to call and report it. He just needs the address, not the name, so it takes a community to keep the bears safe.

Humans and bears should ignore each other. Long live the bears.

Article originally written and published by Alexandra Roalsvig May 10, 2013

Long Lake/Raquette Lake Fall Foliage Update 10/7/2020

Fall Foliage has seen almost a complete change and past peak, but we still continue to boast foliage on many of the trees. We still have reds, oranges and yellows. While past peak, much color still holds on.  So there’s still plenty to see and do while visiting our region.

Upcoming events on Saturday, October 10th include the Open-Air Fall Market 10am at the Mt. Sabattis Recreation Area in the lower Parking lot.  GPS 43.96711, -74.42151 or use 6 Pavilion Way, Long Lake, NY, 12847

Vendors boasting handcrafted items, many by local artisans including;  
Chipman Woodworks, Adirondack Impressions, Adirondack Blue Company, A Teaspoon of Silver, Sawyer Creek Farm, Nottingham Hollow Trading Co., Lucky Dog Twigworx, Hearts Uplifted.

Amazing handcrafted wooden bowls and hand-turned wood products, signs, jewelry, cutting boards, textiles, original art and paintings, incredible hand crafted gifts, clothing and more. No admission fee charged.  

Please note: All Covid-19 Best Practices in place. Wear masks, hand sanitzer provided. No crowding at booths, please stay 6 feet apart from others. Thank you for your cooperation!  

Local businesses are open and looking forward to seeing everyone.

Hiking is a popular past-time in our area.  Check out our hiking pages for trip planning ideas out the back door. For a quick and easy hike, visit the Long Lake Nature Trail, starting at 1167 Main Street- the municpal parking lot.  The Raquette River Corridor and our nature trail interpretive signage are on display and inform visitors about our region and the natural region.  Connecting to the Adirondack Hotel and the Long Lake Town Beach. 

 

 

The Gift of Moose – Long Lake NY

The following is a guest post by Ellie George.

When I was about 9 years old, I found a catbird nest with its beautiful blue-green eggs on my birthday in early May. I felt that Mother Nature had given me this wonderful discovery as a birthday gift, and from then on, every year around the time of my birthday I have actively sought out the amazing present that Mother Nature would send to me. I have never been disappointed.
Once it was a patch of painted trillium in bloom growing in the woods near my house that I had never seen before. A few years ago I found three shed deer antlers on a small mountain in the Adirondacks. Sometimes Mother Nature delivers right to my home, and a couple of times a male indigo bunting has arrived at my bird feeder at home exactly on my birthday.

Yesterday I was on a fishing adventure in the central Adirondacks with my son Scott. We had already fished one lake and been quite successful, catching and releasing several large smallmouth bass. We were driving along the southern leg of Sabattis Circle Road, heading toward Little Tupper Lake with the intention of carrying a mile into another lake, this time a trout lake, that I had never visited before. I was scanning the sides of the road looking for birds and other wildlife and Scott was driving.

Suddenly Scott hit the brakes and said “Ummmmm,” in a loud and puzzled manner. I quickly glanced at the road to see what was the matter. In about one second’s time, my eyes and brain went through the following sequence of analysis: Horseback riders—–No, horses with no riders——No, MOOSE!!!!! GET THE CAMERA!!

GET THE CAMERA!  Photo by Ellie George

GET THE CAMERA! Photo by Ellie George

In the very center of the road stood two moose, so close their sides were almost touching each other. They looked right at us. I grabbed the camera with telephoto lens from the back seat of the car, pulled it out of its carrying bag, took off the lens cap, and turned it on. Meanwhile the moose had turned and were starting to walk down the center of the road directly away from us. I snapped a few quick photos and the moose trotted over a rise and were out of sight.

