Dave Henderson, Correspondent 9:39 p.m. ET April 11, 2017
Know what to do if you encounter a coyote this spring.(Photo: Getty Images)
According to poets, spring means new growth, warming weather and expectation.
Hereabouts, however, it also means high, cold, fast streams that make local trout fishing more foolhardy than fun and an explosion of ticks that promises to accelerate the Lyme Disease threat to unprescedented levels.
Oh yeah, and the neighbors have seen bears and/or coyotes scampering about. Maybe 20 years ago this was unheard of, but today these two are legitimate spring scoundrels throughout the Southern Tier and northern Pennsylvania.
Well, the creeks will go down and ticks and squirrels can be avoided with a few simple precautions. But what about bears and coyotes?
Consider that nearly all negative bear encounters hereabouts are the result of animals being attracted to human food sources. So, it says here, the simplest way to avoid a nuisance encounter is to remove potential food sources.
Put away bird feeders (birds do not need supplemental food in the spring and summer), store garbage cans, barbecue grills and pet food indoors, and dont take the garbage out until the night before collection.
Bears will get plenty to eat without your help.
Coyotes? They are well-adapted to suburban and even urban environments but will avoid contact with people for the most part.
But they can, and will, feed on pets, garbage, pet food, etc. To minimize the chance of conflicts, it is important to maintain coyotes’ natural fear of people.
So dont feed your pets outside and dont allow them to run free; fence off compost piles and, like you did with bears, make garbage inaccessible and clean up the bird feeder. Coyotes dont eat bird feed, but they feed on the things that do.
Fencing your yard may deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level and taller than four feet.
The state suggests that if you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior. Stand tall and hold arms out to look large. If a coyote lingers for too long, make loud noises, wave your arms or throw sticks and stones.
If coyote behavior becomes threatening, report it to the local DEC office as this may indicate that some individual coyotes have lost their fear of people and there may be a greater risk that a problem could occur.
For more information about the Eastern Coyote and preventing conflicts with coyotes, visit the DECs websites for Eastern Coyotewww.dec.ny.gov/animals/9359.html and Coyote Conflicts http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6971.html
TU Youth Camp in Deposit
The New York State Trout Unlimited Council will conduct its annual Trout Waters Youth Camp from June 9-14 at Scotts Family Resort on Oquaga Lake in Deposit.
All applicants must be at least age 13 by May 15, which is the deadline for application. Registration costs $500 and covers room, board, instruction and fishing.
Applicants must submit an essay stating why they want to attend the camp and what they expect to get from the experience. They also need a recommendation from a student counselor or science teacher.
For information and application forms, call Ronald Urban at 845-339-5938 or email Ronsgonefishing@aol.com.
Homer dominates Portzline
K.C. Sims and Urb Wormer each broke 48 birds on the trapfield and teammate Curt Robbins broke 48 in the skeet competition Sunday at the Tompkins County Fish & Game Club to lead Homer to a sweep of the two categories and into first place after two weeks of the Portzline League.
Homer turned in a 237 in trap and a 234 in skeet for a 945 after two weeks, 10 birds ahead of host Tompkins County. Homer stands second to Tompkins County by three birds in the skeet standings but has a 13-bird lead in the trap competition.
The league does not shoot on Easter Sunday. It resumes its schedule April 23 at Homer.
Trout stocking continues
Six locations on Oquaga Creek in Sanford were scheduled to be stocked with brown trout early this week, as were two spots on Cayuta Creek in Barton.
Nanticoke Creek in Union and Maine, the East Branch of Nanticoke Creek in Maine and Catatonk Creek in Candor also were scheduled to receive fish.
Director to speak at TU meeting
Jeff Skelding, Executive Director of Friends of the Upper Delaware River, will be giving a presentation during the April 18 meeting of the Al Hazzard Chapter of Trout Unlimited at the Vestal Public Library.
The Friends of the Upper Delaware is a community based watershed protection organization in Hancock. Skeldings presentation will include a status update on the NYC reservoir management plan (Flexible Flow Management Plan), passage of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act in Congress and what that means for the Upper Delaware River, and development of a first of a Stream Corridor Management Plan for the tributaries and main stem of the East and West Branches and main stem of the Upper Delaware River below the NYC Delaware River basin reservoirs.
He also sees potential for new state fishing rules to improve protections for the wild trout of the Upper Delaware River.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and the public is invited to attend. There is no admission charge.
Hendersons outdoors columns appear in the Press & Sun-Bulletin and Ithaca Journal on Thursdays. If you have a comment or data pertinent to the columns, send it directly to Henderson Outdoors, 202 Prospect Street, Endicott NY 13760 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring brings high water, ticks, bears, coyotes – Press & Sun-Bulletin