The latest from ADKHunter…

Smoke Pole Weekend: Areas around the permitter of the Adirondacks are open to the late muzzleloading season, which culminates this weekend. When the sun goes down on Dec. 11, that’s it for big game hunting in the Northern Zone in 2016. It looks like we’re in for a bit of a cool down so many of us will be breaking out the wool as we seek to put a some more venison in our freezers. We’re also seeing deer start to group up. We put 11 deer to one hunter on a drive over the weekend without a buck in the group. 

One of the most controversial topics regarding the late muzzleloading season is that of shooting antlerless deer. DEC tells us there are enough out there, otherwise the WMUs where it is allowed would be buck only, such as a few in the western Adirondacks. Or, they wouldn’t have a late season at all. But hunters considering shooting a doe should still do the eyeball test. Are you seeing a lot of deer overall in your hunting area? How many hunters in your area will shoot a doe and how will it impact your local herd if a number of you are successful and the soon-to-come winter doesn’t go so well?

Over the final three days of the season I’ll be hunting in areas where myself and most of my fellow hunters will not shoot a doe. We simply feel that there just aren’t enough deer there to support it. We also have spots to hunt closer to agricultural areas where there area plenty of does and if they cooperate, we’ll take them. We’ll be mixing it up between the two extremes this weekend in hopes of catching up to a buck. 

Finally, be safe out there this weekend. We’ve had a number shooting incidents in New York recently and the negative side of hunting is in the spotlight. With antlerless deer being legal many muzzleloading hunters will have a “brown is down” mentality. Consider that when you dress for your outing and most importantly, make sure you know what you are shooting at before you pull the trigger.

Good luck on this final weekend of the 2016 Adirondack deer season.

-Dan’l 

•DEC’s Summary of Hunting Seasons


Previous Week’s Hunting Reports Continue reading →

DEC: Please Hunt Safely

In the wake of a number of recent hunting-related shooting incidents, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is reminding hunters to follow basic hunter safety rules when going afield this hunting season.

“While statistics show that hunting in New York State is safer than ever, mistakes are made every year. But every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable,” Seggos said. “We urge hunters to use common sense and remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunters Education Course.”

DEC’s Hunting Safety Rules:

  • Assume every gun is loaded.
  • Control the muzzle. Point your gun in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Be sure of your target and beyond.
  • DEC encourages hunters to wear blaze orange or pink. Wearing orange or pink prevents other hunters from mistaking a person for an animal, or shooting in your direction. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot.
  • When hunting in tree stands use a safety harness and a climbing belt, as most tree stand accidents occur when hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. Also, never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded rifle.
  • Always be prepared for winter conditions when venturing in the woods, inform a friend or relative of your whereabouts, and pack emergency supplies.

DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) are currently investigating two hunting-related shooting fatalities that occurred in the last week, both involving accidental shootings that could have been avoided.

DEC requires every hunter to take a special Hunters Education Course before they can receive a license to hunt. Since New York’s Sportsman Education Program was first introduced in 1950, the number of hunting-related accidents have declined by 80 percent.

A DEC report showed 2015 was the first year without a hunting-related shooting fatality in New York since record-keeping on hunting statistics began more than 60 years ago. 2015 also continued the trend of declining incidents with respect to New York’s hunting-related shooting incident rate (incidents per 100,000 hunters). The past five-year average is down to four incidents per 100,000 hunters, compared to 19 per 100,000 hunters in the 1960s.

There were 23 hunting incidents documented in 2015, the third lowest number on record, with 10 incidents self-inflicted and 13 two-party incidents.

View and print the 2015 Hunter Safety Statistics report here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/nyhrsi2015.pdf

ECO Injured in Southern Zone Shooting
The following is a statement from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos regarding the shooting of Environmental Conservation Office James Davey.

“On the evening of November 29, 2016, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Officers James Davey and Lieutenant Liza Bobseine were investigating reports of potential illegal hunting activity in the Town of Gallatin in Columbia County when officer James Davey was shot. Officer Davey underwent extensive surgery at the Mid-Hudson Hospital to repair damage from the gunshot wound and is in the Intensive Care Unit in stable condition. I had the chance to meet Officer Davey’s wife Nancy, a Forest Ranger at DEC, and other family members last night who were appreciative of the outpouring of support from the DEC family.

“Lieutenant Liza Bobseine who was on patrol with Officer Davey investigating the incident is credited with saving Officer Davey’s life for her quick and heroic actions in the field.  Lt. Bobseine was able to quickly apply a compress to the wound while calling for support and keeping the suspects under control 1/2 mile into a field. It’s clear that if it were not for her actions, officer Davey would not have survived. I commend the two officers for their courage in the line of duty and thank them for their dedicated service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded officer and his family.”

An investigation led by New York State Police from the Livingston barracks determined that Alan Blanchard, 55, of Gallatin, was responsible for the accidental shooting due to reckless conduct. Blanchard was arrested for Assault in the 2nd degree, a class D felony, arraigned in the Town of Livingston Court, and remanded to the Dutchess County Jail in lieu of no bail. He is scheduled to reappear in the Town of Livingston Court on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.

