The latest from ADKHunter…

It’s Deer Season: ‘Hard to believe that summer is over, fall is here and so is deer season. Northern Zone Archery opens Sept. 27 and while this gives the northern tier hunters a four-day jump ahead of the south it’s not what it used to be. This hunter really liked the old four-day season on the previous year’s tag (when I had one). There was just some incentive to it.

But, times change and tomorrow is still opening day and there’s no doubt hunters will be in the woods. Food seems to be sporadic. Some apple trees have fruit, others are dried up and we’re hearing very little reports of any serious mast crop like acorns or beechnuts. The foliage in parts of the Adirondacks is taking shape. As always, tell us what you’re seeing along the likes of such things and please be safe, especially in tree stands, send us a photo if you have some luck.

ADKHUnter is now on Facebook: That’s right! And we had a great first week on Facebook. Thanks to those who have join in with us.  The new Facebook page is set up to be an enhancement to The goal is to get folks interacting in the Visitor’s tab (down, and to the right of the Timeline) about what’s going on in the woods, thoughts on issues that impact hunting in our region (and sometimes beyond) and to share a few stories. You’ll also notice the ability to share certain posts on this website on your own Facebook page. That task is still a work in progress but is up and running with a few posts that we hope you’ll find informative. Enjoy, and please drop in often.  Here’s the link:


Latest  news links
*DEC’s Summary of Hunting Seasons
Boreas Ponds: Access the Adirondacks vs Adirondack Wilderness Advocates
Outdoor Wire: Minding Hunters and Hunting (must read)

NY Times: Hunters seeing pink
Website Upgrades: QDMA, NDA
Roger Fulton: Common Sense Gun Control
Delta Waterfowl lashes out and USFWS director  over commendation of HSUS
OL: Maine, New Hampsire and Vermont to offer more deer permits
U-Washington Study: Bring on the Mounain Lions
Adirondack Almanac: Interesting Land Swap
On the Newstand: Summer issue of ADK Outdoors Mag

Youth Trapping Camps Oct. 7-10


Do you know a boy or girl between the ages of 12 and 14 who has an interest in learning how to trap or who wants to earn their NYS trapper education certificate?

There are going to be three Youth Trapping Camps across NY on October 7-10, 2016 (Columbus Day Weekend). The camp locations are in Caneadea (Allegany County), Winthrope (St. Lawrence County) and Livingston Manor (Sullivan County). You can choose the location nearest to you. The cost is only $40.

Applications should be postmarked as soon as possible. For more information and to get the camp registration form, go to

The Pat Arnold Youth Trapping Camps are sponsored by the New York State Trappers Association and supported by the NYSDEC Sportsman Education Program.

Grass River Wild Forest UMP public hearing coming up

The Grass River Wild Forest is comprised of several parcels of Forest Preserve located in the Towns of Clare, Clifton, Colton and Fine in St. Lawrence County. Together along with two conservation easements–Grass River and Tooley Pond–these Forest Preserve and conservation easement lands add up to approximately 54,000 acres. The unit is bounded on the west and north by the Adirondack Park Blue Line, on the north and east by State Route 56, and on the south by State Route 3 and the Oswegatchie River.

For a description of recreational opportunities in the unit, please visit the Grass River Wild Forest recreation page.

Download the Draft UMP
Grass River Wild Forest Draft Unit Management Plan – PDF (2.8 MB)

Public Comment Opportunities
The Department has released a draft UMP for public review, and will be holding a public meeting on October 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm at the Colton-Pierrepont Central School Auditorium, 4921 State Route 56, Colton NY. The Department will also be accepting written comments on the draft UMP until November 14, 2016. Comments can be sent to the following contact:

Aaron Graves, Forester
6739 US Highway 11
Potsdam, NY 13676

Northern Zone Archery Season Begins Sept. 27

Early bow season for deer begins in the Northern Zone at sunrise on Tuesday, September 27, and continues through October 21. In the Southern Zone, early bow season for deer and bear begins Saturday, October 1 and continues through November 18.

