The latest from ADKHunter…

Chuck Law captured the moment during the 2016 Youth Turkey Hunt

Chuck Law captured the moment during the 2016 Youth Turkey Hunt

Turkeys: Spring turkey hunting may not be nearly as popular as chasing Adirondack bucks in November, but it certainly isn’t a bad alternative on the other side of the calendar year. The Spring season runs May 1-31 with hunting taking place one half-hour before sunrise until noon. This hunter likes the early season the best, simply because it’s more “fall” like. I’ll take a cool morning with no bugs any day over a warm one that is typical of later in the month. It can be more challenging the without the natural camo of vegetation, but I’m still more comfortable in the first part of the season. Looking back, we’ve got a few photos from this past weekend’s youth hunt. It was tough with the wind at times but a few young hunters out there got the job done. Congrats to them and their mentors.

Snow, meanwhile has made its way back to the Adirondack region with Tuesday’s (April 26) storm dropping a few inches in areas. Forest Rangers, who are battling wildfires throughout the state, were glad to see it.
Meanwhile, the 2015 Deer Harvest stats are in and DEC has a red flag warning on fire danger. Scroll down to have a look at some of the latest goings-on.

Latest Adirondack Hunting Photos

Click/tap photo to see details, then scroll through. Enjoy

Please visit our photos page for more

Deer Management Meetings May 10 & 12

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a webinar “New York Deer Management Update” the evenings of May 10 and May 12.  Both nights will have the same content.  Any member of the public can participate on either night by connecting online from the comfort of their own home or by joining DEC staff at locations throughout the state.

The webinar is designed 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.  DEC will provide an overview of the state’s deer management program, outline progress on current deer program activities including a brief explanation of DEC’s recent decision to encourage hunters to voluntarily pass up young bucks, and discuss current management priorities including urban-suburban deer over abundance, reducing deer impacts on forests, and other issues.

The presentation will be simulcast online and to a number of meeting venues where participants will have opportunity to meet their regional DEC deer biologist. After the presentation, DEC staff will be available online and in-person to answer questions and discuss public concerns about deer management.

For instructions about how to connect online, for the list of locations where the meetings will be hosted by DEC staff, and for updates on this process, see 2016 Public Meetings on Deer Management. Meanwhile, here is a list of locations in and around the Adirondack region.

May 10: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Albany County, Albany – NYSDEC Central Office, 625 Broadway, Room 129A (directions on DEC’s website)
Franklin County, Paul Smiths – Paul Smiths Visitor’s Center, 8023 State Route 30 (directions on Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center website)
Jefferson County, Watertown – Jefferson Community College, Jules Center, Room 6-002 (directions on the University of Jefferson website)

May 12: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Albany County, Albany – NYSDEC Central Office, 625 Broadway, Room 129A (directions on DEC’s website)
Oneida County, Utica – SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Kunsela Hall Auditorium (directions on SUNY Polytechnic Institute website)
Saratoga County, Ballston Spa – Cornell Cooperative Extension, 50 West High St.
St. Lawrence County, Canton – SUNY Canton, 34 Cornell Drive, Wicks Hall, Room 102; park in Lot (directions on SUNY Canton’s website)

May 10: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Click NYSDEC Deer Management – May 10 to connect (online viewing facilitated by Cornell University). If necessary, the Event Number is 647 722 854, and the Event Password is NYSDECMay10.

May 12: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Click NYSDEC Deer Management – May 12 to connect (online viewing facilitated by Cornell University). If necessary, the Event Number is 643 448 827, and the Event Password is NYSDECMay12.

Note: A high-speed internet connection such as LAN, DSL, satellite, or cable is needed to view the webinars. Phone modems cannot effectively transmit data.

DEC: Boat Launch Docks Installed

Notice to Boaters, Anglers, and Paddlers Just in time for the warmer weather this weekend, DEC has installed docks at all boat launches in DEC Region 5 and throughout the Adirondacks that are not associated with a DEC Adirondack Campground. Contact the DEC Operations program at one of the following offices for information regarding boat launches at DEC Adirondack Campgrounds.