Moose on Sabattis Circle Road on May 3, 2015, Long Lake NY Adirondacks. Photo by Ellie George

Moose on Sabattis Circle Road on May 3, 2015, Long Lake NY Adirondacks. Photo by Ellie George

Scott asked what we should do, and I said to drive along behind them slowly, ready to stop in case they were standing in the road again. We moved forward over the rise and the moose were ahead, still trotting down the road together. Scott swung the car to the middle of the road so I could photograph out the open side window. Fortunately this road doesn’t get a lot of traffic. I took photos while the moose turned to the right, the larger moose leading. It trotted off the road, down an embankment, and into the woods, followed by the slightly smaller moose. Both moose had erected the hair on the backs of their necks, their manes, and they looked big and beautiful.

The Moose exit Sabattis Road in Long Lake, NY on May 3, 2015.

The Moose exit Sabattis Road in Long Lake, NY on May 3, 2015.

Once the moose had passed into the woods, we drove to the spot where they had entered the woods and I got out to see if I could find them. But no, they had vanished, leaving only a few tracks in the sand on the side of the road.
Wow, that was awesome! I thought that the moose were both yearlings, out on their own for the first time. But after we got home and I examined the photos, I think that the larger moose, the one that led the way down the road and into the woods, was a cow, and the smaller moose was either its yearling calf or possibly a two year old calf. I don’t know how large a moose calf grows in a year. The younger moose was almost as tall as the cow, but much more slender in body build. Also, both moose appeared to be in good health, with full, almost glossy coats of fur, not showing any signs of winter tick infestations which have been plaguing moose populations recently. They also moved on the blacktop road easily, as if they were accustomed to it. Sometimes when I see deer walk on blacktop, they walk strangely, almost as if they are walking on ice.

Thank you, Mother Nature, for perhaps the best birthday present ever! Early May is such a great time to be out in the wild world looking for and celebrating all forms of life.

Ellie George

Fall Paddling Long Lake NY Adirondacks

For those of you reading this that might be new to the Adirondack Region here is a bit of a quick overview. The Adirondack Park is over 6,000,000 acres in size broken up between public (state) and private land. Within those 6-million acres is over 2,300 ponds and lakes, 1,500 miles of rivers and well over 30,000 miles of streams and brooks. However, not all of which can be paddled due to many factors, such as lack of an access point, private property and/or not sufficient enough water to support boat travel. With that being said, there are numerous options within the park and the Long Lake Region has a bunch to offer.

The water temperatures are going in the opposite direction than they did in the spring. Every day the water is getting cooler than it was the day before. With a consciousness of safety and the proper gear, there’s a couple more months of really good paddling under our belt.

Paddling the Adirondacks is not only one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities in the park but it offers unique views into the lives of all species of wildlife. Now that the summer is on the way out, the cold temperatures are sure to bring a morning frost relatively quickly. As soon as this happens the leaves start to change much more rapidly and the fall colors become breathtaking, and from the water, no question. The red maples already have already started to change in some areas. The yellows and oranges will be next and then the vibrant yellows of the tamaracks in the marshlands. These yellows, so vibrant they take over the landscape and make paddling the marshes and boggy areas of local ponds and rivers a fantastic place to be.

Fall paddling in the Adirondacks can be experienced by all, but this definitely is no time to skimp on the gear and the preparation. A PFD is as important now as it ever was, but even more so when the exposure to cold water can affect the ability to swim and tread water. A personal floatation device or life vest should be worn at all times. When selecting which one to wear, make sure it is sized correctly and fitted to your body securely. A type III PFD, certified by the USCG is highly recommended.

Be sure to consider the type of water to explore. Adirondack lakes and ponds tend to be very shallow in areas which create more waves than deeper bodies of water. A change in weather patterns can affect these shallower bodies of water rather quickly and change your days paddle. With bigger waves come splashing. This is where a spray skirt with proper cold water gear becomes important. Rivers have a stronger current which can cause your boat to react differently. Be cautious of rapids and waterfalls when paddling rivers. In short, have a map and compass and know about the water you will be paddling.