ECO Davey, 39, is a 12-year veteran of the force, having graduated from the DEC Basic Police Academy in 2005.  He is currently assigned to patrol Columbia County.  Officer Davey is a Division of Criminal Justice Services-Certified Police Instructor, having recently become a Certified Firearms instructor for the DEC.  He is married to a DEC Forest Ranger, Nancy Davey.

DEC Region 5 Provides Pelt Sealing Opportunities for Trappers

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 5 Wildlife staff are providing opportunities for trappers to have pelts of bobcat, fisher, marten and otter sealed within 10 days after a trapping season closes.

Fisher and marten trapping seasons in the Adirondacks closed November 30, and pelts of these species trapped in the Adirondacks must be sealed by December 10. The trapping season for fisher in eastern New York outside the Adirondacks closes December 10, and pelts of fisher trapped in these areas must be sealed by December 20.

The pelts of all four species must be sealed before the pelt is:

  • Sold or transferred to another person;
  • Mounted or tanned; or
  • Transported out of New York State.

All marten carcasses must be submitted at the time the pelt is sealed. DEC uses the carcasses from marten and other mammals to determine population structure and trends. This information is used to set seasons and limits.

The schedule of DEC Wildlife pelt sealing opportunities:

  • Monday, December 5, 2016; 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Ephratah Rod & Gun Club, 372 State Highway 67, Fort Plain, NY
  • Wednesday, December 7, 2016; 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the DEC Region 5 Office, 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg, NY 
  • Thursday, December 8, 2016; 6:00 – 7:30 pm at the FMB Bait & Tackle Shop, 4133 Main Street, Port Henry, NY
  • Thursday, December 15, 2016; 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Training Center, 556 Middleline Road, Ballston Spa, New York

DEC Wildlife staff can also seal pelts sealed at the DEC offices in Ray Brook or Warrensburg. Trappers should contact the wildlife unit prior to bringing in pelts to ensure wildlife staff is present. Contact the Ray Brook Office Wildlife Unit at 518-897-1291 or the Warrensburg Office Wildlife Unit at 518-623-1240.

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECO) can also seal pelts but trappers must arrange a meeting time and location in advance. Contact the DEC Dispatch at 518-897-1326 for the name and telephone number of the local ECO or check the DEC website.

DEC Invites Initial Feedback on Potential Wildlife Regulations Being Considered

Editors Note: It is highly advised that all deer hunters visit this link
(http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/104785.htm) and read thoroughly the suggestions that could affect use of deer urine and even parts of deer such as tarsal glands.  There is also a more firm proposal on banning feeding/baiting – Dan’l=L

Continuing efforts to keep hunters and the public informed about possible wildlife regulation changes, DEC has posted several ideas that are under consideration for 2017.

Prior to initiating a formal rulemaking process, DEC routinely seeks public input regarding concerns or interest in potential changes to regulations. In many situations, DEC uses scientific surveys to gather public opinion about potential rule changes. In other cases, DEC communicates informally through e-mails, letters, or meetings in response to ideas and suggestions. In all situations, it is helpful to obtain informal feedback to gauge public interest and support, and to learn of any concerns that may exist, before the formal rulemaking process is initiated.

DEC invites informal feedback regarding several issues: (1) prohibiting feeding wild white-tailed deer, (2) issuing permits for 4-Poster TickicideTM and 4-PosterTM deer treatment devices, (3) strengthening measures to protect New York deer from Chronic Wasting Disease, (4) eliminating the special permit for hunting and trapping bobcats in the Harvest Expansion Area, and (5) closing the season for take of diamondback terrapin.

These ideas are NOT formal proposals at this time, just options being considered as potential changes for 2017. Please see http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/104785.html to read the details of each issue and to provide feedback.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to review and provide comment!

APA’s Public Hearing Schedule for Boreas Ponds and other tracts

RAY BROOK, NY – The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold a series of public hearings to solicit public comments for State Land classification and reclassification proposals. The action involves proposals for State Lands in all 12 counties in the Park, including the recently acquired Boreas Ponds Tract. The 2016-2017 classification package includes 33 State Land classification proposals totaling approximately 50,827 acres, 13 State Land reclassifications totaling an estimated 1,642 acres, and a number of classifications involving map corrections (1,949 acres).

The Public Hearings will be held: 

  • December 6, 2016 7:00 pm Bear Mountain Inn 3020 Seven Lakes Drive Tomkins Cove
  • December 7, 2016 2:00 pm NYS DEC 625 Broadway Albany

Continue reading →

DEC to Prepare Management Plan for Fulton County State Forests

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will develop a Unit Management Plan (UMP) for 5,850 acres of public lands in the Fulton County State Forests, DEC announced today.

The Fulton County State Forests include the state forests of Lassellsville, Peck Hill, and Rockwood. The lands are located in the towns of Ephratah, Oppenheim, and Johnstown.

“DEC is seeking public input on how to best manage these lands and provide access for outdoor recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, camping, wildlife watching, and other activities,” said Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann.

A public meeting will be held at the Johnstown Town Hall (2753 NY Route-29) in Johnstown on November 15 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodations in advance to DEC at (518) 897-1248. Continue reading →

Posted in DEC

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