Public Lands & Waters photo

Unit 5H, Adirondack Park
: northeast New York
Size: 2,900 square miles
ZIP: 12164

“When I talk to guys who want to come to New York and aren’t sure where to go,” Hurst says, “I tell them the Adirondacks presents a great opportunity to hunt in solitude, in a big woods setting.” Indeed, for east-coast hunters who want plenty of elbow room, the Adirondack Mountains-which represent 85 percent of the wilderness in the eastern U.S.-are hard to beat. NYSDEC’s Wildlife Management Unit 5H, a nearly 3,000-square-mile area in the south-central Adirondacks (roughly circled by Indian Lake, Johnsburg, Caroga Lake and Hinckley Reservoir) is the hard-core, real-deal for big-woods hunters. These remote, forested mountains top out around 4,000 feet, and there are few trails or roads. Deer densities are low-last year’s deer harvest was only .9 per square mile, but .7 were bucks. Hunting pressure is equally light, which allows many Adirondack bucks to put some years on. “The chances of seeing deer are lower,” Hurst says, “but chances are higher that one of them will be a big buck.”