The latest from ADKHunter…

Summer’s Coming: First, congrats to all of our successful turkey hunters, I hope you had as good of a season and I did.  We’ve got a few turkey photos to get posted and will do so soon. Meanwhile, we enter what is usually the quietest time of year for ADKHunter. It’s time for a some camping, fishing, hiking and enjoying the summer months. We’ll also tinker with things like gardens, food plots and trail cameras. Although this particular post won’t be as active as it is normally we will keep the news items flowing as they come in and do our best to keep you updated on the many things going on in the Adirondacks and sporting world. These include the fate of the Boreas Ponds tract and numerous legislative items like lowering the legal big game hunting age to 12 and expansion of the crossbow hunting season. We’ll see how those play out and encourage you to contact your legislators and let them know how you feel.
-Dan’l 


NOTE: In May, DEC hosted a webinar and 20 public meetings across the state to inform New York deer hunters and the general public about current issues in deer management and to set the stage for updating DEC’s Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in New York State. If you were not able to participate but would like to view the presentation and provide feedback to DEC about important deer management issues, see 2016 Public Meetings on Deer Management.


Latest Adirondack Hunting Photos

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DEC Seeking Public Input on Cranberry Lake Campground UMP

DEC is asking the public to review and submit comments on a Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Cranberry Lake Public Campground located in St. Lawrence County. The UMP will guide future management of the Campground over the next five (5) years.

The campground is located in the western part of the Adirondack Park on the northeastern shore of Cranberry Lake, the third-largest body of water in the park. Approximately three-quarters of Cranberry Lake’s shoreline is bounded by Forest Preserve.

  • The Public Draft UMP is available for review on our Cranberry Lake Campground page in the Planning and Management section.
  • Copies are also available in electronic format on compact disc and may be requested by calling (518) 457-2500.

You Can Submit your Comments in Two Ways:

  • at the Open House on June 23rd from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Cranberry Lake Campground Pavilion – 243 Lone Pine Road, Cranberry Lake, NY 12927, or
  • in writing, through July 15, 2016 either by email: campinfo@dec.ny.gov or mail to: NYSDEC Bureau of Recreation, 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233- 5253

DEC will review all comments prior to finalizing the UMP for the Cranberry Lake Campground

Posted in DEC

Hunter/Trapper Ed in NY requires home study

Beginning in 2016, all Sportsman Education courses will require students to review course materials and complete a homework sheet prior to attending the classroom and field sessions, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced.

To become a licensed hunter, bowhunter, or trapper in New York, a person is first required to attend and pass a free training course offered by DEC. Trained Volunteer Instructors, certified by the DEC Sportsman Education Program, teach courses throughout the state on safe and responsible hunting and trapping and the important role of hunters and trappers in conservation.  Continue reading →

DEC: Leave young wildlife be

New Yorkers should not interact with newborn fawns and other young wildlife as we enter the peak season for animals giving birth, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has cautioned.

It is not unusual to see a young bird crouched in the yard or a young rabbit in the flower garden, both apparently abandoned. Finding a fawn deer lying by itself is also fairly common. Many people assume that young wildlife found alone are helpless and need assistance for their survival, however, in nearly all cases this is a mistake and typically human interaction does more damage than good. Those that see a fawn or other newborn wildlife should enjoy their encounter but keep it brief, maintain some distance and do not attempt to touch the animal.

Do not consider young wildlife as possible pets. Not only is it illegal, it’s detrimental to the animal. Wild animals are not well suited for life in captivity and they may carry diseases that can be transferred to humans. Resist the temptation to take them out of the wild. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about young wildlife, visit the DEC website, http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6956.html. Continue reading →

DEC Proposes Hunting and Trapping Rule Changes for 2016

Public Comments on Deer and Bear Hunting Regulations Accepted Through June 25
Fisher and General Trapping Regulations Through June 10

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is now accepting public comments on several regulatory proposals for hunting black bear and white-tailed deer and for fisher trapping and general trapping regulations, Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

The proposed changes for deer and bear hunting will increase opportunities for junior hunters to take bears, rescind an antlerless-only rule from 2015 in portions of southeastern New York and the Lake Plains, reduce antlerless harvests in two management units in the western Adirondacks, and clarify when special season tags may be used by bow and muzzleloader hunters.

The proposed changes for fisher trapping reduce the trapping season in selected Adirondack Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in Northern New York where populations have declined in recent years and establish a limited open trapping season in select WMUs in Central/Western New York to provide new opportunities for sustainable use of this natural resource.

Deer and Bear Hunting Regulatory Proposals

Continue reading →

Rail Trail Plans Under Way

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the final plan to govern the use of the 119-mile travel corridor from Remsen to Lake Placid. The final plan, signed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Transportation will maximize the use and economic benefits of the corridor. The state will also immediately invest in the implementation of the plan, including $15 million to upgrade the rail line between Big Moose and Tupper Lake and $8 million to build a multi-use trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. The rail line will be rehabilitated and the trail will be built within the next three years.