Ray Brook: 518-897-1310
Warrensburg: 518-8974-1200
Northville: 518-863-4545
Link to Boat Launch Sites:

For more information contact Have a safe and enjoyable boating season!

Spring Turkey Opens May 1

Spring turkey season opens May 1 in all of upstate New York north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and the Department of Environmental Conservation’s 13th annual youth turkey hunting weekend was April 23-24,

Improved reproductive success in 2015 coupled with a mild winter has increased the number of turkeys on the landscape beyond the past few years, providing better prospects for New York’s spring turkey hunters this season. About 8,000 junior hunters harvested an estimated 1,131 birds during the two-day event in 2015. The estimated turkey harvest for spring 2015 was 19,840 birds.

Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31, 2016:

  • Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island.
  • Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their hunting license.
  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.
  • Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day.
  • Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow or crossbow.
  • Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.
  • Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online at DEC’s website.

For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2015-16 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit the “Turkey Hunting” pages of DEC’s website.

New York has an extremely safety-conscious generation of hunters, largely due to the annual efforts of more than 3,000 dedicated volunteer sportsman education instructors. DEC suggests hunters follow the cardinal rules of hunting safety: assume every gun is loaded, control the muzzle, keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, be absolutely sure of your target and what may be beyond it, and don’t stalk. Set up with your back against a large tree and call birds to you. To find a sportsman education class in your area, go to DEC’s Sportsman Education webpage or call 1-888-HUNT-ED2 (1-888-486-8332).


Essex Chain UMP Adopted

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced dozens of new outdoor recreation opportunities available to the public at the Essex Chain Lakes Complex under the state’s newly adopted management plan. The plan allows DEC to implement approved projects which will significantly boost public access to the Complex, while also preserving the unique resources of the region.

The Essex Chain Lakes Complex is located in the Central Adirondacks in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb in Essex County, and the Town of Indian Lake in Hamilton County. The eight lakes comprising the Essex Chain Lakes are the namesake and main attraction of the Complex, which also includes many other scenic and natural features, including the Hudson and Cedar rivers, numerous other lakes and ponds, and forested hills. Continue reading →

Tentative Waterfowl Season Dates for 2016

Tentative season dates for 2016-17 waterfowl seasons are now available on the DEC website 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: Red Flag Warning for Fire Danger in NY

Red flag fire warnings have been issued in several parts of New York State due to dry conditions and rising temperatures, the Department of Environmental Conservation announced today.

The DEC also reminds New Yorkers that residential brush burning is prohibited through May 14.

DEC posts a fire danger rating forecast map on a daily basis on its website at: 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.


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

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

Continue reading →

NYSCC: Legislation in works to lower legal big game hunting age to 12

2a9764a6-aaed-4142-8437-93e6bda2b63cAssembly bill A8358 sponsored by Assemblywoman Gunther and companion Senate bill S5434 sponsored by Senator Griffo are currently pending in their respective houses’ Environmental Conservation Committees.
The NYSCC strongly supports this change.  Increasing the opportunities for young people to participate in one of the state’s premier outdoor activities will help our youth develop new skills and cultivate lifelong participation in outdoor sports. 
  •  The DEC’s current five-year deer management plan strongly recommends that the minimum age for big game hunting with a firearm be lowered to twelve. 
  •  Nationally, all states allow youth age twelve to hunt big game with a firearm and 60% have a younger minimum age.
  •  Experience has demonstrated that mentored youth hunters are the safest hunters afield.
Participation in hunting activities can provide quality time for family bonding while sharing the benefits of relating to the natural world. Please support this legislation by contacting your New York State legislators and urging them to press for passage.

If you don’t know your legislator, now is a good time to get to know him or her.  If you don’t know their name or address, go to or
The Council’s Memorandum of Support can be found on our website
Call, write, email or stop in today.  We can’t make this happen without the active support of New York’s sportsmen.  And make sure to tell your friends!