New York State bear hunters took 1,420 black bears during the 2017 hunting seasons, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.
Hunters took an estimated 1,037 black bears in New York’s Southern Zone, nearly the same number as in 2016, but slightly more than the recent five-year average. Bowhunters took 330 bears, on par with the recent average, but less than the 537 bears taken during the regular season. The early season, which DEC initiated in 2014 to reduce bear populations in a handful of management units in the Catskill region, resulted in 150 bears.
In the Northern Zone, hunters took an estimated 383 bears, about 25 percent fewer than 2016 and below the historical average. Bear take in the Northern Zone tends to alternate between strong harvests during the early season one year, followed by strong harvests during the regular season the next year, based primarily on cycles of food availability. This year, the early season accounted for 82 bears, similar to the early seasons of 2011 and 2013. However, hunters fared much better during the regular season, taking 242 bears. Continue reading →
The 2017 hunting seasons in New York saw the second-lowest number of hunting-related shooting incidents (HRSIs) on record, 19, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. Also in 2017, at Commissioner Seggos’ direction, DEC started tracking tree stand injuries for the first time. DEC recorded 12 incidents statewide.
Of the 19 HRSIs that occurred last year, 14 were two-party firearm incidents, five were self-inflicted, and one resulted in a fatality that DEC believes could have been prevented if hunting laws and common sense were followed. Continue reading →
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today issued the agency’s annual guidance on preventing conflicts between people and coyotes as spring temperatures approach.
With the onset of warmer weather, many of New York’s resident coyotes will set up dens for pups that will arrive this spring. Coyotes are well adapted to suburban and even some urban environments, but for the most part they will avoid contact with people. However, conflicts with people and pets may result as coyotes tend to be territorial around den sites during the spring through mid-summer period as they forage almost constantly to provide food for their young.
There are recommended steps residents and visitors can take to reduce or prevent conflicts:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that DEC and researchers at the Human Dimensions Research Unit at Cornell University are implementing a survey-based process for gathering information on citizens’ preferences on desired deer populations that will help DEC biologists set deer population objectives across the state.
“DEC is responsible for managing New York’s wild deer resource for the benefit of all citizens of the state, today and in the future,” DEC Commissioner Seggos said. “Understanding how citizens are benefiting from or being harmed by deer and what their values and priorities are with respect to deer management are important parts of fulfilling that responsibility. This survey is crucial to achieve our goals and we are urging all New Yorkers to share their thoughts on this survey.”
DEC Extends Public Comment Period on Draft Chronic Wasting Disease Plan Through September 15
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC will accept written comments on the draft New York State Interagency Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Risk Minimization Plan for an additional two weeks through September 15, 2017.
The plan describes potential regulatory changes and actions that DEC and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets believe are necessary and appropriate to minimize the risk of CWD entering or spreading in New York. The plan was designed to protect both wild white-tailed deer and moose, as well as captive cervids, including deer and elk held at enclosed facilities.
The New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan has had extensive outreach and vetting by stakeholder groups in the state to address concerns while maintaining the goals of protecting wildlife resources, the public, and the environment. The plan updates reporting and testing requirements of captive cervid owners, improves communication to stakeholders, and simplifies regulations to reduce confusion while protecting natural resources.
The draft plan is available for review on the DEC website (www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7191.html). Written comments on the draft plan will be accepted through September 15, 2017. Comments can be submitted by e-mail (email@example.com, subject: “CWD Plan”) or by writing to NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.
From August 8:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the release of a draft New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan for public comment. The plan describes proposed regulatory changes and actions that DEC will take to minimize the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) entering or spreading in New York and was designed to protect both wild white-tailed deer and moose, as well as captive cervids including deer and elk held at enclosed facilities. Continue reading →