Under rules established by the New York State Legislature, bowhunters may opt to use a crossbow during latter portions of bow seasons: the last 10 days of the Northern Zone bow season (October 12-21) and last 14 days of the Southern Zone bow season (November 5-18). To hunt with a crossbow during these periods, bowhunters must possess a muzzleloader privilege and a qualifications certificate (see the Crossbow Hunting web page on DEC’s website for details).

DEC invites bowhunters to help monitor deer and other wildlife populations by participating in the Bowhunter Sighting Log. The Bowhunter Sighting Log includes a diary of bowhunting activity and the number of animals seen. This data helps DEC track deer and other wildlife populations. To participate, please e-mail DEC ( – specify Bowhunter Sighting Log in the subject line) and provide your name, address, hunter ID (back tag number), the counties where you typically hunt, and whether or not you have participated in New York’s bowhunter log in any previous year.

Deer hunters should also be aware that the application deadline for Deer Management Permits (DMPs) is October 1. Hunters should know which Wildlife Management Unit they intend to hunt before applying. See the DMP Availability and Probability of Selection web page for DMP targets and the chances of being selected by WMU.

Dec Announces Start Of Small Game Hunting Seasons

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that several small game hunting seasons open October 1. In addition, there are special youth-only hunting seasons for pheasants and waterfowl opening prior to the start of the regular season.

Season dates, bag limits, and other hunting regulations can be found in the New York Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which can be obtained from a license issuing agent, and on the DEC website (see links below).

Wild Turkey Hunting

Beginning last fall, DEC updated the fall turkey hunting season structure in response to declines in turkey populations and to ensure that harvest opportunities are sustainable. Season dates for fall 2016:

October 1-14 in the Northern Zone

October 15-28 in the Southern Zone

November 19-December 2 in Suffolk County, Long Island

The statewide, season bag limit is one bird of either sex.

The change to the fall turkey season is being evaluated as part of a four-year research program during which DEC staff track hen harvest and survival. This data will be used along with information collected annually on turkey abundance, productivity, and hunter activity and harvest to determine future fall harvest opportunities that are sustainable under current environmental conditions and trends in turkey populations.

Waterfowl Hunting and Youth Waterfowl Days

Hunting seasons for waterfowl—ducks, geese, and brant—begin in early October in many parts of the state, but there are also special opportunities for junior hunters 12-15 years old prior to the regular season. Junior hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter, and both the junior hunter and adult must be registered with the Harvest Information Program (HIP). Adult hunters must also have a federal migratory bird stamp. Youth waterfowl days this fall are:

September 24-25 in the Lake Champlain Zone

October 1-2 in the Western Zone

November 12-13 in the Long Island Zone

Pheasant Hunting

Approximately 30,000 adult pheasants will be released on lands open to public hunting for the upcoming fall pheasant hunting season. The pheasant hunting season begins:

October 1 in northern and eastern portions of New York

October 15 in central and western portions of the state


Citizen Science:

“Citizen science” efforts such as the Grouse and Woodcock Hunting Log, Bow Hunter Sighting Log, and the Furbearer Sighting Survey provide hunters with the opportunity to partner with DEC to monitor game species. To learn more about how to participate in these efforts, visit the DEC website.

Turkey Hunting:

Waterfowl Hunting & Youth Waterfowl Days:

Pheasant Release Sites:

Small Game Hunting Seasons:

New York Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide:

Citizen Science:

DEC Announces Start of Early Bear Hunting Seasons

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the start of early bear hunting seasons in New York State.

In northern New York, the early bear season runs from September 17 – October 14 in WMUs 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F, 6H, and 6J. Bowhunting season for bears also begins on September 17 in Northern Zone WMUs 6A, 6G, 6K and 6N. Muzzleloader season opens in all northern WMUs on October 15, followed by the regular firearms season for bears on October 22.

During the early season, eligible bear hunters may use a bow, crossbow, muzzleloader, handgun, shotgun, or rifle where allowed. Because of the likelihood of warm weather, bear hunters should be prepared to skin and cool harvested bears as soon as possible to protect the quality of the meat. Hunters may opt to skin and quarter the bear in the field, then pack out the meat in game bags to a waiting cooler of ice.

