Following an unusually snowless beginning, more “typical” winter weather has finally arrived in Chenango County and much of the Northeast. The problem, at least as some see it, is it arrived with far too much gusto and, now, endurance. Although the cold and deep crusted snows have been greeted with elation by most skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers, they've been less welcomed by those who enjoy other winter activities such as hunting. Even some ice fishermen have felt as though the recent cold and snow is “too much of a good thing.”
Rabbit (and what few winter grouse hunters there are) complain that the sheer depth and the crusted snow that supports their beagles as well as the rabbits won’t support a hunter’s weight. Hunters of any small game who’d normally be afield without a dog complain that the ordeal of just trying to walk atop the crusted snow is keeping them indoors (I wonder if they're familiar with a tool called snowshoes?). Others say that the snow depths and cold discourage game from moving about and keep most of it hiding out in the thickest of sheltered covers or in the security of burrows and dens. It all boils down to the same attitude by some: Why bother?
But even when winter decides to flex its seasonal muscles, as it's recently done, there's a couple of hunting activities that arestill available in the dead of winter and that very few partake in – crow and varmint hunting. If sportsmen dress warmly and limit the time they’re out in the cold, both these hunting activities can be done without risking frostbite or hypothermia.