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Lithograph by Currier & Ives

Lithograph by Currier & Ives

 

What wonderful territory the Chateaugay is.

I am talking about the one at the northeastern edge of the Adirondack Mountains. Not the one way over by Lake Ontario.

I could not believe it when I saw the word “Chateaugay” on the wrong area of a new map.

Some damn fool went and named a bunch of trees by Osceola “The Chateaugay Forest.” Since it is state forest I assume it was named by some New York State bureaucrat who had no idea where The Chateaugay Woods really is.

Alvah Dunning was correct when he said the state had no business interfering in these North Woods. Old Alvah knew things.

My intent is not to discuss New York government. We could spend hours discussing that. In fact I already have and there are a lot of people here in the North Woods that will not speak to me because of it. Hell, I have opinions just like everybody else. William Durant told me that I would be better off if I kept my mouth shut about the government.

See what I mean? It is the thing I just can’t keep quiet about.

Back to the Chateaugay Woods and deer hunting.

These woods sit along both sides of a river by the same name. Now that river, its banks are very steep. In some places there are even cliffs that form a chasm. But once you reach the top there is a wide plateau on both sides. You know – – – now that I described it I realize what it really is and I said it backwards. I’ll try again.

The Chateaugay Woods is formed by a wide and long plateau. It has a river cut through it. The plateau starts at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains and ends up north at the St. Lawrence River.

Now I must correct myself once more. It once went north to the St. Lawrence River. Then New York State stepped in and said we could not hunt past the Canadian border. So, for me, it no longer goes to the St. Lawrence River. See how New York State can even change history and geology with a simple-minded decree?

Oh hell, I did it again. Back to the Chateaugay Woods.

So what we have is a decent river with a little flat land on either side, then steep banks or cliffs, and a lot of forest to the east and the west. Perfect deer country. The bad part is trying to get a dead deer back up those steep banks.

The river bottom is full of hemlocks, a good sample of hardwoods, some birch, and a smattering of cedars. Oh yes, and a rare balsam that my nose thanks on those occasions when I detect it.

There is not a lot of brush except for some sort of ground pine that never grows more than a foot and a half tall.

This makes for great shooting. The trees are far apart and the hunter can see for quite some distance; well beyond the capabilities of his gun.

Now if you ever get to hunt on the “Shattagee” be sure to rub a lot of bee’s wax on your leather stockings. You are surely going to have to cross the river at some point or another and you don’t want your feet to get wet.

And one last thing; keep an eye peeled for one of those new state game wardens.

Tahawas and Tomosky c

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