New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that information is now available about the state’s upcoming waterfowl hunting seasons, including season dates and updated regulations.
Youth Hunting Opportunities Duck hunting seasons begin with designated “youth waterfowl hunts” in each zone of the state. Youth hunts allow young hunters to spend time afield with experienced adult hunters and gain necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of the hunting community. Junior hunters (12 to 15 years of age) accompanied by a licensed adult hunter (including current HIP registration and duck stamp) may participate. The accompanying adult may not possess a firearm or shoot any birds unless the respective regular season is open. The daily bag limit for ducks and brant during these youth hunts is the same as during the regular season, except three geese per day in all zones. The youth hunts are held on weekends in each zone of the state, as follows:
Northeastern Zone – September 22-23
Southeastern Zone – September 22-23
Lake Champlain Zone – September 29-30
Western Zone – October 13-14
Long Island Zone – November 10-11
Duck Season Most waterfowl seasons are similar to previous seasons. Season dates for each zone are as follows:
Northeastern Zone – October 6 to October 28 and November 3 to December 9
Southeastern Zone – October 6 to October 14 and November 10 to December 30
Lake Champlain Zone – October 13 to October 21 and November 10 to December 30
Western Zone – October 27 to December 8 and December 26 to January 11
Long Island Zone – November 22 to November 23 and December 1 to January 27
Goose and Brant Season September Canada goose seasons begin on September 1 throughout upstate New York, and on September 4 for central and eastern Long Island, and hunters can look forward to another 50 days or more (depending on area) to pursue these popular game birds again this fall and winter. Resident geese remain abundant in many areas of the state with the population estimated to be approximately 240,000 birds statewide, and migratory populations that pass through New York were estimated to be similar to recent years. Hunters are reminded that Canada goose seasons are set for different geographic areas of the state than other waterfowl seasons, so be sure to review the maps and season dates closely at: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28496.html. Canada goose season dates and bag limits in most areas are similar to last year.
A special conservation season for snow geese, in addition to the regular hunting seasons in each zone, will be open in all of upstate New York from January 16 through April 15. These birds have become so abundant that they are causing harm to wetland habitats throughout their range. Special seasons have been established in many eastern states and provinces to increase hunter harvest and help reduce this population. The daily limit for snow geese is 25 per day, and there is no possession limit. Electronic calls and shotguns capable of holding more than three shells may be used to take snow geese at any time when all other waterfowl hunting seasons are closed.
Lastly, the bag limit and season length for Atlantic brant will remain two birds per day and 60 days long.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that DEC is undertaking a multi-year, comprehensive effort to promote sustainable tourism, and address public safety in the Adirondacks. The first phase of actions begin ahead of the upcoming July 4th holiday.
Popular destinations on DEC lands within the Adirondack Park such as the High Peaks, Dix, Giant and Hurricane Wildernesses, Baxter Mountain, and the Saranac Lake 6’er peaks, are attracting an unprecedented number of users.
To improve public safety and reduce impacts to natural resources in the area, DEC held four focus group meetings this past winter to generate ideas and information to support recommendations, particularly to address overuse challenges in the High Peaks region and the Route 73 corridor between Exit 30 of the Northway and Lake Placid in the Adirondacks. The meetings were held in partnership with the towns of Keene and North Elba and involved a wide range of stakeholders. With input from DEC land managers, the meetings helped the agency identify specific strategies and actions to be taken in 2018 and 2019.
Actions along the Route 73 corridor are scheduled to start during the July 4th holiday week and are being implemented with state agency partners and municipalities. The first phase of actions include: Continue reading →
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner (Ag & Markets) Richard Ball announced that the state has finalized the New York State Interagency Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Risk Minimization Plan. The plan proposes regulatory changes and new actions to minimize the risk of CWD entering or spreading in New York State.
The plan is designed to protect both wild white-tailed deer and moose herds in New York, as well as captive cervids including deer and elk held at enclosed facilities.
The plan alls for increased public participation in the state’s efforts, and DEC and Ag & Markets are urging hunters and citizens to:
Report sick or abnormally behaving deer;
Do not feed wild deer;
Dispose of carcasses properly at approved landfills;
Use alternatives to urine-based lures or use synthetic forms of deer urine.
Hunters in New York State enjoyed another successful year, harvesting an estimated 203,427 deer during the 2017-18 hunting seasons Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.
The 2017 estimated deer take included 95,623 antlerless deer and 107,804 antlered bucks, an estimated five percent fewer deer than the previous year. Statewide, this represents a 10-percent decline in antlerless harvest and a buck harvest nearly identical to 2016. Hunters in the Northern Zone took 25,351 deer, including 18,074 adult bucks. In the Southern Zone, hunters took 178,076 deer, including 89,730 adult bucks.
The decline in antlerless harvest occurred despite DEC issuing more antlerless permits last season. DEC wildlife biologists have noted two important and encouraging items that emerged from the 2017 deer harvest. First, with 53.3 percent of the adult buck harvest averaging 2.5 years or older, hunters took an estimated 57,494 older bucks, setting a record in total number and greatest percentage of older bucks in the harvest.
Second, the portion of successful hunters who reported their harvest as required by state law increased from 44 percent in recent years to 50 percent in 2017. Along with our Take It · Tag It · Report It campaign, DEC has made the process of harvest reporting substantially easier for hunters, providing phone, internet, and mobile app options. Harvest reports are critically important for accurate monitoring of deer harvests, and DEC encourages hunters to continue to contribute to the management process by complying with the reporting requirements.
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 →