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Old 07-27-2016, 01:20 AM   #1
OntarioSkiBum
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Deer flies

So much hype on the dreaded black fly... i think the deer fly is "underappreciated".

Over the last week I bailed on a hike through Pine Orchard, and even a quick jaunt out to G Lake because they were swarming so bad. In both cases, I'd estimate there were 40 or so just waiting for me to get out of the car in their respective parking areas. In the case of G L ake i tried to brave it for the short distance and gave up. Having the truck door open for mere seconds yielded 5 buzzing around on my inside windshield.

I'm not as seasoned as some of the veterans on here, but I've spent quite a bit of time in the park in the last 10 years or so and I've never seen anything like it. Is it the heat?
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:54 AM   #2
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Personally, I think the bugs this year don't seem to be as bad as they were last summer (they are noticeably on the decline already in the High Peaks), but I agree that this past week was particularly rough. I think, though, that it was more a factor of the weather this past week than any season-long trend.

This past week has been hot and humid, and the deer flies thrive on that type of weather. It seems to energize them, and they are always noticeably worse during the hottest and most humid days of the summer. On the cooler, drier days, the bugs (including mosquitoes) never seem as bad.

Cars also seem to stir deer flies up, and I've also noticed that after parking, there may be a few dozen waiting for the occupants to emerge from a vehicle.

I agree with your opinion that there are biting insects worse than black flies. Of the big four frequently encountered in the backcountry of the Adirondacks (black flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and deer flies), I'll take black flies any day. They have difficulty getting through the hair on my head, face, and arms, and they go away at dusk. Mosquitoes and no-see-ums just get worse at dusk, and deer flies are by far the most annoying.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:27 AM   #3
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I've lived my entire life in the Lake George region and deer flies have always been around during the hotter part of the summer. They're always in the back part of my field and at our hunting camp as well. Last night I was at a friend's place on the lake and the no-see-ums made their presence known just about dark. Bugs and heat are the reason I prefer winter over summer.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:10 AM   #4
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Absolutely true............... the humid weather we've been having the past few weeks has resulted in a bumper crop of the flying b*stards in the Ferris Lake Wild Forest area in particular.

Interestingly, I happened to spend 2 days in the Moose River Plains area recently, normally a hotbed of little flying b*stards, and guess what- there were hardly any - because it happened to coincide with slightly cooler and much less humid weather conditions.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:14 AM   #5
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Harassed by Deer Flies & Horse Flies

Here's a quick video I recorded with my GoPro camera of me getting harassed by deer flies & horse flies while riding my mountain bike in the Adks a couple weeks ago...
https://youtu.be/rYR5TAkxseI
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Here's a quick video I recorded with my GoPro camera of me getting harassed by deer flies & horse flies while riding my mountain bike in the Adks a couple weeks ago...
https://youtu.be/rYR5TAkxseI
Brutal.................absolutely brutal. I've resorted to wearing either deer fly sticky patches on my hat (very effective) or a headnet (totally effective but a bit annoying and HOT.

Where were you biking?
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:02 PM   #7
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Where were you biking?
Near some wetlands.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:22 PM   #8
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I agree that deer flies are more annoying than black flies.

>Their bite hurts quite a bit, whereas black flies are pretty much painless little bites.

>DEET is largely ineffective against deer flies.

>They fly fast, and can keep up with you by drafting, even on a road bike. You have to get up to about 20 mph to drop them.

>They are tough! Even if you hit one and knock it down, it will be back in the fight in a minute. I usually try to crush them in my hair, if my timing is good enough.

They seem to prefer certain areas. Not too bad here in the high peaks. They seem to like lowlands, and interestingly, they seem to like sandy areas and road sides. I've often experienced really bad deer fly levels at a gravel road, but found them diminished once I'm a little ways into the woods.

The Sawyers Broad Spectrum (which includes an additional ingredient to repel larger flies) helps somewhat. I have not yet had a chance to try to Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Sunscreen, which has good reports on another thread. And I also have not yet tried the sticky patch hat mentioned above, though I have read good reports.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Here's a quick video I recorded with my GoPro camera of me getting harassed by deer flies & horse flies while riding my mountain bike in the Adks a couple weeks ago...
https://youtu.be/rYR5TAkxseI
Nice vid. That's what I was up against at G Lake when I pulled the plug. I think Pine Orchard would have been the same or worse.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:59 PM   #10
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Nice vid. That's what I was up against at G Lake when I pulled the plug. I think Pine Orchard would have been the same or worse.
Hey,
When we go into the woods, we find critters that we don't see from our couch.
They're part of the experience.

Jim
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:21 PM   #11
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near some wetlands.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:49 PM   #12
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I read somewhere that they hang around on the underside of leaves over paths and roads and other areas where people or animals are likely to pass by, and then when they see their prey they sort of drop down out of the tree on you. I don't know if that is true but it seems to fit with my observations of them. There is a raised causeway here that I walk across four times a day from spring through fall, going to and from feeding the pig. It has trees overhanging it and a small stream and pond nearby. It seems like when they get on me is almost always while I am under the trees. The ones I remember from my first trip through the Moose River Plains in 2011 seemed to be able to keep up with me up to about 14-15 MPH and above that I could get ahead of them, but with a loaded touring bike I was not able to maintain that speed all of the time, especially on the sandy or badly potholed stretches of the road.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:52 PM   #13
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Here's a quick video I recorded with my GoPro camera of me getting harassed by deer flies & horse flies while riding my mountain bike in the Adks a couple weeks ago...
https://youtu.be/rYR5TAkxseI
I see you even got a thumbs down for that one!


Maybe it was from the DEC
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:55 PM   #14
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The deer flies around our house and favorite hiking spots have been brutal this year... just brutal. We've been chased inside many an afternoon, and have avoided hiking the last month. My dogs have even refused to go outside on certain days!

I've taken to setting up fly traps I purchased at the Tractor Supply to try to lure them away from our doors and deck. It seems to work, each one filled up with what looked like hundreds of flies in a couple of days... but I do worry I'm just attracting more flies to the area. Decided I'm ok with that as long as they stay by the trap, and not by us.

When hiking, the only two things I've found that help are the double sided sticky patches you can wear on your hat (basically hiking with fly paper on your head) - the stuff really does seem to work - and if I am hiking with a pup and have the leash in my hand I swing the thing around my head like a helicopter blade. I kid you not. It must look absurd, but it either takes out or scares away most of the flies for a period of time... spelling me some relief.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:59 PM   #15
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Hey,
When we go into the woods, we find critters that we don't see from our couch.
They're part of the experience.

Jim
I've spent my fair share of time in the woods. Those two occasions I mentioned were the only times I said forget it
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:24 AM   #16
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I see you even got a thumbs down for that one!


Maybe it was from the DEC
Must be the do-rag.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:31 AM   #17
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Great video Justin.

As for Deer Flies, this does appear to be a banner year. At least in the areas I hang out. It's not just quantity but ferocity. In the past they went for the hair but now they go directly for the face. AND they bite immediately.
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:40 PM   #18
montcalm
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I always seem to get that cloud of deer flies when I mountain bike in the Adirondacks. They actually don't bother me UNTIL I stop. Then it's biting, sweat in the eyes, and lots of profanity
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:26 PM   #19
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I'm on a rant.
We complain about flying insects, but oppose aerial spraying.
Put on your big boy boots and put up with them.
Jim
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:49 PM   #20
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Dear Flies:
Please leave me alone and bite someone else. Or, I'll have to get the ThermaCell out.

Thanks in advance!
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