The Empire State is 54,556 square miles of some of the most beautiful, scenic, and remotely rural lands you can imagine.
With two major forest preserves including Adirondack Park (roughly the size of neighboring Vermont) and Catskill Park, there are boundless opportunities to take advantage of this scenery.
Did I mention the Finger Lakes, Chautauqua Lake, Oneida, or Lake Champlain? How about Lake Erie or Ontario? Oh yeah, there’s a river called Niagara with some neat falls you may have heard of. And the mighty St. Lawrence?
Fugget about it, your state hasn’t got what we’ve got in New York and here’s why.
1. St. Lawrence County Largemouth Bass
You may have heard of these anglers that call themselves “bass-masters.” They come here just about every year and take part in some of the best largemouth bass fishing the country has to offer.
2. Orleans County Whitetail Deer
This is one of what I call western NY’s corn-fed slobs. Here’s a nice look at a 194-inch monster buck that must have looked like a truck coming through the cover.
Any comments from Texas, Kansas, Iowa, etc.?
3. Greene County Bear
Six of the ten heaviest bears taken in the state in 2014 were taken in the Catskill region, including a massive 610-pound Greene County bruin.
The bear pictured here is a “mere” 580. Was that the sound of your jaw dropping on your computer?
4. Chautauqua County Muskellunge
Home to the famed Chautauqua Lake and its treasured muskie fishing, this area of the state keeps on giving when it comes to putting these large, aggressive fish in the boat.
5. Niagara County Salmon
The legendary “Niagara Bar” is, basically speaking, the structure left over from millions of years of the Niagara River spilling into Lake Ontario.
Knowing where and how to fish this amazing location is best done with an excellent guide who will put you onto some of the best spring salmon fishing you’ll ever find.
6. Ontario/Yates County Grouse
Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area is some 6,300 acres of endless grouse cover. Hunters experienced in this area will tell you right away: this can be a steep and daunting WMA to hunt.
Be prepared to rest and make sure you take extra water for the dog. When you get on the grouse here, you’ll get the heating pad out later for the sore shooting shoulder.
7. Suffolk County Duck Hunting
Long Island’s eastern shores are home to some of the most amazing wing shooting you’ll ever encounter.
The sea duck flight is incredible, but you could see anything from oldsquaw to puddle ducks. The certain way to get on birds is by tracking down a reputable guide service.
8. Seneca/Cayuga/Wayne County Goose
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is roughly 11-square miles of beautiful wetlands and marshes at the north end of Cayuga Lake.
Surrounded, seemingly in every direction, by cornfields, this area provides some of the best field hunting for geese anywhere. Coming here? I hope you like eating goose.
9. Livingston County Coyote
‘Yotes are everywhere and the state regulations show it: statewide hunting (except Long Island and NYC) from Oct. 1, 2015 to March 27, 2016, any hour of the day or night, no limit.
Experienced hunters know that these animals are wily and cunning. Taking them uses skill and knowledge learned with parental guidance and perseverance as these two friends of mine clearly have.
10. Jefferson County Smallmouth
Henderson Harbor has long been known as a mecca for bass fishing. It doesn’t matter that you can catch walleye, pike, trout, and salmon here because you came for the smallmouth.
This next picture has one big largemouth in it, you say? I say, bonus fish!
11. Schuyler County Turkey
With so many darn turkeys in this state, where do you begin? Well, if you want your kids taking part in the action, then Schuyler County is a great place to start.
12. Oswego County Steelhead
So you want to catch a crazed, maniacal fish in water you can wade in? Well you’ve come to the right place.
Every year these brutes bend angler’s arms and gear to the extreme, and all they get are amazing pictures like this? Welcome to New York.
13. Suffolk County Pheasant
Sunny October mornings and afternoons hunting beautiful cover over finished gun-dogs?
You haven’t lived until you’ve hunted ringnecks in NYS. The first cackle you hear will be the last time you ever want to go somewhere else. Well maybe not ever, but you’ll be in heaven.
14. Lake Ontario Counties Brown Trout
We catch these “football” browns off shore, off a boat, and out of our minds in this state.
Trolling with multiple rods will teach you what a fire-drill really is in the spring! Some of these slobs will test your tackle so be ready to test your skill.
15. Ulster/Orange County Striped Bass
The Hudson River striper runs are legendary and when the right bite is on, don’t be stuck at work.
Since the Hudson is the main spawning ground for New York stripers, make sure to be familiar with the regulations: New York (Hudson River): 1 fish, 18″-28″ OR 1 fish > 40″ (Apr. 1 – Nov. 30)
Well, before I go and ruin the fun for all the other states that think they have some good outdoor fun, challenge me by making your own state list.
New York has so many good hunting and fishing possibilities that I obviously just had to do some bragging.
Start digging through your pictures and launch a text to your hunting buddy, otherwise you’ll just be making me right when I say that New York has the best hunting and fishing out there.