A float plan is very important. Write out the route, and plan of the day so someone can locate you, just in case something happens. Leave the float plan with someone in your household. With the float plan you should have the appropriate gear for your trip. The proper gear would include map and compass and/or GPS, spray skirt, dry bags and even the use of a wet or dry suit or even just some neoprene layers. The neoprene not only acts as a wet suit and helps keep you warm, even when wet, but also adds a layer of floatation. There is much more paddling gear out that you should consider having. At least one person in your group should have a paddle float, a throw bag, a bilge pump and a first aid kit. Food and water are also very important in cold weather to keep up morale, energy and body warmth.

If you have never paddled before and feel uncomfortable doing so for the first time, especially in cold water conditions, we encourage you to take a lesson from a local guide service. Many guide services will offer a 2 to 4 hour introductory course for a very reasonable price. Several local marinas and outfitters like Raquette River Outfitters (one is available in Long Lake) offers paddling gear and boat rentals. There are also plenty of places to warm up after, with year-round restaurants, motels and eateries with a variety of choices. Long Lake is your fall local paddling adventure destination is the perfect answer to a serious case of cabin fever.

by Spencer Morrissey

Spencer will be leading two fall outings. September 28th & October 12th. Call the Long Lake Town Office at 518.624.3077 to register. These trips are free and transportation is provided by the town of Long Lake. All trips leave from the LL Town Offices at 1130 Deerland Rd, Long Lake, NY 12847

Fawns, Do Not Disturb the Wildlife

IF YOU CARE, LEAVE IT THERE
DEC Urges New Yorkers Not To Disturb Fawns and Other Young Wildlife

New Yorkers should keep their distance and not to disturb newborn fawns or other young wildlife as many animals are in the peak season for giving birth, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today cautioned.

It is not unusual to see a young bird crouched in the yard or a young rabbit in the flower garden, both apparently abandoned. Finding a fawn deer lying by itself is also fairly common. Many people assume that young wildlife found alone are helpless and need assistance for their survival, however, in nearly all cases this is a mistake and typically human interaction does more damage than good. Those that see a fawn or other newborn wildlife should enjoy their encounter but keep it brief, maintain some distance and do not attempt to touch the animal.

Young wildlife quickly venture into the world on shaky legs or fragile wings. While most are learning survival from one or both parents, some normally receive little or no care. Often, wild animal parents stay away from their young when people are near. For all of these young animals, the perils of survival are a natural part of life in the wild.

White-tailed deer fawns present a good example of how human intervention with young wildlife can be problematic. Most fawns are born during late May and the first half of June. While fawns are able to walk shortly after birth, they spend most of their first several days lying still. During this period a fawn is also usually left alone by the adult female (doe) except when nursing. People occasionally find a lone fawn and mistakenly assume it has been orphaned or abandoned, which is very rare. Fawns should never be picked up. If human presence is detected by the doe, the doe may delay its next visit to nurse.

A fawn’s best chance to survive is by being raised by the adult doe. Fawns nurse three to four times a day, usually for less than 30 minutes at a time, but otherwise the doe keeps her distance. This helps reduce the chance that she will attract a predator to the fawn. The fawn’s protective coloration and ability to remain motionless all help it avoid detection by predators and people.

By the end of its second week, a fawn begins to move about more and spend more time with the doe. It also begins to eat grass and leaves. At about ten weeks of age, fawns are no longer dependent on milk, although they continue to nurse occasionally into the fall. During August, all deer begin to grow their winter coat and fawns lose their spots during this process.

Should you find a fawn or other young wildlife, If You Care, Leave It There. In nearly all cases that is the best thing for the animal. DO NOT consider young wildlife as possible pets. This is illegal and is bad for the animal. Wild animals are not well suited for life in captivity and they may carry diseases that can be given to people. Resist the temptation to take them out of the wild. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about young wildlife, visit the DEC website at: www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6956.html.