DEC regulates black bear hunting in order to manage healthy bear populations and limit bear nuisances. Information about black bear hunting in New York, including season dates and regulations, is available on DEC’s website. Additionally, DEC’s booklet Hunting the Black Bear in New York (PDF, 900 KB) , includes tips on bear hunting and proper care of harvested bears.

DEC’s Interim Access Plan for Boreas Ponds

Hikers, bikers, skiers, paddlers, horseback riders, hunters, anglers and others will have improved  access and additional recreational opportunities on the recently purchased 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

DEC has developed an Interim Access Plan for the Boreas Ponds Tract which identifies specific areas available for public access while providing for protection of the natural resources of the area and the rights still held by The Nature Conservancy and its lessees.  The Interim Access Plan does not have any bearing on the future land classification of the tract currently in development and does not prejudge what access and uses will be allowed in the future.

Additional access opportunities identified in the Interim Access Plan includes: Continue reading →


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has accepted recommendations for expanding recreation opportunities within the Great South Woods (GSW) from the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. This report highlights the potential for recreational use within a large region of the Adirondack Park including all of Hamilton County and parts of Essex, Warren, Herkimer, Fulton and Saratoga Counties.  The GSW area covers two million acres, including 20 individual Forest Preserve management units.

To view a copy of the Great South Woods report, visit DEC’s website at Continue reading →


 The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today the final season dates and updated regulations for 2016-17 waterfowl hunting.  With the early release of federal season dates and regulatory changes, final season dates are now available well in advance of the fall hunting seasons, providing ample time to plan hunting activities.  The final season dates and regulations are available here and, for the first time, they are included in the annual hunting and trapping guide.  Waterfowl hunting zone descriptions and boundaries are available here.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities:
Duck hunting seasons begin with designated “youth waterfowl hunts” in each zone of the state.  These youth hunts are great opportunities for junior hunters (12 to 15 years of age) to be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter (including those with current Harvest Information Program registration and duck stamp – see below) and learn the skills necessary to become a successful waterfowl hunter.  The adult should not possess a firearm while accompanying a youth who is hunting ducks on any of these days.  The daily bag limits during the youth hunts is the same as during the regular season. The youth hunts are held on weekends in each zone of the state, as follows:

Northeastern Zone – September 17-18
Lake Champlain Zone – September 24-25
Southeastern Zone – September 17-18
Western Zone – October 1-2
Long Island Zone – November 12-13
Continue reading →


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Commissioner Basil Seggos today reminded all new hunters and trappers planning to go afield this upcoming hunting and trapping season that they must first complete a mandatory hunter, bowhunter or trapper education course before they can obtain the appropriate sporting license or hunting privilege.

Hunting and trapping licenses are on sale  in New York

DEC works closely with thousands of dedicated DEC-certified instructors statewide to provide these training courses free of charge. Courses are offered for Hunter Education, Bowhunter Education, Trapper Education and Waterfowl Identification. However, courses fill up quickly, so those interested should sign up for a course soon to be sure they complete it before going afield this fall.

With the DEC on-line registration system, viewing a list of all available hunter and trapper education courses with the student’s proximity to course locations can be easily done. Students can register from any device – smartphone, tablet or computer – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Education courses are added continuously throughout the year, so be sure to check the on-line system frequently to find a course near you. To locate a nearby hunter or trapper education course, visit DEC’s website at or contact a local DEC office for assistance.

New course homework requirements instituted this year
All hunter education and trapper education courses now require students to review course materials and complete a homework sheet prior to attending the classroom and field sessions. The new homework portion of the course provides an introduction to the subject and enhances the students’ understanding of the course material. Proof of the completed homework is required in order to attend the classroom and field portions of the course. Students should register for the course well in advance of the classroom and field date(s) in order to allow time to complete the homework requirement, which takes about three hours. All courses also require successful completion of an in-person field day to earn certification for the course. Continue reading →