When Adirondack wildlife was news

Enterprise stories found in the archives of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library, carry the history of the region; after all the Enterprise has been around since the 1800s and I have been associated with this newspaper in one way or another for 70 years. I started as a newsboy in 1942.

In the 1950’s there were many, many stories about hunters, trappers and outdoorsmen. I often wonder about the readers that certain columns will attract; so with this one I sort of zeroed in on Brenden Olsen, a physical therapist at the Adirondack Medical Center, a real woodsmen and tough as nails. The following stories are from those archives.

More than one wolf

One of the pictures with today’s column shows Wilmer LaVoy of Tupper Lake with a wolf he trapped near Tupper Lake in 1956. I have another picture of a wolf trapped by Eugene Woods of Tupper Lake, near Tupper Lake, taken in 1958. The caption said that he would take the pelt to Malone and collect a $25 bounty fee.

There is a picture taken by Kathleen Bigrow in May 1959 of Arthur Martin of 11 Water Street, Tupper Lake with a record Otter. The Otter was taken in the Raquette River and when weighed at Shaheen’s Market, tipped the scales at 20 pounds and 12 ounces, claiming to be the biggest taken in this area for several years.

And another Enterprise picture from 1957 shows Tupper Lake Policeman Glenwood Paye holding up a 15-pound Bobcat that he accidentally killed with his car as the big cat ran across the road in St. Lawrence County.

The number of Beaver trapped in 1957 in New York State totaled 7,627.

Biggest bear ever

“Albany (AP) -?The State Conservation Department says a black bear weighing more than 600 pounds, the largest ever authentically recorded in the United States, is prowling the Adirondacks.

“The big bear and another weighing 562 pounds were trapped live on Labor Day [1957], given anesthetic, tagged and set free. They were examined in a research project the department is conducting with graduate students of the conservation school at Cornell University.

“The pointer on the scales pushed past its top reading of 600 pounds for the larger animal; take at the south end of Tupper Lake. The second was trapped at the Blue Mountain Lake village dump.

“A bear taken two years ago at North Creek, Warren County, weighed 530 pounds after it was dressed and probably around 600 pounds alive.

“Grancel Fitz, a big game hunter of New York City, says few bears of 500 pounds have been reported in this country.”

Deer kill in 1958

“Big game hunters in New York took a total of 66,469 deer and 514 bear during the 1958 season according to figures released by Conservation Commissioner Harold G. Wilm.

“The 1958 deer take was the third highest of record, exceeded only by the ’56 and ’57 kills of a little over 72,000 for each of those years.

“Regionally the Catskill counties led the state with a total take of 29,254 deer and the Adirondacks, where a considerably large harvest is needed from the interior areas came in third with a total of 12,988.

“The number of deer taken in Essex County was 897 bucks, 176 does for a total of 1,073. Sixty-five bears were taken. In Clinton 277 bucks were bagged and 84 does for a total of 361. Twenty-eight bear were shot down. In Franklin County total of 1, 712 bucks were taken, 337 does for a total of 2,049. Seventy-five bear were killed.