The latest from ADKHunter…

Lost Dogs in West Canada Lakes Wilderness: Please help!!!

Keep Calling: With a week to go Spring Turkey Season and some hunters are having it easier than others. With tags filled I’ve resorted to calling for a fellow hunters and, like many, found henned-up toms over the weekend or weary birds. That should change anytime and the late part of the season, as well as the late part of the morning, can be rewarding if you know where there are some toms hanging around. They’ll get lonely when the ladies go off to nest. So, don’t give up. Although it’s getting warmer and the bugs are coming out use the cover to your advantage and tag a late season tom. Good luck!

Meanwhile, whether you are pro or con to more crossbow hunting opportunities the fate of current legislation to expand them lies with the legislators who are the chairmen of the Encon Committee. Click here to learn more about how to express your opinion:


Latest Adirondack Hunting Photos

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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

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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.

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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 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.

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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 

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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!



The 2015 New York hunting season proved to be one of the safest on record and yielded the first year without a hunting-related shooting fatality since the 1950s, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. DEC’s 2015 Hunting Safety Statistics report highlighted a total of only 23 hunting incidents, the third lowest number on record, with 10 incidents self-inflicted and 13 two-party incidents.

“Hunting is a strong and economically important tradition that continues to be safely enjoyed by many in New York State, and I commend hunters of all ages for maintaining high standards in hunting safety,” Acting Commissioner Seggos said. “The trend of declining hunting accidents is proof that our hunter safety education programs are working thanks, in large part, to the efforts of the 3,000 volunteer Sportsman Education Instructors that teach our hunter safety courses every year.” Continue reading →