The latest from ADKHunter…

Strong Storms:  Up until this weekend it had been a pretty dry summer in the Adirondacks and surrounding areas. Water was a factor that many of us who are now scouting for the upcoming seasons were considering at least for our early season strategies. For now, that’s changed. Wherever you were this weekend we hope it was somewhere safe. Lightening strikes in Lake George and a miccro-burst in Caroga Lake highlighted what turned out to be a dangerous series of storms that hit the area from Friday through Sunday.

Meanwhile,  hunting and trapping licenses are already on sale and sportsman’s ed classes are filling up (see below). Hunters are finding acorns and apples in limited supply and reports are coming in of a beechnut crop in parts of the Adirondacks. When you are out there setting and checking your trail cameras or scouting, please let us know what you’re finding.

Coming Soon: ADKHunter.com Facebook page (finally)


Latest  news links
NY Times: Hunters seeing pink
Website Upgrades: QDMA, NDA
Roger Fulton: Common Sense Gun Control
Is this the last Gun Show in Saratoga?
Clayton, NY: 39th Rotary Gun show

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

Court Upholds DEC Forest Preserve Snowmobile Trail Construction


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) may now resume work on the development of a multi-use snowmobile trail that connects the communities of Newcomb, Minerva and North Hudson, according to a state Supreme Court decision handed down on Friday, August 12.  The decision denied the motion for a preliminary injunction brought by PROTECT the Adirondacks! against DEC’s action to construct a multi-use trail that had been approved by the Adirondack Park Agency as part of its review of DEC’s unit management plans for this portion of the Adirondack Park.

“The court has correctly found that DEC’s actions to develop this snowmobile trail were constitutional, had been included in public planning documents and would not lead to the cutting or removal of trees and timber to a substantial extent,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.  “DEC has worked carefully to develop this trail with minimal impact on Forest Preserve lands, and at the same time is eliminating other trails that are redundant, unsafe and intrude into more remote areas of the Forest Preserve.  We are also acquiring significant new Forest Preserve lands, building on our conservation legacy and creating great new outdoor recreational opportunities.”

 

DEC ACCEPTS GREAT SOUTH WOODS REPORT FOR PLANNING REVIEW

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 http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/107049.html. Continue reading →

DEC ANNOUNCES 2016-2017 WATERFOWL SEASON DATES

 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 →

STATE HUNTING & TRAPPING EDUCATION COURSES BEGINNING

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
http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/107154.html.

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 http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7860.html 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 →

DEC: New Deer & Bear Hunting Regs

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today unveiled new regulations concerning deer and bear hunting. These regulations 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 new bear hunting regulation now includes the taking of bears in the youth firearms hunt over Columbus Day weekend that was previously a deer-only event. Continue reading →

DEC Seeks Participants for Summer Turkey Survey

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Commissioner Basil Seggos are encouraging New Yorkers to participate in a survey for wild turkeys this summer. Since 1996, DEC has conducted the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey to estimate the number of wild turkey poults (young of the year) per hen statewide. Weather, predation, and habitat conditions during the breeding and brood-rearing seasons can all significantly impact nest success, hen survival, and poult survival. This index allows us to gauge reproductive success and predict fall harvest potential.

During the month of August, survey participants record the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkeys observed during normal travel. If you would like to participate, you can download a Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey form from the DEC website. Detailed instructions can be found with the data sheet. Survey cards can also be obtained by contacting your regional DEC office, by calling (518) 402-8886, or by e-mailing wildlife@dec.ny.gov (please type “Turkey Survey” in the subject line). You can also submit your observations on-line.

The following survey resources are available on the DEC website:

 

http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/press.html

 

Informal Comment Period Open for Proposed Changes to Free Fishing Days

DEC is considering expanding the number of free fishing days that are offered and wants to set those days in regulation so they are consistent from year to year. This initial public review process will assist DEC in determining if it will move forward with this proposal to formally establish these additional free fishing days.

In addition to Free Fishing Weekend (last full weekend of June), the proposed rulemaking will specifically designate six additional Free Fishing Days that will occur throughout the year.

The proposed dates are as follows:
•Presidents Day Weekend (February) – Saturday and Sunday before Presidents Day
3rd Weekend in May
National Hunting and Fishing Day (4th Saturday in September)
Veteran’s Day

How to submit comments
To submit comments regarding the proposal, send an email to regulations.fish@dec.ny.gov with the following subject line: “Possible Amendment to Free Sport Fishing Days.” To ensure we receive and can properly review your suggestions, you must leave the subject line as it appears on the email. Input will be collected through August 31, 2016

Note: Due to the expected high volume of e-mails received, DEC will be unable to reply to individual submissions, but all input will be reviewed and considered towards developing a proposed rule-making that, if accepted, would become effective in 2017.

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 →

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

Continue reading →