Other actions called for in the 2016 Unit Management Plan Amendment include:

•Providing for snowmobile use, under permit by DOT, to continue along the entire length of the Corridor, starting December 1 of each year;
• Developing snowmobile community connector trails between Tupper Lake and Old Forge on Forest Preserve and conservation easement lands;
•Encouraging the development of snowmobile trails that connect with existing trail systems on the Tug Hill and Western Adirondacks;
•Bolstering the recreation-connectivity along the Corridor;
• Link Lake Lila to active rail Corridor;
•Establishing railway stops in adjacent communities for visitors and recreationists;
•Constructing snowmobile trails connecting adjacent communities with the local system; and
•Evaluating and possibly develop Hut-to-Hut cross-country ski trail between Beaver River and Horseshoe Lake; and
•Continuing consultations with the State Historic Preservation Office to examine mitigation measures to address the impacts of removing the rails with regards to the Corridors listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Continue reading →

Cuomo touts purchase of former Finch lands

Two weeks after the story leaked to the public Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has officially announced  on May 10 the completion of the state’s largest Adirondack land acquisition in more than 100 years, with the purchase of the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract. This is the final acquisition in a series of land purchases the state has completed under a 2012 agreement with The Nature Conservancy to conserve 69,000 acres of land previously owned primarily by the former Finch, Pruyn & Company paper company. The Tract is located primarily in the town of North Hudson in Essex County, south of the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

Governor Cuomo also sent a letter to the Adirondack Park Agency requesting the agency begin the classification process for the Boreas Ponds Tract. Since 2010, through the Governor’s efforts to promote recreation in the Adirondacks, tourism-related employment is up nearly eight percent, tourism spending is up 10 percent and visitation is up 15 percent in the Adirondack Park.

The High Peaks from Upper Boreas Ponds. Dan Ladd photo

The High Peaks from Upper Boreas Ponds.
Dan Ladd photo

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Tentative Waterfowl Season Dates for 2016

Tentative season dates for 2016-17 waterfowl seasons are now available on the DEC website http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28503.html. New York’s unique configuration of waterfowl management zones provides hunters with open seasons in various parts of the state from September to April.

Waterfowl season dates are determined by a team of statewide DEC biologists, with recommendations from waterfowl hunters at annual citizen task force meetings.  DEC has collaborated with citizen task forces to help select waterfowl hunting season dates for more than a decade and appreciates all the help they have offered to help make these selections.

The final season dates will be announced by mid-June and will be posted in the annual hunting regulations guide.  Please be sure to check the final regulations before going afield.

Continue reading →

DEC: 2015 Deer Harvest down 15% statewide, 19% in NZ

Hunters harvested an estimated 202,973 deer during the 2015-16 hunting seasons, approximately 15% less than the prior year. In the Northern Zone 23,589 deer were taken compared to 29,075 in 2014; a roughly 19% decrease.

The 2015 deer take included an estimated 103,401 antlerless deer and 99,572 antlered bucks. Statewide, this represents a 20.5% decline in antlerless deer harvest and an 8.3% decline in buck harvest from 2014. Over half of the bucks harvested in 2015 were aged 2.5 years and older, continuing a shift towards older bucks in the harvest. In most of the state, hunters are making this happen by their own voluntary decisions to pass up young, small-antlered bucks in favor of older deer.

With the severe winter of 2014-15 and a reduction in the number of permits available for antlerless deer in most Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), a decline in deer harvest was anticipated. However, overall deer harvest was lower than expected, as hunting success was apparently also reduced by the unseasonably warm conditions and lack of snow during much of November and December. In fact, harvest reports were tracking on par with 2014 levels through early November, then started lagging behind 2014 once the regular firearms seasons began.

As usual, deer harvests and populations vary considerably across the state, and in approximately 25% of New York, the 2015 harvest suggests that deer populations were unchanged or increased from prior years. Additionally, harvest data indicate that deer populations in portions of central New York, the Finger Lakes and the Lake Plains of western New York remain above desired levels and further population reduction is necessary.

DEC’s 2015 Deer Harvest Summary report (PDF, 4.5MB) provides a suite of tables, charts, and maps detailing the deer harvest around the state.

Deer harvest data are gathered from two main sources: harvest reports required of all successful hunters, and DEC staff’s examination of nearly 14,000 harvested deer at check stations and meat processors. Statewide harvest estimates are made by cross-referencing these two data sources and calculating the total harvest from the reporting rate for each zone and tag type. A full report of the 2015-16 deer harvest, as well as past deer and bear harvest summaries, is available at Deer and Bear Harvests.

DEC ANNOUNCES 2015 BEAR HARVEST RESULTS

New York bear hunters took 1,715 black bears during the 2015 hunting seasons, the second largest bear harvest on record in New York, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.  Only the 2003 harvest (1,863) surpassed the 2015 year’s take.

A complete summary of the 2015 bear harvest with results and maps by county, town, and WMU is available at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/42232.html.

2015 Black Bear Harvest & Recent Trend Comparison
2015 Total 2014 Total Recent
5-year Average (2010-2014)
Historical Average
(1991-2000)
Northern Zone 583 518 460 515
Southern Zone 1,132 1,110 869 207
Statewide 1,715 1,628 1,329 722 

Continue reading →